[At-Large] Ukraine, .RU, and internet governance
Antony Van Couvering
avc at avc.vc
Sat Mar 12 10:04:58 UTC 2022
It is a pleasure to correspond with you once again. I would be grateful if you could point me to where Ukraine says it is no longer asking for this.
Otherwise, I disagree completely :-)
Contrary to what you say, I think it would be very easy for ICANN to block .RU as well as subsequently to resist pressure from the US or anyone else to remove the ccTLDs of Iran and Cuba or any others.
The reason is that Iran and Cuba are not invading their neighbors and murdering civilians on a massive scale. Whatever issues the US government has with Iran and Cuba, no-one is comparing them to Putin’s Russia. No, not even North Korea is comparable.
Is it really true that ICANN / IANA is saying “No-one will ever trust us again to be impartial if we stand up to a invading murdering fascist dictator, because we are not able to articulate the difference between distrusting but peaceful rivals and someone who invades with armored columns, artillery, and bombings. If we are perceived to have inconvenienced Putin’s murderous regime in any way, who could trust us any more to administer names and numbers fairly?”
If that is indeed ICANN’s position, it is at once both reprehensible and risible. Any schoolchild could tell the difference between mass murder and angry words, and ICANN could tell easily tell the US that when Cuba or Iran launch massive unprovoked attacks that result in huge civilian casualties, that then they would consider cutting them off. Will ICANN still be fence-sitting when there are nuclear bombs? How about chemical weapons, is that still not worthy of taking action? What is the cut-off point exactly for not doing anything in the face of mass murder?
A separate but related question: are the unintended consequences really that bad compared to an almost beat-by-beat replay of the occupation of the Sudetenland, or turning Kiev into a rubble-filled killing ground? I can’t really conceive how an inconvenience to well-paid internet regulators compares to this. So what if ICANN and IANA have to change their mission statement slightly to make it clear that “one world, one internet” does not include invading nuclear-armed megalomaniacs? Is that such a big ask? Is that slogan, so often honored in the breach, worth so many lives?
It is true that root operators could route around ICANN. That would reflect very badly on them, but they could. But how does this excuse ICANN’s shameful silence and inaction?
Truly, it is time to stand up and be counted among those who would defend the world, and the internet, from murderous autocrats.
> On Mar 12, 2022, at 12:59 AM, Roberto Gaetano via At-Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> wrote:
> Unfortunately, it is not an international law issue, otherwise it would be solved without any responsibility by ICANN - just follow the order of the judge.
> The problem lies elsewhere, and is whether ICANN is or not an independent authority that can be trusted for following basic principles and apply them evenly in all cases.
> If ICANN decides to remove .ru from the root, based on a request by Ukraine (who, by the way, is no longer insisting in asking this, maybe because they have understood the unintended consequences) I don’t see how it could resist the request of removing the ccTLDs of what the US consider “rogue” countries, like Iran, Cuba, and others.
> And this besides all what has been said at length in this and other lists, like that it will not make .ru disappear, just invite operators to have their own copy of the root.
> This said, there are other actions that ICANN can take, but after having decided whether it will keep its reputation of being a reliable steward for the Internet infrastructure in the global interest or indulge in actions that, while not achieving any practical result, will be emotionally satisfying.
>> On 12.03.2022, at 04:55, SCHWEIGHOFER Erich Prof. Dr. Dr.. via At-Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>> wrote:
>> It is an international law issue and the main text for conflicts and sovereignty is the UN Charta and its practice.
>> In law, using the right text is decisive.
>> Erich Schweighofer
>> Am 12.03.2022 04:36 schrieb Antony Van Couvering via At-Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>>:
>> The mealy-mouthed opposition to Ukraine’s request to block .RU has exercised me so much that I called up Keith Teare to complain. Keith is a one-time candidate for ICANN CEO, a former board member of Minds + Machines, founder of Real Names and other companies, and a very smart guy with a good grasp of history and the internet.
>> Keith doesn’t really agree with my position, so he suggested that we record a conversation and talk it out. To me, it turned out well (pardon my video quality.
>> For those who’d like to hear a thorough discussion of the issue, here it is:
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXZd6rtDHsA <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXZd6rtDHsA>
>> Summary — all the reasons put forward as to why ICANN can’t do anything — we go through them all — are bullshit.
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