Saturday, August 7, 2010

IGP Blog :: US and Canadian Governments support Chinese-style censorship of DNS in ICANN

Following up my previous article about ICANN's GAC letter, here is a good article from Milton Mueller, member of the Non Commercial Stakeholder Group and author of the book "Ruling the Root: Internet governance and the taming of cyberspace".

IGP Blog :: US and Canadian Governments support Chinese-style censorship of DNS in ICANN

Milton in his article explains briefly why the tone and attitude reflected in GAC's letter is an outrage to free speech and another move to use ICANN as a regulator/controller by proxy.

I'm not sure that as Milton says, the main instigator behind this letter is the US Government, I'm pretty sure that there are many governments that have their level of anxiety growing to exert some control over the Internet.

Hard to say what is going to happen, but I'm sure that the next few ICANN's meetings will be interesting to watch. Get the popcorn ready !!!


Friday, August 6, 2010

ICANN's GAC has spoken

I have not been using much this blog to write about my incursions in the world of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names). Until now I've just been posting some comments on my facebook page and various email lists.

So, bare with me as I start using this space to post some comments, opinions and what is going on in the world of ICANN.

Two days ago, one of the structures of ICANN called the Governmental Advisory Committee or GAC (get used to this, ICANN is a vast sea of acronyms and jargon) sent a short letter about MoPo (Morality and Public Order)

Several people are starting to read the letter between the lines, trying to guess what the GAC is cooking behind walls.

One of the paragraphs of the GAC letter says:

"The GAC firmly believes that the absence of any controversial strings in the current universe of top level domains (TLDs) to date contributes directly to the security and stability of the domain name and addressing system (DNS) and the universal resolvability of the sytem."

Hmmm, controversial strings ???

they also say

"In this regard, the GAC believes that procedures to identify strings that could raise national, cultural, geographic, religious and/or linguistic sensitivities or objections are warranted so as to mitigate the risks of fragmenting the DNS that could result from the introduction of controversial strings."

What do you read there then ?

What are controversial strings, who defines what is or is not controversial ? and what GAC members are thinking about "fragmenting the DNS" if ICANN approves a string that they don't like ?

The last paragraph says

"The GAC therefore recommends that community-wide discussions be facilitated by ICANN in order to ensure that an effective objections procedure be developed that both recognizes the relevance of national laws and effectively addresses strings that raise national, cultural, yada, yada ..."

and ends with the cherry on the top

"These objections procedures should apply to all pending and future TLDs."

Pending ?

Do you know what is pending ?

.XXX :-)

So one can read here that GAC will most surely try to block moving forward with the agreement to add .XXX to the DNS root zone, this will be a show of power since the ICANN BoD (Board of Directors) may take the decision of ignoring the GAC advise and objections and move forward anyway.

Do you think the BoD will have the guts to do that ?