[At-Large] [ALAC] Reference: ICC Ruling on Objections filed by the ALAC

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Thu Jan 23 15:39:34 UTC 2014

Dear Evan:
History absolves only if one's been paying attention.  So thanks for saving
me the trouble of writing another long treatise....and using words that
come to my head in a stream of consciousness that might have to be

You've just gone and remind me why I have to add you to the list of
excellent researchers - and thinkers - in the At-Large.

Not to bounce the rubble. But the facts will show I was the first on these
lists denouncing the objection process then, both philosophically and as a
jerry-built contrivance.


Carlton A Samuels
Mobile: 876-818-1799
*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*

On Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 2:48 AM, Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:

> On 23 January 2014 01:15, Rinalia Abdul Rahim
> <rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com>wrote:
> > A review of the process would be useful. For example, recommendations
> > could be made on whether the ICC panel should include more than 1 person
> > and whether some kind of briefing on the context of ICANN, its ecosystem
> > and processes should be incorporated as part of the panel preparation.
> >
> Perhaps a little history is in order.
> I would note that ALAC was never happy with having the ICC as adjudicators
> in the first place, or even having an objection process at all. If ICANN
> did not listen to us when the process was first started, what confidence
> exists that it would listen to a review that recommends change when it did
> not listen to our original designs?
> I am now reminded about the original purpose of the objection process, and
> in retrospect realize that it has accomplished exactly what it was
> originally intended to do.
> The objection procedure is an outgrowth of the GNSO "Rec 6" Working
> Group<
> https://www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-2-22sep10-en.htm
> >,
> which was trying to devise a way for groups to object to "offensive"
> strings (.nazi was the example raised most frequently). The ALAC was quite
> clear at the time in its analysis of the objection process. The communiqué
> from ATLAS #1 in Mexico City -- in which all ALSs participated and agreed
> unanimously, and at which Alejandro was a keynote speaker -- stated that:
>  *We emphatically call for the complete abolition of the class of
> > objections based on morality **and public order. We assert that ICANN has
> > no business being in (or delegating) the role of **comparing relative
> > morality and conflicting human rights.*
> Despite this, ICANN still created an objection process -- but as a
> concession, allowed ALAC the ability to object. (Little did we know at the
> time that this ability would be useless because, while we could object we
> could not be assured standing to object :-P )
> The anticipated glut of profane TLD applications never occurred, and the
> expected murmur against the three sex-related applications was quickly
> brushed aside. So most of the original point of the objection process
> quickly became moot. What then occupied the objection process were
>    - Objections on trademark grounds
>    - The ability for a community to complain that a TLD that claimed to
>    represent them really didn't
> So it was no longer about "what strings were unacceptable" but rather  "who
> should control this string", a very contentious issue within ICANN and
> still a source of friction between ICANN and its GAC. The community
> objection has since been used in religious (.islam), geographical
> (.patagonia) and other grounds. In this context, At-Large participation in
> objection to .health does indeed raise a legitimate question...
> *Does At-Large really care which of the existing applicants runs .health? *
> The adjudicator said it's not our complaint to make, and in some ways I'm
> not sure I disagree. ALAC never really asked for the right to object in
> this way anyhow. And given that PICs are useless and ultimately
> unenforceable, we can't use them to judge which of the applicants would be
> a "better" custodian of the string.
> So, in this situation, what is ALAC's role? Since the string ".health" is
> not obscene, our objections amount to wanting a say in which applicant
> controls the string. Had the World Health Organization -- which had applied
> in the past for .health in the past but
> withdrew<
> https://archive.icann.org/en/tlds/health1/WHO-A-Transmittal-Form.htm>--
> applied this time as a community gTLD, it would have prevailed over
> the
> non-community applications and the objections would be moot.
> But that didn't happen. In its absence, do we have the right to say that
> "if the WHO can't have it, nobody can"?
> If we want to say "the allocation of domain names must serve the public
> interest", that philosophy demands FAR FAR more than lame objection
> processes and even lamer PICs. But it would also demand almost a complete
> reboot of the gTLD process and of ICANN itself. Given where we are, the
> objection process probably did the right thing and got out of the way. It's
> up to the public to either use or shun the .health TLD -- by whoever gets
> it -- based on its accumulated trust and value.
> - Evan
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