Libyan (Sharia) Legal Issue Takes Down ".ly" URL-Shortener - is Bit.ly Next?


As many of our followers on Twitter know, we have been on the forefront of a campaign against the use of ".ly" (Libyan) domains.  We've Tweeted to hundreds, if not thousands of people who claim to support Israel and who claim to be against Islamic terrorism, warning them of the absurdity of using .ly domains and being associated with Islam, Libya, and Sharia, due to the fact that that Libyan ".ly" domains are subject to "Islamic morality" and Sharia Law, according to the Terms of Service for .ly:

Any .LY domain name may be registered, except domains containing obscene and indecent names/phrases, including words of a sexual nature; furthermore domain names may not contain words/phrases or abbreviations insulting religion or politics, or be related to gambling and lottery industry or be contrary to Libyan law or Islamic morality, the same applies to the site content.
What is "Islamic morality?" Perhaps 9/11 and Islamic terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah will give us some clues.  Or even look no further than Gadaffi, himself--even the antisemitic/anti-Israel TIME magazine had the ability to label him for what he is: 
As of 1973, the entire Libyan judicial system conformed to sharia. In 1977, the General People's Congress issued a statement that all legal codes in Libya would be based on the insanity of the Koran. Thus, "Libyan Law" is Sharia law.

It's no wonder that various .ly domains are now experiencing problems that we have long warned about, as CNET reports (h/t @JENin140 and @KindaLaureny):
What was once "the Internet's first and only sex-positive URL shortener" is no more, thanks to a conflict with Libyan law.

The Vb.ly service combined the initials of blogger and sex columnist Violet Blue and the .ly country-specific Internet domain associated with Libya. The combination didn't work out, an outcome with potential implications for bit.ly, those use use it, and address-shortening services in general.

"Pornography and adult material aren't allowed under Libyan Law, therefore we removed the domain," Alaeddin S. ElSharif, a representative of Libya Telecom and Technology's Web services Department, told Violet Blue in  explaining the shutdown of the site and service.

....Ben Metcalfe, co-owner of the site, said Wednesday the demise of Vb.ly has implications for others using the domain.

"We eventually discovered that the domain has been seized because the content of our Web site, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law," Metcalfe said in a blog post. "This is deeply concerning for everyone, but especially .ly domain owners, because it sets a precedent that all websites running on a .ly domain must comply with Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law in order to maintain their domains. This is especially concerning for anyone running an URL shortener or hosting user-generated content on a .ly domain."

The most obvious such organization is Bit.ly, whose URL-shortening service is widely used.

Metcalfe sees others as potentially affected, though--not just Bit.ly and its kind, but those who rely on its services as well.
As we've repeatedly asked on Twitter, why would anyone want to be associated with Libya, "Islamic morality," and Sharia? Many people we have repeatedly told about this issue, continue to be apathetic, and continue using .ly domains and URL shorteners like "bit.ly" and "ow.ly."  Then again, with "leaders" like this shaking hands with Islamic terrorists, what can we expect?:
Obama Shakes Islamic Terrorist Hand of Gadaffi



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