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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Kosaka-san speaks | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 26 comments | Search Discussion
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    Orders from Mike Roberts - Save before the ALSC is
    by Anonymous on Saturday November 10 2001, @02:06AM (#3503)
    Orders from Mike Roberts - Save before the ALSC is censored


    With apologies to the non-US members of this list, I'd like to make
    some comments that are inevitably US-centric.

    Today marked a watershed day in the history of the Internet. In some
    sense, the real date was September 11, when the leadership role of
    the United States in world peace, in economic development, and in
    technology innovation was challenged by a group of determined
    religious fanatics using our own technology on us to cause the death
    of thousands of innocent people.

    But the legal date between the "old" Internet and the "new Internet
    was today, October 26, 2001,when President George Bush signed the
    anti-terrorism bill that was passed by the upper house of Congress
    yesterday with one dissenting vote.

    This legislation brings the Internet and its developers, providers
    and users directly into the new war on terrorism. It extends
    extensive new power to law enforcement to find, capture, and punish
    those who use the network for terrorism or other criminal activity.
    It removes the previous barriers between foreign and domestic
    anti-terrorism investigations and establishes the principle that
    whoever you are, wherever you are, if you use the net for terrorism,
    you are in the sights of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and their foreign

    In the New York Times this morning, under the heading "We are All
    Alone," widely respected columnist Tom Friedman said, "Focus instead
    on the firemen who rushed into the trade center towers without
    asking, 'How much?' Focus on the thousands of U.S. reservists who
    have left their jobs and families to go fight in Afghanistan without
    asking, 'What's in it for me?' Unlike the free-riders in our
    coalition, these young Americans know that September 11 is our holy
    day - the first day in a just war to preserve our free,
    multi-religious, democratic society. And I don't really care if that
    war coincides with Ramadan, Christmas, Hanukkah, or the Buddha's
    birthday - the most respectful and spiritual thing we can do now is
    fight it until justice is done."

    After a week of tough fighting in Afghanistan where the battle is
    rapidly deteriorating to the same "take no prisoners" ethic that
    prevailed on September 11, the same week that professionally prepared
    anthrax kept showing up in new places everyday on the U.S. east coast
    and killed two postal workers, there is a determined and deadly
    resolve to follow the Friedman advice.

    A resolve that will affect many if not most institutions, among them ICANN.

    It's different now for ICANN. What started out as your typical
    ritual White House privatization effort; one that parroted the young
    Clintonites' "Agenda for Action" of 1993; the Al Gore "Information
    Superhighway" speech; that provided a last hurrah for Clinton advisor
    Magaziner at the end of the second term. A sly political move that
    solved, or maybe solved, the National Science Foundation's honest
    mistake in giving Network Solutions and SAIC a billion dollar
    monopoly. That is not the ICANN of post-Sept 11.

    It's different now. It's not world government because national
    governments are evil; it's not Internet governance because national
    laws are unjust; it's not a response to some abstract imagining of
    the global popular will; it's not solving poverty, famine,
    infanticide, drug abuse and political oppression in the DNS.

    It's serious. It's first things first. It's about keeping people
    from being killed by terrorist plots hatched over the net. All of a
    sudden it matters that you know what you are talking about. If you
    are an Internet engineer, what about nailing down the RFC's needed
    for secure new functionality in the DNS? If you are a root server
    host organization CEO, all of a sudden being a volunteer in Jon
    Postel's army takes on new meaning. If you're the manager of a top
    level domain name registry, it's not a pc in a closet time anymore.
    Important people are watching, people who have the ability to
    nationalize you overnight if you're not carrying your weight in
    making the Internet more secure. The Japanese government and the
    United States government are sending cabinet level officers to speak
    at the November ICANN meeting about how serious this really is.

    So what does this have to do with At Large? First, don't expect to
    get the attention of the study committee, your fellow stakeholders in
    ICANN, the dedicated members of the Board, or the governments whose
    sanction makes this privatization effort possible, with a
    continuation of the shallow rhetoric that has characterized the
    postings on this list. Second, think seriously about constructive
    improvements in the recommendations of the ALSC. Nobody cares that
    you don't like a particular recommendation, they want to know whether
    you have a better idea, an idea that is good enough to gather the
    support of a lot of other interested parties that may not share your
    individual political or social or economic background but are
    nevertheless interested in the future welfare of ICANN. Third, be
    prepared to compromise your goals in the interests of forging an At
    Large organization that contributes to an ICANN that is going to
    operate in a far different environment than its founders envisaged.

    The study committee has worked hard. It doesn't deserve the abuse it
    has received on this list. The several points of the action plan are
    reasonable, centrist, and provide a basis for moving forward. They
    deserve your support.

    - Mike Roberts

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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