New domain name restrictions in China

UPDATES: CNNIC's restrictions, enacted around December 14, may have been a policy
response to reduce .cn domains used for spamming, as reported by Symantec.   CNNIC has now lifted restrictions on registration of .cn domain names by individuals. However, registrations are now apparently limited to those who submit written application forms.  Obviously, registrations requiring business registration
information or manual application processes might improve identity information of domain registrants and hinder spammers, but it hardly seems a scalable solution.


China's government is using its control of domain names to impose more strict controls over the Internet. In a recent announcement of
China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), individuals can no longer
register .cn domain names unless they can provide business registration
information. The regulation will take effect on Dec, 14, 2009. To apply
for a domain name, applicants must provide the paper documents as well as the
online registration form. The documents include: domain
name registration form (with enterprise official seal), copy of the
business license of the enterprise or corporate code certificate and copy
of the national ID card of the
applicant.

China's government is also using licensing of audio-visual content to retain undermine the freedom of peer to peer networking. According to a source in China, in
the past week almost all the major P2P websites in China (e.g, BTchina.net, ) have been
forced to shut down, because they hold no License
for Publication of Audio-Visual Programs
. In December, 2008, The
State Administration of Radio Film and Television(SARFT) issued
Internet audio and video program service management” and
the regulation took effect in January, 2008. It stated that any organization
providing audio-video services on Internet must meet the the following initial
requirement: must have legal personality and the organization must be solely
funded by the state or be state-owned.
The application process of
License for Publication of Audio-Visual
Programs
” can be found here.

The idea of “licensing” audio-visual materials on web sites is a “brilliant” idea that some European countries are also pursuing.

3 comments

  1. Anonymous

    China really is crossing pretty much every ethical line possible. Talk about a severe lack of freedom. Sheesh.