Internet suffix is returned to Pitcairn.
ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., February 21, 2000An international
struggle with worldwide Internet implications for control of a dot and
two letters of the alphabet has ended, and Pitcairn Island in the South
Pacific Ocean is the winner.
The battle has been fought to recover Pitcairn's Internet
domain name suffix ".pn" from a British renegade registrar company by
the island's New Zealand-based British government offices that oversee
Pitcairn affairs. Pitcairn's win has come through actions of the U.S.
government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
The favorable outcome of the struggle may bring considerable
financial gain to the tiny, cash-strapped island, according to
information received by the Pitcairn Islands Study Center on the campus
of Pacific Union College here. In the late 1700s Pitcairn was settled
by mutinous sailors from the H.M.S. Bounty, part of the world's most
famous sea story.
In 1997, Pitcairner Thomas C. Christian, a direct descendant of
Fletcher Christian, leader of the Bounty mutineers, rather innocently
told a soliciting British company that he would work with them in
control of what is known as a "top level domain" suffix, which in
Pitcairn's case is ".pn" The most commonly known top level domain
suffix is known to Internet users as ".com"
A country's top level domain suffix denotes its territory.
However, through its enterprise, the British registrar company took
over Pitcairn's suffix and has been able to sell it to anyone seeking an
Internet address. Such suffixes are valuable because all of the ".com"
suffixes have already been taken.
Awakening to the fact that a valuable financial resource was
being lost to the British company, Pitcairn's New Zealand government
offices appealed for redress. On February 11, the United States government
and ICANN confiscated ".pn" from the registrar
company that had been passing it out and gave it back to Pitcairn.
In March, ICANN is expected to consider a formal proposal to
restore to all nations and territories sovereign control of their
Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin
Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504,
Email: email@example.com, Website: http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn