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A judge in Washington DC has ruled that a country's entire internet registry cannot be seized, averting a global diplomatic crisis.
In a ruling [PDF] made earlier this week but released late last night, Judge Royce Lamberth focused in on a single argument presented by DNS overseer ICANN that country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are not "attachable property" because they "exist only as they are made operational by the ccTLD managers".
Lawyers for nine US citizens injured in an Iran-financed bombing in Jerusalem back in 1997 turned to the internet in an effort to recoup millions of dollars awarded to them against the government of Iran more than a decade ago. They wanted Iran's dot-ir top-level domain handed over as part payment of that debt.