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Cyber safety

  • To: cyber-safety-petition@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Cyber safety
  • From: Steve Newell <newellista@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 16:41:36 -0600

On March 19, Scott Francis commented that there is no technical basis
for the CyberSafety proposed constituency and that it would only deal
with political issues, which are outside of ICANN’s purview

ICANN is primarily technological in nature, but the technological
decisions made in ICANN affect and shape all aspects of the Internet.
ICANN itself recognizes that.  On the ICANN website, the “About”
section states that: “ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet.
It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet.
But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it
does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the
Internet.” The NCUC has already recognized this impact and has made
several policy statements about how technological decisions at ICANN
affect free speech on the Internet. Certainly free speech is a
political, not technical issue.

ICANN shouldn’t get entrenched in strictly political issues, but it
must recognize the impact that “technical” decisions have on
“political,” issues. They are not so easy separated as Mr.
Francis makes them sound.  Ignoring the political ramifications of
technical decisions does not make them politically neutral. The
CyberSafety constituency can help make sure that those technical
decisions have as few negative effects as possible on children,
families, and other groups.

Steve Newell

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