back to article Vatican vetos 'dot god' domain

The Pope has called on ICANN to keep religion out of the domain name system. The Vatican warned the internet address-making body of the “perils” of allowing new internet domains such as “.catholic, .anglican, .orthodox, .hindu, .islam, .muslim, [and] .buddhist”. ICANN, frequently accused of mission creep, could find itself …


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  1. Man Outraged

    Grrr ICANN but I SHOULDN'T

    This latest spat just highlights the stupidity of allowing gTLDs. The whole gTLD sale seems to be just a cheap attempt at cashing in by ICANN and I really hope they wake up sometime over the next 9 months and put this whole nonsense to bed.

    Who wants them A: ICANN plus maybe a few "entrepeneurs" who want some unchartered territory to try and reproduce the returns on investment of the likes of and, a handful of people who thing they're genius enough to stake 150 grand on a clever play on wor.ds and sub.letting a few dom.ains

    Who doesn't want them? CIOs of medium sized companies don't want to be shelling out to protect their .arses from squatters, governments who currently like the idea of a national identity and don't want to lose it to .comuk domain splitter, web users who are just about getting used to .tv but prefer .com and

    GRRRR this type of nonsense makes me really OUTRAGED!!

  2. Sam


    Bagsy dot satan muuwaaahahha!

  3. Tanuki

    Life, the Universe and Everything.

    I tried pointing a browser at http://www.god/

    And got a "404 Not Found."

    Looks like the Atheists were right after all.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Leave well alone

    While I would normally take no notice whatsoever of someone who makes a living from believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden and in trying to convince others that they too ought to believe in fairies and other mythical beings, despite the complete non-existence of any evidence whatsoever, in this case, I find myself actually agreeing with the Pope's PR man of the moment, Mr. Carlo.

    If I was ICANN, I would leave this well alone. It would open a huge Pandora's box and give the religious loons another excuse to start shooting each other or blowing each other up. I would predict ICANN regretting it for ever more (or at least until they are cast into the fires of hell) if they go down this route.

  5. david g
    Thumb Down


    I was all ready to register thereisno.god

  6. dervheid

    Oh, the limitless possibilities...

    of gTLD

    Cue silly competition?

    And what happened to ".Jedi" may I enquire?



    and of course


  7. Carlo Graziani


    And here I was ready to register domains in the .FlyingSpaghettiMonster TLD...

  8. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)



  9. Anonymous Coward

    May I suggest a few .gTLDs for ICANN?

    Let me suggest a few gTLDs ICANN ought to consider:






  10. Liam


    .boston? you mean the little inbred town in south lincolnshire?

    who gets to choose which town get the name? i mean a lot of US towns are named after european towns and cities aren't they???

  11. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    I don't often agree with the Pope

    On this occasion the Pope is right. Why have a domain named after a non-existent being?

    This should really set the cat among the pigeons!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Not for me - for Toms Jones.

    How much could you sell/rent the domain sex.god for?

  13. Martin Silver badge

    Simple solution - lightning strikes

    Shouldn't be much of a problem with who gets to control these domains.

    All the wrong peoples' sites will immediately be hit by lightning.

    Could be a useful experiment - if after a year the only one not a smoking crater is .jedi or .fsm then we will know who is top god!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    It's getting silly now

    Who will decide whether someone can have .eco? Would a handful of self-appointed gatekeepers decide what is "green"? Would be reserved for anti-lobyists or would power generators be allowed to register it to argue their point? Would activists be able to register (companyname).eco for a satirical or critical site? A massive can of worms.

    Regarding the religious ones, the most obvious criticism is they're too long and prone to be typed in incorrectly. How about just having a more general .nut?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    A new approach

    Maybe this all points to a new approach being required - scrap the current domain name system (well, ok, maybe not scrap it, but migrate it...). One idea I had was that instead of a human readable domain name, you could replace it with a system that (hopefully intelligently) parses your request and points you to the correct IP address.

