back to article disappears European-owned Cuba websites

Let's see this Treasury Department list again... Aiman Al-Zawahiri....Radovan Karadzic....Alexander Lukashenko.... ah, Tour & Marketing International. Steven Marshall, the owner of T&M and affiliated websites such as,, and, is a British travel agent with an …


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  1. Andy Barber
    Thumb Down

    Hosting in the USA

    It was a bit stupid of these companies to host these web sites with an American (.com) site & not a British ( site

  2. daniel

    And the Yanks wonder...

    Why the rest of the world hates them.

    One of my domain's contains the word "hell". Are they going to delete that too just because?

    What a bunch of fscking pillocks.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't be around much longer

    " he won't be around much longer"

    Who, Castro or Bush? :-)

    One of them has changed the world for the worse and it's not Castro.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    US Government Censorship

    the US government censors things? oh no, someone get this surprising news up on to wikileaks so we can expose them!

    all i can say is that we are a monarchy, a form of dictatorship and we are more democratic with more of a right to free speech than them... (at least for now, however the US black helicopters seem to be getting permission to operate too freely here lately)

  5. Not That Andrew

    @ Andy Barber -READ the article

    The registrar was American, not the host. Still a bad move in hindsight, but not an insanely stupid one, like hosting in the USA. Also, .com is NOT American, is. Just because the Yanks have hijacked .com and .gov doesn't make it right (or even legal).

  6. Morely Dotes

    Enom is part of the problem

    As a Web hosting provider, I'd had cause to deal with Enom, and I can say that in my experience, the only registrar that is less customer-friendly is Internet (aka Verisign).

    Oh, and @ Not That Andrew: To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing as the domain. The .us TLD is non-commercial; we serfs slaving for God's Personal Representative (aka GW "screw the Constitution" Bush) who want to do commerce on the Internet are expected to use the .com TLD.

    Had anyone asked (bloody unlikely, that), I'd have advised the travel agent in question to have his domains hosted as domains, and put nothing but redirects in the .com TLD. That keeps the *real* sites safe from overzealous neoNazis, and anyone bookmarking the page would go directly back to it on future visits, never even realizing that the .com had been stolen.

    Ah, well. Less than a year until the change of masters.

  7. Jeff Fraser

    Politics aside...

    One of the best things about visiting Cuba is the complete and utter lack of Americans. This is a common view held by travelers and locals alike.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    As usual...

    I'm sad and embarrassed to be an American.

  9. Seán

    @ not andrew

    er your "logical deduction" is worthy of wikipedia. Please stop with the shit you're making the yanks look smart.

  10. Robert Smits

    Ideological midgets!

    Just another example of why you can't trust the Yanks not to behave like unreasonable bullies when it comes to the rights of foreigners. Here's someone who is abiding by the law in the country he lives in, has no connection at all except a domain registry and he gets his business and his livelihood threatened by these ideological midgets.

    No wonder many of us won't do business with American companies.

  11. yeah, right.

    Only proves...

    That you can't trust the Americans. Ever. For anything.

    Moral is: don't use .com website names, since the Americans seem to have hijacked them for their own purposes. It was supposed to be international, but then again the Americans are supposed to have "freedom of expression" as well. Too bad they're so mired in their self-important censorship to notice.

    Bunch of tossers, their whole government and the minority who voted for them.

  12. Malcolm Weir

    @Not That Andrew

    As a point of fact, you can't hijack something you own. Like it or not, the US gov't paid for the establishment of the domain name system as well as the IP address system.

    The problem is not that the US owns ".com" (and is nice enough to let any old Johnny Foreigner to use it, too), but that the non-US agents came up with cumbersome and ugly national alternatives. Why "" instead of, say, ".ukcom" or ".couk"? Or ".Brit"? And, granted, that's a charge you can levy on the US gov't, 'cos they hogged the good names and forced everyone else into the two letter country codes. But still, blame the Brit gov't for being dumb enough to subdivide the ".uk": they could have reserved "" and "", etc. and let the rest just have ".uk" domains (as in "").

