Web hosting provider Namecheap to ban Russian-based users, citing Ukraine

UPDATE 02/03/22: Namecheap now says it offers “free anonymous domain registration and free web hosting to any protest or anti-war websites in Russia or Belarus.”

“Namecheap has a large group of team members located in Ukraine who are currently being bombarded by Russian attacks,” the company added.

UPDATE 03/01/22: Namecheap is changing the policy with exceptions for users based in Russia, who plan to use the company’s web hosting service to oppose the war.

“First of all, we will make exceptions for all anti-regime media, protest resources and any type of websites that help end this war and this regime – we will continue to welcome you using our services .Please accept our apologies for any disruption this has caused, and we thank you for helping to fight this tyranny,” the company told PCMag.

Namecheap is also extending the termination date for all other Russia-based users from March 6 to March 22. “If there are legitimate reasons why you might need more time, we will make exceptions if they are deemed reasonable,” the company added.

Original story:

Web hosting and domain provider Namecheap is ending all services with the company’s Russian users following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” US company Namecheap told Russian users in an email on Monday. -mail.

The company is asking Russian users to transfer their domains to another provider by March 6. Otherwise, their sites will resolve to a 403 Forbidden page. Additionally, Namecheap began blocking Russian customers from using the company’s web hosting and private messaging services on Russian Internet domains, including .ru and .su.

“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 made and that we will respect,” the company added.

This decision has caused some Russian users to complain that they have been unfairly targeted. “Whoever came up with this idea is an idiot and should be fired” wrote a user on Twitter, who claims that Namecheap is “bulk-targeting” civilians, instead of going after the Russian government.

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“Hey, @Namecheap, you’re fighting for the wrong team. The internet is a place where we can fight Putin. If you take him from us, you help him,” another Russian user wrote on Twitter.

Richard Kirkendall, CEO of Namecheap defended his company’s decision in the Hacker News forums. “We haven’t blocked domains, we’re asking people to move,” he wrote. “There are many other choices when it comes to infrastructure services, so it’s not a ‘de-platform’.

“I sympathize with people who are not pro-regime, but at the end of the day, even the taxpayers’ money they can generate goes to the regime,” he added. “We have people on the ground in Ukraine who are being bombed all the time. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support the Russian regime in any way. »

The news comes as the Ukrainian government is also asking ICANN, the non-profit group that helps oversee the internet, to revoke all domains assigned to Russia, including .ru, according to for rolling stone. “All of these measures will help users find reliable information in alternative domain areas, preventing propaganda and misinformation,” a Ukrainian official said. would have emailed to ICANN. However, ICANN is unlikely to grant such a drastic request.

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James S. Joseph