US web registrar GoDaddy.com to pull out of China

March 25th, 2010 - 8:23 am ICT by IANS  

San Francisco/Washington, March 25 (DPA) The world’s largest registrar of internet domain names said Wednesday that it was pulling out of China in the wake of strict new laws that allegedly will increase government surveillance of web sites.
“There appears to be a recent increase in China’s surveillance and monitoring of the Internet activities of its citizens,” said Christine Jones, general counsel for Go Daddy, at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).

Jones said the new Chinese policies required every website owner to submit photographs, business information and individually signed forms, as well as their physical address, email address and telephone numbers.

“We didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government,” Jones said. “We can’t let them be strong and us be weak all the time. We just have to stop it, and then we’ll start offering .CN domain names again.”

GoDaddy.com, which has more than 40 million domain names under management, took the step just two days after Google announced that it was moving its Chinese-language search service out of mainland China to avoid strict government censorship laws. The move set up a strident clash with the Chinese government, which has already started

to filter search results received from Google’s Hong Kong-based Chinese-language servers.

Go Daddy has offered .CN domain names since 2005, and said it would continue serving its existing websites. However, they, too, are required to submit the new information or could be shut down by the Chinese government.

“We were advised that domain names of registrants who did not register as required … would no longer work,” Jones said.

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