Statement: We strongly oppose Lynn's proposals for changing the ICANN governance structures.
11 March 2002
On February 24, ICANN president Stuart Lynn issued a report calling for drastic restructuring of ICANN governance. We are issuing this statement in opposition to this report. The report wipes out all the efforts made over the last couple of years to realize a global democracy on ICANN issues, independent from the interests of national governments. Using the excuse that the first priority must be given to effectiveness of decision making, Lynn's report removes representation for individual Internet users and hands their ICANN Board seats over to a few governments.
If ICANN accepts the Lynn proposals and gives strong authority to a handful of governments it will lock individual users and civil society interests out of the ICANN process. Domain name and IP adress that are infrastructure of information and communication technology of the Internet are managed by ICANN. It is very difficult to put ICANN process above mission into practice democratically through present national governments. Therefore ICANN will become the same as other multinational organizations such as the WTO/IMF/WB. As a result, a few large countries and big business will have priority and Internet governance will become directed towards serving their political and military purposes.
"The driving notion at the time of ICANN's creation was consensus", Lynn's report says, "it is clear to me that the driving notion today, with the renewed focus precipitated by the events of 9/11, must be effectiveness. Like any institution with responsibility for key infrastructure, ICANN must be able to act when needed."
It is clear that "effectiveness" here does not mean an economic one, but a political and military effectiveness. In aiming to bring this about the report proposes to abandon the whole idea of governance by consensus. The Internet infrastructure is to be exploited for war and emergency purposes by certain countries and freedom and privacy of Internet communications are ignored.
The right to communicate is a basic human right. Internet governance should guarantee this right as its first priority. In no case should public infrastructure and technological architecture infringe on this. But Lynn's report takes the wrong standpoint that certain national interests must be placed above this right to communicate.
The global development of the Internet has supported free communication by ordinary people and assisted the people's struggle against the brutalities of globalization. The changes of Internet governance proposed in Lynn's report will seriously damage people's global communication and, as a result, will also adversely affect anti-globalization movements.
The ICANN board must reject the removal of consensus and democratic procedures called for in Lynn's report. We call for the ICANN Board to make clear its position on the following questions:
1. It must make clear that it does not intend to change the ICANN structures along the lines of Lynn's proposals.
2. The ICANN board should give an account of any discussions it has had onthe report.
3. It should give an account of any discussions that have taken place with the US and other governments concerning the report.
3-21 Kandanishiki-cho Chiyoda-ku
Networkers against Surveillance Taskforce(NaST, member of NCDNHC)
Toshimaru Ogura (JCA-NET/NaST)
*Organaizations and individuals that approve
(The names not in order)
People's Plan Study Group
Concerned steering members of the People's Media Network**individuals
Jun Oenoki(Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Tokyo Keizai University)
Kunimitsu Moriya(Free International University Japan)
Akira Matsubara (Labornet Japan)
Yukihiro Yasuda (freelance writer)
Tadakazu Fukutomi (journalist, media producer)
Hiroki Azuma (critic)
Ryuta Itagaki (The Network against The Politics of National Symbols (NAPONS))
Yukihiko Yoshida (Keio University, Graduate School, DanceMailingList moderator)
Seiko Hanochi (Center for International and Security Studies (Canada))
Takashi Shiraishi (Privacy Action)
Yukio Kurihara (editor)
Yutaka Saburi (Chiba Jr. College)
Hisashi Murata (Kitakyushu Kawara-Ban)
Kyohei Imai (journalist, the representative of "Citizens' Association to Stop the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal")
Taguchi, Yuichiro (Associate Professor of Mathematics Graduate School of Mathematics Kyushu University)
Tadao Ouchi (Denki Tsushin Sangyo Roudoukumiai(Telecommunication Industry Labor Union), chair of executive committee)
Masayoshi Ogawa (Denki Tsushin Sangyo Roudoukumiai(Telecommunication Industry Labor Union), member of executive committee)
Yayori Matsui (Chairperson of Violence Against Women in War Network
Japan (VAWW-NET Japan))
Makoto Hibino§iQueer activist§j
Tsuyoshi Okada (editorial committee of "Hahei Check (Checking Sending Troops)")
Domatsu Katsunori (Urgent Campaign against Japan-Korea Investment Agreement)
Tomio Tsunoda (National Network for Realizing Retrail of Yokohama Case)
Tosio Miyazaki (Civil Action Network for 'Break! the Basic Resident Registers')
Eiji Yoshimura (Japan Consumers Union)
(As of March 11, 2002)