Icann as a censor?

From the virtual strain prostitution to the online red light district?

The waves around the pro and contra of an internet top level domain (tld) .Xxx for the so-called "adult industry" have been high for more than six years, have led to a variety of controversial debates and are partly not subject to hypocrisy. But the project is just like the procedure an interesting case study about today’s understanding of internet governance. In the ultimate decision for the introduction of .Xxx had the state internet corporation for assigned names and numbers (icann) at the beginning of april at their 28. Meeting in lisbon the choice between plague and cholera. In a decision against .Xxx dorrhte her a million-heavy legal proceedings of the applicant icm registry. With a yes for .Xxx had emanated icann in an open conflict with governments. Icann has opted for peace with governments, but not only risks the legal impact exchange but also a new debate on its mandate and the role in internet world policy.

When icann published a call for new generic top level domains (gtlds), a consortium under the name icm registry and applied for new generic top level domains (gtlds) .Xxx. The applicant’s argument was first simple and obvious. The internet is full of pornography. It would be better if you could congratulate the providers scattered on many top level domains scattered suppliers under one roof and in this way from a kind of uncontrolled virtual strain prostitution make a more controlled online red light district. This was used for the youth protection as well as the billion industry, which stands behind the online sex business, argued stuart lawley, ceo of icm. On the one hand, by filters, the sex sides at end users who wish to be blocked, better blocked and the sex industry could better monitor what z.B. Facilitate the fight against illegal child pornography. On the other hand, the online sex industry was able to emerge from the schmuddeleck, legal farms were stronger accepted and you could do better against black sheep in the industry.

Nevertheless, the icann board of directors considered this proposal to peak slightly and rejected him with the argument that you could not force a provider of online sex, .To register xxx. That was the same argument in the corridor, with which the proposal for .Kids, a special domain for children’s waived websites, was rejected.

Icm registry did not love themselves impress, but applied again when icann started a second tld round in 2003. First, that did not seem to be a rough problem. Icann had repeatedly emphasized in the discussion of internet governance in the context of the world summit on the information society (wsis) that it has a purely technical mandate and is not stateful for political implications of the management of the internet. One is none "world government of the internet" and certainly not a censor who says the community, which is good and bose.

So as icann with the .Xxx proposal, the directorate primar looked at whether icm registry is involved in the technical, operational and financial criteria that must be made to the operation of a tld registry, and stopped with comments on the content of the new name. The project was suggested next to the others .Asia, .Mobi or .Tel on the icann website for eight weeks to public discussion. And since there were no rough entries, the icann directors did not see a rough reason to reject the proposal. It was decided in the spring of 2005 negotiations with icm registry over a contract for .To record xxx.

Hypocrisy at all levels?

But the icann directorate had now made the bill without the supposed host. The up to date sleeping "advisory government committee" (governmental advisory commttee – gac) suddenly woke up at his meeting in luxembourg in the summer of 2005 and asked what icann entitle to create a virtual red light district? The government officials of saudi arabia and iran in the gac loud the alarm bell and poured the immoral represented by icann. Icann’s ceo paul twomey rejected the premieges. First, wiem god also gave it without .Xxx already enough pornography in the net. And second, governments had had eight weeks to take care of the topic. Icann is not conditional for substantive questions, and if the gac does not report, one has now been followed by the specified procedures and contract negotiations. Themselves to blame

That called the gac now right on the plan, because suddenly the question was in the room, who actually determined here. The xxx question is a matter of public policy and therefore trap primarily into the state of government, argued some gac members. Others said governments are state-of-general principles, but at the world summit in tunis (wsis), one had agreed to ease the technical coordination of the private icann internet internet and a new tld is a technical problem now. Rightly, the legal situation in relation to the valuation of specific information content from country to country is very different.

The gac could not easily agree on a uniform position, but after the icann conference in wellington in the spring of 2006 sent a ten-page letter to the icann board with a long list of concerns. The whole thing passed on to suddenly stumbled as conservative religious groups of the us about this question and in fire letters to the us congress the prohibition of one .Xxx domain called by the us government. "Triple x" not compatible with the americans’ values, the message from the middle west, which were the architizationals in the bush administration, which yesterday was still pulled against any government control the internet and icann on the wsis summit to field, like to attack.

It was less the letter of the gac chairman sharil tarmiza as the us commercial ministry to the icann board, which sucked some icann directors sucking potashed.

There were not few governments that referred to the right to free community and, on top of that, the possibility to better control the somewhat twilight area over a tld and thus can make the prosecution of illegal content such as child pornography more effective figures. An entire tld can be filtered out more than thousands of individual websites. But commutations for .Xxx were none of nature under governments. Which minister prosident wants to be quoted by the boulevard press that he "pornography on the net" supports?

