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China Proposes Foreign Domain Name Censorship (thestack.com) 60

An anonymous reader writes: A new draft law in China could potentially increase domain name restrictions, limiting domestic access to foreign websites. The measures outlined in the 'Internet Domain Name Management Rules' remain unclear, yet they suggest a marked effort to increase censorship on online content. The proposals, released for public comment by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, seek to update existing regulations to censor any domain names not registered within China. Only domain names approved by authorities would be permitted while other names registered outside of China would be blocked automatically.
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China Proposes Foreign Domain Name Censorship

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  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @01:37PM (#51801217) Journal

    "censor any domain names not registered within China"

    So what, only 99% of the internet then?

    • China has a history of building walls to keep foreign people or things out. Old habits die hard.

    • All you need to do is register the site in China? That's no big deal! I'm going to register tiananmensquareandindependentpollutionlevelreadings.com today!

      • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @06:10PM (#51803333)

        They might allow you to register (intentionally-provocative domain name notwithstanding), but you'd probably have to comply with a laundry list of additional regulatory requirements if you did... like requiring validated government-issued IDs from any user who's allowed to post public content (possibly including users who weren't even Chinese or in China), and removing "objectionable" (to Chinese censors) content on demand (think DMCA, but a hundred times worse). And you'd probably have to pay some Akamai-like Chinese CDN to shepherd your site's content through the Great Firewall regardless.

        And if you WERE willing to meet China's regulatory requirements for the sake of market share, you'd probably have to block access to most users in Europe, because the very things you'd have to do to officially get your site's content into China would probably get you fined by the EU for violating its privacy laws.

    • Better title for this article:

      "China develops more accurate online method of shooting itself in the foot."

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      "censor any domain names not registered within China"

      So what, only 99% of the internet then?

      Well even the most generous estimates is that 75% don't speak English and that includes learners, the more conservative estimate is around 90%. And the Chinese government's attitude to western values varies from lukewarm to frozen solid, they probably don't mind if the Chinese stick to local sites that are under Chinese jurisdiction. They have a billion users, they're big enough to do pretty much anything on their own. The rest of the world is trending heavily towards English as the de facto global language

    • ... of your side of the Internet that you can actually use right now.

      Services there will cater to China first, but spread by demanding concessions from greedy western companies. We'll grow more dependent on these services, which will be tied into the Chinese all-encompassing credit system, be monitored and controlled by Chinese minders, and anyone actually wanting to use their services will have to opt-in to the same "Authoritarian Government at a Distance" model that only Western companies opt-in to so f

    • With the obvious exception of slashdot, would you really miss 99% of the internet?

    • "censor any domain names not registered within China"

      So what, only 99% of the internet then?

      To censor, not necessarily to block.

      Personally I'm sure that my domain chinagovtsucksballs.cn will be fine because it's registered in China.

  • if chinese do this, they will do it knowing that whatever and whoever has anything of value in internet of use to china, that does not threaten them, will eagerly start registering themselves within in china, obediently complying with rules chinese have laid down.
    all of the western corps who want to survive and make money will do that
    that is power.

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @01:55PM (#51801383)

    When everyone wants to tell everyone else what they can and can't say and see on the internet.

    Get in line, China.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The rest of the world would be better off if we would just disconnect China from the internet! They don't like an open internet then we should not have to give them one. This would eliminate a major group of corporate and government hackers.

  • Doomsday Online (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @01:55PM (#51801391)
    If there is an Internet Doomsday Clock, I'd say it reads about three 'til midnight.

    Everywhere you look, on every continent, freedom and privacy are being hunted down, borne upon the cynical horns of terrorism and pederasty.
  • The more you tighten your grip, the more websites will slip through your fingers!

    • Not after we demonstrate the capabilities of this internet-filtering station.
      • by kuzb ( 724081 )

        Pfft, we ALL know anytime you build something that big it's got a thermal exhaust port.

        • Sometimes it's called a thermal oscillator. Basically, you just look for some kind of thermal thing on the surface, and if you don't see one it means you either need to go inside and blow up its reactor, or kamikaze-attack the bridge so it will crash into something.

  • I can only imagine that this would greatly increase the usage of VPN's..... also GNAA
  • So then all someone would need to do is manage a downloadable host file to bypass DNS and continue pointing to the IP addresses of valid servers. Sure it might be a pain in the ass to manage, but there would be no need to rely on "authorized" domains. Your authorization would come from you explicitly allowing it in your own local naming service.
    • That won't work if the firewall drops connections to foreign IPs that have not been returned from a DNS query. When you perform a DNS query, the DNS server would then do three things: check whether the domain is on China's whitelist, return the hostname's IP address if so, and create a whitelist entry on the firewall for the pair of (your IP address, their IP address) if so. It's thus a little bit like carrier-grade NAT, except that DNS lookups are used as the trigger instead of a SYN.

      Or perhaps I shouldn't

  • Why is this not permitted?

    I helped build your telephone system back in the 90s, China, and I was one of your first IPO investors in many advanced research firms in Hong Kong, but you won't permit that?

    What gives?

  • * Register domain that China government hates
    * China-based script-kiddies can't get to me
    * ???
    * PROFIT by being able to focus my security infrastructure on more serious security threats (like the Chinese-government-trained/sponsored industrial-espionage-hackers???) instead of wasting time swatting the script kiddies that happen to be in China.

    Now if only it was that easy to get rid of the script-kiddie problem worldwide.

    I know! I'll use a Martian IP address!!!

  • All the Chinese government will accomplish with this sort of thing is the dumbing down of their citizenry putting them behind the west in the Great Competition they desire so much to excel at. Sad. Go for it.

    • This is why China will never be in the top tier of nations. Sure, it is large and moderately developed, but its trajectory has reached its apogee.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of course this is an effort to prevent domain names like freetibet.com appearing to the Chinese population, but the (unintended) consequence of the development is dividing the Chinese values from those of the rest of the world and so preparing them to view the whole world as the enemy for the coming war. They will become just like ISIS.

  • I expect this is as much about protectionism for domestic Internet sites/businesses as it it about some futile effort at information control
  • by VirginMary ( 123020 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @05:00PM (#51802965)

    What is that? A euphemism for the "Ministry of Truth"?

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2016 @06:58PM (#51803623) Journal
    Seriously, this is just like trade right now. China controls carefully what is allowed in to compete. In addition, if it is something that china wants the manufacturing tech to, they put up large import tariffs against your good and then requires you to 'partner' with a chinese owned company.

    China continues to set up the situation so that they can sell outside of china, but from outside, can not sell INTO china.
    At this point, WTO should step up and say no. BUT, they will not.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is pure trade protectionism, under the guise of something else. In case you haven't figured it out, the Chinese government is crooked and lies all the time. WTO is useless all these years also.

  • This mean I will see less traffic from China to my website? All incoming traffic from China is hack attempts, so it would be nice to see that traffic blocked at the source. Wishful thinking I know.

    • Same thought - Just wasted bandwidth from China - they don't buy ANYTHING. I've thought of blocking all their IPs - so the China firewall is going to do if for me.???

  • They will cut themselves off of a large amount of information on business, economy, science and so forth. It will decrease their competitive ability.

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