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Republic of Ireland Politics

The public has shown overwhelming support for granting citizenship rights to anyone born in Ireland, but the government is opposing a bill to make this law. | 11/24/18
Snow Patrol star Gary Lightbody says he feels "angry" that Northern Ireland has no devolved government while mental health issues remain a problem. | 11/18/18
The UK government is under fire over its backstop plans for Northern Ireland - but why is it so controversial in Scotland? | 11/16/18
Belfast artist Rita Duffy says that Northern Ireland lacks female representation in politics. | 11/10/18
A hard-line loyalist party has British politics in its death grip, because it knows that its cause is dying. | 11/2/18
Politics in Northern Ireland can be divisive, but there's one issue creating unlikely alliances. | 10/20/18

In order for the Internet to function properly, there has to be "trust".

Trust in "online" is something that has ebbed and flowed over the years, but over the past two decades more and more of our daily lives are linked closely to "digital". Our banks encourage us to use online banking and their mobile apps. Government agencies share (and collect) information from private citizens and businesses online. And of course we all do more and more of our shopping online, be that via behemoths like Amazon or smaller businesses offering niche products and services.

All of this growth only works when there is trust in the entire system.

Blacknight is a primarily online company. Yes, we have physical offices with staff. We own thousands of servers which we have placed in data centers in Ireland. But the bulk of our business is either online via our site or is in the background, providing the tools and infrastructure to facilitate online business for companies from the four corners of the earth. When a business chooses to put their trust in us (or one of our competitors) that chain of trust is a cornerstone to their online presence. That trust has multiple layers. We are trusted to provide reliable services. We are trusted to respect our clients' data and, by extension, the data of their clients.

We've always taken security and privacy seriously. We try our best to keep our network clean and free from abuse. We are ISO certified and take our responsibilities very seriously.

With the introduction of GDPR earlier this year, there was a general "sea change" in how many online companies viewed and handled data and privacy. While being "compliant" with GDPR is still in many respects not clearcut, most companies have taken steps to be as compliant as possible. On our side, we've documented in detail our various policies around handling data and have worked with both clients and suppliers to ensure that we have the necessary processes and agreements in place.

One of the areas, however, where there was always going to be potential for extra headaches was with data that left our control as part of the service provisioning. So, for example, when somebody wants to register a domain name we collect and process the information required on our end and then share it with the respective registry operator. In the world of country code domains, like .ie, the personal information that we shared with the registry never went anywhere else and was not made public. Unfortunately, however until the end of May this year, with the ICANN controlled domain extensions, it was a different matter and unless domains were using a privacy service a lot of personal information was being made public by default.

It all boils down to one simple core tenet: trust.

When somebody gives us information while buying a service from us they have an expectation that the information will only be used by us and our partners to provide the service.

Sure, if they break the law then their data could end up in the hands of law enforcement. But unless they've actually done something fundamentally wrong why would we breach that trust? Why would be given a 3rd party access to our client's data?

So if someone wants to access the non-public data associated with a domain name on our accreditation we are not going to hand over that information unless we are confident that not only is the request valid, but that the private data will be accessed and processed in accordance with both the law (GDPR) and security best practices. We cannot simply hand over our clients' data on a whim, as to do so would breach the chain of trust.

While we haven't finalised a formal policy document for non-public whois access requests we are currently asking that requestors provide us with the information and the assurances to maintain the trust. So that looks a little like this:

  • The full contact details of the person or organisation submitting the request. We obviously aren't going to even consider taking an access request seriously unless we know who exactly we are dealing with
  • Details of how they will comply with Chapter V GDPR (if they're from outside the EU)
  • A statement, on the letterhead of the party they represent, that they represent them and their interests with regard to this request.
  • A statement, under penalty of perjury, that requested data are related to a good-faith belief that the rights of you or the party you represent have been violated and the data you are requesting is required to further pursue assertion of those rights.
  • A statement, under penalty of perjury, that the personal data that you receive will be processed in a legally-compliant manner at all times, not stored, transferred, or otherwise shared without legitimate interest, and deleted as soon as it is no longer needed to pursue this assertion of rights.

We have been in communication with the Irish data protection authorities over the past few years in relation to ICANN's demands on us. And they've made it very clear that we need to ensure that all appropriate safeguards are in place and without same, we cannot transfer data.