    That said, the statement in the original article that the only way to get off the list is to go back to the bureaucrats is incorrect: you could sue the OFAC in US Federal Court.


  13. heystoopid


    So PRQ , just got another customer !

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little harsh and not that well thought out

    So, he just re-registers the web domain names, sticks a few tasteful ads on the site, and then tells the press, gets some free advertising this way.

    Yeah, the USA does not like Cuba - I must admit I always thought that Cuba was a no go until a few years back, so successful was the US campaign, but from what I have learned Cuba is a very popular tourist destination for folks from the UK.

    .com is US controlled it is that simple, the reason we register .com is that browsers often default to .com when you type just the domain name in the URL. Maybe, we just say that browsers have to offer user configuration of this feature, and they may already do so.

    The is Colorado's domain :). I think each state has one.

    The domain names are just a convention, and the beauty is we don't have to even abide by them if we don't want to, the control is with the host, any country, group or individual is free to call an ip number by any name they wish to, it just requires the inclination.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    respite from the propaganda!

    I'm off there in May and looking forward to the distinct lack of americans ruining it. (Although apparently the canadians use it as a haven from the yanks as well!!)

    But as I work for HMG I had to inform the Anti Terrorism that I was going!! What incase I decide I want to become a communist and give away all the secrets? They just need to go on ebay for those lol

    Anon incase the black helicopters are watching me!

    Mines the linen one so I can sit on the beach in the evening

  17. Andy Worth

    When did the U.S. become China?

    Sorry, I'm just wondering, considering all the pissing and moaning that went on about China deciding what its people could and could not look at on the web - and it appears that the U.S. government are doing exactly the same thing?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's get to the nitty gritty, this is what they wanted to hide, the other sites are just a smoke screen. They're just pissed off at the drubbing they generally get from Cuba at the olympics or did before it was dropped. Which other country has a world series that only allows teams from their own country? Do they still let some token Canadian teams take part or have these been excluded after they won a few times? Having a national sport based on the girls game rounders with a bigger bat so they have a better chance of hitting the ball is a bit wussish anyway.

  19. dervheid

    @ Morely Dotes

    "Ah, well. Less than a year until the change of masters."

    Given the state of the (Democrat) primaries, I get the feeling the following quote may (unfortunately) be appropriate.

    "Meet the new Boss. Same as the old Boss"

    I'm just not sure that there are enough Americans, especially in the 'undecided' category prepared to vote for either;

    1) A Woman.


    2) A Black Guy (there, I've said it)

    We live in hope however. I don't have a preference for either of the above, just that the last thing the world needs is another tired old warhorse at the helm of the US, and another 4-8 years of this insanity.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    @ Chris W

    <pedantry alert>sorry to be picky but the 'World Series' is named after a newspaper not an indication that the US can't see outside its own borders sometimes</pedantry alert>

  21. anarchic-teapot

    How do they get off, if they shouldn't be there?

    Good question. Dying doesn't work, they've still got Saddam Hussein on there.

  22. Charley

    Required Title

    I see our old friend Ozzie is on the list:

    BIN LADEN, Osama (a.k.a. BIN LADEN, Usama; a.k.a. BIN LADIN, Osama;

    a.k.a. BIN LADIN, Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad; a.k.a. BIN LADIN,

    Usama; a.k.a. BIN LADIN, Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad); DOB 30 Jul

    57; alt. DOB 1958; POB Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; alt. POB Yemen

    (individual) [SDT] [SDGT]

    Maybe if they took him off the blocked persons list he might decide to go there on holiday. They could pick him up at the airport. Just seems a bit silly tipping him off that they're looking for him like that.

    The long flowing golden one. Thanks.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Malcolm Weir

    Wtf are you wittering on about?

    The concept of top level domains is well documented. It seems fairly obvious why the space was further segmented. Of course the thing has evolved a bit as people look for 'cool' names irrelevant of how they fit into the traditional name space.

    The .com problem is also a fairly obvious evolution as a) Americans have problems with the term 'international' and b) they got there first (as the DNS was mainly an American invention).

  24. Jamie

    From up north

    I use to live just up north and I love what America is suppose to stand for not what it does stand for.

