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AFRIK-IT  September 2000

AFRIK-IT September 2000

Subject:

Re: ccTLDs: What role for African governments?

From:

Jeffrey Cochrane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Mon, 25 Sep 2000 11:36:24 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

Greetings Afrik-ITes!

Eberhard Lisse writes from Namibia:

> It is outright WRONG to involve ANY government in the
> running of the Internet. Look at the PTTs. And
> liberalization thereof.

That is certainly a clear and unequivocal view. Is this a
majority view in Africa?

> GAC doesn´t matter.

Perhaps GAC does not matter, as Dr. Lisse suggests,
but do Nii Quaynor and Calvin Browne (both nominees for
the Africa seats on ICANN) believe this?

In response to the question of roles for governments,
neither Nii nor Calvin address the endorsement by GAC
that governments should control the assignment of ccTLD
administration. (Alan Levin, the third nominee from
Africa, did not reply to the question.)

Yet both Nii and Calvin point to the GAC as the forum for
governments. (And Alan remains silent.) The position of
Africa on this issue thus remains unclear, at least to me.
One of these three gentlemen will be elected on October
10 as Africa's at-large delegate to ICANN.

Are you one of the 321 people who will determine the
Africa winner? Will you be voting?

As a matter of related interest, Nii and Alan were named
by the ICANN nominating committee to be on the ballot.
Calvin was named by 51 of the 321 at-large African
members themselves (like a floor nomination).

Calvin administers the commercial domain name space
for South Africa. Alan cofounded the Telkom South
Africa owned ISP Intekom. Nii is an ISP owner and a
member of government regulatory boards in Ghana. You
can find all this information and more on the ICANN Web
site http://members.icann.org

On this subject I did write a question to my own (North
American) region's candidates for at-large positions with
ICANN. You may find their answers informative. See
below.

Cheers!
Jeff @ Nairobi


Date: 2000-09-22 01:38:55
Author: Jeffrey Cochrane
Question:

The GAC (representing national governments to ICANN)
is on record as saying that national governments around
the world must name and be responsible for their own
national ccTLD administrator. Do you concur?

Nominee Replies

Donald Langenberg
 - posted on 2000-09-24 11:02:23
Sounds reasonable to me, though I'd like to hear a little
more about what be responsible for is supposed to mean.

Harris Miller
 - posted on 2000-09-23 16:47:49
No, in general I believe that the current IANA system
works well and should be retained absent a
demonstration of a compelling need.

Emerson Tiller, J.D., Ph.D.
 - posted on 2000-09-22 09:15:01
Yes, I generally agree. ICANN should set out voluntary
guidelines and perhaps use incentives to encourage
compliance. But the ultimate decision should probably
rest with individual governments.

Lyman Chapin
 - posted on 2000-09-22 06:26:19
No. In Principles for Delegation and Administration of
ccTLDs (http://www.icann.org/gac/gac-cctldprinciples-
23feb00.htm) the GAC essentially argues that
ICANN/IANA shouldn't be able to have it both ways - if
they claim neutrality with respect to determining what is
and is not a country by deferring to ISO 3166-1, they
can't at the same time reserve the right to determine
whether or not the governments of those countries are
likely to designate appropriate managers for the
corresponding ccTLD (the current IANA ccTLD delegation
practices (http://www.iana.org/cctld/icp1.htm) go only so
far as to say that the desires of the government of a
country with regard to delegation of a ccTLD are taken
very seriously). I agree with this position in principle, but
it denies entirely the IANA's long-standing view of TLD
managers: TLD managers are trustees for the delegated
domain, and have a duty to serve the community. The
designated manager is the trustee of the TLD for both the
nation, in the case of ccTLDs, and the global Internet
community. Although this high-mindedness (which some
would call arrogance) may not be sustainable in the
future, I would like to see considerably more discussion
of the idea before abandoning it.

Lawrence Lessig
 - posted on 2000-09-22 05:30:29
Presumptively, yes. ICANN can allocate
responsibility to them so long as they
comply with requirements implementing
the values that define ICANN's charter.
This would be difficult ground to step into,
but if a government deviated from those
values, it would be difficult for ICANN to
continue to recognize its control. I would
hope, for ICANN's sake, that this issue
could be avoided for as long as possible.



----
Information and Communication Technology Programs
USAID/REDSO/ESA
http://www.usaid.gov/redso
Tel +254 (2) 862400 x2762
Email [log in to unmask] (preferred)
Email [log in to unmask]
PO Box 30261
Nairobi
KENYA

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