So if someone wants to access our clients' data they will need to make sure that their request is not frivolous. We take the trust of our clients very seriously and our responsibilities under GDPR are not something we take lightly!

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions | 10/20/18
An independent panel looks at how subsidies are allocated to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. | 10/16/18
Three Tory MPs say their party must step in, as current laws violate women's human rights. | 10/10/18
More than €320m has been set aside by the Republic of Ireland's government to get "Brexit ready". | 10/9/18
Ireland is growing faster than any other European economy but the budget its government is due to announce Tuesday will be notably cautious for one reason: Brexit. | 10/9/18
The government announces plans for a Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for 2022. | 9/30/18
The government says it would back a joint bid to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup tournament in the UK and Ireland. | 9/29/18
The government says it would back a joint bid to host the 2030 Fifa World Cup tournament in the UK and Ireland. | 9/29/18
Police in Northern Ireland have not been awarded a pay rise due to the lack of devolved government. | 9/27/18
The NI Secretary will emphasise the government's opposition to a hard border in Ireland following Brexit. | 9/24/18

The battle between 21st Century Fox and Comcast for British pay-TV company Sky PLC appears headed for a little-used aspect of how mergers and acquisitions are handled in the U.K.: An auction.

In the event that 21st Century Fox and Comcast find themselves at auction for Sky, here’s how the process plays out.

The U.K. Takeover Panel, which oversees all mergers and acquisitions, sets a deadline that, if there are still multiple suitors for a company, will trigger an auction to determine the winning bidder. The Takeover Panel does this to ensure that the company being acquired isn’t “under siege” for too long, while giving the shareholders for the potential buyers enough time to review all relevant materials from the proposal. Per the U.K.’s Takeover Code, that deadline is 46 days after the most recent offer is formally published with the U.K. Stock Exchange.

In this case, Fox and Comcast have until Saturday, 5 p.m. local time to either bow out or make their “best and final offer” for Sky. In the meantime, the three companies will negotiate the rules of the auction, which the Takeover Panel will formally announce on Friday.

Also Read: Comcast Drops Bid for Fox Assets to Focus on Sky Instead

Typically, the auction would last for five consecutive days, but the Panel allows for the parties to figure out the process themselves, as long as it doesn’t skirt any official rules. There have only been three British takeover situations since 2007 that have involved auctions handled by the regulator, per an analysis by Reuters.

The reason for Sky to take this to the auction stage would be to maximize the value for its shareholders, hoping the auction-style setting will force Comcast and Fox to keep one-upping each other.

Currently, Comcast holds the superior bid at $34 billion (£25.9 billion), roughly $2 billion higher than Fox’s offer of $32.5 billion (£24.5 billion). Comcast’s all-cash offer translates to £14.75 a share, which is roughly five percent higher than Fox’s £14 a share bid. Comcast’s offer has been recommended by the Sky Independent Committee of Directors.

Also Read: Comcast Increases Bid for Sky to $34 Billion

However, since Fox already owns 39 percent of the company, it needs only to convince another 12 percent to vote in its favor, whereas Comcast has to convince 51 percent of the board to vote in its favor.

With this headed towards an auction, it begs the question: Why does everyone want Sky so much?

More and more, U.S. companies have been looking internationally for a way to further build scale to compete against the rising tide of deep-pocketed tech companies — like Amazon and Netflix — invading their turf.

Sky’s businesses would grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. Sky counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

Also Read: Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Sky would fit in nicely with Comcast’s other assets, namely NBCUniversal, with its mix of entertainment, sports and news content. In February, Sky extended its rights deal with the English Premier League through 2022, among the world’s most popular (and thus, valuable) sports leagues. That would work well with Comcast, which holds the U.S. TV rights for the British soccer league via NBCUniversal, also through 2022.

Fox’s stake in Sky is part of its $71.3 billion sale of film and TV assets to Disney. CEO Bob Iger has previously referred to Sky as the “crown jewel” of Fox assets. Disney could use Sky’s broadband services to launch its upcoming service, which will debut at the end of 2019, in Europe.

Also, there’s a bit of corporate gamesmanship involved. Comcast made its own bid to buy the Fox assets instead of Disney, which forced Disney to increase its offer from its initial $52.4 billion that Fox accepted last year.

You can imagine that Iger would love to return the favor.

