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

Antony Van Couvering avc at avc.vc
Mon Mar 14 00:00:07 UTC 2022

Minor diplomacy? If only. 

They won’t even issue a statement. It’s so bad that the very same governments that voted in the UN to condemn Russia’s attack won’t say anything in the GAC. Why? Apparently everyone involved in ICANN has been eaten by the false logic of self-perpetuation. As you note, the irony is that this craven evasion of responsibility will do more to show why ICANN should be scrapped or reformed or ignored than anything any of its enemies could have dreamt up. 

ICANN / IANA / ISOC, with the millions handed to them annually by the users of the internet, do nothing to protect those users. They won't address the cataclysmic event happening in the world right now, except to wring their hands for a bit, offer lame regrets, then get back to important things like picking the new board members to be anointed by the undemocratic Nom-Com, or figuring out how to sell .ORG to private equity firms.  

Thermobaric munitions and cluster bombs are being used today against defenseless civilians. 

Meanwhile we asked to cheer ICANN and IANA for making sure that that ordinary Russians internet users can continue to play online video games and post photos of their cats without interruption. 

> On Mar 13, 2022, at 4:03 PM, Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 13, 2022 at 2:12 PM Antony Van Couvering via At-Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto: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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