The Australian government is having a say on what kinds of domain names can be used, so when you decide to get your own website and domain, realize that the government does have a say in what the name can or cannot be. For example, if you have a foodie website and therefore want a domain name that ends with .food, the good folks in charge of Internet regulation won’t let you do that. The reasoning is that having generic words in your domain name can exclude competitors. Other generic domain names being blocked include things like .books or .tennis.

Thinking about ending your website’s domain name with .ooo? Think again! Since Australia’s emergency response number is 000 (three zeros), you cannot have triple zeros in your domain name. This makes a bit more sense, since you don’t want to confuse people with possible emergencies. Other regulations on domain names that seem reasonable include regulations against using .sucks, .wtf, .fail or other negative terms in your domain name. Why? Because if someone decides to damage the reputation of an organization, they can simply have their domain name end in one of these negative terms such as government.fail or australia.sucks.

But domain names with negative or generic terms are not the only things on the Internet that the Australian government tries to regulate. They are afraid that certain websites might be providing medical services online without much regulation so they have banded the use of domain names such as .engineering or .dental. So far, the government has warned against 127 applicants for domain names that their names are not acceptable. If the names are not changed, then the government will ask the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization responsible for assigning domain names, to decline the applications.

Companies such as Amazon, L’Oreal, Open Universities Australia, Symantec Corporation and even countries such as Italy, Brazil and China are being affected by the regulations on domain names. Italy because it doesn’t want .roma to be a possible domain name and Brazil because they don’t want Amazon to get the domain name .amazon which is a very large rainforest within Brazilian borders.

So when you sit down to think about a domain name to buy and one that you plan on using for your website, remember that the Australian government just might have a say on what name you can or cannot have.