The story of .io

The final Citizen Ex story, that of the .io domain, has been published. I recommend reading all of them.

The British government created British Indian Ocean Territory to which the domain refers. It was a convenient location for a military base and a listening post for the US and the UK. The inhabitants of the islands were forcibly removed, and their return prevented by designating the area as the largest marine preserve in the world.

[The largest of the British Indian Ocean Territory islands] is a case study in the ways in which secret regimes of surveillance and rendition distort geographical space. Its history is one of secret agreements and secret abuses, where the deliberate obscuration of information leads directly to the obscuration of people, and to the violence done to them.

— James Bridle, .io

The internet is not an ephemeral thing, it’s rooted in space and politics. The national gTLDs tell stories of nation states and the power and independence struggles within them, if you know how to unpack them.