All of your shortened links could soon be dead. In an effort to cut down on lengthy URL addresses, Bit.ly -- and many others like it -- have adopted the .ly suffix from Libya. When sending out a tweet, the one character difference between .ly and .com, for example, can be critical. As was anticipated by some, the registrar has started to seize a number of domains for violating Libyan law and Islamic morality. Imagine if tens of millions of bit.ly links suddenly disappeared.

Since then, of course, the .ly TLD has actually become popular with lots of webby startups. I'd guess that most companies registering those domains didn't even think about it. But... exactly as Cadenhead predicted, it appears the registrar has actually started to remove domains it doesn't like. Ben Metcalfe, who had been using vb.ly for a project discovered that the domain had been seized by the registrar, for apparently violating Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.

Apparently, this has some other .ly domain owners running scared. Even presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stopped using the Mitt.ly domain he'd been using. Bit.ly also uses j.mp (the .mp stands for the Northern Mariana Islands -- which shouldn't be much of a problem, especially since they just licensed the TLD to some other company), so perhaps they might want to start pushing people towards that URL shorterner. Of course, given how many Bit.ly links are out there, I would imagine that it would create quite a bit of havoc if Libya suddenly deleted bit.ly.

Read the full story at Techdirt.

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