[AfrICANN-discuss] Comments on .xxx
alan at futureperfect.co.za
Thu Apr 5 08:43:39 SAST 2007
I think this discussion is largely academic as the deed is done.
I am confused though why is .xxx considered based on peoples personal
I do not wish to cast any personal opinion on the specifics to .xxx
as I am in two minds but I think it's important to keep in mind:
- ICANN was established (amongst other things but largely) to
introduce and maintain competition in the domain name space
- It's easier to google xxx than type an URL xyz.xxx
- Susan Crawford makes observations from a PDP process perspective:
> >>SUSAN CRAWFORD: Mr. Chairman, I cannot vote in favor of this
> resolution. I'll have more to say when we vote. But in this
> discussion period, I wanted to note for my colleagues that I've
> looked back at the RFP and the proposed contract. In the request
> for proposals, we set forth a definition of the sponsored TLD
> community which said the proposed sTLD must address the needs and
> interests of a clearly defined community which can benefit from the
> establishment of a TLD operating in a policy formulation
> environment in which the community would participate.
> And we asked applicants to demonstrate that the community is
> precisely defined so it can readily be determined which persons or
> entities make up that community, and also to state that the
> community was comprised of persons that have needs and interests in
> common, but which are differentiated from those of the general
> global Internet community.
> We also asked applicants to provide evidence of support for their
> application from their sponsoring organization.
> It seems to me that the applicant here has identified a sponsored
> community for dot XXX as a self-identified group of adult
> webmasters who wish to work together to implement industry best
> practices in a specific and easily identifiable marketplace. They
> propose to provide a forum for interaction and policy development.
> And they assert that these are needs that are not being met
> elsewhere, the needs of creating and enforcing industry best
> They have submitted letters of support to us from members of the
> adult entertainment community that they assert include supporters
> from many countries and major providers of adult entertainment.
> They have also told us that since the first of June of 2006, more
> than 76,000 strings from at least 1,000 unique registrants have
> been prereserved in triple X, with instructions from ICM that only
> qualified applicants should request such preregistrations.
> ICM has told us that these prereservations have come from
> prospective registrants in triple X who are operating bona fide
> adult sites in other TLDs whose existing sites are providing adult
> entertainment or services to the adult entertainment industry, and
> whose existing site was registered prior to May 2006, the date the
> board rejected a proposed triple X contract.
> I've also looked back at the GAC communique conveyed to us in
> Wellington, and I have compared it to the revised agreement,
> appendix S. And I do think the GAC's concerns have been adequately
> This has been a very difficult topic for us as a board. We've had
> extensive discussion, reasonable board members can differ about
> these issues. But I wanted to make clear in this discussion period
> what my views are of the criteria here.
> Thank you.
> >>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I must dissent from this resolution, which is
> not only weak but unprincipled. I'm troubled by the path the board
> has followed on this issue since I joined the board in December of
> 2005. I'd like to make two points.
> First, ICANN only creates problems for itself when it acts in an ad
> hoc fashion in response to political pressures. Second, ICANN
> should take itself seriously, as a private governanced institution
> with a limited mandate and should resist efforts by governments to
> veto what it does.
> I'd like to talk about the role of the board.
> This decision whether to admit a particular non-confusing legal
> string into the root is put before the ICANN board because, first,
> we purport to speak on behalf of the global Internet community. And
> second, the U.S. Department of Commerce defers to the judgments of
> that community when deciding what to tell its contractor to add to
> the authoritative root zone file.
> As a board, we cannot speak as elected representatives of the
> global Internet community because we have not allowed elections for
> board members. This application does not present any difficult
> technical questions, and even if it did, we do not, as a group,
> claim to have special technical expertise.
> So this is not a technical stability and security question.
> It seems to me that the only plausible basis on which the board can
> answer the question in the negative -- so could say a group of
> people may not operate and use a lawful string of letters as a top-
> level domain -- is to say that the people affected by this decision
> have a broadly-shared agreement that the admission of this string
> to the root would amount to unjustifiable wrongdoing.
> Otherwise, in the absence of technical considerations, the board
> has no basis for rejecting this application.
> Let me explain.
> The most fundamental value of the global Internet community is that
> people who propose to use the Internet protocols and
> infrastructures for otherwise lawful purposes, without threatening
> the operational stability or security of the Internet, should be
> presumed to be entitled to do so. In a nutshell, everything not
> prohibited is permitted.
> This understanding, this value, has led directly to the striking
> success of the Internet around the world.
> ICANN's role in gTLD policy development is to seek to assess and
> articulate the broadly-shared values of the Internet community. We
> have very limited authority. And we can only speak on behalf of
> that community. I am personally not aware that any global consensus
> against the creation of a triple X domain exists.
> In the absence of such a prohibition, and given our mandate to
> create TLD competition, we have no authority to block the addition
> of this TLD to the root. It is very clear that we do not have a
> global shared set of values about content on-line, save for the
> global norm against child pornography. But the global Internet
> community clearly does share the core value that no centralized
> authority should set itself up as the arbiter of what people may do
> together on line, absent a demonstration that most of those
> affected by the proposed activity agree that it should be banned.
