Internet regulators in China have found a way to censor the internet for everyone in the world.
Last month, the Los Angeles domain operator XYZ.com, formed a partnership with the Chinese government where it will start enforcing Chinese internet censorship. Based on this deal, the registry will permit China to ban domain names across the globe.
Chinese regulators have been known to censor anything that contains ideologies such a freedom, liberty and democracy. They also regularly ban material that makes any references to the massacre at Tiananmen Square.
According to XYZ.com, the Chinese government has provided it with a list of 12,000 words to ban from its web addresses. XYZ.com is known for several web suffixes, such as .xyz, .college, .rent, .protection and .security.
Since XYZ.com operates across the globe, the entire world will be unable to use these domain name suffixes if the Chinese government finds a proposed name to be in violation of their censorship policies.
Internet regulators hid the plan in an application that was from XYZ to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The organization is supposed to protect the open internet. The United States government plans to stop working with the organization, as clearly ICANN does not care about freedom of speech or an open internet.
Officials from XYZ.com have not informed anyone about what words China plans to have them censor, but it’s likely that they would be similar to the phrases censored on the “Great Firewall of China”. Additionally, China plans to add to its list of banned words over time.
Here’s an example of how this new policy will work. Liberty University will be able the use liberty.edu. But if the college wanted to establish liberty.xyz, it would be blocked by China.
It’s likely that XYZ.com received a very large amount of compensation for agreeing to this policy. The domain registry company really sold out big time here. Giving up key rights for financial compensation is an atrocious act. Although it has not been proven that XYZ was compensated, it’s difficult to imagine an alternative scenario.
While ICANN could still deny the plan from XYZ and the Chinese, it is unlikely to do so. Since the United States government announced that it would stop working with the organization, it’s unlikely that the group will care about China’s deal with XYZ. Plus, it’s a way of getting revenge on the government that will soon drop their services.
Meanwhile, China and other oppressive regimes have long been openly trying to put an end to free speech on the internet. Some countries in the support of freedom and expression need to step up and prevent widespread censorship from China before the entire internet is blacklisted.