JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
— South Sudan will soon assert its independence in cyberspace, when it rolls out the .ss domain suffix.
“Dot SS is the Internet identity for South Sudan in the cyber world and cyberspace. Right now we are coming up with the policies on how it is supposed to be managed, who is going to manage it, and how it is going to be activated or operationalized," Dut Acol Dedut, an IT specialist with the ministry of telecommunications, said.
In top level domains, .ss for South Sudan, falls between .gs for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, a tiny British overseas territory in the south Atlantic, and .es for Spain.
The new suffix, also called a top-level domain, is expected to be ready to append to domain names in the next few months.
National and local government offices will get official email addresses and websites ending with .ss and businesses and individuals will be able to buy domain names with the extension.
The government is working on getting the infrastructure in place to roll out the .ss top-level domain.
Dedut said the government plans to keep prices for .ss low to encourage people to switch. Government sites currently have .com or .org extensions, and the country site is .sd, for Sudan.
The new extension will help generate more recognition for South Sudan, Dedut said.
“Right now we do not exist in the cyberspace world. So for us to activate this domain name, the existence of South Sudan will be seen.”
Kim Davies, the director of technical services for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which coordinates Internet addresses, including country codes, told Voice of America that .ss was allocated for the exclusive use of South Sudan by the International Standards Organization (ISO) in August 2011.
In the registry of top-level domains, .ss, for South Sudan, falls between .gs for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, a tiny British overseas territory in the south Atlantic, and .es for Spain.