[governance] NTIA says ICANN "does not meet the requirements" for IANA renewal

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sat Mar 10 20:28:20 EST 2012

Michael and Matthias
Both of you are not that close to the context, and thus may not understand what is really going on here. The governments' (USG's, on behalf of the GAC) attempt to insert "public interest" language into the IANA contract is an extremely hostile threat to freedom and to multistakeholder policy making. The object of the "public interest" standard is to give basically any government, or any group of governments, the ability to object to and veto any new top level domain addition they don't like. It also gives the trademark lobby a chance to lobby NTIA against any new domains they don't like - even if they meet all of ICANN's stated criteria and policies.

ICANN's original "morality and public order" objection process was an attempt to tie new TLD vetos to established international law. The GAC, led by an insistent US government (and supported by such "progressive" democracies as India) rejected a law-based process and also rejected an attempt to reach a compromise consensus by participating on equal terms with civil society and the private sector in the policy making process. What they want, instead, is the ability to unilaterally object to anything they don't like. It could be .gay, it could be .xxx, it could be ANYTHING. That is they point. They want a blank check, they want an "I know it when I see it" kind of standard. They don't want to be bound by law, because they know there are international human rights standards that make it illegal for some countries to suppress expression unless it's actually illegal.

The other source of the "public interest" standard is the trademark lobby, which really wants there to be no new gTLDs at all. Finding themselves unable to even pretend to find consensus on that, they would like to introduce a circuit-breaker into the new gTLD approval process. They want, in other words, to add a new layer of politicization to what is supposed to be a mechanical process by which IANA simply ascertains that a new gTLD approved by ICANN actually was approved by ICANN. Instead of that, IANA conducting a public interest test would allow all kinds of quiet, insider lobbying to go on in an attempt to block a TLD.

Don't be fooled. It takes more than invoking the words "public interest" to do things that are actually in the public interest.

From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of michael gurstein
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 5:17 PM
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Subject: RE: [governance] NTIA says ICANN "does not meet the requirements" for IANA renewal

I think from a civil society perspective the "formal" use of the terminology of a "global public interest" is enormously important and defining, operationalizing, and "owning" this terminology should be the primary focus of civil society involvement in the IGF going forward.


 -----Original Message-----
From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org> [mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org]<mailto:[mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org]> On Behalf Of Matthias C. Kettemann
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 2:01 PM
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
Subject: Re: [governance] NTIA says ICANN "does not meet the requirements" for IANA renewal
I have done a bit of thinking and writing about what the NTIA decision tells us about Internet Governance and the multi-stakeholder approach.

In brief: Is the NTIA decision a good thing for multistakeholderbased human rights-sensitive Internet Governance?

It is, if it leads to more accountability in the next application of ICANN, which is sure to follow.
It isn't, if it leads to more governmental oversight in defining the global public interest vis-a-vis the web.

For more details, see http://goo.gl/d5GI8


Am 10.03.2012 22:32, schrieb Karl Auerbach:

On 03/10/2012 11:12 AM, michael gurstein wrote:

Perhaps the next IGF should have some sessions focusing on the nature of,

and a definition for "the global public interest".

Might I suggest the following as a starting point?

+ Every person shall be free to use the Internet in any way

  that is privately beneficial without being publicly


   - The burden of demonstrating public detriment shall

     be on those who wish to prevent the private use.

       - Such a demonstration shall require clear and

         convincing evidence of public detriment.

   - The public detriment must be of such degree and extent

     as to justify the suppression of the private activity.

This is from http://www.cavebear.com/cbblog-archives/000059.html


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.igcaucus.org/pipermail/governance/attachments/20120311/cf0aefb6/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
You received this message as a subscriber on the list:
     governance at lists.igcaucus.org
To be removed from the list, visit:

For all other list information and functions, see:
To edit your profile and to find the IGC's charter, see:

Translate this email: http://translate.google.com/translate_t

More information about the Governance mailing list