.tp was the listed Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for East Timor. The letters used refer to Timor Português or Portuguese Timor a legacy from the nation's previous status as a Portuguese colony. The process of decolonisation was abruptly interrupted by the invasion by Indonesia on 7 December 1975. (.tp) was officially launched in December 1997 by connect.ie, an internet service provider based in Dublin, Ireland, in cooperation with the East Timorese authorities in absentia, while East Timor was under Indonesian military control.
.tp remains active for the period of transition, although it now no longer complies with the ISO 3166-1 standard for the two-letter codes for the name of countries, the code for East Timor having changed from TP to TL after independence. It retains a number of domains. The last listed change and update for .tp was on April 22nd 2008.
In 1997, connect.ie initiated and discussed the potential of setting up a "virtual East Timor". They communicated these ideas to the East Timorese leadership and their representatives. The result of this activity was that connect.ie set in motion the processes to acquire the .tp domain (then the only available and therefore appropriate nomenclature for East Timor). After discussions with Jon Postel, IANA, it was realised that a set of necessary registration conditions would require to be met, including the provision of a local contact persons details. It was assumed by all parties in this discussion that there was a strong likelihood for a potential negative reaction to any person or indeed location listed for such purposes. After discussion with various East Timorese representatives, it was agreed that Xanana Gusmao would be the appropriate contact person. (Xanana was at that time in the custody of the Indonesian governmantal auhorities in Jakarta). The remaining issue and solution to providing local addressing and other contact details were provided by connect.ie. A telephone call was made to Dili to identify the address and telephone no. of the Military Governor, the last local location of Xanana Gusmao. These details were provided to and accepted by IANA. The .tp domain registry was successfully acquired and activated mainly for the purpose of "declaring independence" at least in the virtual world.
The subsequent attack on the .tp domain registry gained extensive worldwide media coverage and public support. Within 6 days of this occurring, and much to everyone's surprise, President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie announced that a referendum would be held in East Timor to choose between special autonomy and independence. This activity finally concluded when East Timor became Timor Leste, the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century on May 20, 2002.
In 1999, the cctld server services for the '.tp' domain were attacked by hackers believed to be at the behest and with support from a faction of the Indonesian military. Connect.ie also received malicious telephone calls and other communications at this time. The outcomes from the .tp activities were however positive. The internet and its impact on public reaction and media coverage created a major issue for the Indonesian government that were managed by the offer of a referendum which in turn finally led to constructive international support for East Timor after nearly a quarter of a century of oppression and death.
In August 1999, before the holding of the referendum, one of the independence leaders José Ramos-Horta, now the Timor Leste President, was purported to have stated that arrangements had been made for hackers to attack Indonesian sites.
In response to these press reports, Connect.ie issued a statement in response to these purported reports condemning any use of hacking for any activity that would negatively impact on ordinary Indonesian citizens, stating that they (CI) were not at "war" with the Indonesian people and cited the support that they had received from many Indonesian people after the earlier attack on the .tp domain.''.Press Release - from Connectie 4.30pm GMT, Thursday 19th August 1999, Dublin.
As of June 2005, no further registrations were accepted in the .tp domain.
Registration in .tl is available directly at second-level with no local presence requirement, through CoCCA and various resellers worldwide.
As of 2008, search engines find approximately twice as many pages in the .tp domain as in its successor, .tl