Thousands of websites taken offline during Brexit domain name change – POLITICO

Around 48,000 internet domain names belonging to UK citizens and organizations – including the pro-Brexit site Leave.eu – were taken indefinitely from Monday after their names were revoked .eu domain name by the agency in charge of registrations.

This decision marks the last step in an ongoing process since the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on January 31, 2020.

UK-based .eu domain owners have been advised that they need to prove their eligibility for an EU domain; otherwise, they would risk being suspended which means their domains would not be able to support website hosting or email functionality.

To register a .eu domain, individuals must be citizens or residents of the bloc, and organizations must be established within the EU.

More than 80,000 websites had been hit with a “suspended” status, after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020. In July of last year, those who did not prove their eligibility were been placed in “withdrawn” status until Monday. , when their .eu domains have been revoked for an indefinite period.

“Over the past 12 months, our staff have worked tirelessly to support the registrants of these domain names and to follow up on the many requests to restore a domain name to registered status as soon as the eligibility criteria have been met. been fulfilled, ”said a EURid spokesperson. Monday.

Those in possession of residence or citizenship of the European Union will be able to immediately re-register revoked .eu domains from Monday.

A spokesperson for EURid, the EU’s domain registry manager, said the 48,000 domain names “will become available for general registration on a first come, first served basis.[d] base ‘in batches throughout Monday.

Leave.eu could be back in EU hands

One case that made headlines last year was the Leave.eu domain – registered in the name of the organization of the same name, which had been run by former Brexiteer MEP Nigel Farage and funded by the former UKIP funder Arron Banks.

Prior to the Brexit withdrawal date, the organization migrated its registrant address to a location in Waterford, Ireland, in an effort to prove eligibility for a .eu domain.

However, following an investigation by EURid, the domain was given the status of “withdrawn” because the domain registrant did not respond to requests for data verification, EURid said on Monday.

From Monday, the domain name Leave.eu will be available for re-registration by an EU citizen or resident.

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