> I'd like to speak about the process of this application.
> More than three years ago, before I joined the board, ICANN began a
> process for new sponsored top-level domains. As I've said on many
> occasions, I think the idea of sponsorship is an empty one. All
> generic TLDs should be considered sponsored, in that they should be
> able to create policies for themselves that are not dictated by
> ICANN. The only exceptions to this freedom for every TLD should be,
> of course, the very few global consensus policies that are created
> through the ICANN forum. This freedom is shared by the country code
> Notwithstanding my personal views on the vacuity of the sponsorship
> idea, the fact is that ICANN evaluated the strength of the
> sponsorship of triple X, the relationship between the applicant and
> the community behind the TLD, and, in my personal view, concluded
> that this criteria had been met as of June 2005. ICANN then went on
> to negotiate specific contractual terms with the applicant.
> Since then, real and AstroTurf comments -- that's an Americanism
> meaning filed comments claiming to be grass-roots opposition that
> have actually been generated by organized campaigns -- have come
> into ICANN that reflect opposition to this application.
> I do not find these recent comments sufficient to warrant
> revisiting the question of the sponsorship strength of this TLD,
> which I personally believe to be closed.
> No applicant for any sponsored TLD could ever demonstrate
> unanimous, cheering approval for its application. We have no metric
> against which to measure this opposition. We have no idea how
> significant it is. We should not be in the business of judging the
> level of market or community support for a new TLD before the fact.
> We will only get in the way of useful innovation if we take the
> view that every new TLD must prove itself to us before it can be
> added to the root.
> It seems to me that what is meant by sponsorship -- a notion that I
> hope we abandon in the next round -- is to show that there is
> enough interest in a particular TLD that it will be viable. We also
> have the idea that registrants should participate in and be bound
> by the creation of policies for a particular string. Both of these
> requirements have been met by this applicant. There is clearly
> enough interest, including more than 70,000 preregistrations from a
> thousand or more unique registrants who are members of the adult
> industry, and the applicant has undertaken to us that it will
> require adherence to its self-regulatory policies by all of its
> To the extent some of my colleagues on the board believe that ICANN
> should be in the business of deciding whether a particular TLD
> makes a valuable contribution to the namespace, I differ with them.
> I do not think ICANN is capable of making such a determination.
> Indeed, this argument is very much like those made by the pre-
> divestiture AT&T in America, when it claimed that no foreign
> attachments to its network -- like answering machines -- should be
> allowed. In part, because AT&T asserted at the time that there was
> no public demand for them.
> The rise of the Internet was arguably made possible by allowing
> many foreign attachments to the Internet called modems. We
> established a process for sTLDs some time ago. We have taken this
> applicant through this process. We now appear to be changing the
> process. We should not act in this fashion.
> I would like to spend a couple of moments talking about the
> politics of this situation. Many of my fellow board members are
> undoubtedly uncomfortable with the subject of adult entertainment
> material. Discomfort with this application may have been sparked
> anew by first the letter from individual GAC members Janis Karklins
> and Sharil Tarmizi, to which Ambassador Karklins has told us the
> GAC exceeded as a whole by its silence, and, second, the letter
> from the Australian government.
> But the entire point of ICANN'S creation was to avoid the operation
> of chokepoint content control over the domain name system by
> individual or collective governments. The idea was that the U.S.
> would serve as a good steward for other governmental concerns by
> staying in the background and overseeing ICANN's activities, but
> not engaging in content-related control.
> Australia's letter and concerns expressed in the past by Brazil and
> other countries about triple X are explicitly content based and,
> thus, inappropriate in my view.
> If after creation of a triple X TLD certain governments of the
> world want to ensure that their citizens do not see triple X
> content, it is within their prerogative as sovereigns to instruct
> Internet access providers physically located within their territory
> to block such content. Also, if certain governments want to ensure
> that all adult content providers with a physical presence in their
> country register exclusively within triple X, that is their
> prerogative as well.
> I note as a side point that such a requirement in the U.S. would
> violate the first amendment to our Constitution.
> But this content-related censorship should not be ICANN's concern
> and ICANN should not allow itself to be used as a private lever for
> government chokepoint content control.
> >>VINT CERF: Susan --
> >>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I am almost done.
> >>VINT CERF: No, no, no. I was asking you to slow down. The scribes
> are not able to keep up with you. I think you want this to be on
> the record.
> >>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I do, and I will give it to them also in typed form.
> ICANN should not allow itself to be used as a private lever for
> government chokepoint content control by making up reasons to avoid
> the creation of such a TLD in the first place.
> To the extent there are public policy concerns with this TLD, they
> can be dealt with through local laws.
> Registration in or visitation of domains in this TLD is purely
> voluntary. If ICANN were to base its decisions on the views of the
> Australian or U.S. or Brazilian government, ICANN would have
> compromised away its very reason for existence as a private non-
> governmental governance institution.
