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RealTime IT News

Malawian Internet Domain 'Hijacked'

[Blantyre, MALAWI] The Malawian Communications Regulatory Authority is fighting to regain the national Internet domain for the country that it claims has been hijacked by a South African businessman. The MCRA claims that Malawian ISP's have been prevented from connecting customers to the domain 'mw' since Chris-Cope Morgan registered the domain in 1998 and then left the country.

In 1998, when Morgan applied to register the domain, the Malawian Post and Telecommunications allowed him to register it, citing its belief that the Internet had no role to play in the country.'

Morgan appears reluctant to part with the domain and rejects the contention that he hijacked it. "It is available to everyone in the country. There are no restrictions," he told an African news service this week. "I am surprised Malawians have adopted the impression that the domain was hijacked."

The launch of Malawi's third Internet service provider, Web and Internet Service Solution, has been delayed as a result of the domain dispute. The founder, Peter Mpinganjira, claims that he had been unable to establish the domain's administrator and consequently had to make use of the alternative 'malawi.com' currently being used by Malawian ISP SDNP. The country's first ISP, MalawiNet, currently own the rights to 'malawi.net'.

The MCRA has since obtained the services of the U.S. based Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to resolve the issue and regain the domain name. The domain has been registered by Tarsus.com, a U.S. based domain registery.

Morgan registered the domain to his company InterACESS but left Malawi soon afterwards without a mandate as to what should be done with the domain name. In a statement released this week, the MCRA claimed that Morgan 'took advantage of our ignorance' and hijacked the domain.