Editor's note: The following letter was initially sent privately to the U.S. government's representatives in ICANN. It asks why they – like all other governmental representatives – are completely absent from an ICANN group discussing the way to handle “sensitive” or “objectionable” top level domain name proposals. So far, I've received no response. The lack of participation by GAC members raises doubts about their commitment to a nongovernmental, multi-stakeholder process in Internet governance. The silence of the US government representatives raises even more serious questions about its commitment to its own Constitutional guarantees of freedom expression, and Secretary of State Clinton's Internet freedom initiatives.

Dear Daniel Weizner, Suzanne Sene and Fiona Alexander:

As you may know the USG's concerns about morality and public order (MAPO) objections to new TLD strings have led to the creation of a discussion list within ICANN. We are trying to come up with an adjustment in the policy; a fairly broad spectrum of ICANN participants are engaged in discussion of this problem. However, we have noticed that no GAC members have joined the list.

The MAPO issue is particularly sensitive and important given the way it converges issues related to freedom of expression, ICANN's legitimacy and the role of the Governmental Advisory Committee in ICANN.

Given GAC's role in this controversy, I see no way that the rest of us can have a productive discussion without the participation of GAC members. Therefore, I am hoping that the US Government will set a good example and join the rest of the community in good-faith discussions of the problems GAC is concerned about and help in the movement toward a solution, and that it will encourage other GAC members to join these discussions.

I am making this request both as a stakeholder within ICANN (Executive Committee member of the Noncommercial Stakeholders Group) and as a U.S. citizen who wishes to see that the U.S. Constitution and U.S. values regarding Internet freedom are protected in this process.

Best wishes
Milton Mueller, Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies

11 thoughts on “Open letter to the U.S. Goverment on domain name censorship

  1. How much money is U.S goverment savings by having illegal immigrant doing cheap labor?

  2. I was deeply concerned about this. People send letters to the government pertaining to inquiries or suggestions as to what the sender's concern was about. It should be moderated since some people messes with sending letters as such they are spamming. Hope people do send letters that are duly abiding with the terms and conditions of sending letters.
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  3. “You've got a building in the Cayman Islands that supposedly houses 12,000 corporations. That's either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record.”
    Barack Obama on Saturday, January 5th, 2008 in a debate in Manchester, N.H.

  4. Did Frankie just find out he will need a unique US Federal EIN for every .COM ?
    And a $500 Verisign DNSSEC certificate ?
    .USA Lock-Down

  5. http://www.iab.org/documents/iabmins/iabmins.2010-05-12.txt
    8. IN-ADDR background
    Olaf described that IN-ADDR.ARPA is currently being operated by
    ARIN and that there are plans in development to move the
    function under IANA. He had recently discussed the move with John
    Curran (ARIN President), and the board discussed coordination that
    might be needed with ARIN and IANA in order to properly structure
    the transfer.

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