Comments to US Government on Review of Joint Project Agreement with ICANN by Robin Gross

By |February 15th, 2008|

"...In my view, given the international nature of the Internet, it is imperative that ICANN work toward moving away from oversight by a single nation and toward responding to the needs of the global Internet community. However, ICANN has yet to demonstrate that it has sufficiently evolved to the point that it should be left without any oversight and accountability, although it has made some progress in recent years. There remain significant problems with the existing structure and management of ICANN that must be resolved before ICANN can be left to itself to manage this crucial and shared public resource. In particular, “Internet users” (or the public-at-large) still remain outside of the ICANN decision-making process, such that the concerns of individuals, who have no “business” stake in ICANN policy are not adequately taken into account. ICANN continues to be dominated by large business interests and by specific commercial interests involved in providing Internet services...."

ICANN Not Yet Ready to Sever Ties to US Government

By |February 15th, 2008|

ICANN argues that it should be cut-lose from the only oversight it currently knows in the ongoing debate over who governs Cyberspace. I submitted my statement from the 31st public ICANN Meeting at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi, India. I said that ICANN has not provided for sufficient representation of Internet users in its policy making process, nor has it committed to respecting human rights in Cyberspace, although it has made progress to become more international....

IP Justice Statement on “GNSO Improvements” at ICANN

By |November 5th, 2007|

ICANN’s Board Governance Committee Report (BGC), in attempting to achieve the laudable result of greater inclusiveness, effectiveness, and efficiency conceives a near total restructuring of the GNSO and its processes. It proceeds from an assumption that any voting inherently inhibits the process and proceeds to find the most dramatic route to eliminate any vote. While many of the BGC Report’s recommendations would certainly improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, the report does not adequately consider the values inherent in the vote of the GNSO Council and the dangers of forcing consensus in all cases....

EPIC & NGO Letter to ICANN Board on Need for Whois Reform

By |October 30th, 2007|

"The purpose of this letter is to express our support for changes to WHOIS services that would protect the privacy of individuals, specifically the removal of registrants' contact information from the publicly accessible WHOIS database. It is also to propose a sensible resolution to the long-running discussion over WHOIS that would establish a bit of "policy stability" and allow the various constituencies to move on to other work. Both the WHOIS Task Force and the WHOIS Working Group agree that new mechanisms must be adopted to address an individual's right to privacy and the protection of his/her data. Current ICANN WHOIS policy conflicts with national privacy laws, including the EU Data Protection Directive, which requires the establishment of a legal framework to ensure that when personal information is collected, it is used only for its intended purpose. As personal information in the directory is used for other purposes and ICANN's policy keeps the information public and anonymously accessible, the database could be found illegal according to many national privacy and data protection laws including the European Data Protection Directive, European data protection laws and legislation in Canada and Australia...."

IP Justice Comments on GNSO’s New GTLD Committee Recommendations: Proposal Would Create a Private Tyranny of Illegal Censorship and Illegitimate Authority at ICANN

By |August 30th, 2007|

"IP Justice supports the introduction of new generic top-level Internet domain names as quickly and as broadly as possible. However, we are deeply concerned about recommendations put forth by the GNSO New GTLD Committee (and ICANN) for evaluating applications will stifle free expression on the Internet. The recommendations would create a policy of censorship on the Internet where controversial and offensive ideas can be banned at the top-level, despite numerous longstanding national and international freedom of expression guarantees. The illegitimate system of governance proposed by the recommendations violates the sovereignty of nations and the civil rights of Internet users. ICANN usurps the rights of states to decide what ideas may be expressed within their borders and who is entitled to express them. ICANN and its proposed expert panels have no legal authority to decide what ideas people may express. Nor does ICANN or its experts have any legitimacy or authority to adjudicate competing legal rights. The proposal makes a mockery of democracy, since these structures exist entirely outside of legitimate lawmaking institutions ..."