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Internet Domain Seizures Will Steer Operators Away from .com Extensions

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/23/2011
Internet Domain Seizures

It started with copyright infringement websites and now the US government has begun to seize popular online gambling websites, most of which are based outside the US in jurisdictions such as Costa Rica and Canada. 

It’s not as simple as hosting your website in other countries or using registrars based in Europe and elsewhere, any .com, .net and .org extension sites are vulnerable.

That’s because they are all based in the US.

The BlogPhotoVideo blog suggests not registering domain names that are handled by Verisign or Afilias.

VeriSign operates .com, .net, .cc, .name and .tv while Afilias operates .info, .org, .mobi, .in, .me, .aero and more. If certain SEO or brand related issues are holding you back from avoiding these TLDs, I have my own experience to share to the contrary. Google will not punish your site if you have a .ch or .eu extension.

“We are going to see these online gambling websites adapt .co.cr, .ca and .eu website extensions,” an industry advisor tells Gambling911.com. 

And despite the seizures, web surfers can bypass the seizure notices via the Firefox browser by incorporating an add-on.

The Department of Homeland Security has requested that Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, remove the add-on.  Mozilla, to date, has refused to do so.

The DHS has also not provided the organization with a court order requiring its removal, a lawyer for Mozilla said.

“One of the fundamental issues here is under what conditions do intermediaries accede to government requests that have a censorship effect and which may threaten the open internet,” Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s lawyer, wrote Thursday on his blog.

From Torrent Freak

TorrentFreak got in touch with the MAFIAA Fire developer, who told us that this is just the beginning. Inspired by a quote from John Gilmore who once said “the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it,” they are determined to retaliate against these and other censorship attacks.

“This is just a start, now that we have opened this can of worms people can expect many add-ons, extensions and plug-ins from us,” TorrentFreak was told. “Our goal is to reverse governments attempts to censor the Internet, and nearly anything the anti-piracy people put up to protect their dinosaur business models.”

“Imagine the old game of whack-a-mole, now imagine playing on multiple machines all around you at the same time.”

“We really are tired of the corruption at the highest levels of government by these people. Enough is enough. There is a time to moan and there is a time to take action – and taking action has been long overdue,” the MAFIAA Fire developer said.

According to the add-on developer, something has to be done to stop the Internet from falling under the control of the entertainment industries or other hidden agendas. This add-on is a small step, but a start according to him.

“Governments around the world are either censoring for the entertainment companies never ending woes, or using that as an excuse to slowly get more control over the internet for their own agendas – and trampling over our rights in the process.”

“Our right to privacy should outweigh any outdated business model, unfortunately average Joe cannot afford a $10,000 plate dinner to speak to their representatives and his voice is drowned out by the vultures who have been doing this for decades,” he concluded.

Firefox now controls much of the world’s browser market share.  The new add-on will soon be supported by Chrome as well. 

- Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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