EDRI signs "Keep The Core Neutral" petition

By EDRi · July 4, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRI) has joined more than 100
individuals and organizations from around the world in signing the
petition “Keep The Core Neutral” urging ICANN (Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers ) to resist efforts to evaluate applications for
new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) based on non-technical criteria such
as ideas about morality and competing national political objectives.

The “Keep the Core Neutral” coalition is concerned that ICANN’s draft policy
includes evaluation criteria that go well beyond technical considerations of
operational stability and security and exceeds the organization’s mandate of
technical coordination.

In particular, ICANN is considering policy that would reject applications
for new gTLDs if they violate globally fixed standards on “morality” or
“public order”. But the lack of global standards on morality and policy
objectives invites nations with restrictions on free expression to impose
censorship on the entire world by blocking the creation of certain domains.
There is also concern that religious institutions and business competitors
will be allowed to object to new domain name applications based on
non-technical and non-legal criteria.

Creating a precedent for generalized public governance would be
dangerous, as the private corporation does not have a democratic governance
structure that is accountable to the public or that includes protections for
the rights of Internet users.

The proposed policy also threatens to extend unrelated concepts derived from
commercial trademark law onto non-commercial expression, but domain names
are distinct from trademarks in significant ways. Trademark rights only
regulate a particular type of commercial speech, while ICANN policy could
expand trademark restrictions onto non-commercial expression and prevent
online criticism of companies and products.

In a 27 June 2007 workshop at the San Juan ICANN meeting, a distinguished
panel of legal and technical experts addressed these issues including former
ICANN Board Member and attorney Michael Palage, who co-authored a 2006 essay
“Please, Keep the Core Neutral”, which served as inspiration for the
coalition’s global petition.

Keep The Core Neutral : Global Petition Urges ICANN to Protect Free
Expression and Innovation in Domain Name Policy (30.06.2007)

Global Petition to ICANN Board of Directors: “Keep the Core Neutral”

Transcript of Keep the Core Neutral Workshop (27.06.2007)