Namecheap, a domain name services provider, has announced that they are terminating services to Russia due to the Russian aggression on Ukraine.
A company run primarily by Ukrainian employees, this move comes as no surprise.
They sent out the following email announcing these changes on 3/1:
Unfortunately, due to the Russian regime’s war crimes and human rights violations in Ukraine, we will no longer be providing services to users registered in Russia. While we sympathize that this war may not affect your own views or opinion on the matter, the fact is, your authoritarian government is committing human rights abuses and engaging in war crimes so this is a policy decision we have made and will stand by.
If you hold any top-level domains with us, we ask that you transfer them to another provider by March 6, 2022.
Additionally, and with immediate effect, you will no longer be able to use Namecheap Hosting, EasyWP, and Private Email with a domain provided by another registrar in zones .ru, .xn--p1ai (рф), .by, .xn--90ais (бел), and .su. All websites will resolve to 403 Forbidden, however, you can contact us to assist you with your transfer to another provider.
Customer Support, Namecheap
In a tweet, Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall also expressed his concerns regarding the situation:
War is always a terrible thing, it's even worse when many of our own team members are on the ground. Our company stands firmly against Russian aggression and war crimes being committed against the people of Ukraine. Insuring the safety of our colleagues is our number one priority
— Richard Kirkendall (@NamecheapCEO) February 26, 2022
There have been many comments about this move, of course. Both supporting Namecheap’s move, and others twisting the facts into their own narrative.
today on HN, tons of people are mad that an almost-entirely Ukrainian company, Namecheap, stopped doing business with Russia.
people are actually warping this to fit into the already dumb narrative of "conservatives are getting unfairly silenced by woke tech companies".
— Macil (@macil_tech) March 1, 2022
I read the same thread but it honestly wasn't clear to me until later that Namecheap is largely composed of Ukrainian employees which does kind of change the perspective. I only knew of it as a US-based company
— Bas (@baswollenberg) March 1, 2022
Good job, @Namecheap
"…due to the Russian regime's war crimes and human rights violations in Ukraine, we will no longer be providing services to users registered in Russia. … your authoritarian government is committing human rights abuses and engaging in war crimes.."
— Chris Harrod (@thechrisharrod) February 28, 2022
Wow. Baller move from @namecheap. Mad respect. Seriously considering moving my domains there. Namecheap: Russia Service Termination | Hacker News https://t.co/3rBlFoxEkh
— Randall Degges (@rdegges) March 1, 2022
Russia is going to end up with an Intranet very very soon…https://t.co/sJYp5vxVRc
— boosted af (@developerjack) March 1, 2022
Perfect response from Namecheap. Other businesses operating in Russia, take note.https://t.co/ZaZSTRYDyS
— martin (fungible) (@MartinDoms) March 1, 2022
how's that world domination plan working out, Vlad?https://t.co/BITSYFOhF1
— Tim Cushing (@TimCushing) March 1, 2022
Others are not happy about the decision, of course:
I get that, and you’re totally entitled to do this. And you’re probably right that ends justify the means. And, probably, total damage will be worth it. But, in my insignificant personal case, I will be busy moving domains and paying for transfers instead of doing what I’ve been doing and spending money on what I’ve been spending it for the last 5 days, helping people detained and/or arrested for participating in anti-war protests (as a volunteer, see https://ovdinfo.org/).
And, you know, those people you want to point at their own government, they won’t get it. They’re brainwashed by Putin’s propaganda which has reached true Goebbels level. It was going there for a while, Putin’s regime began with gradually shutting down free media 20 years ago. Yes, people do have internet, and Russian internet is full of Putin’s propaganda. Russian authorities are banning websites telling the truth (yes there’s a government powered DPI firewall which every major ISP has to install by law). And they’re working on a law which will make it a crime with 15 years of sentence just for calling the war the war. So I wouldn’t count on that. The only thing that might work is hearing the truth from friends and families, but it’s very hard to talk to those people. I’m trying, though, when there’s still at least some reasoning.
I’m not complaining. While I did try to fight against the regime since its beginning, I could’ve done more. We screwed this up, and we’re responsible, and all the inconveniences we might have cannot be compared to the suffering of people of Ukraine. Just saying.
Namecheap, however, has stated that they will make exceptions in cases like this:
From NamecheapCEO on HackerNews 17 hours ago
Contact us, we’ll make exceptions in cases like this. Thanks for what you are doing.
Those who have been affected by this decision will need to initiate and complete their domain name transfer by March 6, 2022.