New gTLD Board Committee Consideration of GAC Safeguard Advice - particular focus on ".health"
Dear Madam, Sir,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. We believe it to be necessary for ICANN to take into account the opinions of professional organisations, NGOs and governments. 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. Health On the Net Foundation (HON.ch), an international NGO, with 8'000+ health websites members of the HONcode in 102 countries, believes 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.
Thank you very much for your consideration. Kind regards CéliaBOYER Executive Director -- ______________________________________________________ CéliaBOYER Executive Director *H*ealth *O*n the *N*et Foundation NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Tél: +41 22 3726250 - Fax: +41 22 3728885 - Web: http://www.HealthOnNet.org CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:The information in this email is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy this message and notify us immediately. Any disclosure, copying or distribution of this message is prohibited and may be unlawful. Email may be susceptible to data corruption, delay, interception and unauthorized amendment and HON does not accept liability for any such corruption, delay, interception or amendment or their consequences. Anyone who communicates with HON by email is taken to accept the risks in so doing. Although reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure no viruses are present in this email, HON cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email or attachments.