Web registrar GoDaddy has said that it will stop registering domain names in China in protest at the growing amount of information required by the Chinese authorities.
Christine Jones, corporate secretary at GoDaddy, said at a congressional commission on China that the firm is concerned by changes being made to the information required from Chinese citizens when they sign up for a domain.
"A new policy effective 14 December required any registrants of .cn domain names to provide a colour headshot photo identification, business identification (including a Chinese business registration number) and signed registration forms," she said.
Jones explained that the Chinese authorities then asked GoDaddy to retrospectively gather this information on pre-existing owners of domains, and threatened those that did not comply with disconnection of their domains.
"For these reasons, we have decided to discontinue offering new .cn domain names at this time," she said.
Jones went on to criticise the Chinese authorities' approach to the management of the internet.
"We believe that many of the current abuses of the internet originating in China are due to a lack of enforcement against criminal activities by the Chinese government," she said.
"Our experience has been that China is focused on using the internet to monitor and control the legitimate activities of its citizens, rather than penalising those who commit internet-related crimes."
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