On behalf of the International Association of Top Level
Domains (IATLD), I will comment on the ICANN/ccTLD Status Quo Agreement.
the IATLD supports the effort and the essential drift and substance of this paper.
We also appreciate the effort that the ICANN staff has continued to devote to the
ccTLD delegation/redelegation issue, and their facilitating role in this difficult
area. Nonetheless, we find there to be major flaw in this Agreement, which
will be the subject of this brief comment:
Agreement 3 says: "Relations with Government.
In accord with paragraph 2 above, [name of ccTLD organization] agrees that, in the
event ICANN adopts policies dealing with the relationship between ccTLD managers
and relevant governments or public authorities, [name of ccTLD organization] will
promptly comply with such policies. [name of ccTLD organization] agrees that failure
to comply with such policies would constitute a breach of this Agreement that could
result in a change in delegation for the [insert country code] ccTLD."
is concerned that "government involvement", which we support, may be transformed
into "arbitrary government control", which we do not support. ICANN itself
is an example of the principle of non-governmental self-regulation, as required by
the White Paper. There are methods (again ICANN is a good example) to work
with governments that do not imply an authoritarian rule, but rather a working partnership.
The ccTLD Constituency of the DNSO has labored intensively during the last few months
to produce the kind of self-regulated environment, with much deference to the wishes
of governments and other important elements of a local internet community, that will
prove to be workable and sustainable, and which will continue to foster the innovative
work of ccTLDs without losing sight of their important responsibilities to the local
and global Internet communities.
However, in light of the fact that radical proposals
have been put forward at ICANN meeting, which would delegate large portions of ICANN/IANA's
current responsibilities to national or territorial governments; and given that these
governments propose to vest themselves with unilateral and unchecked executive powers,
without appeal, even to ICANN; and given that such proposals have elicited favorable
though not wholly educated words of praise from the ICANN Board, the IATLD cannot
support this portion of the Agreement.
We believe that the ICANN Board
should table discussions of formulating policies with regard to ccTLDs and governmental
authority - which in any case should pass through the DNSO for full discussion there
- until the current proposals being considered by the ccTLD constituency, with input
from the IP constituency and other
parties, has run its course, a matter of months
at the outside. Furthermore, the ccTLD constituency has and will continue to
work with the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN to find compromise where compromise
is possible, and to identify areas of agreement and disagreement.
such efforts have been given a chance, we view any agreement which seeks to bind
the signing parties to as-yet unformulated and unseen policies as premature and harmful.
P.S. You may view the current drafts of the ccTLD
Constituency's Best Practices document, and the Redelegation document, at http://www.cctld-drafting.org/indexb.html.