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07|13|2007 11:44 am EDT

Keep the Core Neutral

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

Keep the Core Neutral LogoKeep the Core Neutral“, a new petition to the ICANN board of directors, was recently announced. The purpose is to “protect freedom of expression and innovation in domain name policy“. The full text of the petition reads:

Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas without interference through any media, including cyberspace.

As the new generic top-level domain name space emerges and policy choices are made about how ideas may be expressed at the Internet’s top-level, we ask ICANN to keep the core neutral of non-technical disputes and choose policies that respect freedom of expression and permit innovation in the new domain name space.

Encouraging the free flow of information is a foundational principle of public policy decisions related to information and communication technology. Freedom of expression rights, which are fundamental in an Information Society, foster democratic participation, individual empowerment, and economic development.

Cyberspace remains a unique and special place that bridges ancient divisions, where diverse communities interact readily, and all views are welcome. But only if these attributes are valued by policymakers who set Internet governance rules and incorporated into policies about how ideas may be expressed in domain names.

We ask that ICANN stay within its technical mandate and refrain from embedding particular national, regional, moral, or religious policy objectives into global rules over the use of language in domain names. It would be dangerous “mission-creep” for ICANN to adjudicate between conflicting policy objectives and set global standards for expression that are enforced through ICANN’s technical function. Please do not allow ICANN to become a convenient lever of global control by those seeking to censor unpopular or controversial expression on the Internet.

Please keep the Internet’s technical core neutral from national or other ideological conflicts, allowing freedom and innovation to flourish in cyberspace.

What do you think about this petition? Ultimately I think it can only help the domain space to have ICANN concentrate on fulfilling it’s technical mandate, so it will not interfere with future development of the domain space.

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