GoDaddy.com says it's a No Go in China
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announced today it will stop registering web sites in China. This is in response to new requirements the Chinese government put in place last December regarding the amount and type of information required for domain name registration. GoDaddy company officials believe those additional requirements are intended to tighten government monitoring and surveillance of .cn sites and their owners.
GoDaddy.com is the world's largest domain name registration company, having registered over 40 million domain names since 2000. Until last December, most domain name registries required only name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Late last year, China began requiring registrants of new .cn domain names provide a color head shot and other business identification, including a Chinese business registration number and physical signed registration forms. That data was to be forwarded to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
Spokeswoman Christine N. Jones, general counsel of the Go Daddy Group Inc., said the decision to pull out of China is not related to yesterday's decision made by Google. "With all due respect, this has nothing to do with Google," she said, "We were immediately concerned about the motives behind the increased level of registrant verification being required. The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals."
GoDaddy's announcement was applauded by New Jersey Representative, Christopher Smith. Congressman Smith sponsored the Global Online Freedom Act of 2007, legislation that would make it a crime for U.S. companies to turn over user information to "int