The Independent Group : New #British political party’s #domain WHOIS “redacted”

The Independent Group is a new British political party, formed by 7 MPs. As Brexit looms in Great Britain, such movements gain online attention pretty quickly.

The new British political party registered the domain TheIndependent.Group, presumably as both and are already taken.

The group’s founders left the Labour Party, and part of their statement is:

“As an Independent Group we aim to recognise the value of healthy debate, show tolerance towards different opinions and seek to reach across outdated divides and build consensus to tackle Britain’s problems.”

Not only is The Independent Group using the new gTLD dot .Group, they also used NameCheap’s domain registration services. By default, the WHOIS information appears as “redacted,” except for a small detail: the WHOIS privacy displays “Panama” as the locale.

The Independent Group – operates from TheIndependent.Group

Of course, that’s because the WHOIS service is a company founded in Panama; the political party has nothing to do with Panama, but this became a trigger for conspiracy theorists alleging that Panama is where The Independent Group is located!

Says one of them:

“So the MPs involved in the #LabourSplit are forming #TheIndependentGroup as they can’t support @UKLabour – but why is @TheIndGroup’s website registered in Panama? How will they #ChangePolitics if they base themselves in tax haven countries that are part of the problem?”

We aren’t sure if that’s due to ignorance or a case of political trolling, but one of the first few responses correcting this argument arrived from Great Britain-based Andrew Bennett, who operates Netistrar, a British domain registar:

Whois Guard Inc is the Whois privacy service of @Namecheap the registrar and that company is registered in Panama

It’s amazing seeing a domain-related thread on WHOIS take off on Twitter, where attention span is measured in single-digit seconds. Very few actually research what they read on social media, and thousands of people can pile on other people’s responses.

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