GoDaddy, the World largest domain name registration company has decided to follow the footprints of Google and stand up for the privacy issues by abandoning the Chinese market. The decision is the result of its row with Chinese government, whose new laws made it compulsory for all sites with .Cn extension to provided additional personal information about the owners of domain along with their recent photographs. In an article published in Washington Post, the decision of GoDaddy has been shared with the public.
According to WP:
The rules, the company believes, are an effort by China to increase monitoring and surveillance of Web site content and could put individuals who register their sites with the firm at risk. The company also believes the rules will have a “chilling effect” on new domain name registrations.
GoDaddy’s move follows Google’s announcement Monday that it will no longer censor search results on its site in China. Analysts and human rights advocates have warned that China’s insistence on censorship and control over information is becoming a serious barrier to trade.
“GoDaddy is the first company to publicly follow Google’s example in responding to the Chinese government’s censorship of the Internet by partially retreating from the Chinese market,” Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) said in a statement. “Google fired a shot heard ’round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people.”
Smith has sponsored a bill that would make it a crime for U.S. companies to share personal user information with “Internet-restricting” countries.
An interesting thing to note here has been shared by RWW, which believes that the move might not be purely backed by ethical grounds as GoDaddy was already finding it hard to stay put in Chinese market. According to RWW:
GoDaddy’s move, however, is not the purely altruistic act of solidarity it might first appear to be. A new Chinese policy enacted last December upped the ante, requiring registrants of .cn domain names to submit photos and business identification, which would then be forwarded to the government. The law would require GoDaddy to retroactively gather information from domain registrants.
While this certainly has extremely ominous implications in terms of human rights, we have to wonder how much the law implies in financial terms. GoDaddy is currently responsible for more than 40 million domain names, a number that is three times the nearest competitor. We don’t know what percent of that is in China, but it could be quite the endeavor to go back and acquire extra registrant information before sending it to the government.
In any case, the company has taken full advantage of the “leave China” season and hence made its mark on the headlines for its bold decision. Frankly speaking, i think its a big loss to the Chinese internet citizens since GoDaddy is no doubt one of the best hosting service provider. All my own domains are registered on it and we never faced any major issue with them till date. I hope they don’t make me repent for my words later on
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