Saying that ruling otherwise would threaten the stability of the internet, a federal appeals court in Washington said Tuesday that victims of terrorism can’t seize the internet domain names of countries that owe hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. court judgments for supporting terrorist attacks.

At issue is the second half of a web address—such as the “.com” in Instead of “.com,” some websites end with a country code, such as “.us” for websites in the United States. The terror victims wanted to claim the country codes for Iran, Syria and North Korea (.ir, .sy and .kp, respectively) to satisfy judgments against those countries.

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