> So in conclusion, I continue to be dissatisfied with elements of
> the proposed triple X contract, including but not limited to the
> rapid take-down provision of Appendix S, which is manifestly
> designed to placate trademark owners and ignores the many of the
> due process concerns that have been expressed about the existing UDRP.
> I am confident that if I had a staff or enough time, I could find
> many things to carp about in this draft contract. I'm equally
> certain if I complained about these terms, my concerns would be
> used to justify derailing this application for political reasons.
> I plan, therefore, as my colleague Peter Dengate Thrush has said,
> to turn my attention to the new gTLD process that was promised for
> January 2007, a promise that has not been kept, in hopes that we
> will some day have a standard contract and objective process that
> can help ICANN avoid engaging in unjustifiable ad hoc actions.
> We should be examining generic TLD applicants on the basis of their
> technical and financial strength. We should avoid dealing with
> content concerns to the maximum extent possible. We should be
> opening up new TLDs. I hope we will find a way to achieve such a
> sound process in short order. Thank you.
> [ applause ]
> >>VINT CERF: Since we are in a voting phase, Susan, you also need
> to cast your vote.
> >>SUSAN CRAWFORD: I began my statement, Mr. Chairman, by casting my
> >>VINT CERF: Which was no? Okay, thank you.
On 30 Mar 2007, at 1:32 PM, Njeri Rionge wrote:
> Yes, I agree this is not for debate. I also stand by my opinion.
> On 3/30/07 2:19 PM, "Vincent Ocran" <ocranve at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Yes Njeri I am entitled to my opinion and say and intend to freely
>> express it. Reading between lines I am of that opinion and stand
>> by it.
>> On 30/03/07, Njeri Rionge <njeri.rionge at wananchi.com> wrote:
>>> What I gathered from the board meeting, members were voting based
>>> on the their moral and national interpretation. For the record
>>> this was not the case, but you are entitled to your opinion.
>>> On 3/30/07 1:30 PM, "Vincent Ocran" <ocranve at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> I think ICCAN is over blowing this issue with .xxx if we are
>>>> going to have an open and transparent Internet then ICCAN and
>>>> the community should allow the .xxx
>>>> Regulation of contents operated by TLD xxx will naturally be
>>>> taken over and controlled by various sovereign nation government
>>>> as the see fit with in their boarders. ICAAN should not be
>>>> acting as the Internet´s moral high priest and policeman/woman
>>>> for adult content. What I gathered from the board meeting,
>>>> members were voting based on the their moral and national
>>>> On 30/03/07, Sophia B <sophiabekele at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> >>In this case based on review country by country, then
>>>>>> it will be upon each cc's to choose to have a .xxx.cc sTLD as
>>>>>> opposed to
>>>>>> the global community's and ICANN board to decide on having
>>>>>> a .xxx TLD.
>>>>> sounds like a reasonable way out!
>>>>> On 30/03/07, Michuki Mwangi <michuki at kenic.or.ke
>>>>> <mailto:michuki at kenic.or.ke> > wrote:
>>>>>> Dear All,
>>>>>> Its in my opinion that, since the debate will not receive the
>>>>>> support of the global community, why not move the debate to
>>>>>> the ccTLD
>>>>>> level. For instance the board proposes that the xxx be a ccTLD
>>>>>> issue not
>>>>>> a new TLD issue. In this case based on review country by
>>>>>> country, then
>>>>>> it will be upon each cc's to choose to have a .xxx.cc sTLD as
>>>>>> opposed to
>>>>>> the global community's and ICANN board to decide on having
>>>>>> a .xxx TLD.
>>>>>> Those countries that approve of a .xxx.cc sTLD and are an open
>>>>>> they will probably accommodate the adult content web-masters
>>>>>> who are
>>>>>> seeking a formal name space slot.
>>>>>> This in my opinion will address the issue of the domain at a
>>>>>> level and take away the debate from the Global arena - since
>>>>>> as varied
>>>>>> as the world is - the .xxx may not receive the desired global
>>>>>> for approval.
>>>>>> Michuki Mwangi
>>>>>> AfrICANN mailing list
>>>>>> AfrICANN at afrinic.net
>>>>> AfrICANN mailing list
>>>>> AfrICANN at afrinic.net
>>> Njeri Rionge
>>> Chief Executive Officer
>>> Eden Square 7th Floor
>>> Chiromo Rd, Westlands
>>> P. O. Box 15568 00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya
>>> T: (254 20) 3673250—9
>>> E: njeri.rionge at igniteconsulting.co.ke
>>> http://www.igniteconsulting.co.ke <http://
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> Njeri Rionge
> Chief Executive Officer
> Eden Square 7th Floor
> Chiromo Rd, Westlands
> P. O. Box 15568 00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya
> T: (254 20) 3673250—9
> E: njeri.rionge at igniteconsulting.co.ke
> Professional, Life Skills Coaching, Value Added Training on
> Conformity and Compliance,
> Business Quality Management Systems, Organizational Development and
> AfrICANN mailing list
> AfrICANN at afrinic.net
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