Network Solutions (NSI), the for-profit corporation in charge of everyone's Internet address, finally restored the DNS entries of www.etoy.com on Feb. 11, weeks after eToys was forced to drop its suit against etoy.
NSI had informed a Wired News reporter that it required a court order before it could restore the domain. Suddenly, this is no longer the case.
This was only the latest example of NSI's outrageous behavior in the etoy debacle.
After the November 29 court order, NSI illegally terminated not only etoy's domain access, but also (on Dec. 10) its e-mail access--even though neither move was required by the order. NSI acted far beyond the call of duty to defend its fellow corporation, eToys, against the ravages of Internet art.
NSI again and again showed showed its interpretation of law and order to be fully colored by a concern for the well-being of other "corporate citizens."
Predictably enough, this is what happens when an institution that should be public is privatized: its interest remains solely in its own survival and profit, its loyalty is only to the corporations that support it directly or not, and the public interest is swept entirely under the rug.
Government power, theoretically beholden to the public interest, or corporate power, openly and solely beholden to financial profit: you decide.