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ICANN Quietly Raises Internet’s .IQ

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) last week quietly turned over administration for Iraq’s top-level domain (.iq) to Iraq’s newly-established National Communications and Media Commission.

Administration of Iraq’s top-level domain had been undefined since the shutdown of Texas-based InfoCom Corporation in 2002 on charges the company had been funnelling money to a member of the Islamic extremist group Hamas. InfoCom had been assigned regulation of the ".iq" top-level domain in 1997; the company sold computing technology and Internet hosting services to clients in the Middle East, and at one time hosted Web sites for Arabic news network Al-Jazeera.

In July 2004, InfoCom’s owner Bayan Elashi, a Palestinian, and four of his brothers were convicted of violating export regulations by shipping computer equipment to Syria and Libya; in April 2005 Elashi and two of his brothers were found guilty of 21 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, and dealing in the property of a terrorist, specifically aiding Hamas.

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