Porn industry split

The situation became even more complex, as the porn industry was split. Many providers now have a fire name in the scene and insofar only little interest, z.B. Of sex.Com to sex.Xxx to hike. Ribbed rough parts of this "industry", that .Xxx through responsibilities of governments or regulations, according to which credit card companies only fell in this sector .How to handle xxx, to restrict your previous freedom space

In fact, in lisbon, the argument gambled by the conference room that in the case of a permit of .Xxx the us congress has been adopted by a law "adult content providers" to make a duty, under .To register xxx. But meaning, but even if all the landing were followed. Otherwise everything dives under .Nu, .Cc or .Tk back on.

In the circumstances, the whole, with moral emphase-guided discussion is hypocritical, as nobody is wife of god’s honorary and decency-incoming domain names on the second level. You only need to go to sedo, the global domain home dealer, to go and look at what "secondary domain level" (sdl) name under the heading "eroticism" on offer are to recognize the whole bigotry. And "www.Lickmypussy.Com – still a harmless sedo offer – are then also available in saudi arabia and iran. With .Xxx was able to block thousands of websites in tehran or riad, if you have been understanding how the internet works technically.

Government control by the backtime?

However, at the end, the board of directors in lisbon voted after hours of heated debate with nine against five votes in a removal against .Xxx. The right applause received icann dafur no side on the contrary: icann now has two new problems.

First, icm registry will fight against legal means against the decision. Icm registry, which has previously invested a few million us dollars in the project, argues that icann has unlawfully removed from the criteria of the tendering bidding under which one applies. As a first step, icm registry has explained the right to see in the correspondence between icann and the us trade department. As a page effect, this may also allow interesting insights into the real relationship between icann and the ministry of commerce.

More complicated than the right of work, but secondly, another side effect could be another side effect. Icann has inevitably brought itself to the role of a censor with this decision. It did not decide to technical, but according to political content criteria. The oscann’s role in complicated balanced power parallelogram of actors in the field of internet governance. So what will happen if other controversy booking floors are to be constituted as tld? Who interviews icann then? Or is it a committee that lists with allowed and unambiguous, good and bad words leads? A global language supervisory persons? Some icann directors such as susan crawford, legal professor at the new york cardozo law school, have already pointed to the consequences of such an approach. And on the striking lists currently a new discussion battle over the future of icann, the need for a new reform and the weaknesses of the existing internet governance mechanism.

Even if icann has not adopted its own final politics for the subordination of new gtlds. This is expected for the fall of 2007. But in lisbon, scenarios already ghosted by the landscape, according to which icann the governments wants a veto law in the award of tld’s premises. If that came so, since it had been subject to the united nations in the wsis process icann equal to the united nations, if the government control of the us government has come back through the backpound of control over gtlds by the usa by the usa.

For icann this can go to the substance. The core business – root server, domain names and ip addresses – threatens icann to glide from the hands. With the address assignment this is not so dramatic. For a long time, it has been in the hands of the regional internet registries (rirs), which make their own politics via their number resource organization (ngo). The ngo is though "address supporting organization" (aso) closely linked to icann and also has two directors in the board, but their decisions will meet them quite independently of icann, you can see that the rirs remember their numbering blond from the internet assigned numbers authority (iana). The root server system is more critical. There is still the us government’s hand about it. The landandomains (cctlds) can not be rewarded in their national legislation of icann local politics. And if now the final competence for the core of the core business, the gtlds, should migrate to the gac, then ask for icann’s future quite different questions..

After all, icann was able to report a success at the lisbon conference in another area, which was neglected for years for years. With the basic vdr europaische at large organization (euralo), four regional internet users have now constituted organizations. Although formally, the users have no voting rights in the icann board of directors, their arguments are increasingly noted and icann is doing well -. Given the debacle of the registrar registry flying registrar registrar registry flying to the consumer protection and consumer protection for domain names and ip addresses. .

Regrets the negative decision .Xxx also of some critical observers who would like to see a showdown between icann and the us government. It would have been an interesting test case if a tld root zone file by iana to the us commerce for authorization of publication in the hidden server has been sent. Since the us government is exemplary on the one hand .Had pronounced xxx and, on the other hand, in the wsis process always claimed that his control over the root is not abused for one-sided political purposes, the moment of truth had been. Maybe the prere on the icann directorate in advance was so strong to avoid this showdown.

But it will not have been the last strength sample. Unlegst has the us home protection ministry (dhs), which has so far noticed little to icann, claimed, claimed to become a sole manager of the master’s deadline for the new security software dnssec for the internet root. To the "safety and stability of a us economy and politics critical infrastructure" to preserve, be necessary. What such claim for political consequences for the just enough debate over "internet governance" have, is not even and discussed. After all, the canadian gac representative raised the question in lisbon. And since he also a member of the consultant group of the "internet governance forums" is, this topic will soon provide for new waves.