Ukraine asks ICANN and crypto exchanges to block Russia, Namecheap tells Russian customers to leave

Domain registrar Namecheap has informed its Russian-based customers that it will no longer be able to provide services to them and must immediately find other domain registrars.

“Unfortunately, due to the Russian regime’s war crimes and human rights abuses in Ukraine, we will no longer provide services to registered users in Russia,” the company said in an email sent to customers.

“While we understand that this war does not affect your own views or opinions on the matter, the fact is that your authoritarian government is committing human rights abuses and engaging in war crimes. is therefore a political decision that we have taken and that we will respect.’

Namecheap is advising Russian users to transfer their top-level domains to other providers by March 6 and said it is ready to help people who ask for help with the transition.

The company said customers registered in Russia who use Namecheap, EasyWP hosting or private email services with a .ru, .su, .xn--p1ai (р), .by or .xn--90ais domain (eл) offered by another registrar will now receive 404 errors.

Some angry users said the company’s decision unfairly penalized Russians, many of whom oppose the invasion.

Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall responded by saying that users can still choose from various alternative providers to receive the same services.

“We haven’t blocked domains, we’re asking people to move. There are many other choices when it comes to infrastructure services, so it’s not a ‘platform,'” Kirkendall explained.

Ukraine asks ICANN to revoke Russian domains

Namecheap’s move comes as the Ukrainian government is also asking ICANN, the non-profit organization that oversees the internet, to revoke all domains assigned to Russia, including .ru.

On Monday, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked ICANN CEO Göran Marby to disable country code top-level domains associated with Russia and shut down major Domain Name (DNS) servers. System) of the country.

In an email to Marby, Fedorov said that the Putin administration had used the Internet infrastructure to propagate its war effort, therefore ICANN should take tough action against Russia.

He specifically called for the revocation of domains such as “.ru”, “.рф” and “.su” used by the Russian Federation, as well as the withdrawal of associated TLS/SSL certificates.

Removing Russia’s access to DNS root servers would prevent Russian ISPs from engaging with outside networks that connect Internet users to websites, thereby blocking access to Russian websites.

However, ICANN is unlikely to respond to such a request.

Crypto Exchanges

Economic sanctions imposed by many countries are currently wreaking havoc on the Russian financial sector.

Last week, Mykhailo Fedorov also asked global crypto exchanges to block Russian-based users.

Fedorov said it was “crucial not only to freeze addresses linked to Russian and Belarusian politicians, but also to sabotage ordinary users.”

So far, cryptocurrency companies have refused to comply with Ukraine’s request to ban all Russian users.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it was taking steps to restrict the accounts of specific people affected by the sanctions, although it has no plans to expand the ban. ordinary Russian account holders.

Kraken exchange chief Jesse Powell said he understood the reasoning behind the request but declined to extend the ban.

Crypto firms, however, have not condoned the situation.

Binance said on Monday that it would donate at least $10 million to humanitarian initiatives aimed at addressing the growing global refugee crisis.