    So, instead of going to, you would make a query for (say) "Microsoft software corporation". Instead of "", you would (in this case, simply) request "BBC" or "British Broadcasting Corporation". Of course, there could be some clashes and ambiguous results, but that's where your client software steps in and asks you which answer you really want. This system could largely solve the multi-language issue - the same name in many different languages could naturally resolve to the same IP address, and provide the server at the other end with the search language too, so it could present the client with the appropriately translated information if you wanted.

    Such a scheme would eliminate the (really rather restrictive and tedious) TLD system, and probably largely remove our reliance on google too! I'm sure it would need more work than I describe, but you should get the idea.

  16. Christoph


    A domain for Boston? Good idea - but isn't the copycat one in the USA likely to whinge about it?

  17. alan

    I am assuming...

    "including groups from New York, Paris, Hamburg, Quebec and Boston"

    That thats Boston, Lincs. It being the original :)

  18. Matt
    Paris Hilton




    .useless (this one is for Paris. Bless her.)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a compromise?

    One TLD for all religions - .fiction

  20. E


    I'm with the Vatican on this. DNS domains should not denote religion.

  21. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    .xxx again

    Some governments wanted .xxx for ease of censorship.

    Porn dealers did not want xxx because of ease of censorship.

    The Family Research Council put a stop to xxx because they "think of the children".

    Come on FRC: Think of the children. Get your members to write in and demand religious TLD's. That way, religious leaders can waste time and money arguing over who controls .god and the rest of us can censor the lot of them.

    (Where is the iGod - an overpriced easy to use fashion accessory that allows you to receive godcasts?)

  22. Dan



    Cue aliens, DC-8's and Tom Cruise.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee


  24. Frank

    re. .apple

    Surely .apple should belong to the apple growing and marketing organisations, with regional subdomains as appropriate, e.g. etc. Note: will not be allowed, as the Pope requests since he is the head of the catholic religious franchise operation. Why he should be allowed any say over I have no idea.

    The internet is supposed to be a world-wide enabler of communications, not a marketing tool for a few wealthy companies. Anyway, I bet the world apple growing and trading market is worth more than Steve Job's organisation or that tiny remnant of a Beatles music publishing company.

  25. Martin Silver badge

    Will need IPV6

    What about religions with more than 255 gods?

    You can't have .name_of_god.hindu with 500,000 different name_of_god.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  27. Chris Ellis

    I want:


  28. Mectron

    Source of all Problems

    Religion is the MAIN cause on pain and suffering in world since the down of man. We sure don't need that reproduce in the cyberworld.

    Beside resent studies have proved that peoples who beleive in god are more stupid and possess a lower iq then people with who don;t belive in Magic, fairy and evil monster.

    If you remove religions from human history, violence and stupidity drop by at least 90% from history.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Whats the big deal

    Think of it like this. The TLD will, effectively, have disappeared. Its just like now , but without the .com.


  30. ian

    Keep religion out of IT?

    That's a stunner. I thought the pope believed god was omni-present, omni-etc. Where is the .jewish, .atheist, .agnostic, .pagan, .wikkan, .heresy, and .infidel TLD? I hate to think ICANN are engaging in religious descrimination.

    On a related topic, where is the .aggro TLD?

  31. John Imrie
    Paris Hilton


    Is that our beloved icon, the one in Texas or the one in France :-)

  32. Phil Endecott

    Vatican already has a TLD, .va

    The Vatican already has a top-level domain, .va, by virtue of it being a country

    So they're really saying "we'll keep our TLD but the rest of you can't have one."

  33. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Re: A new approach

    Your "new approach" is indistinguishable from using Google. As the article notes, the whole reason the crooks want a load of new TLDs is to provoke a new land grab as every trademark holder on the planet rushes to acquire "their" names. Collisions are the norm, so...

