[NA-Discuss] Fwd: The Internet Society on Egypt’s Internet shutdown

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sun Jan 30 21:06:53 UTC 2011

On 30 January 2011 15:26, Marc Rotenberg <rotenberg at epic.org> wrote:

>  "The role of the At-Large Advisory Committee ("ALAC") shall be
>  to consider and provide advice on the activities of ICANN,
>  insofar as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users."
> This statement suggests that ALAC has the freedom to say
> *what ICANN should or should not do* when the interests of
> individual Internet users are concerned.

Absolutely right. But I've added appropriate emphasis to what you said.
ICANN is itself limited to specific components of Internet governance --
notably, names and numbers (the last two letters of the ICANN acronym).

Context matters.

> And the decision of a national government to limit the ability of
> individuals to access the Internet would seem to be high on the list.

Be specific, then. What should ICANN do -- within the scope of things it is
able to do?

I'm less of a newcomer than you and I can't honestly think of anything that
falls within ICANN's mandate that it is able to do in this situation. Maybe
others have better ideas than I in this realm, but it is critical not to
deal in generalities.

Also, simply asking ICANN to "issue a statement" is not IMO a useful option.
Given its heavy industry-driven agenda, if ICANN were prone to issuing
political statements they would more often than not (IMO) be against the
user best interest. So I prefer to have ICANN stay out of political
statements entirely.

Thus, I am opposed to making any statement that is not tied to an explicit
request for specific change to ICANN policy, operation or enforcement.

There are, to be sure, a broad range of statements that can be made, but a
> good starting point is to ask if  ALAC has issued statements on similar
> developments in the past.

In my three years of involvement with ICANN the answer to that would be

> It might also be a good opportunity to collaborate with NCUC.

Perhaps. Some interface with ISOC (quite a few ISOC chapters are ALSs) might
also be useful. But statements coming from ISOC and NCUC members
organisations will be both more useful -- and more appropriate -- than those
coming from ICANN itself.

- Evan

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