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CyberSafety Charter

  • To: cyber-safety-petition@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: CyberSafety Charter
  • From: Watson Ladd <watsonbladd@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 21:40:48 -0400

To whom it may concern:
I oppose the formation of the CyberSafety Constituency within the ICANN
because it extends beyond the remit of ICANN, would be making public
policy without the involvement of the public, and because it would be a
forum for attacks on fundamental human rights. ICANN is primarily a
technical body with partial responsibility for Internet governance.
However, the RFC Editor has already addressed the issue of illegal
activity in RFC 3514. While RFC 3514 is not yet implemented its
existence demonstrates that the particular task at hand is being
addressed outside of ICANN. To avoid reduplication of effort the CSC
should not be formed within  ICANN.

Secondly the question of how to deal with undesirable data is a public
policy question, which should be addressed in the forums set up for that
purpose, namely governments.  Any solution will have real impacts on the
usefulness of the Internet for the general public. Given the recent
statements by R. Bellovin and Avenue Q that the "internet is for porn" I
conclude that consensus on the direction the CSC should take is very far
from existing.  Unless we have consensus on what the problem is we will
not have consensus on its solution.

Finally, all joking aside, censorship is a serious problem for millions
of people around the world. The right to free speech is enshrined in the
Universal Deceleration of Human Rights. I cannot say that the formation
of a body to regulate speech on the internet would be anything short of
a disaster for free speech. Furthermore to say that Leda and the Swan or
The Garden of Earthly Delights (very explicit paintings) should be
blocked is nothing short of a crime against art. Currently we should ask
how we can evade filters on the internet, not create new ones.

Watson Ladd

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