Court Decision Could Force Iran Off Internet


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By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall


The Times of Israel reports that on June 24, 2014 a US District Court awarded American and Israeli terror victims the .ir domain, along with all of Iran’s IP addresses.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Iran could find itself kicked off the Internet by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Addresses (ICANN), a Los Angeles based organization that manages web domains and IP addresses.

The court ruled that .ir domain names and IP addresses were seizable assets in the satisfaction of more than a billion dollars in judgements Iran owes US and Israeli victims. The judgements relate to “terrorist” acts committed by Hamas, Hezbollah and other so-called terrorist groups allegedly backed by Iran.

Like other countries, Iran pays fees to ICANN to license its Internet assets. Based on Tuesday’s ruling, these fees, along with the assets themselves, could be used to satisfy the Iranian debt to the plaintiffs. Covered by the judgement are all the “top-level domain” (TLD) names provided by ICANN to Iran, including the .IR TLD, the Persian-language ایران TLD, and all Internet Protocol (IP) addresses being utilized by the Iranian government and its agencies.


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Dr. Bramhall is a retired American child and adolescent psychiatrist, activist and political refugee in New Zealand. Her first book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led her to leave the US in 2002. She has also published two young adult novels about political activism: The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable View All Books by Dr. Bramhall >>> She is involved in the national leadership of the New Zealand Green Party and has a political blog at