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

Gareth Shearman shearman at victoria.tc.ca
Mon Jan 31 16:56:22 UTC 2011

I agree, Evan, we shouldn't go it alone.

I like Avri's suggestion of formally alerting ALAC to our concerns and asking them to consider the possibility of making a statement.


On 2011-01-31, at 7:35 AM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> For what it's worth...
> None of the other At-Large regions appears to be raising this issue. AFRALO
> itself is notably silent, and it has in the past been quite vocal on issues
> of concern to it.
> The ICANN Board has apparently discussed the issue but so far chosen not to
> act.
> This means that getting support for a global At-Large statement -- let alone
> from ICANN itself -- is nearly impossible. This means that pressing on --
> alone as a region --  will have the visible effect of Americans lecturing
> the world on freedom(*). I suggest that would be unwelcome optics and
> inappropriate for ICANN, and have few positive effects except making the
> authors feel good.
> As has been stated, the Egyptian government knows exactly what it's doing
> and the residual harm that is coming from its actions (state control or
> shutdown of communications media during times of crisis is hardly a new
> phenomenon). It's notable that one of the only links left open (clearly
> deliberately so) is a redundancy that allows the Stock Exchange to be
> accessible. Based on casual conversations I've had, though, I wonder if the
> casual Internet end-user around the world cares more about the temporary
> Internet shutdown than about the thousands of injuries and deaths on the
> streets of Cairo.
> I am more inclined to want to follow up on Marc's suggestion that perhaps
> the events in Egypt may serve as a catalyst for At-Large research into what
> role ICANN may play to reduce or alleviate such problems in the future. What
> happened here, on this scale, is a first. Perhaps there are things ICANN can
> do to reduce the harm of future instances. I don't know, but it's worth
> finding out.
> But as the discussion has progressed I am still yet to be persuaded that
> ICANN has any role making a political statement on the current situation.
> Given that ICANN's relationship with the world's governments is already
> precarious at this
> time<http://kierenmccarthy.com/2011/01/27/so-what-does-that-weird-gac-wording-actually-mean/>,
> it's highly unlikely that ICANN will take any action that is seen to be
> lecturing sovereign states. In this light, and the refusal of other At-Large
> regions to get similarly involved, I am solidly against any NARALO attempt
> to go it alone.
> - Evan
> (*) Given the public posturing by some Amercian politicians about killing
> Julian Assange<http://www.thestatecolumn.com/articles/mike-huckabee-calls-for-execution-of-julian-assange/>and
> displaying
> envy for what Egypt has
> done<http://www.boingboing.net/2011/01/28/egypt-just-turned-of.html>,
> the country's moral reputation on Internet freedom may not be as solid as
> some think
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