    "Of course, there could be some clashes and ambiguous results, but that's where your client software steps in and asks you which answer you really want." laughably off the mark. Your client would *always* have to ask the user.

  34. /etc
    Paris Hilton


    "The Vatican warned the internet address-making body of the “perils” of allowing new internet domains such as “.catholic, ..."

    It would have been incorrect anyway, since, in any case, "catholic" merely means "worldwide". Besides, in the religious sense the term was first used by people in the eastern churches. Moreover, there are also other churches besides that of Rome that use the term - for example:

    The Pope is head of the *Roman* Catholic church. A domain .rc would have made more sense, and been quicker to type.

    But why some communions and not others? What happened to .lutheran, .methodist, .churchofscotland, .presbyterian, .unitedreformed, etc.? And why some religions and not others? What of .shinto, .confucianism, .taoism, .voodoo, and dozens of others?

    But, really, ICANN should just be told to can it. There are enough domains to be going on with. Who's advising them? paris.hilton?

  35. Chris C

    Fewer, not more!

    We don't need more TLDs. What we need is to get rid of TLDs. There's no reason to have TLDs. The only thing they do is confuse people by allowing multiple companies/individuals to register the same name but with different TLDs (such as and, and increase ICANN's and registrars' profits by artificially forcing companies to register multiple domains to (hopefully) prevent squatting.

    It could be argued that TLDs are beneficial in the sense that each TLD can be administered (hence controlled and maintained) by a separate entity, and that entity is responsible for that TLDs root nameserver. Neither of these carry much weight, however. ICANN/IANA can simply stop allowing domains to be registered by that entity, and the global root servers could stop resolving queries for the TLD (at which point you would need to know the IP address(es) of TLD's root nameserver(s) in order to determine the IP address of a domain in that TLD).

  36. Andy Bright

    I don't get it

    I don't understand why can't we have a .god website and email Jesus. He'd be able to clear up a few things.. like what did happen to the talking snake.

    No, I haven't taken a train to crazy town. My thought is if we could borrow the talking snake IP, combine it with our own glow-in-the-dark animal tech, the dream of a glow-in-the-dark, talking dog would finally be realised. Clearly though, we'd need to make sure they didn't have plans to market their own talking animals, and if we can't text Jesus maybe a .catholic website could set us up with an email address or two.

    (If various shrubbery can be used by God as an intercom then surely we can email him, no?).

    Flames because apparently God is a bit of a pyro and likes to set fire to his comms while he's using them.

  37. Scott
    Thumb Down

    Pope to declare war

    So if ICANN did go and make these domains what would the pope do? He is pretty much powerless to do anything execpt pray, and we all know how much that helps.

  38. Don S.

    @Leave well enough alone - AC

    How could they be opening a Pandora's Box when according to you it doesn't exist?

    Mine's the one with a copy of the Iliad in the pocket.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just scrap the whole thing...

    Given all the holes in the DNS system, registration costs, squatters, etc., ask yourselves why bother with a DNS system at all? How do phones and e-mail programs manage? Answer:

    they have something called a directory. OK, so it means we have to look up Microsoft and

    enter its nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn code into our Interwebs directory, but it does ensure we get to the company we desire (or not) rather than where some name server out of our control sends us.

    The unemployed registrars could always turn their hands to making printed directories available. You could even look the address up on a trustworthy search engine (I'm sure one

    will become available given sufficient demand).

  40. Peyton

    Gore wants a .eco?

    So then it'll be the same as .com? (Carbon credits anyone?)

  41. Graham Marsden

    How about...


    Then you can have www.goto.hell or www.billgatescanburnin.hell or...

  42. Brandon
    Paris Hilton


    I don.t rea.lly un.derstand wh.y an.y ca.res a.bout th.e Doesn.t he m.ore im.por.tant to wo.rry abo.ut? I.m pret.ty sur.e my sou.l wo.uld r.i.p. if som.e jack.ass mad.e a po.rn si.te th.e .catholic TLD.

