from the well-look-at-that dept
However, even without SOPA/PIPA, there is still the power of diplomatic pressure, and it didn't take long for the Communications Minister of Gabon to announce that the domain was being suspended:
"I have instructed my departments... to immediately suspend the site www.me.ga," announced Communication Minister Blaise Louembe, saying he wanted to "protect intellectual property rights" and "fight cyber crime effectively".Of course, that seems pretty presumptuous on a number of levels. Since the service has not been launched -- and the actual details have not been revealed -- it's a bit premature to declare that the site must somehow violate intellectual property rights or be useful for cybercrime. And if government officials are stepping in to kill off cyberlockers based entirely on rumor and innuendo, will .ga block any other cyberlocker as well? Considering how popular such services are -- including those run by well-established companies like Amazon, Google and Dropbox -- it makes you wonder how Gabon decides who gets to use a .ga domain.
"Gabon cannot serve as a platform or screen for committing acts aimed at violating copyrights, nor be used by unscrupulous people," the minister said.
There may also be a separate issue at play here. As some have noted, the .ga top level domain is administered by Gabon Telecom, which just so happens to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivendi... the same company who owns the world's largest music label, Universal Music. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.