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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: "Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam" <ykwankam@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 07:09:53 +0200

The International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) believes that 
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.


The ISfTeH is a federation of national professional societies in 45 countries 
with a footprint in over 80 countries around the globe. Our members are the 
professionals on the ground who, in the soirit of target 18 of the MDGs, bring 
the benefits of the Internet to support improve the health people in their 
countries. 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.


Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam, PhD | Executive Director, International Scoiety for 
Telemedicine and eHealth ISfTeH)
Chemin des Champs-Blancs 94 | 1279 Chavannes-de-Bogis, Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 796 6238 | Cell: +41 79 369 0998 | Web: www.isfteh.org

The ISfTeH (International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth) exists to 
facilitate the international dissemination of knowledge and experience in 
Telemedicine and eHealth and to provide access to recognized experts in the 
field worldwide.


ISfTeH is an NGO in Official Relations with WHO

Office of the Executive Director

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