Soviet Union Kept Alive Through The Internet

June 16, 2012 by  Filed under: Domain 

A large portion of Modern History deals with Communism, and the centre of the Communist world was the Soviet Union (USSR). Though the USSR has been nonexistent for quite some time, it still manages to maintain a presence today through use of the Internet.

The History

The ccTLD .su was given to the Soviet Union in 1990, just before it was formally dissolved in 1991. .ru was later made to serve as a replacement, however things did not go as smoothly as planned.

.ru is certainly the most popular in Russia. There are even second level domains for members working alongside the state. An example is for Tomsk Oblast. Yet, it did not completely replace and destroy the need for .su.

ICANN had been struggling to terminate .su, especially seeing how they had accepted it so shortly before USSR dissolution. They had already succeeded in terminating Yugoslavia’s .yu and Czechoslovakia’s .cs, .su was the last hurdle. However, those with ownership of a .su domain name were not willing to give it up, some due to patriotic reasoning and others due to politics. Also, seeing the importance the Soviet Union had on history, it had great value.

.su is still around for registration today and has gone through periods of serious increase with changes in price. The .ru was often much cheaper than .su, to encourage individuals to buy .ru, however this eventually changed. It is clear that the removal of .su wasn’t as simple as ICANN had planned.

Why do people use .su?

Against popular belief, registering a .su domain name does not make you a die-hard Communist – it has a variety of customers. Some of the popular names are taken by profit seeking individuals or companies, others used for their historical value (

Due to an increase in enforcement on domain, cyber criminals have also begun to move across to .su.

Nostalgia is one of the main reasons why an individual might register a .su domain name. Some see the Soviet Union as a time where Russia cared about its people, actually looking back on it as a brighter time. Others see no reason to try advertising an Empire that has already failed.

It is unlikely that .su will be going away for a while, however you can never be certain. For this reason registrars usually warn clients of how their .su domain could potentially be removed later on.

Personally, I see .su as an important part of History, however from the horrors inflicted by a Cold War past, it is evident why many will want it gone.

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Carlota Watson is an aspiring writer, interested in both computer technology and history.

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