Does the term “shadow registry” concern you? It should if you own a .gd domain name.
Over the past few years startups and tech darlings have increasingly embraced “cute” ccTLDs and domain hacks that include ccTLDs.
A key example is bitly.
Bitly, which created millions of shortened URLs at Bit.ly, found out that using a ccTLD is not necessarily the safest thing to do. .Ly is the country code for Libya. With everything that happened in Libya over the past couple years, there was significant risk with using a .ly domain name.
Sometimes it’s not political strife that should cause ccTLD owners to worry. It’s mismanagement.
ccTLDs aren’t operated with the same scrutiny as gTLDs. Consider .GD for Grenada, which has been in a state of flux for several months.
Grenada’s National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has delegated the operation of .GD to KSregistry GmbH. KSregistry, a subsidiary of Key-Systems, was the technical backend for previous registry provider AdamsNames, so this should be an easy transition. Right?
Not necessarily. In KSregistry’s press release today, it states:
Discrepancies in the registration data may result from the operation of a shadow registry by a third party that had partial control of the .GD zone from March 8 to May 1, 2013. While the .GD zone is frozen, no registrations, modifications, transfers, deletions or renewals can be made until the zone file has been fully reviewed and confirmed as valid and complete…
Can you imagine if you were running a business on .gd? A bet you’d have a lot of sleepless nights.
Before starting a business on a ccTLD, business owners need to scrutinize its history and management. In the case of .gd, the technical provider is respected. The problem was on the management side.
Commercialized ccTLDs that have significant backing should be OK. Small, locally run ccTLDs deserve more scrutiny.