How do you feel about the US ‘owning’ .COM (and .cc, .net, .name, .org, and .tv) regardless of the international needs of the internet?
Well the U.S. government feels pretty good about it and is exercising a controversial level of control over these TLDs by squeezing the US based VeriSign.
The logic is: if the businesses that control the domains are operating on US soil then it’s American controlled.
There has always been a desire to de-Americanize the internet by restructuring core components outside of US controlled entities but the cost and fears of this sort of uber-nationalist attitude have been ever-present roadblocks. It is sadly ironic then that the US itself isn’t safe from the whims of the local government.
Why so much attention when this has happened hundreds of times previously?
Last week a Canadian registered .com (BoDog.com) was taken offline by federal US authorities because the site was making it possible for American citizens to gamble on-line with payouts.
BoDog.com’s business practices are not illegal globally however and having the site shut down by US authorities has a lot of people, myself included, complaining that this is going way too far.
The reason BoDog.com went down under US pressure is because it was registered with DomainClip in Canada which is merely a VeriSign subcontractor. Even then, you have an international business shuttered by the whims of one country’s governmental policies.
VeriSign is throwing it’s hands up in the air proclaiming innocence and pointing out that they are just abiding by court orders that the US based company is lawfully obligated to follow.
So does this mean that you should toss your SEO campaign aside and find a way to register the site outside of VeriSign’s control? Not necessarily.
Unless you are running a site that isn’t US based at all, or likely to come under fire from the US Government, there isn’t much to fear from this situation, at present. If you run an international gambling site and you made the mistake of registering it with a VeriSign affiliate, then you might want to go change it, quickly.
Personally, if this sort of activity continues unfettered, I expect to see a strong push for the ITU to take over some or all of ICANN’s roles. The internet isn’t just an American thing, it can’t be, and the international community won’t tolerate meddling much longer before some sort of action is taken.
And finally, on a different topic, yet similar struggle for control, I have to give Bing a mention for this amazingly bad anti-Google ‘Googlighting’ video:
Yep. Bing used YouTube to burn Google.
For anyone too young to remember 80s television, this was a parody of Moonlighting (TV series) and boy did they do a bad job of Bruce, not that their version of Cybil was much better..
Most companies can survive simply by putting their best foot forward. Bing seems to think this isn’t enough and that we need to be informed of how dumb we are
buying using Google’s framework of tools.
Google was so moved by this advert that Mark Striebeck, the manager of GMail, wore a similar tie at a recent Google technology demonstration to show some good sportsmanship.
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 11:17 am on March 6, 2012