[ALAC] IGO names: is this worth war?

Seun Ojedeji seun.ojedeji at gmail.com
Tue Nov 1 12:45:49 UTC 2016

Hello Evan,

Thanks for bringing this up, reading through your comments and the
referenced article [while also nothing that I have not gone through the
references and there may be other details that the article may have left

I find your write-up and the article quite compelling. I personally wonder
why such a small group would be setup outside of the current PDP in the
first place, perhaps also the fact that Board member is participating makes
it more concerning (even though I sense Chris may be doing so based on
other hats).

Literary speaking I would also be on the side on GAC on this one; the
argument that "who" "for instance" is of interest just because it's a
dictionary word doesn't draw much water as i believe it has more to do with
the "WHO" brand IMO. That said, ICANN needs to remain sustainable, and
funds is significantly sourced from use of the TLDs. How does one then
strike a balance on "not killing creativity that comes from usage" and
"preventing abuse through non-usage" could be one of the puzzle around this.

Overall, it think it may be good to hear further details/briefing about
this from our GNSO liasion in other to make a more informed


Sent from my LG G4
Kindly excuse brevity and typos

On 1 Nov 2016 13:01, "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> As the Hyderabad meeting gets underway, we have a potential for a conflict
> that, according to some, is a source of utter panic and a critical-enough
> battle that it is worth threatening ICANN's stability... and people still
> haven't yet fully recovered from the transition and the Ted Cruz scare.
> I am speaking of the Governmental Advisory Commitee (GAC) wanting to
> reserve about 230 names and acronyms of inter-governmental organizations
>  (IGOs), and its threat to pull out of ICANN entirely and take its issues
> to the ITU Standardization Assembly.
> The whole story can be found in a post at DomainIncite
> <http://domainincite.com/21215-rant-governments-raise-yet-another-un-threat-to-icann>
> that contains both profanity and apocalyptic tones.
> At the threat of being an ICANN heretic (and it wouldn't be the first
> time), I'm on the side of the governments here.
> [ Disclosure: I currently work at an agency that would be among the
> protected IGOs. However I have been involved in this issue, at the ICANN
> working group level, for many years, and my position is no different now
> than it was then. ]
> While it is overkill to give a blanket ban on every IGO, I would rather
> give protection to a handful of organizations that don't need it, in return
> for protecting a number of organizations that would be critically impacted
> if their names were not protected. I am speaking specifically regarding
> organizations that do significant public fundraising in the public good --
> the Red Cross (+ Red Crescent, etc), UNICEF, UNHCR, and others
> I was involved when the issue first came up in 2011; there was a working
> group that was proposing to reserve names for the Red Cross and Olympics in
> all gTLDs. Most in the group were either all-for or all-against; I was
> split, opposing the Olympic reservations but strongly supporting
> reservations of any Red Cross related names or translations.
> I still believe that the ICRC needs protection more than the IOC, but
> given the choice of protecting both or protecting neither I would
> absolutely come down on the side of "both". *There most absolutely is a
> public interest in the reservation of names related to the Red Cross,
> United Nations and other IGOs, especially those that are engaged in public
> information or fundraising.*
> It matters far more to me that a scammer is prevented before-the-fact from
> registering "redcross-italy-earthquake.xyz" than that the domain industry
> is free to sell "UNDP.whatever" to a speculator. By the time a URS claim
> could be filed against the scammer and adjudicated, the damage is done and
> the scammer moves on.
> IMO it is not in the interest of the At-Large community to support the
> unfettered entitlement of the domain industry to sell whatever it wants
> without consideration of consequences. It is in our interests to keep the
> public from being harmed through the actions of the DNS. And, *on the
> balance*, this means that reserving the names of IGOs serves the public
> interest.
> The domain industry's main counter-argument is that it should be entitled
> to sell whatever it wants. It believes that that WHO, the acronym for the
> World Health Organization but also a dictionary word, should be fair game
> to be sold as a domain to an ageing rock band or anyone else.
> But I am concerned that a scammer -- or others with bad intent -- could
> use the WHO.something domain to present themselves as the World Health
> Organization and either present misinformation or engage in scamming
> fundraising. In a public-health context such misuse could have horrible
> aftermath.The harm to the domain community by blocking WHO.everything is
> less, IMO, than the harm to the public from letting that go to the highest
> bidder. (Of course the WHO is always within its ability to permit
> who.something to point to the rock band, etc)
> ​If the counter is that ICANN's MSM process does not allow for this kind
> of accommodation -- that the GNSO demands for wide open domains do not
> provide for this kind of exception -- then the process is broken. It must
> be remembered that -- pre-transition or post- -- ICANN is not itself an
> IGO. Sovereign states are not treaty-bound to honor GNSO policy decrees,
> they do so through trust and goodwill. If that goodwill is damaged then,
> ICANN will pay a heavy and possibly irreversible price.
> There are many good places to take a principled stand in support of the
> MSM and against dictatorial control of the DNS. But reserving IGO names is
> not one of those good places. As much as I abhor the reserving of the
> string "olympic", that speaks more to my personal belief in the corruption
> of the IOC than principled opposition to the concept.
> If the ALAC is consulted on this issue -- or if it considers issuing
> advice on its own initiative -- I simply ask that it asserts the point of
> view of the public interest, which is not always in selling the maximum
> number of domains for the maximum obtainable price.
> Thank you.
> Evan Leibovitch
> Toronto / Geneva
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