    Paris, because she's always on top of her domain...

  43. Unlimited

    .com king maker

    Simple. if someone wants to bring out a new gTLD, then everyone who currently owns a name in .com, gets it for free, forever in the new gTLD.

    There would be cries of "unfair" from other tld registrants, but it would be a moot point, because no-one would release a new gTLD, because there would be no-one left to gouge / trick into buying their usless extensions.

  44. ShaggyDoggy

    @ Sergie Kaponitovicz

    Sorry but you can't have a "non-existant being"

    There's either a being (exists) or nothing (not exists).

    It can't be a being (exists) and nnon-existant at the same time.

    Ok maybe God can.

    erm, or something ........


  45. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    I know....

    All religions can SHARE the domain .bollocks

    They could have a single site named: www.gods.bollocks

  46. David



    Actually, based on the lastest update perform by IASON on the UCANN2 umbrella, the TLD "SPUNK" is not taken, so yes, if you are willing to pay the people that can create, host, and resolve the name for you, then you, (and anyone else out there), can create any name you can think of.

    There are some restrictions to creating a Top Level Domain, and yes, ICANN doesn't what anyone to know this, as they have the market, however this is changing.

    Go to the website, all rules and regulations are being developed so that the DNS structure as it is, is changed, and changed in a way, that you as the end user will not be affected. The creators of the structure (DNS) understand that the TLD is just a place holder (an object). Much like a bowel, and in that bowl you have apples, oranges, bananas, and inside those items, you have seeds.. DNS is much the same way. The bowl has many different names, cup, plate, bowl, dish, etc... so now, It is just finding a registry to create, host, and resolve your self-created TLD.....

    Just my 2 cents... enjoy.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Two domains to rule them all.

    Really, as if we ever needed more than .org(asm) and .com(edy) / .com(munist) to describe all content on the web.

  48. Chris iverson

    To Sarah

    Can I please have sarahtoldme.odfo?

  49. dervheid

    @ "Gore wants a .eco? "

    No, it wont be anything like a .com, you're 1 letter away.

    It would be the same as .con

    @ Sahrah Bee






  50. Rene Schickbauer

    My future gTLD...

    ...will be ".shit"

    This allows quite some interesting statements right in the URL like


  51. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    The solution is obvious...


    Then every religious dupe will be happy because it's *their* god in the TLD.

    The avatar has to be Bill, the horned one.

  52. Estariel


    Mectron: If you remove religions from human history, violence and stupidity drop by at least 90% from history The avowed atheist societies seem to do violence and stupidity quite well. Maoist China. Stalinist Russia. Pol Pot. etc.

    A religious tyrant might accept some constraints on his actions from his god.

    An atheist tyrant has no constraints at all.

  53. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Mectron

    Yeah, but you have to ask if they did it *because* they were atheist - correlation, causality, all that. People tend to do things in the name of religion more than they do them in the name of atheism. Atheism doesn't really have a 'name' in that sense. If people are anti-religion and act accordingly, that's not necessarily a function of atheism.

    I think we can agree there are bastards of all beliefs.

  54. Andraž Levstik

    @How about a compromise?

    Don't insult fiction writers please...

  55. David Hill

    @ David

    You hit the nail there.

    Much like a bowel the whole idea is full of ....

  56. dervheid

    @I think we can agree there are bastards of all beliefs.

    I don't particularly recall too many Buddhist 'bastards'.

    But I could be wrong...


  57. Jimmy

    @ .paperscitizen

    Sarah Bee is the sole arbiter of content on these comment pages and has much to put up with from boring old farts, fanbois, religious cranks, atheists, politicos and sex maniacs.

    It is a well known fact around here that certain key phrases such as "P****s, please" and "M**s**ual cycle" can trigger severe self-harming bouts in this vulnerable young woman. In the most recent incident colleagues found her seated at her work station banging her head on the desk because some inconsiderate twat had used the dread phrase "N*L**our" for the hundredth time that day.