21st Century Fox declined to comment for this story, while representatives for Comcast and Sky did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Comcast Drops Bid for Fox Assets to Focus on Sky Instead

British Government OKs Fox's Bid to Buy Sky

Comcast Increases Bid for Sky to $34 Billion | 9/20/18
A new report has said that Northern Ireland's fishing industry has 'huge potential' but is still 'fragile'. | 9/15/18
Earlier, the Irish government said the trip had been postponed but the White House says it may still happen. | 9/11/18

Paul Greengrass is the master of the moment, of a muscular and immersive style of filmmaking that plunges us into the thick of the action. But “22 July,” the Greengrass film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday, is a movie not about the moment, but about the aftermath.

Make no mistake, “22 July” is also immersive and visceral. But in its slow move from action to consequences, from terror to something close to healing, it feels new from the veteran British director.

This might be the first Greengrass movie that doesn’t just make you flinch, it makes you cry.

Also Read: Director Paul Greengrass Tackles Norway's Deadliest Terrorist Attack in '22 July' Trailer (Video)

The film is based on the attacks carried out in Norway in July 2011: A far-right, anti-Muslim zealot named Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb near a government building in Oslo, and 90 minutes later went to a camp on the island of Utøya and killed more than 60 people, many of them teenagers. It was Norway’s most violent day since World War II, and it has already been the subject of a Norwegian film, the similarly titled “U – July 22” by Erik Poppe.

Poppe’s film never leaves the island, focusing on characters who rarely glimpse the shooter. Greengrass takes a less focused, more all-encompassing approach, which partly plays into his strengths and partly finds him reaching for new ones.

The director may have achieved his greatest commercial success with his three Jason Bourne movies – 2004’s “The Bourne Supremacy,” 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum” and 2016’s “Jason Bourne” – which set new standards for kinetic action filmmaking and are set in a destabilized world where order has been shattered.

But he’s also made a string of gripping films detailing some of the events that have shattered our own world in recent years: the Sept. 11 attacks in “United 93,” Somalian piracy in “Captain Phillips” and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in “Green Zone,” all of them examples of an urgent filmmaking approach that was honed on nonfiction television dramas and blossomed with 2002’s “Bloody Sunday,” about British military violence in Northern Ireland in 1972.

Also Read: 'First Man' Film Review: Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle Slip the Surly Bonds of Earth

Breivik’s preparations are dealt with quickly, intercut with the lives of some of those who will become his victims, particularly the kids on the island. We’re quickly into the attacks, which are as harrowing and chaotic as you’d expect – but within the first 45 minutes of this nearly two-and-a-half-hour film, the killing has stopped and Breivik has surrendered to the police without resisting.

And that’s when Greengrass begins to explore a complex question: What happens now? What happens to the killer, who wants to turn his trial into a showcase for ideas he thinks will rid Europe of immigrants and end “enforced multi-culturalism?” To his lawyer, a family man compelled by duty to mount a defense of the indefensible? To Norway itself, which failed to notice warning signs that might have prevented the attacks? And above all, what happens to the families who lost children on the island, and to the teens who survived, terribly injured physically or emotionally or both?

This is where Greengrass takes his time, following several strands simultaneously. Some are more engrossing than others; the government investigation into what went wrong is a bureaucratic detour in a largely emotional journey.

Also Read: 'The Sisters Brothers' Film Review: John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix Saddle Up for an Extraordinary Western

But the film slowly zeroes in on two disturbing stories that slowly come together: the relationship between Breivik (the thoroughly creepy Anders Danielsen Lie) and his attorney (Jon Oigarden) as the trial nears, and the agonizingly slow recovery of Viljar (Jonas Strang Gravli) a teenage boy who miraculously survives despite multiple gunshot wounds, one that leaves bullet fragments perilously close to his brain stem.

It culminates in an unlikely arena that turns out to be the real center of this movie: the courtroom, where Viljar works up the resolve to confront his would-be killer. Using the hand-held style that has long been his trademark, Greengrass makes a young man’s five-minute speech as riveting as a “Bourne” fight scene; the action is internal, conveyed in glances rather than punches, but it nonetheless hits hard.

“22 July” is not always easy to watch – if the shootings don’t get you, the brain surgery might – but there are enough grace notes sprinkled through the telling to make this a genuinely affecting film even in the rare moments when the momentum flags or the choices give us pause. (All of the Norwegian characters speak a lightly-accented English, an artistic choice that seems both entirely justifiable and somehow beneath Greengrass.)

