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U.S. Court Quashes Attempts to Attach ccTLDs: Federal Judge Agrees with ICANN

12 November 2014

A U.S. federal court has agreed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that the country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) are not property subject to attachment.

Claimants filed writs of attachment to seize from ICANN, the ccTLDs for Iran (.IR), Syria (.SY) and North Korea (.KP), (as well as internationalized top-level domains in non-ASCII characters for Iran and Syria) in order to satisfy judgments the claimants obtained in US courts against these countries.

ICANN sought to quash the writs of attachment citing ICANN's technical coordination role in the domain name system (DNS) and arguing that ccTLDs are not subject to attachment.

"We are pleased that the court ruled in our favor on the grounds that the ccTLDs are not property, subject to attachment", said John Jeffrey, ICANN's General Counsel and Secretary. "The court's ruling demonstrates a technical understanding of the DNS, and the role of ccTLDs in the single, global, interoperable Internet.

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To read the U.S. District Court ruling, go here:
https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/order-memo-granting-motion-to-quash-writs-10nov14-en.pdf [PDF, 346 KB]

To read ICANN's legal filings, go here:
https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/icann-various-2014-07-30-en

To read the original "Writs of Attachment," go here:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_dOI5puxRA9M3hweE9Eel9mVTQ/edit?pli=1

Media Contacts

Brad White
Director of North American Communications
Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1.202.570.7118
Email: brad.white@icann.org

James Cole
Global Media Coordinator
Washington, D.C.
Tel: +1.202.570.7139
Email: james.cole@icann.org

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.