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March 6, 2006

Is China Creating It's Own Internet?

There are conflicting reports as to whether China is considering creating an internal Internet structure that is not governed by ICANN.  Reports in the China People's Daily suggested that China would create top level domains using Chinese characters as addresses.  A lot of the non-English world wants to extend addresses to their own alphabets, something with which ICANN has been moving glacially slow.

Reports are that China is working with second-level domains, rather than .cn, .com, and .net as suggested by other reports. 

A report in the Toronto Star by Professor Michael Geist suggests that whether top or second level domains are involved, the prospects of China being used as a model by other countries has the potential to up-end U.S. control of top level domain servers. China is a little different from most countries in that the population of Internet users is large enough that the Chinese government could, indeed, make the split work for that country.  Critics believe if China successfully splits from the Internet as it is currently governed, the government there would be able to censor content even more than is possible under current circumstances.

Stories on this from CIO Today, the Toronto Star, and Xinhua.

March 6, 2006 | Permalink

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