Re: [soac-mapo] Is selective blocking by local governments really a problem?
- To: Robin Gross <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: [soac-mapo] Is selective blocking by local governments really a problem?
- From: Carlton Samuels <carlton.samuels@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 08:59:02 -0500
On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 7:53 PM, Robin Gross <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> If there is any censoring of tlds to be done, it needs to be done by those
> with political accountability for that decision: governments. It needs to
> be done by those with appropriate legal mechanisms to protect a variety of
> rights: governments.
> ICANN is poorly situated to undertake doing the "dirty work" of censoring
> tlds in the (perhaps honorable) mission of "protecting sensitivities".
> Sorry, but GAC's request that ICANN protect "sensitivities" of this long
> list of hot-button issues is asking for the moon. It invites ICANN to get
> in the middle of a myriad of legal, political, religious, linguistic, &
> cultural battles in a way that harms ICANN's ability to focus on its
> technical mission, to govern legitimately and to protect itself legally. I
> don't think it is a fair request for ICANN to be put in the position of
> protecting these "sensitivities". That is a role for local governments and
> one which they will continue to hold regardless of ICANN policy. Govts have
> tools at their disposal like local laws (and jails) that protect their
> individual cultural, religious, etc. "sensitivities". They don't need a
> global ban on a tld to do that. It is an over-reach that ICANN would be
> wise to resist.
> On Aug 30, 2010, at 4:31 PM, Antony Van Couvering wrote:
> Bertrand - you are correct that we are talking about blocking a whole TLD
> -- sort of.
> My point was not that we should decide what gets blocked, but that every
> community decides on their own what to block -- including entire TLDs.
> I remember several years ago that .nu, .to and others were blocked because
> some ISP, somewhere, decided that they were originators of spam. So whole
> classes of people were not able to access those TLDs. This was corrected
> because enough users complained, and because this community (the U.S.) did
> not want to block at TLD wholesale. But I am told that today entire TLDs
> are blocked.
> I re-iterate that the entire idea of .XXX is to allow communities who don't
> want to see X-rated materials -- or whose community leaders have decided
> that they shouldn't. So this is not a new concept.
> It may be far more dangerous to set the precedent of disallowing gTLDs at
> the ICANN level than it is to let communities decide to do it on their own,
> however wrong-headed we think they may be. The goal of universal
> interoperability is always going to be something just out of reach because
> various controls -- whether they are governmental or just parental -- are
> always going to be imposed by those whose position it is to decide what
> other people should have access to. This is a problem -- to the extent
> that is a problem -- of politics, not of the Internet.
> I believe it would be much wiser of ICANN to divest themselves of the
> censorship function and let those who are willing to face the opprobrium of
> the rest of the world implement it as they see fit -- or not.
> On Aug 30, 2010, at 3:49 PM, Bertrand de La Chapelle wrote:
> Just one quick point before I get to bed :
> Let's be careful : we are talking about restricting access to a whole Top
> Level domain, not about restrictions at a more granular level. Examples of
> blocking of individual content is not pertinent here. So far, there are very
> rare exceptions (I actually only heard of one case and in very few
> countries) where a whole TLD among the 270 or so is being blocked.
> This distinction must be kept in mind. With the notion of granularity : any
> blocking should ideally be done at the lowest granular level (ie : a single
> content on YouTube rather than the whole YouTube site). This is why there is
> some concern if we end up with a proliferation of TLDs that would be blocked
> at that level.
> The question is how can we limit those cases without infringing upon
> broader rights (Freedom of expression, but I would also say Freedom of
> association, which in many cases could be considered even more relevant).
> On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 12:27 AM, Michele Neylon :: Blacknight <
> michele@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On 30 Aug 2010, at 21:58, Antony Van Couvering wrote:
>> > What's the conflict between varying degrees of permissiveness and the
>> principle of the single, interoperable web?
>> > At first glance it seems intractable. If the lowest common denominator
>> is used, so that the entire world will see only what the least permissive
>> society allows, then as Avri points out it would intolerable for most of us.
>> On the other hand, If local communities are not allowed to block what they
>> deem offensive (e.g., much of the Internet, in the UAE's case), they will go
>> off and create another Internet according to their standards, and the
>> unified root remains an ideal but is no longer a reality. To me, this has
>> always seemed to be the biggest conceptual hurdle.
>> > But the problem may not be so great. While Evan's litany of what the
>> UAE censors block is shocking to many of us, we should consider that there
>> are plenty of instances in the "west" where we are not allowed to see
>> certain content. This includes financial information of others, medical
>> records, anything behind a paywall, anything that requires a password that
>> you don't have. In some hotels and airline lounges, you can connect to the
>> Internet, but only browse the company site until the staff gives you a code.
>> This is not what the UAE blocks (though they might block this as well),
>> but they are nonetheless limitations on our ability to use the Internet.
>> There are many such examples.
>> I could add a few others ..
>> Schools and educational institutions in Ireland impose limitations on what
>> students can access.
>> A lot of businesses restrict what their staff can access
>> And the entire filtering debate is kicking off again over here .. ..
>> > In each case, you have a local community allowing some content and
>> disallowing other content, for reasons of policy, morality, property,
>> privacy and so on. And yet we still have a unified root and we still have
>> national laws and customs. Local communities must (and do) have the right
>> and ability to some or all users from viewing certain content. Everyone
>> does it, for the reasons that appear right to them.
>> > From this perspective, what we ought then to consider in our group is
>> not what may be sensitive or not, but rather what rises to the level where
>> the very existence of the top-level domain causes damage to a large number
>> of people. There are obvious examples of such TLDs. For example, the mere
>> fact of a TLD whose name mocks or incites violence against some group of
>> people is very likely to be intolerable to the targeted group. This, I
>> think, is a legitimate reason for blocking a TLD application. If the TLD
>> name isn't in itself deeply offensive, then we're talking about content
>> within the TLD, and at that point it's up to local authorities, and
>> individuals who use the Internet, to block content that they find offensive.
>> That blocked content might even include an entire TLD -- which is kind of
>> the premise upon which .XXX was built.
>> > This is definitely not the venue for deciding what value system is
>> superior. Every society blocks some content, so far without great harm to
>> the Internet. So my suggestion is that for the purposes of this group,
>> which is dedicated to considering questions of morality, is that we forget
>> about what content the TLD is likely to have (a guess at best), and
>> concentrate only on the name itself. I think it will make our task much
>> > Antony
>> Mr Michele Neylon
>> Blacknight Solutions
>> Hosting & Colocation, Brand Protection
>> ICANN Accredited Registrar
>> Intl. +353 (0) 59 9183072
>> US: 213-233-1612
>> UK: 0844 484 9361
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>> Twitter: http://twitter.com/mneylon
>> Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd, Unit 12A,Barrowside Business
>> Road,Graiguecullen,Carlow,Ireland Company No.: 370845
> Bertrand de La Chapelle
> Délégué Spécial pour la Société de l'Information / Special Envoy for the
> Information Society
> Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes/ French Ministry of
> Foreign and European Affairs
> Tel : +33 (0)6 11 88 33 32
> "Le plus beau métier des hommes, c'est d'unir les hommes" Antoine de Saint
> ("there is no greater mission for humans than uniting humans")
> IP JUSTICE
> Robin Gross, Executive Director
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