Go Daddy is to stop accepting new .cn registrations, after CNNIC demanded that it start collecting photographs and signed registration documents from Chinese customers.
General counsel Christine Jones told the Congressional Executive Committee on China that Go Daddy has also seen an increase in DDoS attacks, specifically against human rights sites that it hosts.
“Domain name registrars, including Go Daddy, were then instructed to obtain photo identification, business identification, and physical signed registration forms from all existing .CN domain name registrants who are Chinese nationals, and to provide copies of those documents to CNNIC,” she said.
Any domain without such documentation would have been blocked by China, she said.
“For these reasons, we have decided to discontinue offering new .CN domain names at this time. We continue to manage the .CN domain names of our existing customers,” she said.
Go Daddy has about 1,200 Chinese customers and 27,000 .cn domains on its books. The company is not going to block Chinese customers. What China will do about them remains to be seen.
The move comes at a tense time for US-China internet relations, with Google grabbing headlines all week due to its ongoing censorship row with the country.
Jones denied the move has anything to do with Google. “We made the decision that we didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government,” she said.
I’ve uploaded a PDF of her written testimony here.