But for the most part, Greengrass is in total command with this chronicle of a horrific event and its lengthy, painful aftermath. This gifted director has immersed us in the moment in past films, but this time he’s in it for the long haul.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Venice Film Festival Signs Pledge to Address Gender Disparity

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Ann Coulter offered Democrats a surprising suggestion on who should challenge President Donald Trump in 2020: the Hollywood liberal who consistently mocks the commander in chief on “Saturday Night Live.”

“I think the strongest opponent to Trump would be Alec Baldwin,” Coulter told TheWrap in an interview to promote her new book, “Resistance Is Futile.”

“You need someone with shocking charisma to go up against Trump,” she said of Baldwin, dismissing the long list of past and present Democratic office-holders who seem to be positioning themselves for a White House run. “I think he has it.”

Also Read: Ann Coulter Continues on Trump Warpath: 'All He Wants Is for Goldman Sachs to Like Him' (Video)

“He’s charming, he’s funny, he’s charismatic,” Coulter continued, rattling off a list of personal attributes she admired about the Emmy-winning actor and outspoken liberal. “His politics, from what I’ve been able to glean, have really been more the working-class Democratic politics, caring about his fellow Americans and the working class and also his politically incorrect stuff.”

Coulter took care to note that she still believed Trump would regain the presidency in 2020.

“This is just more trolling from her,” Baldwin told TheWrap, dismissing the possibility that he would challenge Trump in 2020 before adding, “Carrot Top would make a better president.”

Coulter, who said she barely knows the actor, said she had a soft spot for the tabloid fixture now most famous for his devastating rendition of Trump on “Saturday Night Live.” She cited without prompting Baldwin’s his infamous and unhinged 2007 phone call to his then-11-year-old daughter Ireland during Baldwin’s custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

Also Read: Ann Coulter Calls Crying Immigrant Kids Detained at Border 'Child Actors' (Video)

“I was always on his side,” she said. “I never joined in on Fox News when they went after him and I thought it was unfair, that horrible phone call he left for his daughter — and I know it sounded really bad but, boy, talk about invading somebody’s privacy.”

The conservative firebrand then went off on the legal ramifications of his embarrassing tabloid scandal. “Feminists have written divorce law and custody law and men really get screwed over and he’s been a victim of that and I think this was just an explosion of the unfairness,” she added. “He just wanted to talk to his daughter.”

Also Read: Pamela Anderson Actually Asked Alec Baldwin to Lobby Trump for a Pardon of Julian Assange

Coulter out with her 13th book this month, “Resistance Is Futile” and has begun making the rounds promoting her latest work in New York and Washington D.C. The book officially went on sale on Amazon on Tuesday.

“The [anti-Trump] resistance has lost its mind. It’s unusual in history. It’s not even like the resistance to Joe McCarthy or Richard Nixon, which I have written a lot about,” Coulter said. “I lay that entirely at the feet of Hillary Clinton.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ann Coulter on Trump's Past Policy Caves: 'I Wanted to Hold His Head Underwater Until the Bubbles Stopped'

Ann Coulter Calls Crying Immigrant Kids Detained at Border 'Child Actors' (Video)

Ann Coulter Fires Back at Joy Reid for Old Tweets About 'That Coulter Dude,' Questions Her African American Roots

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Amber Tamblyn has joined the cast of FX’s drama pilot “Y” in a starring role.

The “Paint It Black” director will play Mariette Callows, the daughter of the president of the United States who has been groomed for a career in politics and to uphold her father’s conservative values.

The long-in-the-works project based on Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s “Y: The Last Man” comic book series traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event has decimated every male mammal save for one lone human.

Also Read: Diane Lane to Star in FX's 'Y: The Last Man' Drama Pilot

Diane Lane, Barry Keoghan, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield and Marin Ireland are also set to star.

“American Gods” and “Blade Runner 2049” writer Michael Green will serve as co-showrunner on the project alongside Aida Mashaka Croal. They will executive produce alongside Vaughan, director Melina Matsoukas, and Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force. FX and Green have long been in development on the project, with FX first attempting to the adapt the acclaimed comic in 2015 and Green coming aboard a year later. “Y: The Last Man” is produced by FX Productions.

