Wednesday, February 28, 2007

ICANN and online morality?

A friend of mine wrote:
>> I don't think that I can agree with Milton Mueller's statement that ICANN
>> should stick to it historically technical role. This might have been
>> possible when no one cared but is no longer possible or desirable. Someone
>> has to do policy and politics. If not ICANN then ...?

The answer to this after WSIS II was "the Internet Governance Forum" which met in Athens last November, and will meet in Rio in June 2007. That, and the many many legitimate organisations that are set up to deal with things such as legality and morality in different jurisdictions.

The GAC is flexing its muscles. It's up to us to stand up and balance the scales.
It is unacceptable that ICANN, a US corporation, which is responsible in the final account to the US government, and is not a representative body, with no legitimacy other than that given by the US govt and what we choose to give them, should make decisions of this nature.

It is equally unacceptable that the GAC should bully the Board of ICANN into accepting a defacto veto from ANY country. To show the absurdity of it - it's like Saudi Arabia deciding that a Brazilian or Trinidadian website cannot show half-naked women at Carnival? So a culture that has nothing to do with us can determine that we may not do something that is totally legal and permissible in our society? If I wanted to live by the laws of another culture, I would MOVE there!

What we need to do is have discussion on these sorts of topics on these lists, and develop a position that can be presented to ICANN. As individual Internet users, we need to become active in the management of OUR Internet. Otherwise, one day we';ll wake up and find that or even has been taken down from the Internet because someone in another part of the world with a different culture has determined that it is "immoral".

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