[At-Large] [Secretariat] EURALO Board communiqué
karl at cavebear.com
Wed Mar 2 20:44:06 UTC 2022
On 3/2/22 3:33 AM, Amrita Choudhury via At-Large wrote:
> Agree with the statement.
> The situation in Ukraine is very unfortunate.
> However, Internet should remain on, for all and ICANN services should
> remain neutral and apolitical.
To my mind remaining "neutral and apolitical" is neither of those things.
The Ukrainian military is using explosives to destroy its own roads and
bridges to slow the invasion. Yes, that does hinder civil society and
resistance. However, it is a choice that the Ukrainians themselves have
The internet is another kind of road that is carrying another kind of
invasion. Why should we hesitate to follow the Ukrainian's own example?
If we were entrusted with a drawbridge over a river and we see a caravan
of Black Marias (unmarked vehicles sent by the Stalin/Beria's NKVD to
secretly fetch people to the Gulag) approaching. Would we say "Oh, my
job is to promote the open flow of traffic, so I will not raise the
bridge." Our would we say "I must raise the drawbridge to block this
If ICANN is silent than we ought not to be surprised if we subsequently
are endowed with an ill reputation not unlike that of IBM resulting from
its actions in Germany 1933 through 1945.
To my mind the question for ICANN is not whether to act. Rather the
question is how to act. That act may be as simple as a statement
articulating the balances to be made, the limits of ICANN's powers,
etc. Or it may be as complex as a temporary redelegation of .ru.
In these situations I look for guiding principles. Among these are the
desire to maintain internet connectivity for use by those opposing this
invasion, the desire to not add further pressures that could induce
future internet fragmentation, the limits of ICANN's contractual
authority over these things, etc.
I also look to ICANN's position under the law as a "public benefit"
corporation. I, personally, do not see how silence regarding death of
innocents and armed invasion benefits the public.
Murder ought never be answered with a dismissive "tut, tut, how
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