A group of American victims of terror and family members of those who have been injured or killed in attacks sponsored by the Iran, Syria, and North Korea have moved to attach and seize the internet domain registry of these state sponsors of terror.
Plaintiffs in Wyatt, Calderon-Cardona, Rubin, and Weinstein, among others, secured default money judgments against Iran, North Korea and Syria for those country’s complicity in supporting terror and their own resulting injuries.
In September 2014, we brought an action in the Washington DC District Court to compel the Internet Corporation for the Assignment of Names and Numbers (ICANN) to reassign the top level domains from their current administrators to the plaintiffs.
We contend that these internet domains are seizable property that can be used to pay the debts owed to the victims -the .IR, .KP, country code top level domains (ccTLDs) that identify domains associated with those countries. Currently, the District Court has rejected the writs of attachment, reasoning that that top level domains are “property” in some sense but that their use and value is “inextricably bound to” and “cannot be conceptualized apart from” the way in which they are managed; in other words, that the domain does not really exist apart from the services that are provided by the domain manager.
An appeal has been filed to challenge the District Court decision. This case is ongoing.