The original comic series ran for 60 issues, beginning in 2002. It received three Eisner Awards, and received the first Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story for its tenth volume.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Diane Lane to Star in FX's 'Y: The Last Man' Drama Pilot

'Y: The Last Man' Adaptation Ordered to Pilot at FX | 7/18/18

Comcast has increased its offer for British pay-TV company Sky PLC to $34 billion (£25.9 billion), roughly $2 billion higher than Fox’s most recent offer.

Earlier on Wednesday, Fox raised its own offer for the media giant to $32.5 billion (£24.5 billion). Comcast said that its increased offer has been recommended by the Sky Independent Committee of Directors.

Comcast’s new all-cash offer translates to £14.75 a share, which is roughly five percent higher than Fox’s £14 a share bid.

Also Read: Fox Raises Sky Bid to $32 Billion, Besting Comcast Offer for British Media Giant

“Comcast has long admired Sky and believes it is an outstanding company and a great fit with Comcast,” the company said in its release about the new offer. “Today’s announcement further underscores Comcast’s belief and its commitment to owning Sky.”

The move by Comcast is the latest volley between CEO Brian Roberts and Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch over who gets the keys to Sky, which counts nearly 23 million customers in key parts of Europe, including Germany, Italy and Austria, along with the U.K. and Ireland.

In the U.S., Comcast is still battling with Disney to buy the film and TV assets from Fox. Fox’s stake in Sky is part of its proposed merger with Disney, though the deal was not contingent on that. Fox has set a July 27 shareholder meeting to formally vote on the Disney sale, which has already received approval from the Department of Justice.

Also Read: If Comcast Loses Fox to Disney, CEO Brian Roberts Still Has Options

Sky’s businesses would grow Comcast’s international revenue from 9 percent of its overall revenue to 25 percent. For Fox, Sky is a bit of a passion project for Rupert Murdoch, who founded the satellite broadcaster in 1990, and already owns 39 percent of the company and has had his eye on gaining full control for years.

The UK government had already approved Comcast earlier offer in June, with Matt Hancock, then-secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, who said at the time that “the proposed merger does not raise public interest concerns.”

However, Fox was given the go-ahead to continue efforts to purchase Sky as well, on the condition that Fox sells off Sky’s 24-hour news channel to Disney in the planned sale of certain Fox film and television assets to the Mouse House. Disney has pledged a 15-year, $2 billion commitment to fund Sky News if it acquires the channel in the Fox deal.

Also Read: Why Do Comcast and Fox Want to Buy Sky So Much?

Hancock, meanwhile, resigned amid a British cabinet shakeup this week and has been replaced in his role by Jeremy Wright.

According to Bloomberg, the British government has already signaled willingness to approve Fox’s offer, with its final decision due Thursday.

Related stories from TheWrap:

If Comcast Loses Fox to Disney, CEO Brian Roberts Still Has Options

Why Comcast Still Has a Chance at Fox After DOJ Approved Disney's $71.3 Billion Deal

Disney vs Comcast Showdown: Who Needs the Fox Assets More? | 7/11/18

Diane Lane will star in FX’s drama pilot, “Y: The Last Man” alongside Barry Keoghan, the network announced on Wednesday.

The cast also includes Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield and Marin Ireland.

The long-in-the-works project is based on Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s DC comic book series of the same name, which traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event has decimated every male mammal save for one lone human. The new world order of women will explore gender, race, class and survival.

Also Read: 'Y: The Last Man' Adaptation Ordered to Pilot at FX

Lane will play Senator Jennifer Brown, an ambitious junior senator who has already made a name for herself in political circles for her willingness to put personal ideals above politics. She is also the mother of Yorick (Keoghan) and Hero Brown (Poots).

Keoghan’s Yorick is the eponymous “last man” while Poots’ Hero is described as a tough and confident EMT who nurses a deep emotional trauma that often leads her to cross personal and professional lines. Lynch plays Agent 355, a secret service agent, while Canfield will portray Beth, a Brooklyn-based knife maker who becomes romantically involved with Yorick. Ireland plays Nora, the President’s senior assistant.

“American Gods” and “Blade Runner 2049” writer Michael Green will serve as co-showrunner on the project alongside Aida Mashaka Croal. They will executive produce alongside Vaughan, director Melina Matsoukas, and Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force. FX and Green have long been in development on the project, with FX first attempting to the adapt the acclaimed comic in 2015 and Green coming aboard a year later. “Y: The Last Man” is produced by FX Productions.

