[At-Large] Ukraine, .RU, and internet governance

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sun Mar 13 23:03:09 UTC 2022

On Sun, Mar 13, 2022 at 2:12 PM Antony Van Couvering via At-Large <
at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> wrote:

> It’s appears that there is no appetite within this community to block .ru,
> or to do something substantive to help Ukraine in its hour of need, or even
> to say something about it. Finally, something that unites a normally
> fractious group.

It's worse than that. ICANN won't even take the very minor diplomatic steps
taken globally in every other sector that, while not cutting .RU out of the
root, would still help to enforce an isolation that in aggregate may help
bring the country to change its path. ICANN could deny registration of
Russian nationals to ICANN meetings or participation in ongoing policy
activities, or even take the miniscule step of refusing to subsidize their
travel. Hell, it still won't take action on the rogue .SU domain after all
these years. And ALAC is quite fine with such inaction, it's had plenty of
time to consider options to support community isolation while still keeping
the data flowing.

But here, in the mindset of all or nothing, both ICANN and ALAC have
actively chosen nothing. Pathetic.

Of course there is one more scenario that nobody here will like. As I like
to remind people, there is no international treaty governing ICANN and the
IANA "transition" was bullshit, so ICANN remains subject to US (and as we
saw in the case of .ORG, California) authority. It would not surprise me at
all if forcing ICANN to cut off Russia remains a back-pocket option of the
US State Department as an enhanced sanction (now that they've already cut
off Russian caviar). ICANN's refusal to do ANYTHING only encourages and
legitimizes such action, but its low external respect guarantees that
nobody outside the bubble will fight for it.

- Evan
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