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[I-coordination] A different model
Milton L Mueller
mueller at syr.edu
Thu Dec 12 04:47:56 CET 2013
It's worth pointing out that the argument you are making has undergone a significant shift.
At first, you were agreeing with someone who argued that ICANN should "ban the G [governance] word and separate the two discussions."
The 2 discussions to be separated were those pertaining to 1) technical management of the Internet and 2) those pertaining to regulation of conduct on the Internet.
I then pointed out that the two are linked, and used Whois as an example.
You responded by telling us how important Whois is to your efforts to fight against "spammers and other criminals." In other words, you confirmed my argument that ICANN policies regarding the administration of DNS have significant implications for regulating conduct on the Internet.
Now let's completely set aside for a moment any debate about the merits of current Whois policy. What makes your shift particularly interesting is that many in the ICANN world like to play both sides of the fence when it comes to Internet governance debates. When external forces are challenging the ICANN regime you claim that it is all 'technical management' and irrelevant to broader questions of IG. But inside the ICANN regime, you spare no effort to utilize ICANN's position to affect the policy and conduct issues that you care about.
From: i-coordination-bounces at nro.net [mailto:i-coordination-bounces at nro.net] On Behalf Of Bob Bruen
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:45 PM
To: Brian E Carpenter; I-coordination at nro.net
Subject: Re: [I-coordination] A different model
On Wed, 11 Dec 2013, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> founded in US jurisdiction (rather than CH which was my preferred
>> option at the time, or NL which others proposed). But all the same,
>> USG influence has been more threatened that real.
> This is a false claim that people (especially those not that closely
> involved with ICANN decision making or not policy experts) keep
> repeating. USG influence over the policy direction of ICANN was
> massive until 2009, and has been somewhat diminished since. USG has
> consistently pushed ICANN in various directions, some of which you may
> like, others you may not like, but anyone familiar with the actual
> discussions and negotiations between ICANN, Verisign and NTIA, and
> with the perennial U.S. Congressional hearings that various lobbyists
> invoke, would never say the US tether to ICANN makes no difference.
> And as anyone in politics and military strategy knows, threats can be
> as effective as action if your goal is to preclude certain paths from being taken.
No one said there was zero inflence, but much of the criticism is
hyperbolic because of the dislike of the US government.
I think "massive" is hyperbolic.
> Of course, calling attention to US influence should _not_ be equated
> with a belief that adding 192 other governments would make things
> better. I am a consistent advocate of self-governance by the Internet
> polity, and thus believe that no national governments should be
> calling the shots here.
I agree and I think this is important.
> ICANN's control of DNS root gives it the power to "license" registries
> (via a Registry Agreement) and registrars (via the RAA). These
> contracts are then used to impose practices on registries that are
> designed to control not only their own conduct and certain aspects of
> industry economics, but the conduct of their users as well. Simple example:
> ICANN's RAA requires accredited registrars to make Whois data public
> (any privacy issues here?) and to use the UDRP and numerous other
> trademark rights protection mechanisms (trademark regulation with
> implications for freedom of expression). I could go on, endlessly, as
> someone with 15 years of experience with this regime. But I won't ;-)
ICANN does not enforce the RAA, except when it comes to money. The
whois issue is a really important one. I have been part of an effort to
use whois data as a mechanism for shutting down spammers and other
criminals for years. ICANN is protecting the registrars from having to
actually make the data accurate.
As far as privacy is concerned, no money making organization deserves
privacy in the whois data. They already are public, generally through
being licensed by a government at some level. Indivivuals are another
Perhaps it would have been better if .com and .org had continued the
original restriction of who could domain names, instead of opening them
up to everyone.
>> The best thing the IGF (and the Brazil meeting) could do is ban the G
>> word and separate the two discussions.
> Ain't gonna happen. For better or worse.
For worse. And it will cause problems as we move along.
Dr. Robert Bruen
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