Tokelau internet: the good, the bad and the terrible

Here's my report on the internet infrastructure of Fenuafala Island on the Fakaofo Atoll of Tokelau, Pacific Island. (I am not making this up.) Population: around 100. Yes, the internet works there, and yes, people use it. There are two online computers with internet access in the tiny hospital, four at the school, and several more at the Teletok office.

In reality, Tokelau is the web's most dangerous country, according to a recent report by security firm McAfee.

Red (danger!) and yellow sites (beware!) were identified according to four factors:

  1. Web sites (excessive pop-ups, other fraudulent practices, and browser exploits such as installing viruses or spyware on a visitor's computer)
  2. Downloads (viruses, adware, spyware)
  3. Sign-up forms (spamminess)
  4. Feedback and analysis.

Tokelau scored top ranking for a whole range of nasties. Don't go there!

One reason, according to McAfee:

Tokelau gives out domains for free. Scammers, particularly those employing phishing, exploit or spam tactics, are subject to frequent blacklisting and so they must register and discard many domains very quickly. Registration costs, minimal for one or two domains, become significant when the number of registered sites becomes large.

Mapping the Mal Web. McAfee report, 17 March 2007
Fakaofo's Teletok office with online computers. Beware: TK domain
Home page of Tokelau Internet Corner - Beware: TK domain
Misguided policy of Dot TK: it's all for the good of the country. Beware: TK domain


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


1 Comment

Tokelau: 1500 people; 1.6 million domain names
Tokelau: 1500 people; 1.6 million domain names

September 15, 2007

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