    The gov't is suppose to be of the people, by the people, for the people.

    Reality is that the gov't is of the rich, for the rich, fu?k the rest. Problem is it is not just in the US that this stuff happens. The gov't is setup by people in Ivory tower with Crystal walls indoctrinating the masses to believe they are looking out for your best interest.

  25. Dam
    Thumb Down

    @Malcom Weir

    "The problem is not that the US owns ".com" (and is nice enough to let any old Johnny Foreigner to use it, too)"


    Oh is that so ?

    Let's have a VERY FUN contest then.

    Make the americans use their very own root servers, and the rest of the world theirs.

    And see who owns what name.

    Hell, it'll be awesome when a domain is registered to 2 different entities, and being an american using the *wrong* root servers leads you to the incorrect hijacked patriotic one.

    Americans don't OWN anything to be honest, see their face if the root servers were put in somebody else's control.

    My dig nameserver asks for a file containing the root server addresses, and I'd be more than pleased to change them for *world owned* ones.

    You use alternative root servers and you can redirect everything, anything, even create the .xxx domain that the US prudes rejected even though everyone else wanted it.

    You use alternative root servers and the US disappears from the net, for being bullies for much too long.

    You use alternative root servers, and you hand the .com to someone else than verisign, someone who won't hijack it with it's awesome SiteFinder service.

    The name system doesn't rely on the US or its institutions in the end, it relies on people's willingness to use the US established system.

    Create a new one handled by new root servers and wave the US monopoly goodbye.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Netsol front running

    So netsol forces you to check when domains expire through it's site. When you check it does front running to grab the domain, and you're forced to buy from an American site that will censor Cuba references.

    Another reason why ICANN needs to be taken out and made international. They haven't stopped front running by Netsol.

  27. Charley

    @ anarchic-teapot

    I see his two sons, Uday and Qusay, are there too. Didn't see Hitler, A. or Stalin, J. there though, so I supposed they're catching up.

    Mind you, as this bloke can't have a web site that advertises Cuba, I'd have thought a cursory mention of CASTRO, Fidel would have been in order.

  28. Daniel Wilkie
    Gates Horns


    OK I'm confused... Alt P.o.B? Presumably PoB is Place of birth, in which case how can he have been born in Jeddah AND Yemen?

    Evil Bill because "Outlook not so good" sums up the state of the world pretty well at the moment...

  29. Jay Cooper

    What a bunch of planks

    Everyone is entitled to thier own political and moral views, but when an English company and the internet is affected by ridiculous US Govenrment "shady" policy like this it's time to take a stand............................... Everyone point in the general direction of the US and laugh.

  30. Stuart Butterworth

    @Nic, RE: World Series

    I have had numerous discussions with American sports "fans" who know nothing of their chosen sports - including many who thought winning The World Series made them an international success, much like any team who wins The Champions League over this side of the pond.

    In fact, it often seems that more Brits know of this fact than the damn colonials, to the stage where making reference to the competition is used purely to extract the urea solution...

    Mines the one with the "Treble '99" logo on the back...

  31. Steve

    Cut the cables to America

    Seriously, if they going to behave like a bunch of arses, let's set up our own root servers and let the US sulk on their own internet.

    Unfortunately, since that would affect profit margins for US corporations, it would probably be considered an act of war. And given that I'm English and in England posting on a website with a domain, I'm probably well within US jurisdiction.

    I don't mind you guys coming over as students/tourists, but would you mind taking back the occupying army - the Russians aren't coming.

  32. Not That Andrew

    I was wrong

    I was wrong. It was late, I was tired and angry - bad combination. I still don't think the Yanks should control .com , though :)

  33. Anonymous Coward

    @Chris W

    "Having a national sport based on the girls game...". And the sport that girls play in the US (soccer).

  34. Jamie

    He who controls knowledge controls the world

    I never really understood the idea of the pen is mightier than the sword, just how profound that saying actually is. But if you take a look around right now it is more valid than ever.

    Microsoft and other large international companies want to start having influence in the education process. The government want to control what you read and to know who is reading what.

