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ChokepointsGlobal Private Regulation on the Internet$
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Natasha Tusikov

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291218

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291218.001.0001

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(p.116) 4 Access Chokepoints

Natasha Tusikov

University of California Press

This chapter explains how the transnational regime uses search engines (especially Google) and domain name registrars (specifically GoDaddy) to throttle access to infringing sites. It traces efforts by the U.S. and U.K. governments, along with rights holders, to pressure Google and GoDaddy into adopting the non-binding agreements. It then presents two case studies. The first discusses search engines’ regulation of search results linking to infringing sites and a non-binding agreement struck among search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft) at the behest of the U.K. government. The second case study examines GoDaddy’s efforts to disable so-called illegal online pharmacies that operate in violation of U.S. federal and state laws. The chapter concludes that Internet firms’ practice of using chokepoints to dissuade access to targeted websites is highly problematic as legitimate websites are mistakenly targeted and sanctioned. Automated enforcement programs exacerbate this problem as they significantly increase the scale and speed of rights holders’ enforcement efforts without a corresponding increase in oversight.

Keywords:   Access chokepoints, Automated regulation, Google, GoDaddy, Illegal online pharmacies

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