Je suis Charlie: French internet authority builds tribute into internet's infrastructure

AFNIC, which controls top-level domains in France, has made it so WHOIS requests return the message

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The Independent Tech

Je suis Charlie, the message of support for magazine Charlie Hebdo after a shooting in its offices, has been built into the very foundation of the French internet by the authority that maintains it.

WHOIS queries to French websites currently display the message “Je suis Charlie” alongside the results. The queries are used to find out information on who owns a website.

The change has been made by AFNIC, the French non-profit corporation that operates the country’s top-level domains, like .fr, .re and .tf.

It posted a comment on Twitter in the wake of the shootings in both French and English, saying that: “With .fr our commitment to freedom of speech is total”.

“Our thoughts to the victims and their close family and friends,” it continued, before adding the Je suis Charlie hashtag. The organisation also changed its profile picture to the “Je suis Charlie” image, which has been used by a number of supporters in France and elsewhere.

The message works for domains ending .fr, .re, .tf, .wf, .pm and .yt. It displays the message in text art, alongside the normal results.