Canadian Exec Warns About US Domains

US federal Homeland Security officials caused quite a stir after it seized and the charges raised it against its founder, Calvin Ayre. Canadian hosting chief, Mark Jeftovic warned that the United States tends to act outside the ambit of its boundaries of late.

Jeftovic is the founder and CEO of EasyDNS Technologies Inc., a domain hosting and registry services company based in Toronto. He said that the Ayre case should be seen as a warning that the US government is eager to exercise its legal authority over Internet properties based outside America’s jurisdiction– even including those based in Canada.

Jeftovic says that it poses a serious threat to the autonomy of the Internet, since US authorities seized the domain even though it’s owner is a Canadian citizen and the internet casino has offices in various countries. He pointed out: “You could be based outside the U.S. and you could be minding your own business and suddenly, some attorney-general in some U.S. state could say I don’t like what’s happening here and issues a takedown order.”

This implies that Canadian-owned Web sites with a .com, .net or .org suffix is now at the mercy of U.S. laws simply because the registry for those domains (in the case of .com and .net, Verisign) is based on US soil.

Jeftovic said that this should be seen as “a concern for every non-American who depends on a domain run by a U.S.-based registry operator.”

Even though the Bodog .com website was allegedly registered by a Vancouver based company called Domainclip, all .com websites across the globe is overseen by Reston, Va.-based Verisign.

President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority in Ottawa, Byron Holland said, “This type of thing has happened before, and most probably will happen again. The primary implication is that people need to be educated about where their digital content is being displayed, created or registered.”

He also said that American laws applies to Canadian-owned sites and Web content if the domain is hosted or has its data stored by a company based in the U.S. “It’s not just where the server resides but any of those touch points along the way.” It works both ways, so if a US site’s domain is registered or hosted in Canada, it is subjected to Canadian laws.

Holland concluded, the main reason why the Bodog domain seizure made headlines across the world is because Ayre lives a very extravagant life style: “Any time you throw sex, money and internet gambling into the mix it has all the ingredients to become a headline story.”



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