“The company said today it wants to be able to enforce the “denial, cancellation or transfer of any registration” in any of a laundry list of scenarios where a domain is deemed to be “abusive,”reports the UK Register.
Not only is VeriSign seeking the power to kill websites when ordered to by governments, but also by “quasi-governmental agencies,” which could extend as far as lobbying organizations and special interests.
VeriSign has asked the domain name industry overseer ICANN to grant it the power to kill a .com or .net domain in order to comply with “applicable court orders, laws, government rules or requirements,” and believes the authority should be global to allow the company to shut down websites “without a court order” if any government agency merely requests it do so.
“The company has already helped law enforcement agencies in the US, such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, seize domains that were allegedly being used to sell counterfeit goods or facilitate online piracy, when the agency first obtained a court order,” states the report.
Indeed, the Department of Homeland Security has already seized website domains merely forlinking to copyrighted material, despite the fact that such material isn’t even hosted on the website itself. DHS has also worked with VeriSign to terminate websites already deemed legal by courts in other countries.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation slammed the DHS website seizures as “Blunt instruments that cause unacceptable collateral damage to free speech rights.”
VeriSign is essentially demanding that all blogs be subject to the censorship limits of every other country on Earth, a limitation the corporate media does not have to live with! This means (for example) a nation like Israel can shut own American websites presenting the truth about the attack on the aid flotilla, so that only Israel's bought-and-paid-for corporate media lies are the only story to reach the public.