[At-Large] [Secretariat] EURALO Board communiqué

Karl Auerbach 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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