[ALAC] Proposed statement of the ALAC regarding the current situation in Egypt

Jean-Jacques Subrenat jjs.global at gmail.com
Wed Feb 2 05:11:00 UTC 2011

Dear Olivier,
- the reasons for keeping a low profile are understandable. And as fiduciary responsibility in ICANN rests with its Board, it is appropriate that the CEO make a statement, as he has done. Don't expect a line from the Board.
- The ISOC approach is efficient: by giving an in-depth analysis of the situation, by clarifying its ramifications and consequences, it allows the reader to understand that the blame for the Internet shutdown rests with public authority in Egypt. I therefore agree with your suggestion that we support the ISOC statement.
- Let me express a different (and no doubt minority) view: as ALAC represents not the corporation, but the users worldwide, it can voice the concerns of that global community. We are also not the GAC, where consensus is required for the change of even a comma. The ICANN Bylaws simply state " The role of the At-Large Advisory Committee ("ALAC") shall be to consider and provide advice on the activities of ICANN, insofar as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users". So, if stronger language were required/warranted, ALAC could, IMO, at least express "deep concern". After all, the closure of the Internet in Egypt is the consequence not of a technical problem, but of a clear political decision taken after the changes brought about in Tunisia, not least thanks to the global infrastructure of the Internet. My suggestion if for you, as ALAC Chair, to seek the opinion of the affected geographic RALO, and unless there is an objection from that quarter, we could then issue a statement
	- quoting the part of our Bylaws reflecting "the interests of individual internet users";
	- expressing the deep concern of the ALAC, as the entity representing individual users, that the closing down of the Internet by public authority in Egypt has deprived the vast majority of its population of an essential infrastructure;
	- point at the ISOC statement, and support it.
- As mentioned above, if your draft has the preference of our colleagues, I will support it. Just a small drafting suggestion: delete "ordinary", as the expression "the Internet user" is inclusive.

Le 1 févr. 2011 à 15:21, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond a écrit :

> Dear all,
> sustained discussions have recently taken place on one of the RALO
> lists, whether the ALAC should comment on the current political
> situation in Egypt, focussing in particular on the suspension of
> Internet service in the country. I have personally monitored the
> discussion and members of the ALAC ExCom have held daily discussions
> about the matter. I have also discussed the possibility of a statement
> with other constituency Chairs and some Board members.
> Rod Beckstrom has published a Blog post on:
> http://blog.icann.org/2011/01/status-report-on-the-dns-in-egypt/
> He has steered away from making any kind of political statement, and I
> suspect that this was for a reason.
> Egypt's GAC representative is Ms. Manal Ismail. She works for the
> Telecom Regulation Authority (TRA) - but their Internet is cut too.
> The ccNSO representative is EGregistry.eg - and they are cut from the
> Internet as well.
> The ICANN manager for relations in the Middle East, Mr. Baher Esmat, is
> also based in Cairo - and he's also off-line.
> Many more participants in ICANN Supporting Organisations and Advisory
> Committees, including ICANN fellows are also based in Egypt.
> I have managed to speak to a couple of my own friends in Cairo. They
> explained that, like all Egyptians, they are worried about the security
> situation, their own personal security included. This is particularly
> important.
> Whilst I understand that the current action by Egypt breaks ICANN's Core
> Value #1, it is my firm view that any statement might bring more harm
> that good to ICANN and its friends at the present moment, if it is not
> crafted with caution. This is a complex political situation which
> surpasses ICANN's sphere of influence, and I should seriously recommend
> that ALAC keeps a low profile about this because of the political
> implications for our friends on the ground.
> That said, the Internet Society has released a Q&A document focussing
> primarily on the technical implications of the shut-down of Internet
> services in Egypt. It is very useful, and I propose that for the time
> being, we support this Q&A and point our members to it.
> I am therefore asking the ALAC to endorse the following statement in an
> accelerated vote and procedure:
> --- cut here ---
> Statement of the ALAC regarding current situation in Egypt
> The ALAC is concerned by the impact of developments in Egypt on the
> ordinary Internet user. In the light of ICANN's responsibility for IP
> address  and AS number policy, and its core value of 'preserving and
> enhancing the operational stability, reliability, security, and global
> interoperability of the Internet', we endorse the ISOC statement and Q&A
> as expressed at http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3100
> Signed: The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
> --- cut here ---
> I hope that this will receive support and in this case, Heidi will
> swiftly follow-up with regards to voting procedures.
> In the meantime, and until the situation on the ground gets resolved, we
> wish all the Best to our Egyptian friends in this time of troubled
> politics in their country.
> Best regards,
> Olivier Crepin-Leblond
> ALAC Chair
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