The spirit of the Soviet Union continues on the Internet

Vladimir Putin’s attack Ukraine has intensified the global response. Musicians compete with musicians, artists compete with artists, cooks with pastries, and cars compete with cars. This raises the question of what cyber policy nerds can do to express our fear and disdain for Russia’s Soviet -style imperialism.

The answer is simple: Kill the last member of the Soviet Union – in cyberspace.

Putin was a big fan of the old Soviet Union. He described the breakup as “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the century.” And he does, in Ukraine and in Russia “almost out,” as the man who decided to return those Soviet borders.

Nostalgia for the Soviet Union is on a cultural plane with a strong interest in Hitler’s Third Reich. However, against all odds, the Soviet Union persisted. Not only does it continue to live the dreams of the elderly loyalists, it is also living online.

The website did not escape the lab in 1990, when the Soviet Union granted .su as a country code, combining domains such as France’s .fr and United States. Kingdom’s .uk. At the end of 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed.

But he doesn’t have a country code.

Thirty years later, the Soviet Union continues to have the mindset of a former KGB officer now in the Kremlin – and online, where you can register on a site like As you can imagine, the domain is a nostalgic place for fans of Communism and a favorite of those who oppose democracy and independence of Ukraine and use the .su domain to express their hope for the annexation of Ukraine into Greater Russia. Large .su users also introduce spammers and other cybercriminals who want the lack of real government traffic. Due to its lack of good value (and the happy outcome of the Communist threat) it took a long time for the .su domain to be left in the digital graveyard.

Why does it continue? The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – a global organization that protects domain names, including country codes – has a policy that immediately retires country names when they expire. ICANN previously released the .yu of Yugoslavia and East Germany .dd, to name a few. But his attempts to calm down .we are troubled by a combination of Putinist ideology and business interests. The committee of country code authorities from places such as Saudi Arabia and Namibia (as well as Russia and China) has been slow in moving, saying a new policy on immigration is being developed. national holiday. Now, at 20 to 30 dollars a year, .su subscribers bring in several million dollars of annual revenue for ICANN and its subscriptions, revenues by disappears when the center is down.

That reason is not enough to keep the spirit of the Soviet Union online. It was perhaps the most murderous state in history, and war crimes are being committed in its memory today throughout Ukraine.

There is an opportunity, of course, for Putin to take his personal death. And, of course, what’s the best reason to be able to speed up its implementation?

ICANN and its board of directors need to act now, not after years of hemming and hawing. And if ICANN stands, there are many other ways to achieve the same result. The Biden administration could block the entire country, banning transactions with the domain registrar and users, as it does with other Russian web sites. Google and Mozilla may decide not to see final numbers in .su. Most of those solutions will be more complex than ICANN’s work, but the fear of hard work is what makes ICANN need to move.

Either way, the journey is clear: The dustbin of history is calling for .su.

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