[At-Large] IGO names: is this worth war?

Derek Smythe derek at aa419.org
Tue Nov 1 13:19:15 UTC 2016

I agree 100% with you Evan. Amazingly when I started reading this, I
knew somewhere we'd get to the Olympic issue :)

When speaking of scammers, some would say this is the responsibility
of the courts and law enforcement. In fact this is the very game some
registrars play, citing a "US court order" is required while hiding
junk registration details behind proxies (proven and much harm was and
is being done). It's no coincidence that one such is the leading
sponsoring registrar for malicious domains in the advance fee fraud
arena currently, while self blinding to proven fraud and harm to
victims half way around the world that will never be afforded the
luxury of the US courts.

Know how many FBI, IRS, IMF, UN etc domains I've seen the past year?
It says something about the armchair theories of operation.

Of course we can take away the protections of the likes of the Red
Cross etc, then get them to jump the hoops. Suddenly we will see the
logic of malicious $10 domains vs lawyers costs for URS etc
procedures. The system favors the malicious actors and quickly the Red
Cross will be spending a lot of their time and money mitigating, while
certain registrars, lawyers and malicious actors have a (profitable)
field day at the cost of the consumer.

Unfortunately we see a lot of tokenism in the system not living up to
the spirit of the system. So reading this is no great surprise.

Think about what Evan is talking about. I'm asking you to think
carefully about what we promised to the consumer 15, 20 years ago.
Have we live up to these promises?


On 2016-11-01 02:00 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> As the Hyderabad meeting gets underway, we have a potential for a
> conflict that, according to some, is a source of utter panic and a
> critical-enough battle that it is worth threatening ICANN's
> stability... and people still haven't yet fully recovered from the
> transition and the Ted Cruz scare.
> I am speaking of the Governmental Advisory Commitee (GAC) wanting to
> reserve about 230 names and acronyms of inter-governmental
> organizations  (IGOs), and its threat to pull out of ICANN entirely
> and take its issues to the ITU Standardization Assembly.
> The whole story can be found in a post at DomainIncite
> <http://domainincite.com/21215-rant-governments-raise-yet-another-un-threat-to-icann>
> that contains both profanity and apocalyptic tones.
> At the threat of being an ICANN heretic (and it wouldn't be the first
> time), I'm on the side of the governments here.
> [ Disclosure: I currently work at an agency that would be among the
> protected IGOs. However I have been involved in this issue, at the
> ICANN working group level, for many years, and my position is no
> different now than it was then. ]
> While it is overkill to give a blanket ban on every IGO, I would
> rather give protection to a handful of organizations that don't need
> it, in return for protecting a number of organizations that would be
> critically impacted if their names were not protected. I am speaking
> specifically regarding organizations that do significant public
> fundraising in the public good -- the Red Cross (+ Red Crescent, etc),
> UNICEF, UNHCR, and others 
> I was involved when the issue first came up in 2011; there was a
> working group that was proposing to reserve names for the Red Cross
> and Olympics in all gTLDs. Most in the group were either all-for or
> all-against; I was split, opposing the Olympic reservations but
> strongly supporting reservations of any Red Cross related names or
> translations.
> I still believe that the ICRC needs protection more than the IOC, but
> given the choice of protecting both or protecting neither I would
> absolutely come down on the side of "both". *There most absolutely is
> a public interest in the reservation of names related to the Red
> Cross, United Nations and other IGOs, especially those that are
> engaged in public information or fundraising.*
> *
> *
> It matters far more to me that a scammer is prevented before-the-fact
> from registering "redcross-italy-earthquake.xyz
> <http://redcross-italy-earthquake.xyz>" than that the domain industry
> is free to sell "UNDP.whatever" to a speculator. By the time a URS
> claim could be filed against the scammer and adjudicated, the damage
> is done and the scammer moves on. 
> IMO it is not in the interest of the At-Large community to support the
> unfettered entitlement of the domain industry to sell whatever it
> wants without consideration of consequences. It is in our interests to
> keep the public from being harmed through the actions of the DNS. And,
> /on the balance/, this means that reserving the names of IGOs serves
> the public interest.
> The domain industry's main counter-argument is that it should be
> entitled to sell whatever it wants. It believes that that WHO, the
> acronym for the World Health Organization but also a dictionary word,
> should be fair game to be sold as a domain to an ageing rock band or
> anyone else.
> But I am concerned that a scammer -- or others with bad intent --
> could use the WHO.something domain to present themselves as the World
> Health Organization and either present misinformation or engage in
> scamming fundraising. In a public-health context such misuse could
> have horrible aftermath.The harm to the domain community by blocking
> WHO.everything is less, IMO, than the harm to the public from letting
> that go to the highest bidder. (Of course the WHO is always within its
> ability to permit who.something to point to the rock band, etc)
> ​If the counter is that ICANN's MSM process does not allow for this
> kind of accommodation -- that the GNSO demands for wide open domains
> do not provide for this kind of exception -- then the process is
> broken. It must be remembered that -- pre-transition or post- -- ICANN
> is not itself an IGO. Sovereign states are not treaty-bound to honor
> GNSO policy decrees, they do so through trust and goodwill. If that
> goodwill is damaged then, ICANN will pay a heavy and possibly
> irreversible price.
> There are many good places to take a principled stand in support of
> the MSM and against dictatorial control of the DNS. But reserving IGO
> names is not one of those good places. As much as I abhor the
> reserving of the string "olympic", that speaks more to my personal
> belief in the corruption of the IOC than principled opposition to the
> concept.
> If the ALAC is consulted on this issue -- or if it considers issuing
> advice on its own initiative -- I simply ask that it asserts the point
> of view of the public interest, which is not always in selling the
> maximum number of domains for the maximum obtainable price.
> Thank you.
> Evan Leibovitch
> Toronto / Geneva
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