Service adds back up URLs but says people need not worry about .ly. That’s wrong.
Social networking platform HootSuite has added alternatives to shorteners that use Libya’s country code domain name .ly after users expressed concerns about relying on the Libyan .ly domain name.
In addition to Ow.ly and Ht.ly, users can now use Owl.li and Htl.li. .Li is the country code domain name for Liechtenstein.
At the same time the company defended the stability of .ly, echoing defensive arguments raised by bit.ly. It pointed out (and even provided an infographic) that there are multiple root servers for .ly outside Libya. It also said that .ly is “ultimately controlled by ICANN who can revoke access from the Libyan government and assume a caretaker role if needed”.
This is a false assurance.
Yes, there are multiple root servers for .ly. But that doesn’t matter if the government decides to delete specific domain names that it finds are contributing to the revolution.
And the idea that ICANN would intervene over this political matter seems far-fetched (beyond ensuring stability access to the domain). .Ly is Libya’s domain name, and it can decide how to operate it. It can decide which types of sites operate on it (e.g. no adult sites), who can register the domains, and other restrictions.
So while these URL shortener companies say all is well, I suspect they are quite a bit concerned. They’re just afraid to tell people that millions of links could break.