Nearly eight years after being assigned in August 2011, .ss was finally added to the DNS root zone this week.
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 and soon after, the ccTLD was created. ICANN has not publicly given a reason for the long delay to delegation, although a report in The Register relates an allegation by an unnamed African telecom official that the delay is related to ICANN’s weariness towards the United Nations having an outsized influence over the domain name system.
In any case, the delegation of .ss was observed on the agenda for the January 27 ICANN board meeting. A few dates after the meeting took place, the domain was delegated.
IANA lists the ccTLD operator as the National Communication Authority (NCA) of South Sudan. Toweb was unable to locate any publication originating from the NCA regarding domain name services for .ss, so no information is available at this time as to how the registration system may work.
Several publications have raised concerns that the ccTLD could be used by racist groups, due to the acronym SS having previously been used by the Nazi Parliament. Should registration turn out to be a simple process for international registrants, abuse could become a legitimate concern.