ADVICE PLEASE : Registered a previously government owned domain!

Spaceship Spaceship


Top Member
Was looking for expired domains late in the night, (I am a night owl courtesy being a low budget domainer and freelancer) stumbled upon a country level domain with significant Similarweb rank, Domain Authority, Page Authority, zero spam score and tons of backlinks. Checked the archive wayback machine and found it to be a good website with lots of contents. Google has more than 50K of it's pages indexed. Did not waste time in registering it thinking of a quick flip. Set up a landing page with analytics to see how much traffic it gets in a week. It received 24 - 25 daily visitors daily referred from mostly search engines and some other websites.

Some referral visits from few government sites prompted me to dig further, checking the backlinks. Was surprised to find out, it was a Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs website since 2009! The government press release of launching the site still exists. The site as available in the archive does not give any hint of being a government website though. Many other government sites of India and African countries show link to this site.

Initially this scared me a lot. But later I thought, the domain expired, passed the grace period, passed the redemption period and was available, so it can be assumed that the government does not want to pursue the website anymore. Instant thought came in my mind to carry on the legacy of the website (it was not an administrative one), and wrote to the ministry about my intention. Yet to receive any response, wondering will ever receive any.

Caught up courage and is developing the site with a disclaimer that the site is not operated by or affiliated to the government. You can read the full story here: no_url_shorteners/2wqMBv

Shockingly, when I investigated further, I found another domain which served a government site of another ministry has been registered by someone else and is operating for the last eight months, with a different subject!

And then came the shock of my life, finding out, many websites of the Indian government has domains registered in the name of individuals! Despite reserved extensions for the government, it's really stupid, if not fishy, that many government sites are using extensions which can be registered freely, and that too in individual names, most of them outsourced to private organisations who registered the domains in their name! You can read my full findings here: no_url_shorteners/lRJJHp

Still confused, whether or not to use the domain. It's a .in domain and the .in registry is managed by the Indian Government itself, so it can take away anytime it wants. Of Course if the government wants it back to carry on the project, I will readily hand over.

Seeking the opinions of pros here on what to do with the domain? Carry on developing the site or let it be idle and let expire again to be found by someone writing a similar post in Namepros?
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I'm regging such domains with great pleasure. But use them only in SEO, as powerful pumper sites. What other use of them can you think about?