Icelandic .is Domains: What are the Advantages?

Have you noticed that there is more and more censorship on the Internet?  Countries that used to be the leaders in free speech, have begun enacting stricter and stricter laws prohibiting where and when freedom of speech is allowed.  The Internet is just the latest place to see restrictions beginning to take effect.  If someone finds concern over something written about them, or their company, on the Internet they simply have a lawyer step in citing laws and precedents from courts.  Since a lot of people host their website in their country of origin, they are regulated by the laws, and legal situations of that country.  To protect everyone’s right for freedom of speech more websites are using Icelandic .is domains. These are country Top Level Domains (cTLD) which are governed by the laws of Iceland and cannot be effected, cheaply anyhow, by legal action from outside countries.  This is not a stop all legal action, allow you to do whatever on the Internet option but it is great for journalists, newspapers and others spreading news and information that certain individuals may prefer kept secret.

Icelandic .is domains are governed by much more modern laws of Iceland.  These laws specifically pertain to freedom of speech and offer special protections at a government level to citizens and companies (websites included) that do business on the isolated island.  These laws are much looser in many regards than similar laws in the United States of America or the European Union.  This allows a greater freedom for journalists, newspapers etc. to provide critical information to readers that would otherwise be left in the dark.

The next step is figuring out how to get your own Icelandic .is domain.  There are many domain registrars available that can help in this regard, though not all of them will be able to offer the same benefits for using their services.  Here are some key things to look for when registering your new domain.

Two-factor authentication to protect your domain from being hijacked.

Two-factor authentication simply adds another layer of protection to your site.  Your username and password are the first, and most likely to be stolen.  Two-factor authentication adds your SMS enabled cell phone to the security mix. This makes your account nearly impossible to hack.

Ensure the business is indeed located in Iceland.

Obviously your web host and domain registrar has to be located, and host sites in Iceland to gain the benefits of the laws there.  Icelandic .is domains are nice but you need that additional layer of “in-country-location” protection too.

Make sure you are able to register your domain anonymously and use Private WHOIS service.

Anonymous use and registration is extremely nice for that added sense of security.  If no one knows who is running the website, they have even less chance of shutting it down for publishing information to the masses. While Private WHOIS is standard for .com domains. It is noteworthy that it may be difficult to obtain for cTLD’s such as .IS. Make sure your domain registrar is able to provide this service before signing up. Private WHOIS added to Icelandic .is domains should be in place if you are fine with sharing your personal information with your web host but not the public.

Other security concerns

Secure Socket Layers (SSL) simply protects the information being transmitted between your computer and that which is hosting your site.  This includes your password, username, anything you do on the site, etc.  If the host or registry you are looking at, or are using now, does not offer at least 256 bit level SSL on all login pages, change services IMMEDIATELY.
The laws of Iceland make .is domains very intriguing for many people in today’s internet connected society.  However, it is extremely important that you choose a right partner to protect your best interests. You can find more ideas online or register your Icelandic .is domains here.

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