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

Javier Rua javrua at gmail.com
Mon Mar 14 21:15:26 UTC 2022

 Very constructive, thoughtful comment, @Antony. Thx

On Mon, Mar 14, 2022 at 5:12 PM Antony Van Couvering via At-Large <
at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> wrote:

> On Mar 14, 2022, at 06:48, Alan Levin <alan at futureperfect.co.za> wrote:
> >
> > I suggest that Antony and Evan and all the others that want to block
> Russia.... go and fight,
> In the fight against apartheid, did you suggest that all those against the
> racist state should fight or shut up?  It’s an unhelpful comment.
> I do not doubt the sincerity or good intentions of those with whom I
> disagree; I should have hoped that a discussion here would not devolve into
> personal attacks.
> I am not sure that blocking .RU is the answer, but I am certainly not
> satisfied with the reasons given not to do it, because they assume a world
> order that is in tatters and is unlikely to be reconstituted as before.
> Roberto suggests that we need to look at what the internet looks like
> after this is all over.  That is exactly right and from that perspective
> I’d like to offer a few thoughts.
> - When we think about what we want the internet to look like when this is
> all over, we should realize that it’s not going to be over for a LONG
> time.  It’s not as if we can convene a conference in the near future and
> calmly discuss the unfortunate incident in Ukraine as if it were a
> accident-prone road needing a few more lights and signs.  This war is going
> to get much more horrific; there is a non-zero chance that Putin will use
> battlefield nuclear weapons; and the Ukrainian people will continue a
> costly, bloody guerrilla war until they force the Russians to withdraw. So
> our new world order is going to be forged in fire, not at a collegial
> colloquium at a pleasant vacation resort. Every day we will be asked to
> confront hard choices. The real world is about to burst into our cosy
> conference room and it’s going to get messy.
> - Therefore, it will soon be impossible to be “apolitical” or “neutral” in
> the way it has been heretofore understood. Putin has made it so.
>  Supranational bodies will find it harder to ignore political malfeasance
> and state-sponsored murder. Harder to justify conferences at exclusive
> resorts in repressive countries; harder to have have friendly relations
> with representatives of these countries; harder to allow them to block
> reforms.
> - Internet institutions will need to recognize that the right to a free
> internet is one of several human rights, not a stand-alone right that be
> casually uncoupled from others. People will need to choose sides because it
> is no longer tenable to pretend that bad actions are not important so long
> as we all parrot the same idealistic rhetoric. Today, mentioning human
> rights to a representative of a repressive state at ICANN is the equivalent
> of farting loudly at the dinner table, but Putin has changed all that.
> - The greatest threat to an open, interoperable internet are repressive
> regimes — not the ITU, not new gTLDs, not the trademark lobby, not spam,
> not any of the familiar hobby horses. Putin and his ilk cannot be ignored
> if an open internet is the goal. Internet policy-making bodies can no
> longer ignore these realities if they hope to be taken seriously.
> I certainly don’t know the answers, but I believe that these are some of
> the things we will need to consider. “Business as usual” is  now off the
> table for ICANN and IANA no matter how much they try to delay or deny these
> new realities.
> Thank you in advance for a serious discussion, because this is a serious
> topic. The helpful way to think about a crisis is to recognize that it’s
> one of the few opportunities we have a make real changes.
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