The focus of concern of the two U.S. officials is a vaguely-defined new article 37, which has been interpreted as banning Internet Service Providers in China from providing Internet access to domain names that are registered with a registrar abroad, hence cutting off China’s Internet from the rest of the world.
“While Chinese authorities have clarified that the intent of the article would be to prohibit access to Chinese-registered domain names that are acquired from registries/registrars that are not in compliance with Chinese regulations, concerns remain that the language in its current form is vague and open to differing interpretations,” according to the statement.
Critics of the draft rules are also opposed to requirements for forced data localization and real name verification for the registration of Internet addresses.
“By creating its own rules for domain name management, China is threatening to fragment the Internet, which would limit the Internet’s ability to operate as a global platform for human communication, commerce, and creativity,” the officials wrote. Chinese officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
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