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New gTLD Board Committee Consideration of GAC Safeguard Advice - ".health"

  • To: <comments-gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: New gTLD Board Committee Consideration of GAC Safeguard Advice - ".health"
  • From: "Thomas Schwarz MMI" <schwarz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 May 2013 07:45:55 +0200



The health Internet is a vital means of health information access worldwide.
Thus, ".health" and health related top level domains should be trusted and
reliable resources which take the public interest into account. We share the
concerns expressed by the GAC, and support the objections submitted by the
ALAC and the Independent Objector regarding health-related names. 


The GAC has proposed general safeguards for a set of names related to
health, with no assurance that they will be enforced, meaning that there is
no guarantee that a new ".health" TLD will be operated in the interest of
global public health and consumer protection. A " .health" TLD without
adequate quality assurance and consumer protection mechanisms in place will
undermine credibility and harm the growth of the online health marketplace.
Despite GAC advice, an open and unrestricted TLD will help bypass regulatory
controls creating new risks for the whole industry sector, including in
emerging markets. Developing countries will suffer the most in this
scenario, due to their difficulties in enforcing national policies to
regulate, monitor, and stop fraud and misuse. 


As an Network of non-governmental organizations dealing with global health
policy and cooperation we believe that ".health" should be managed as a
global asset, and that its governance should be based on broad-based,
multi-stakeholder consensus.  In this regard the ICANN board should note the
concerns of the health  community, GAC, ALAC and the IO, and should not
proceed beyond Intial Evaluation of the ".health" string, including its
Chinese variant. We urge the ICANN board to postpone the attribution of
".health" until such time as following broad-based consultation of the
health community, including the public and private sectors, adequate
baseline conditions for its operation are elaborated and their
implementation and observance can be ensured. 


Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary

Medicus Mundi International Network

Murbacherstrasse 34, CH-4013 Basel

Phone +41 (61) 383 18 11 (MON-WED)

 <mailto:schwarz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> schwarz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 <http://www.medicusmundi.org/> www.medicusmundi.org


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