[ALAC] IMPORTANT: US Senate hearings on new gTLDs

Omoba titi.akinsanmi at gmail.com
Fri Dec 9 04:50:08 UTC 2011

Good morning all and thanks Evan. 

1. It's interesting for me that ICANN would approach responding to a criticism of this nature without utilizing all of it's emerging strengths. Specifically ensuring that proof of it's albeit  not quite equal multi-stakeholder nature is evident in it's representations beyond documents. Reactionism hardly ever helps ones case. 
2.  This conversation even if happening within the US certainly is of a global nature and as such should certainly IMO, not be limited to representations from it's citizens alone. If indeed ICANN is to cease to be perceived as under the thumbs and will of the US government the approach of the hearings should certainly reflect that. Local concern but certainly of Global proportions in it's impact. We don't need another precedence setting that's hurts the system more that it helps even one entity within it. 
3. If no opportunity to speak exists  a statement indicating the presence of and position of ALAC should certainly be brought to the attention of the hearings and all. What would be useful would be historical documents tracing ALAC interventions in the development of and ensuring end user rights were/ and are being put into consideration. The level of expertise represented an brought to bear in the ALAC should also be emphasized. In particular a clear statement on issues such as misinformation by unscrupulous Internet consultants raising 'panic' on new TLDs should be indicated.
4. Our primary role as ALAC is not only inward to ICANN but increasingly more outward as info sharer, clarifiers and trusted sources of 'truth'. If the body we are a part of us as yet bit leveraging our potential we owe it to those we represent to move and let them play catch up. 

My few thoughts on a rainy Jozi morning. 


On 08 Dec 2011, at 10:11 PM, Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:

> Hello,
> I sent this first to the NARALO list because -- at least superficially --
> this is a US domestic event. I copied it here because -- let's face it --
> hearings about ICANN in the US government have potential consequences that
> go far beyond regional boundaries. If you have the time I think you'll find
> the video interesting.
> -------------------------
> This morning, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
> Transportation held a hearing on the ICANN new gTLD program.
> The web page describing the hearing, which includes a video of the entire
> 90-minute session, is at http://1.usa.gov/vzddPH
> I am told that it will soon be uploaded to the Committee's YouTube channel
> at http://www.youtube.com/user/SenateCommercePress
> Among the speakers are
>   - Kurt Pritz, ICANN VP
>   - Dan Jaffe of the Association of National Advertisers who is trying to
>   block the new gTLD program
>   - Fiona Alexander with the US NTIA
>   - Angela Williams of the US YMCA (speaking after deliberation with
>   ICANN's Non-Profit Organization Constituency)
>   - Esther Dyson, former ICANN Board member (and ALAC member from the
>   pre-RALO days when ALAC was all-appointed)
> It's VERY interesting listening. Kurt's message -- that adequate
> protections are in place in the program to deter large amounts of money
> spent on defensive registrations -- was not well received. In contrast, the
> committee heard about several instances -- in some cases by the Senators
> themselves -- who were the victims of cybersquatting and domain
> speculators. All other speakers were critical of the program and some were
> even asking if the US government has the authority to block the roll-out
> from happening in January as ICANN intends.
> Interesting note amongst the comments... many orgs have found themselves
> needing to buy defencive registrations in .XXX and are livid at the thought
> of having to do a bunch more for future TLDs. (For instance, Indiana
> University has purchased "hoosiers.xxx").
> Of note to us.... much was made by Kurt of the consensus between
> stakeholders. Dan shot that down in relation to business users and Angela
> said the NPOC wasn't allowed to become a real stakeholder group in time to
> have an impact on decisions already made. Esther made mention at the end
> that the real constituency not yet heard from (at least by the Senators)
> was the billions of Internet end users. Mention was made that the committee
> now needs to hear from them.
> This sounds like an opportunity to me.
> Now... I don't know if one has to be a US citizen to testify; if not the
> ALAC Chair or vice chairs (of which I am one) would all be good candidates
> and in fact the international character of ALAC sends a useful message IMO.
> But if the requirement is to be a US resident, I have complete and utter
> faith that NARALO's own leadership includes people (Beau, Ganesh, Eduardo)
> who could easily step into the role and do the community proud.
> Further to this, I would like to raise the issue as an agenda item on
> Monday's NARALO call and I would like us to consider letting the Committee
> know that there is indeed a group within ICANN that exists to provide the
> voice of Internet end-users,
> Thank you.
> - Evan
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