SCOTS could be granted internet independence after it emerged that the UK government is set to back moves to let the nation have its own “dotscot” web address to rival the “dotUK” sites.
The news that UK ministers are “relaxed” about the proposal comes after pressure from the Scottish Government and a high-profile internet campaign.
Alex Salmond yesterday claimed that Scotland would “soon be independent in cyberspace” and that the internet shake-up would be a “great boost” to Scottish businesses and tourism.
Any changes to the web domain for Scotland would have to obtain final approval approval from the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in California.
However, Yorkshire Tory MP Andrew Percy dismissed the move to create a Scotland web address that would exist alongside the UK domain as “nonsense”. He said: “Scotland hasn’t even voted yet on whether to go independent, and all this is doing is giving Alex Salmond’s Nationalists a propaganda coup.”
However, a spokesman for Mr Salmond said a .Scot web domain would improve Scotland’s worldwide standing. He added: “Scotland is well on the road to independence, and it looks like we will soon be independent in cyberspace too – the dotScot domain name will be a great boost in promoting Scotland around the globe.”
A Scotland Office spokesman said: “We are relaxed about it, as long as the correct process is followed.”
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said: “As long as people have the chance to use either Scotland or UK domains, then it’s perfectly reasonable to have this facility that will increase opportunities for Scottish businesses.”