MINC and Multilingual Group Chairman Khaled Fattal sends a letter to GAC Chairperson Heather Dryden and ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate-Thrush and Mr. Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer calling for GAC - ICANN Board Brussels meeting February 28 – March 1, 2011 agenda to include the matter of US laws, OFAC and SDN list in screening all applicants for New gTLDs and IDN gTLDs.
Below is the full text of the letter.
For any follow up please write to Mark.Stevens at MLigrp.com
Dr. Heather Dryden, Chairperson, ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)
Mr. Peter Dengate-Thrush, Chairman, Board of Directors
Mr. Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer
Members of the ICANN Board of Directors
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
cc: Mr. Brian Cute, Chairman, Affirmation of Commitments (AOC) Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT)
cc: Mr. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communication and Information, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington DC, 20230
February 18, 2011.
Subject: GAC - ICANN Board Brussels meeting February 28 – March 1, 2011 agenda and tabling the matter of US laws, OFAC and SDN list in screening all applicants for New gTLDs and IDN gTLDs.
Dear Heather, Peter, Rod, and all GAC and Board members,
I wish to start by wishing you all successful discussions at the Brussels meeting in bridging the gap between the ICANN Board and the GAC on the New gTLDs. This is paramount to facilitate moving forward in a transparent, accountable, responsible and respectful manner to all stakeholders, equally and equitably, especially to the IDN communities.
We have communicated our concerns on this matter publicly and privately to ICANN on numerous occasions, primarily during my Public Forum intervention on December 9, 2010 during ICANN Cartagena meeting (draft of which is posted below for ease of reference),
and followed it with a letter on December 10, 2010 http://forum.icann.org/lists/5gtld-guide/pdfIIMoPfVdQj.pdf
In essence this rule means that only New gTLDs and particularly IDN gTLDs and their respective applicants that the US Government, its laws and its foreign policy of the day agree with will be permitted - full stop.
You may also recall that ICANN’s President and CEO Mr. Rod Beckstrom was prompt to cordially acknowledge the validity of my concerns during the same Cartagena Public Forum stating that ICANN is aware of the problem and will be looking at addressing it. Also, ICANN board member Mr. Jean-Jacques Subrenat not only intervened at the close of that session to thank me and agree with my concerns for raising “this very important matter”, as he called it, but also went one step further in calling on his fellow board members to give this prompt and serious attention. Despite all that, nothing on this matter appears to have been addressed to date.
We articulated our concerns in the past that this rule and the manner it has been formulated by ICANN makes it crystal clear that the United States’ laws and its foreign policy will be the long-standing instruments used in governing the Internet globally and in shaping its future, ironically in IDNs, and within sovereign territories of other nations. This is hardly the ideal Global Multistakeholder Internet Governance Model we all aspire for that would bring in more inclusion and participation in the ICANN process and the GAC - the contrary may be the case.
We believe this will put the ethos of the “One world, One Internet” and its unique identifiers at great risk. Furthermore, this part of the “Proposed Final Guidebook” makes this significant matter highly problematic and we believe that it must be addressed and resolved before the New gTLDs and IDN gTLDs can be rolled out.
I close by bringing to your attention the importance of tabling this subject to your Brussels meeting agenda for public, if it has not been tabled yet, in the interest of transparency, accountability and stability of the Internet.
The Multilingual Internet Group
-ICANN President Advisory Committee Member on IDNs, www.ICANN.org
-Member of the 30+ ICANN meetings participants
Statement by Khaled Fattal, December 9, 2010 - ICANN Cartagena Public Forum, ,
I thank ICANN for going out of its way in putting under bright neon lights something new in the final proposed Guidebook which I find of great concern to the core ICANN values and mission and the single root I believe in, and I quote:
Page 25 Section 1.2- Information for All Applicants- Page 28- Legal Compliance –
ICANN must comply with all U.S. laws,
rules, and regulations. One such set of regulations is the
economic and trade sanctions program administered by
the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S.
Department of the Treasury. These sanctions have been
imposed on certain countries, as well as individuals and
entities that appear on OFAC's List of Specially Designated
Nationals and Blocked Persons (the “SDN List"). ICANN is
prohibited from providing most goods or services to
residents of sanctioned countries or their governmental
entities or to SDNs without an applicable U.S. government
authorization or exemption. Etc…
For those who are not familiar with OFAC and the SDN list, they reflect the US Government’s list of undesirables that reflect legitimate but ONLY US legal and foreign policy interests.
Now the very loud fire alarm bells on Internet Governance
Does ICANN really want to tell international communities and many sovereign nations it seeks to turn into ICANN supporters like China, Russia, India, Brazil, the Arab States and many others that the Internet that reaches and will reach them and their territories especially in their local languages thru IDNs will be governed by and is subject to US laws and US foreign policy?… Because this is what this is telling them…
I believe this has grave risks on to the single root, and the credibility of the Affirmation of commitments (AOC). A detailed statement of the ramifications will be submitted shortly.