[discuss] [ianatransition] Fwd: [IP] WSJ: The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens
nigel at roberts.co.uk
Mon Sep 8 17:42:21 UTC 2014
Patricio is, as I would expect, absolutely correct.
And it's very important to note the distinction between policy that is
either binding, or is taken to be so by the actors involed, and a "news
memo" which Jon dashed off when he was getting awkward letters from a
number of governments asking him why he "gave away the countries TLDs"
to private individuals and companies.
On 09/08/2014 05:53 PM, Patricio Poblete wrote:
> You are probably thinking of the sentence "The IANA takes the desires
> of the government of the country very seriously". That is not in
> RFC1591. It appeared later in ccTLD News Memo #1.
> On Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 12:56 PM, Mike Roberts <mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us
> <mailto:mmr at darwin.ptvy.ca.us>> wrote:
> Did anyone think that right wing America Firsters wouldn’t use as
> much FUD as they could muster to try to derail the NTIA
> initiative? Check some of the Congressional grand stand statements.
> This mess of mistatement and innuendo is SOP.
> A “majority” of governments are authoritarian? That’s a pretty
> big paintbrush.
> As Jon Postel said way back in 1591, governments do matter.
> Multistakeholderism without a role for governments isn’t going to
> work. ICANN is actually trying to smoke out behind the scenes
> gorilla behavior in the GAC by requiring recorded votes with a
> majority needed for “advice.” Raising the Board threshold for
> rejecting the advice is a nominal quid pro quo with little effect.
> - Mike
> On Sep 8, 2014, at 6:49 AM, Miles Fidelman
> <mfidelman at meetinghouse.net <mailto:mfidelman at meetinghouse.net>>
>> Well, isn't this a nice kettle of fish.
>> -------- Forwarded Message --------
>> The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens
>> The U.S. hasn't even abandoned its Web protection yet, and
>> authoritarians are making their move.
>> L. GORDON CROVIT
>> Sept. 7, 2014 5:11 p.m. ET
>> The Obama administration plan to give up U.S. protection of the
>> open Internet won't take effect for a year, but authoritarian
>> governments are already moving to grab control. President Obama
>> is learning it's as dangerous for America to create a vacuum of
>> power in the digital world as in the real one.
>> In March the administration asked Icann, the Internet
>> Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to suggest a plan
>> for overseeing the Internet after September 2015, when U.S.
>> governance is scheduled to end. The U.S. charged this group,
>> which maintains the root-zone file of domain names and
>> addresses, with somehow finding mechanisms to prevent other
>> governments from undermining the permissionless, free-speech
>> Internet built under U.S. oversight.
>> Instead, Icann set up a process to hand control over to
>> governments. Under the current "multistakeholder" system, an
>> advisory group of governments has only as much power as other
>> stakeholders, such as Web registries, website owners,
>> free-speech groups and other nonprofits. But in August, Icann
>> quietly proposed changing its bylaws to rubber-stamp government
>> decisions unless two-thirds of the Icann board objects. In
>> turn, Iran has proposed that the government group move to
>> majority voting from the current consensus approach. That would
>> enable the world's majority of authoritarian governments to
>> rewire the Internet more to their liking.
>> Enlarge Image
>> Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
>> What will this mean? Authoritarian governments could for the
>> first time censor the Web globally, not just in their own
>> countries. Russia could get Icann to withdraw Ukrainian sites.
>> China could engineer the world-wide removal of sites supporting
>> freedom for Hong Kong or Tibet. Iran could censor its critics
>> in the U.S. Website operators could also expect new global fees
>> and regulations.
>> Such a change "would fundamentally transform Icann away from
>> being a 'bottom-up' and 'private sector-led' organization and
>> into a governmental regulatory agency," wrote Robin Gross, a
>> former chairman of the Icann group representing nonprofits, on
>> the CircleID blog. "Why Icann would voluntarily choose to
>> empower non-democratic governments with an even greater say
>> over global Internet policies as this bylaw change would do is
>> anyone's guess."
>> The Internet Commerce Association, which represents Web
>> businesses, warns that the proposal "would transform Icann into
>> a government-led organization," which is "completely counter"
>> to the U.S. requirement that the Internet remain free of
>> government control.
>> In a speech in July, a U.S. Commerce Departmentofficial played
>> down the danger. "The idea that governments could enhance their
>> influence within Icann by changing its rules to allow for a
>> majority vote on policy issues reflects a misunderstanding of
>> the policymaking process at Icann," said Assistant Secretary
>> Lawrence Strickling. Wrong. Mr. Strickling and his
>> administration colleagues have misunderstood how serious other
>> governments are about filling the vacuum of power with repression.
>> Icann also upset all its major stakeholder groups by ignoring
>> their demand to make it more accountable absent U.S. oversight.
>> Stakeholders had instructed Icann to create an "independent
>> accountability mechanism that provides meaningful review and
>> adequate redress for those harmed by Icann action or inaction
>> in contravention of an agreed-upon compact with the community."
>> Instead, Icann announced that it would oversee itself.
>> A dozen stakeholder groups quickly sent Icann chief Fadi
>> Chehade a letter objecting. "How does Icann intend to handle
>> the inherent conflict of interest with developing its own
>> accountability plan?" they asked. "Why didn't Icann invite
>> proposals from the community and why wasn't the community
>> involved in the drafting of the staff plan?"
>> An objection sent jointly by business and nonprofit stakeholder
>> groups to the Icann board said: "This plan, imposed on the
>> community without transparency and without the opportunity for
>> public comment, creates inconsistency, disregards proper Icann
>> procedure, injects unfairness into the process and defeats the
>> purpose of the entire accountability examination."
>> Philip Corwin, a lawyer specializing in Icann issues, calls
>> pushback against the organization "unprecedented." Last week,
>> Icann agreed to put off the new rules, but only for a brief
>> comment period.
>> Much of the blame for the splintering of the multistakeholder
>> system lies with Mr. Obama's naïveté in putting Internet
>> governance up for grabs. He underestimated the importance of
>> Washington's control in maintaining an open Internet—and the
>> desire among other governments to close the Internet. And there
>> still is no plan to keep Icann free from control by governments.
>> Administration officials pledged to Congress that the U.S.
>> would keep control over the Internet if the alternative was to
>> empower other governments or if there isn't full accountability
>> for Icann. Both red lines have been crossed.
>> If Mr. Obama persists, Congress should block his plan with a
>> simple message: The open Internet is too valuable to surrender.
>> 1. <http://online.wsj.com/articles/l-gordon-crovitz-the-internet-power-vacuum-worsens-1410124265#>
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