New gTLD Board Committee Consideration of GAC Safeguard Advice - ".health"
The health Internet is an important 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 recommend to pay attention the concerns expressed by the GAC, and 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. 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 is likely to 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 the global federation of National Medical Associations 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 Initial 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. Dr. Otmar Kloiber Secretary General World Medical Association, Inc. 13 chemin du Levant Bâtiment A 01210 Ferney-Voltaire, France ph: +33 450 40 75 75 Fax: +33 450 40 59 37 E-mail: wma@xxxxxxx WEB: www.wma.net The World Medical Association (WMA) is the global federation of National Medical Associations representing the millions of physicians worldwide. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavors to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related human rights for all people.