[At-Large] Proposed statement of the ALAC regarding the current situation in Egypt

Beau Brendler beaubrendler at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 1 16:14:38 UTC 2011

Sergio and colleagues,

You address the possibility of making an open statement. In the NA RALO, there has been a lot of discussion about the situation, as Olivier notes.

Many of us in the NA RALO, myself included, have already voiced support for the course of action and statement proposed by Olivier. 

However, within NA RALO, Eric Brunner-Williams has written an open statement. It goes further than Olivier's, is very well thought-out and written in my opinion, and has a largely technical rather than political focus. I offer it here for review for those who might want to sign or are developing a separate statement independent of the ALAC action, or other possible uses.

=== Text begins ===

Dear Chairman Dengate-Thrush and CEO Beckstrom,

Concerning the Egyptian Internet shutdown, as volunteers participating 
in the North American At Large Regional Organization who have studied 
network policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move 
beyond rhetoric to support the security and stability of the Internet. 
As contributors to the ICANN community, we expect our Chairperson and 
CEO to uphold those values.

As the IESG and the IAB observed in draft-iab-raven, published as RFC 
2804, accommodating the legal intercept requirements of states in 
network devices would make the system less secure, increase system 
complexity, and the risk of unintended security failure. The 
considered technical judgment was, and remains, that wiretapping, even 
when it is not being exercised, lowers the security of the system.

We believe this concern applies also to accommodating endpoint 
unreachable requirements of states in systems of network devices, as 
well as flow filter and other disruptive technology requirements.

We are also concerned by the possibility of error by national actors 
attempting to interrupt regional routing. The routing alternatives to 
the Alexandria - Suez corridor are simply inadequate to support the 
requirements for Europe - Asia data communications.

In addition to these systemic concerns, the proper concern of the 
entity tasked with the technical coordination of unique endpoint 
identifiers, we have the following further concerns.

Articles 12 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 
pertaining to privacy and freedom of expression, appear to be the 
specific targets of intentional violation by the Egyptian government. 
This should not pass without comment.

Significant regional economic activity relies upon the availability of 
  CityNet (Ramadan City), ECC (6 October City), EgyptNetwork 
(Mansura), and ECC, MEIX, LINKdotNET (Cairo) data centers. The direct 
economic loss due to governmental action is easy to calculate. The 
greater loss of the reputation and competitive ability of these data 
centers, and their operators is harder to calculate, and likely to be 
much greater than N zero revenue days.

However, the economic consequence of abruptly transforming Egypt to a 
sparse 56kb and VSAT connectivity regime extends far beyond the data 
centers and access providers. It is profoundly disruptive of the 
information economy, and of ordinary transaction services. It will 
result in diminished stability and certainty of commodity prices and 
availablities. It will raise the price of bread. It will cause 
hardship, impoverishment, increased morbidity, and mortality, far 
beyond the social identities of "authority" and "counter-authority".

These concerns are not unique to the withdrawal of prefixes at 16:00 
UTC on January 27, and 09:00 UTC on January 28 -- the "Egyptian 
Disconnection". Opportunistic and endemic network partition, rate 
limiting, and filtering are practiced by some governments. The 
practices which directly reduce the security and stability of the 
Internet must not be allowed to pass without comment because they are 
perpetrated by governments.


the undersigned

=== Text ends ===

-----Original Message-----
>From: presidencia Internauta Argentina <presidencia at internauta.org.ar>
>Sent: Feb 1, 2011 10:31 AM
>To: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>Subject: Re: [At-Large] Proposed statement of the ALAC regarding the current situation in Egypt
>Dear Olivier and all:
>I support this note. Could we make an open statement with the 
>participation of all ALSes?
>also I think we can be alert for future events
>*Sergio Salinas Porto Presidente Internauta Argentina Asociación 
>Argentina de Usuarios de Internet <http://www.internauta.org.ar>FLUI- 
>Federación Latinoamericana de Usuarios de Internet 
><http://www.fuilain.org>facebook:salinasporto twitter:sergiosalinas 
>MSN/MSN YAHOO/Talk: salinasporto... Skype:internautaargentina Mobi:+54 9 
>223 5 215819 *
>El 01/02/2011 11:24 a.m., Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond escribió:
>> Dear all,
>> sustained discussions have recently taken place on one of the RALO
>> lists, whether the ALAC should comment on the current political
>> situation in Egypt, focussing in particular on the suspension of
>> Internet service in the country. I have personally monitored the
>> discussion and members of the ALAC ExCom have held daily discussions
>> about the matter. I have also discussed the possibility of a statement
>> with other constituency Chairs and some Board members.
>> Rod Beckstrom has published a Blog post on:
>> http://blog.icann.org/2011/01/status-report-on-the-dns-in-egypt/
>> He has steered away from making any kind of political statement, and I
>> suspect that this was for a reason.
>> Egypt's GAC representative is Ms. Manal Ismail. She works for the
>> Telecom Regulation Authority (TRA) - but their Internet is cut too.
>> The ccNSO representative is EGregistry.eg - and they are cut from the
>> Internet as well.
>> The ICANN manager for relations in the Middle East, Mr. Baher Esmat, is
>> also based in Cairo - and he's also off-line.
>> Many more participants in ICANN Supporting Organisations and Advisory
>> Committees, including ICANN fellows are also based in Egypt.
>> I have managed to speak to a couple of my own friends in Cairo. They
>> explained that, like all Egyptians, they are worried about the security
>> situation, their own personal security included. This is particularly
>> important.
>> Whilst I understand that the current action by Egypt breaks ICANN's Core
>> Value #1, it is my firm view that any statement might bring more harm
>> that good to ICANN and its friends at the present moment, if it is not
>> crafted with caution. This is a complex political situation which
>> surpasses ICANN's sphere of influence, and I should seriously recommend
>> that ALAC keeps a low profile about this because of the political
>> implications for our friends on the ground.
>> That said, the Internet Society has released a Q&A document focussing
>> primarily on the technical implications of the shut-down of Internet
>> services in Egypt. It is very useful, and I propose that for the time
>> being, we support this Q&A and point our members to it.
>> I am therefore asking the ALAC to endorse the following statement in an
>> accelerated vote and procedure:
>> --- cut here ---
>> Statement of the ALAC regarding current situation in Egypt
>> The ALAC is concerned by the impact of developments in Egypt on the
>> ordinary Internet user. In the light of ICANN's responsibility for IP
>> address  and AS number policy, and its core value of 'preserving and
>> enhancing the operational stability, reliability, security, and global
>> interoperability of the Internet', we endorse the ISOC statement and Q&A
>> as expressed at http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3100
>> Signed: The At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
>> --- cut here ---
>> I hope that this will receive support and in this case, Heidi will
>> swiftly follow-up with regards to voting procedures.
>> In the meantime, and until the situation on the ground gets resolved, we
>> wish all the Best to our Egyptian friends in this time of troubled
>> politics in their country.
>> Best regards,
>> Olivier Crepin-Leblond
>> ALAC Chair
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