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Username: rachelmacgregor
Date/Time: Sat, October 20, 2001 at 10:54 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: Big Business has no right to annex the Internet


Further to what I've just said, I'd argue that it is in the interest of the world community and the internet community to encourage the proliferation of small sites developed by individuals or small groups, rather than the annexing of high-traffic domain names to create monolithic structures built around global business leaders.

Of course, this proliferation can take place in the hidden recesses of free web-space, but it is a good thing if small players are able to have their share of high-traffic sites through the exploitation of popular, familiar or generic names.

The future of the internet should be about diversity, it should be about freedom, it should be about minimal control, it should be about information... the information that springs from millions of ordinary people.

The future of the Internet should resist the reduction of a spontaneous network to a new kind of business empire seeking to "USE" Internet communities just for profit.

Making profit is of course legitimate, but the prevailing dynamic and motive behind the Internet should be a semi-anarchic free information/opinion exchange. This emphasis on information, rather than profit-making, should persuade those who steer its future that judgements should be made in FAVOUR of bona fide individuals exercising their right to develop THEIR little corner of the Internet...

...the Internet should not just decline into a grey monolithic shopping mall, with domain names becoming effectively Trademarks or Trademarked...

The internet is for the people of this world to communicate and exchange information. Yes, to do business too...

But Big Business does not and MUST not own the Internet. Trying to annex parts of it, by making Trademark claims, in my opinion abuses the system.

The Internet belongs to the people and the Internet belongs to the world.

I believe there is a STRONG case for a PARLIAMENT of Internet users, democratically elected, to whom ICANN or a replacement organisation should be made fully accountable.

I believe a PARLIAMENT of Internet users representing the whole world would insist on ICANN taking open, accountable actions and decisions - and would insist on asking awkward questions and demanding a COMPLETE disassociation of ICANN from those companies (such as registrars) who can so easily create conflicts of interest in the decision-making processes (because their primary interest is usually profit, NOT what is best for the whole internet community)

I admit the creation of a WORLD Internet-Users Parliament would be complex to construct but I do not think it is impossible (when you consider other International Organisations)

Because ICANN in my opinion lacks sufficient accountability, I feel that they should be made answerable to the WHOLE internet community (and not just Congress or business or fellow-registrars etc)

I await your laughter, derision, and the practical destruction of this daydream!!! Or could it actually happen, in some form...?

One thing is for sure : I don't believe ICANN is sufficiently representative or accountable to do the job properly.

Its staggering silent appeasement of Afilias in recent months is an illustration of how genuine internet users (like the honest Landrush customers) can be abandoned.

A parliament or representative body would have said : "Hey! No way! The people of the internet must come first, not those who abuse the community in pursuit of profit!"        


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