ccTLD Domain Names Subject to Home Country Governance

Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) are internet domain name extensions that are designated for a country or sovereign state. Each is identified by two-letter codes such as .IT for Italy, .CA for Canada, and .IN for India. The primary purpose of a ccTLD is to show its association with a particular geographical locations.

In addition to its local usage, ccTLD domain names have long been used as .com alternatives or for domain name hacks. For instance, years ago, the .LY extension was popular because of services like Bitly. More recently .AI and .IO have become popular domain name extensions that are sought after by companies and domain investors alike from around the world.

While extensions like .AI and .IO are ccTLDs, some users may not even realize their designation as country codes. A registrant of a .AI domain name may only think about it in relation to Artificial Intelligence – AI – rather than its official designation as the country code for Anguilla. In fact, a registrant may register a .AI domain name at US-based domain registrar like Dynadot or GoDaddy, but the governance of .AI is under the jurisdiction of the government of Anguilla. This is evidenced by the Terms & Conditions page on the website: “The usage must not violate the laws of Anguilla.”

When domain registrants use ccTLD domain names, they should understand the domain names are subject to the home country’s governance.

Notably, an article in The Verge yesterday highlighted what happens when the website content on a ccTLD domain name runs afoul of local laws and regulations. The article was specifically about a .AF domain name (.AF is the ccTLD for Afghanistan):

Investors and users should be aware that they may register a ccTLD domain name at a domain registrar in their home country, but the usage of the domain name is governed by the country that

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I see this happening to .Ai .They would soon raise the renewal to $500 and you either go by their rules or drop the name .They would own people’s business. Will stick to .Com.

  2. I see a reckoning coming for .ai

    How can you trust million dollar brands to cctlds, if they are not based in said country?
    Also, how many of the .ai using western corps know the laws of Anguilla?

    Collapse of hype bubble by year end.

    Stampede to .com in 2025.

    • Majority of them don’t know the laws. They blindly just buy if it ends in .Ai .Also the .Ai can decide to raise annual renewal to whatever they want .Greed with set it and most .Ai will wish they owned the .Ai instead or keyword Ai brand.

      Any investor comparing .Ai to .com because of the present rush must not be seeing the big picture outside aside just the cctlds.

  3. I own over 50 (s) keyword (taken in over 200 extensions) with and
    The ones getting bids are
    I bought ai domains back in 2015 — over 80
    AI is not a fad — we’re seeing a dress rehearsal at Google, Microsoft, Meta, Snap with its recent thousands of firings of software engineers (to be replaced by Ai coders, who work 24/7 and don’t watch porn, check their socials, or play video games or check their dating app feeds or get in fights with their colleagues)
    I got nano degrees in AI back in 2016 — but I’m sure AI will be able to make me redundant as well, despite having built several AI technologies
    Will the AI bubble pop? I don’t think so. The little island with Vince Cate running the show there should keep the engine going. But if Vince goes, there could be trouble.
    I see well funded Ai companies using domain extensions in this order for some time:
    I could be wrong — I’m only human, NOT AI.
    When you see the next iteration of ChatGPT, it will be like going from dial up internet to high speed — no more hallucinations.

  4. Firstly, I don’t believe the Taliban are entirely to blame.

    Please note that is no longer registering, renewing or transferring domains. If the registrant wants to again, they must let it expire and be deleted before registering with other registrars, such as, which charges USD 30.00 annually.

    Let’s also see that other domains such as,, or were not excluded and many domains with pornographic content were registered by Gandi and Netim from 2018 onwards.

    By accessing, we can see that Cocca has implemented a new website with RDAP.


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