Proposed Chinese regulations could fragment the Internet, US says – Computerworld

The U.S. has warned of fragmentation of the Internet if China goes ahead with proposed rules that would require compulsory registration of Internet domain names in China through government-licensed providers.

The regulations for the administration of Internet domain names would also forbid the registration of websites containing any one of nine categories of broadly and vaguely defined prohibited content, and create a blacklist of ‘forbidden characters’ in the registration of domain names, “adding an extra layer of control to China’s Great Firewall,” two top U.S. officials in charge of Internet policy and administration, wrote in a statement Monday

“Today, more than 700 million people have access to the Internet in China, more than any country in the world. Several of the most valuable Internet-based companies call China home,” wrote Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and Daniel  Sepulveda, Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the Department of State.

The statement comes ahead of an expected hearing by a Senate Commerce Committee on a plan for ending U.S. oversight of key technical Internet functions in favor of a global multi-stakeholder governance model.

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