Nepal Proposes Changes to .np Domain Registration

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The recent release of the draft Bill on Information Technology and Cyber Security by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology introduces a significant change to the registration process for .np domains. Under the proposed legislation, a registration fee will be required for obtaining a .np domain.

Section 66 of the bill outlines that the Information Technology Department of the Government of Nepal will take over the responsibility of regulating and managing domain names and services. Previously, the private sector company Mercantile Communications had been overseeing the registration service for .np domains in Nepal. However, the government aims to centralize this function through the enactment of a new law.

According to Section 67 of the bill, individuals or organizations wishing to register a name in the .np domain must adhere to certain guidelines. Sub-section (1) specifies that the prescribed fee must be submitted to the organization designated by the Information Technology Department during the registration process. Additionally, the registered domain name becomes exclusive to the registrant, and no other party is permitted to use it.

Furthermore, sub-section 3 emphasizes that registered domain names should not be too similar to or mimic existing registered names. Violating this rule may result in fines of up to five lakhs. The bill also mandates government agencies to register their office domain names under ‘government.np’ and introduces a requirement for the renewal of registered domain names every two years, subject to the payment of the prescribed fee.

In a bid to streamline existing domain names, the legislation proposes that domain names currently in operation should be registered under the new law within six months from the commencement of the Act.

To encourage public participation and gather feedback, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has invited opinions and suggestions on the draft bill, which aims to regulate information technology and cyber security. Interested parties can submit their feedback via email to info@mocit.gov.np.

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