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Diplo alumni, expert and tutor (watch for the upcoming IGMENA course) Rafik Dammak was interviewed by APC news in We need to avoid a situation where the DNS is used to police conten...
There are too many interesting points to summarise here, so I suggest you read the article, but here are a few excerpts:
'The issue here is that there is a group with a strong intellectual property interest trying to defend their corporate customers, so they want to avoid a situation like having total.sucks or something like that, and to take the domain from the registrant claiming that it is a trademark infringement. It is happening more now, in particular with the new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs).'
'The whole idea is to use the DNS to do content policy, [with .health] to use a technical infrastructure for another purpose than it was designed for. A domain is just that, an identifier on the internet that is humanly readable to lead you to access.'
My favorite quote:
'People say "It is just DNS, it is limited and narrow." However, the policy that’s made about the DNS has a global effect and it is creating precedent. Like in the case of the WHOIS information, there you have a lot of personal information such as your name, your address, your postal code, all of this can be accessible on the internet. If you are an activist you are really at risk. Even if it is so narrow, DNS is an important part of the internet ecosystem and any policy upon it has a dramatic effect.'
What can you do about it?
'I understand when people come and see ICANN as too complex and too narrow, but ICANN as a policy maker on domain names, and a part of the infrastructure of the internet, has an impact. If you are an NGO with limited resources, there is a possibility to liaise with us and join for concerns on specific topics. Do not come expecting to cover all the topics, but to monitor and raise those that you think are important.'
I suggest you give it a read for an insider's view of current DNS discussion.