    What greater resource is there for knowledge than the internet?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Daffy the Duck

    >the sport that girls play in the US

    That's also true in the UK, mainly played by namby pamby sissy southerners who kiss each other when a goal is scored. Real men play rugby and don't kiss each other unless they play for one of the public school teams in which case kissing would be the least of your worries.

    >'World Series' is named after a newspaper

    I think you'll find that's an urban myth.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Daffy the Duck

    National Sport....Girls game etc.

    Shall we say...oh, I don't know....American Football as opposed to....Rugby?

  37. Red Bren
    Black Helicopters

    @Not That Andrew

    El Reg could help by referring to "" instead of "". But then El Reg also refers to "" which sounds like a subdomain of the US government. Oh wait...

  38. Echowitch

    Cuban holidays

    Looks like the US Government should ban as well as I just thought "hmm I wonder if I could get a holiday in Cuba" and the only references to Cuba on are some Hotels and Restaurants in the USA with the name Cuba or Cuban in !!!!

  39. Steve Dulieu
    Black Helicopters

    @ Cuban Holidays

    All Cuban holidays were removed from the portfolio when the company was taken over by Travelocity which was owned by Sabre Holdings an American company.

  40. Daniel B.

    Ah, the Maria Isabel Sheraton affair, now on the net

    About 2 or 3 years ago, a pair of Cuban citizens were kicked off without warning from the Maria Isabel Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City. Reason? An OFAC call, the funny thing was that:

    1) The Hotel is in Mexico City, well outside the US borders,

    2) they weren't giving Cuba any money, but quite the opposite.

    While our stupid right-wing federal gov't is basically a US ass-kisser, the local government isn't, so they did take action and shut down that hotel for a few weeks. Too bad the mostly-neutral international policy has been abandoned, as the pre-2000 policy would have Sheraton incur in serious charges for sovereignity violation issues. Oh well...

    so this reminds me a lot of that case.

  41. Mike

    @ who owns the internet

    Actually if you do a little research, or are old enough, you would know that the US does in fact own what is now called the internet. They/we allowed it to connect to other countries who thought the idea was "cool" and built out their own little version of it to connect to the original. Now everyone gets all pissy thinking they actually have anything to say in how this now retired military network should be run. Bugger off the lot of you. If you don't like it feel free to sever your links to it, or better yet, try it for a day, just filter out ALL US based ip addresses, routes, and links and see how much of the internet continues to work for you. I can probably live a day or two without the reg, can you live for that long with a non-functional network?? Helldesk operators feel free to chime in....

    [obvious flame bait, partially true, the best kind]

  42. John A Blackley

    Glad to be of service

    To everyone who regularly uses El Reg to remind us that "yanks suck", "America's to blame for everything" and the ever-popular "why don't we just ignore them and do it for ourselves?"

    I know it's redundant but I'd like to say - again - that there is a difference between the beliefs, intentions and worldview of most Americans and that of the US government in its present incarnation. (I suppose I should also point out that 'yanks' - when said to an American - means someone born north of the Mason-Dixon line but that subtlety would probably be lost on the geniuses who commonly post here.)

    Yes, yes, cultural imperialism, world hegemony the United States is the only country in the world or in history that has ever expanded its sphere of influence to protect its interests. Yes, guilty, yes, yes. Very sorry to be so successful at doing it, must do worse and be proud of doing so - just like our outdated and irrelevant British cousins.

    And, please, by all means, do go ahead and build your own little internet. Given the recent history of technological innovation and implementation achieved in Europe I'm sure the rest of the world will flock to use it - sometime around 2786.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talk about sword rattling

    If Cuba were a player such as China and the ROC, Russia or the early Soviet Union and big enough to cause serious problems then we would be going out of our way to do business and conduct negotiations with them. The only reason for continuing to play hard ball is that Cuba is small enough to be considered militarily insignificant and causes problems for no one but itself. Talk about sword rattling. Just as with the latter Soviet Union, Libya, panama, the higher the horse the further the fall and the harder it is to climb back up. We should back up from time to time and check our selves, before other's [place] us in check.

