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[alac] [Fwd: Emergency resolution on .xxx recall - and the destruction of ICANN's integrity]

  • To: ALAC <alac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [alac] [Fwd: Emergency resolution on .xxx recall - and the destruction of ICANN's integrity]
  • From: Bret Fausett <bfausett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 09:57:58 -0700


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Emergency resolution on .xxx recall - and the destruction of ICANN's integrity
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 10:32:19 -0400
From: Milton Mueller <Mueller@xxxxxxx>
To: <NCUC-DISCUSS@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
CC: <iza@xxxxxxx>,<vb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <fausett@xxxxxxxxxxx>, <governance@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Many of us have warned for years that the US's unilateral political
power over ICANN was a problem. Too many people didn't listen. Now that
power is being displayed and used in a way that even the most abject
apologists for the system cannot deny.

Over the weekend ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee transmitted a
letter asking ICANN to reverse its decision to approve the .xxx TLD. A
letter from the US Commerce Dept supporting that request has also been
filed. http://www.icann.org/correspondence/gallagher-to-cerf-15aug05.pdf

I believe it is essential that NCUC, ALAC and WSIS civil society join
together in a resolution or letter to ICANN, its GAC and the US Commerce
department expressing concern over and opposition to the GAC's attempt
to reverse the .xxx delegation.

What is at stake here is the very model of the Internet as a private
sector and civil society-driven institution, and as an INTERNATIONAL
institution. This is not about .xxx per se. (although it should be noted
that all .xxx proposes to do is openly and accurately identify porn on
the Internet, which is in every legitimate user's interest.  The
creation of a .xxx TLD does not CREATE pornography, which we all know is
already out there.)

The decision by the US to exercise in an unambiguous way its unilateral
power over ICANN has been made in a surprising context. But I have
checked the facts and there is no doubt about it. The US Commerce
Department's Deputy Secretary David A. Sampson, confirmed by the Senate
July 22, is responsible for the sudden decision of the US to support the
GAC's attack on ICANN's delegation process. Sampson was influenced by
the Family Research Council, a culturally conservative religious group
in the US, which made it an issue. Sampson is a graduate of David
Lipscomb University , the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and
earned his doctorate at Abilene Christian University.

ICANN participants must stand up for the integrity of the institution
as a global, legitimate policy making system. One government cannot be
given an arbitrary and unlimited power to reverse the result of a
decision making process that has gone on for five years and consumed
millions of dollars in resources, just because a domestic political
constituency doesn't like the result.

If this recall is allowed to go forward unchallenged, governments will
have asserted and gained a form of arbitrary power over the Internet at
its very core. ICANN's often flawed attempt to be a bottom-up
organization will be completely defeated, forever. This is a very
important issue. It is essential for ALAC, NCUC and other civil society
actors to unite on this.

I will be drafting a proposed short resolution. I hope to transmit it
to these lists soon.

Dr. Milton Mueller Syracuse University School of Information Studies http://www.digital-convergence.org http://www.internetgovernance.org

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