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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Google Wants to Privatize the Internet

Consumer Watchdog claimed that the authorities should keep track of what international corporations like Google and Amazon are doing online, as well as to reject their applications to purchase new top level domains in bulk.

The watchdog outfit has recently written an open letter to ICANN and other relevant authorities. In the letter, John M Simpson, the Consumer Watchdog privacy project director, explained that there were plans by such giants as Google and Amazon to purchase enormous amounts of new top level domains. According to Consumer Watchdog, it is one matter for a corporation to have an intention to purchase associated domains like .google, .youtube, or .amazon, but it‘s not what the companies are looking to do.

Consumer Watchdog pointed out that the search engine is using its subsidiary named Charlestone Road Registry to spend almost $19,000,000 on such domain names as .eat, .buy, .web, .book, .free, and .family. At the same time, Amazon wants to own .shop, .free, .like, and .game. All in all, the companies are expecting to purchase 101 and 76 domain strings accordingly.

In its letter, the watchdog pointed out that generic words can’t be the property of any entity, because when such words are used in a generic way they belong to everyone. However, according to Consumer Watchdog, in case the companies are allowed to purchase generic names, they will be closing off common words that they have no IP rights over, nor are they even associated with the brand. John M Simpson has warned that ICANN will be allowing the international giants to bypass nation-states’ entrenched legal processes in order to get legal and recognized trademark protections.

In this happens, some argue that corporations like Google and Amazon will be doing nothing else than effectively privatizing parts of the worldwide web, which could later turn into the walled gardens. Consumer Watchdog claims that both Google and Amazon already position themselves as dominant players on the market and in the online space. That’s why if the authorities allow them further control, this would pose a real threat to the free and open web that the Internet users rely upon.

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