  44. colin syme

    cuban holidays

    Here in Scotland, holidays to Cuba are popular, book them from any travel agent, the reason Scots like to go to Cuba,---no Americans, no drugs, no perverts, your kids are safe, and you can buy a box of cigars---very good investment!

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who owns .com?

    Not to rain on everyone's parade but I'll quote RFC920 (which defined DNS, from 1984):


    "Top Level Domain Requirements

    There are very few top level domains, each of these may have many

    second level domains.

    An initial set of top level names has been identified. Each of these

    has an administrator and an agent.

    The top level domains:

    ARPA = The ARPA-Internet *** TEMPORARY ***

    Administrator: DARPA

    Agent: The Network Information Center


    [GOV and EDU...]

    COM = Commercial

    Administrator: DARPA

    Agent: The Network Information Center


    MIL = Military

    Administrator: DDN-PMO

    Agent: The Network Information Center




    The English two letter code (alpha-2) identifying a country

    according the the ISO Standard for "Codes for the

    Representation of Names of Countries" [5].

    As yet no country domains have been established. As they are

    established information about the administrators and agents

    will be made public, and will be listed in subsequent editions

    of this memo.

    [Multiorganizations (never implemented)...]

    Note: The NIC is listed as the agent and registrar for all the

    currently allowed top level domains. If there are other entities

    that would be more appropriate agents and registrars for some or

    all of these domains then it would be desirable to reassign the



    So, since the administrator for .com is listed as DARPA and the agent is listed as the NIC, that would imply the US owning the domain. Of course DARPA and the NIC were replaced through acts of the US Government by IANA, ICANN, and Verisign. Also, Verisign being a US company, must by law abide by the Cuban Embargo.

    If you don't like using a US-owned domain, use a country code domain other than .us.

    If you don't like US control of the internet, invent your own. I'm sorry if I seem like I'm just another arrogant American, usually I'm not but in this instance, when you decide to use an originally US-based system that's what happens.

    And someone already mentioned that is Colorado. (See RFC1480 for details.)

  46. hamish firth

    Cuba Travels !!

    We have visited Cuba a few times now and love it for its non comercialisation and authenticity.

    Try for travel information on cuba.

    As kiwis we gave the Yanks the two fingered salute on Nukes maybe we can do it for cuba websites as well.

    Kia Kaha!

  47. zed

    To All the Above

    [quote from wikipedia] Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA (born June 8, 1955) is an English developer who invented the World Wide Web in March 1989. With the help of Robert Cailliau, and a young student staff at CERN, he implemented his invention in 1990, with the first successful communication between a client and server via the Internet on December 25, 1990. He is also the director of the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C (which oversees its continued development), and a senior researcher and holder of the 3Com Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).[1] [end of quote]

    Must be a b1tch to admit that like almost all things US citizens claim to be their own, is in fact a BRITISH invention, made by a BRITISH citizen. Much like how certain US establishments will tell you Alexander Graham Bell was an American inventor. Just because something or someone is based in america doesn't make it/them american.

    Bell was born in Scotland and moved to america. Einstein was Austrian not american. The WWW, while based mostly in america, is an English invention.

    (I hate saying that, as a Scot I detest england as much as america)

  48. Michael J Welker Jr

    @ zed

    The 'Internet' was created by US citizen Vinton Cerf in 1973.

    Paul Mockapetris invented the Domain Name system in 1983.

    ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet and it's original foundation traces it's roots back to the `50s.

    Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee invented what might be more aptly described as web browsing. The process of serving web pages from servers to clients. Which has nothing to do with the topic at hand, the ownership of domain names, but is just a service/process running on top of the Internet.

    The Internet and DNS both predate his development by a significant period and are US creations.

    Finally, the US is founded on immigration. Claiming discoveries because a person was born in your country and CHOOSE TO LEAVE is pretty shaky. AGB moved to the US five years before patenting the telephone. He had left GB (to Canada) a year before. He emigrated to this country, and choose to stay until his demise. So, discovered here, by someone who choose to move here and stay here. I'd say that makes it a US invention.


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