[discuss] elephant in the room

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at cis-india.org
Mon Mar 17 18:21:41 UTC 2014

DAVID JOHNSON <davidr.johnson at verizon.net> [2014-03-16 21:34:03]:
> I want to point out that the debate about iana is not the real issue.
> The question is: without USG oversight, what would keep ICANN (a future rogue ICANN, not the friendly guys we know) from using the revocation of domain names (or registry contracts or registrar accreditations) to enforce a mandatory, adhesion contract that compels registrants (or even their users) to comply with global rules that are not supported by consensus, not related to protection of the sound, secure, resilient operation of the net, but instead related to some notion of what content is permissible, how people should behave online?

The question is: how has USG oversight prevented this?

In fact, the USG has used the fact that Verisign falls under US 
jurisdiction to "seize" hundreds of domain names, making them 
inaccessible not only in the US but throughout the world.  Did Verisign 
or ICANN protest?

Verizon, instead of protesting this being made into law through COICA, 
asked for "a limit on the number of domain-name seizures the DOJ could 
ask for before ISPs are paid for the cost of compliance".

And under USG oversight ICANN has created a system where trademark 
owners get privileged access to some domain names regardless of the free 
speech considerations involved.

USG oversight has not been a panacea for domain name ills.  No system 
that will replace it will be without its own problems.

Pranesh Prakash
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
Access to Knowledge Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
M: +1 520 314 7147 | W: http://yaleisp.org
PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash

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