The currently pricey yet very cool .io domain names, stand for the tiny British Indian Ocean Territory, a small archipelago of islands. The original population was kicked out by the U.K. military, to establish a U.S. cold war base. The domains are currently being sold at profit in the U.K., none of which goes to the original inhabitants.
The British government gave refugees who resettled in Mauritius a small amount of compensation, but the Chagossian people — representatives of whom say the compensation was insubstantial and poorly distributed — have been frustrated in their quest to return home. The British High Court ruled in 2000 that they could do so, but the government ordered the ruling overturned and ultimately beat the subsequent challenges.
The Chagossians tried taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights, but failed on jurisdictional grounds. Right now they have no one left to appeal to. And cables leaked via Wikileaks showed that the U.K.’s recent establishment of a marine nature reserve around the Chagos archipelago was at least partly intended to make it harder for the Chagossians to ever return home.
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