The original comic series ran for 60 issues, beginning in 2002. It received three Eisner Awards, and received the first Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story for its tenth volume. | 7/11/18
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pledged to continue supporting Ireland. | 6/21/18
Government ministers are among those who stand to support Stella Creasy's call for a debate. | 6/4/18
Not even a week after the Irish repealed a ban on abortion, the government introduced a bill ending the “baptism barrier” in public schools. It is expected to pass. | 6/2/18
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that the government will examine access to abortion for women based in Northern Ireland | 5/29/18
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that the government will examine access to abortion for women based in Northern Ireland | 5/29/18
The British government has a plan to avoid a disruptive Brexit and solve related problems regarding Ireland’s internal border, and European Union officials say the plan would be hard to refuse. The hitch: London is split on the plan. | 5/25/18
The British government has a plan to avoid a disruptive Brexit and solve related problems regarding Ireland’s internal border, and European Union officials say the plan would be hard to refuse. The hitch: London is split on the plan. | 5/25/18
The Department of Housing and Local Government has given a breakdown of the numbers added in the 31 city and county councils. | 5/24/18
In the event of a yes vote the Irish government will need to consider women from Northern Ireland. | 5/18/18
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[Radio Dabanga] Khartoum / Kassala -The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the Sudanese Government welcomed a high-level donor delegation last week, including representatives from, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, South Korea, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA. | 5/4/18
At least 208 women received diagnoses of cervical cancer after erroneously receiving false negatives in government-funded smear tests. | 4/30/18
Nigel Dodds said the Irish government had almost gone so far as to talk about the annexation of Northern Ireland. | 4/26/18
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A long-running legal battle between the U.S. government and Microsoft has been dismissed by the Supreme Court after the crux of the conflict was mooted by recent legislation. The company will now be forced to provide data stored on servers in Ireland that it had previously said should be obtained through that country's authorities. | 4/17/18

After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK.

Over the past year, the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy.

In the case of the .eu ccTLD, the situation was unclear. Under the current policies, an individual or organisation needs to have an address in the EU and a couple of neighbouring countries to qualify for registration:

(i) an undertaking having its registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, or

(ii) an organisation established within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein without prejudice to the application of national law, or

(iii) a natural person resident within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

While the UK leaving the EU could be seen as having a clear impact on future registrations of .eu domain names, one would have expected the European Commission not to want to disrupt existing domain names and their registrants. When other domain spaces have updated their policies, they've usually offered some form of "grandfathering" for existing registrations to minimise the negative impact.

However, it appears that the European Commission isn't going to take that approach. In an announcement earlier this week they've made it very clear that they have no intention of allowing existing registrants to keep their EU domain names if they are in the UK.

The document does give a very slight glimmer of hope, but it's only a tiny one. It is hypothetically possible for the UK and EU to reach some form of agreement that would allow for the continued use of .eu domains by UK registrants, but it's looking highly unlikely. Here's the full text of the notice they issued.

As you can see it's highly legalistic and makes lots of references to various bits of legislation and treaties, but the bottom line is summed up in this:

As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

But what about businesses and individuals in Northern Ireland? Under the Irish constitution they're considered in many realms to be entitled to the same rights and entitlements as Irish citizens and residents:


It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.


1 It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

2 Institutions with executive powers and functions that are shared between those jurisdictions may be established by their respective responsible authorities for stated purposes and may exercise powers and functions in respect of all or any part of the island.

Does this mean that businesses and individuals north of the border will lose their .eu domain names, or is there a chance of some form of derogation for them?

How can registrars and their clients lodge their concerns with the EU about this move?

Is EURid in a position to do anything?

At the moment there are more questions than answers, but what is sure is that the options are not looking anyway positive.

According to the most recent EURid quarterly report registrants in the UK account a significant chunk of the .eu registration base and weigh in as the 4th largest country for .eu registrations behind Germany, Netherlands and France:

Wiping out this number of registrations will have a negative impact on the .eu ccTLD as a whole, as well as a negative impact on many European based businesses serving the registrants of the 300 thousand plus names.

Is this unavoidable?

For now, as I mentioned above, there are more questions than answers.

Disclosure: my company is a .eu accredited registrar and I previously served two terms on the .EU Registrar Advisory Board.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions | 3/29/18
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