    Scandalous rumours circulating on the internet regarding her sexuality have yet to be repudiated, but no doubt when she has fully recovered the lady will allay our concerns.

  58. DR

    anyone else think it's obvious?

    but first

    "Simple. if someone wants to bring out a new gTLD, then everyone who currently owns a name in .com, gets it for free, forever in the new gTLD." well duh, of course it's unfair, whilst I appreciate that, also wants and quite rightly too, what about all the other .com registrations that are also just generic words, not brand names or trademarks.

    (i.e what about, you can't just give away free domain registrations, as these are, (to online entrepreneurs at least, a valuable commodity).

    That said, whoever thought .god was a good TLD should be shot, it's obviously not.

    If I were to think of a handfull of TLDs that were to be useful then I would field.




    whilst I thought .xxx was a nice idea at the outset, it was always doomed to failure,

    In context with the original article, the pope is right .god should not be allowed it's far too specific, and will lead to a lot more arguments for ICANN to sort out,

    That said, with generic terms, or .forum, or .shop these are terms that anyone can take. and to be fair, if someone tries to squat on there is already a process to take care of that as it's microsofts registered trade mark,

    if someone tries to register selling MS software then the process is still valid as they are using microsofts trademark to further their business.

    if someone opens to sell mp3 players, or music, then apple have a case.

    if someone opens selling beatles memorablia then a different apple have a case.

    if someone opens a fruit shop /online grocery delivery service called then this isn't infringing on the trademark. and there is no need to fight about it.

    if microsoft want to say that they already have to spend too much defending their domain presence then I say, well cry me a fucking river, perhaps they shouldn't chase people like Mike Rowe, the teenage programmer who opened mikerowesoft distributing his free apps.

  59. Richard Porter
    Gates Horns

    No www.god?

    'I tried pointing a browser at http://www.god/

    And got a "404 Not Found."'

    Ah but did you try God is obviously a commercial organisation.

    PS Roger Moore is The Saint!

  60. Peyton

    @Re: @Mectron

    "People tend to do things in the name of religion more than they do them in the name of atheism." <- true statement

    But as Estariel was responding to this: "If you remove religions from human history, violence and stupidity drop by at least 90% from history" I think it worth pointing out that doing something "in the name of" and "because of" are not the same. If someone has land/resources/political influence that I want a piece of, religion can provide a convenient excuse to acquire those things by any means. Crusades, inquisitions, colonization, slavery have all been justified in the name of religion - and yet oddly enough, they're also beneficial to the perpetrator. At an individual level I agree religion can be the "because of", but even suicide bombers have their politically-connected backers, who never seem to actually want to join in on the religious fervor themselves... hmmm...

    So the suggestion that eliminating religion equates to eliminating violence is ludicrous. I 100% guarantee that people would simply find another excuse - we're just that damn clever.

    My $0.02 on causality.

  61. DutchOven
    Thumb Down

    Obvious solution

    Prosecute companies for inapropriate use of a gTLD.

    For example, if a companys main line of business is to sells things then it MUST be a .com

    If a company doesn't sell things then it CAN'T be a .com

    That way, until MS become in some way Cornish or important to Cornish culture, microsoft.ker would be illegal.

    Sheeple might also be tempted to infer from the gTLD that things like are not genuine sites...

    As for .god! The day the big man reaches his hand through the sky and posts his request to ICANN, I'll eat my hat. Until that day that happens, no religious group can credibly claim that the domain would be going to the right bunch of loonies...

  62. Anonymous Coward

    RE:@Re: @Mectron

    @Payton: "So the suggestion that eliminating religion equates to eliminating violence is ludicrous."

    If we eliminated religion we would be doing ourselves a disservice. It's very handy to immediately be able to identify the simple minded with a simple yes/no question.

  63. Blitheringeejit


    I always wanted to run the .disorg TLD, but never got it together...

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