Catalunya Life Technology

The Semantics of Statehood

In a recent article on Vilaweb, we learned that conservative parties in the Spanish senate have mistakenly voted in favor of a bill regarding the creation of a .ct top-level domain name for Catalonia. Top-level domain names consisting of two letters are generally reserved for states (in the global sense of the word). Existing examples are .us, .de, and .es (the only one in Spain currently).

The PP and the PSOE voted in favor of this law because they misread the text, thinking they were voting against .ct rather than for it. Good to know that American politicians aren’t the only bozos out there, no?

There is already a .cat top-level domain name.  Three-letter domains indicate pages that relate to cultural or linguistic topics. While scoring one of these did require some moving and shaking, no Spanish nationalists were too concerned when .cat appeared. Here you can find pages in Catalan, pages about Catalan culture, and the pages of many Catalan organizations. All Catalan government pages, however, are still listed under .es as part of the Spanish state.

This time, political leaders are rushing to assure the media that they will correct their mistake when this bill comes back to Congress for ratification. Allowing Catalonia to start listing its government pages under .ct would be in some way admitting that Catalonia is a separate state, entitled to all the trappings of statehood. (God forbid!)

In fact, the institutions that grant domain names are the IANA and ICANN which are run by…the US government. So apparently, all it takes to apply for a top-level domain is US$50,000 and the approval of a US government office. Welcome to the world-wide f*ckfest!