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New CyberSafety Constituency Petition and Charter

  • To: cyber-safety-petition@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: New CyberSafety Constituency Petition and Charter
  • From: Bill Graham <graham@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2009 12:56:36 -0400

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. ISOC is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. The Internet Society has more than 80 organizational and more than 28,000 individual members in over 80 chapters around the world.

ISOC's activities are founded upon, and driven by, the following principles:

* Open, unencumbered, beneficial use of the Internet.

* Self-regulated content providers; no prior censorship of on-line communications.

* On-line free expression is not restricted by other indirect means such as excessively restrictive governmental or private controls over computer hardware or software, telecommunications infrastructure, or other essential components of the Internet.* Open forum for the development of standards and Internet technology.* No discrimination in use of the Internet on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.

* Personal information generated on the Internet is neither misused nor used by another without informed consent of the principal.

* Internet users may encrypt their communication and information without restriction.

* Encouragement of cooperation between networks: connectivity is its own reward; therefore network providers are rewarded by cooperating with each other.

In support of those principles, the Internet Society submits the following comments to the ICANN Board opposing formation of the new Cybersafety Constituency.

ISOC is a long-time supporter of ICANN and its open, bottom-up model of policy development. We believe this model is fundamental to the success of its operations as an Internet organization. For ICANN to continue its development, ISOC believes it is important that ICANN must not lose sight of its specific, focused technical mission and mandate.

It is clear from the Petition and Letter proposing to form the new Cybersafety Constituency that the intent of the constituency is to seek to control or regulate content on the Internet. ISOC is opposed to the proposal. If accepted, the introduction of this new constituency would lead ICANN into new policy areas that are inconsistent with its mandate and inappropriate for the organization, whether at the level of the GNSO or the ICANN Board. The issue of content control is not a new one for ICANN. It has arisen before, and it has proven to be divisive and damaging. For a detailed discussion of the legal, philosophical and technical issues involved, readers are referred to the IETF comment on the topic in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFC 3675 (“.sex Considered Dangerous,” D. Eastlake, 3 February 2004: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3675.txt).

By making these comments, ISOC does not take a position on the creation of the new GNSO Stakeholder Groups, a topic addressed in several of the other comments on the new Cybersafety Constituency Petition and Charter.

For further information, please contact:

Bill Graham

Global Strategic Engagement

The Internet Society

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