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

Thompson, Darlene DThompson1 at GOV.NU.CA
Mon Jan 31 17:26:03 UTC 2011


Well thought out.


Darlene A. Thompson
CAP Administrator
N-CAP/Department of Education
P.O. Box 1000, Station 910
Iqaluit, NU  X0A 0H0
Phone:  (867) 975-5631
Fax:  (867) 979-5610
dthompson at gov.nu.ca
From: na-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [na-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] on behalf of Evan Leibovitch [evan at telly.org]
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2011 10:35 AM
To: Eric Brunner-Williams
Cc: na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Fwd: The Internet Society on Egypt’s Internet shutdown

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

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
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
envy for what Egypt has
the country's moral reputation on Internet freedom may not be as solid as
some think
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