by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
domain names, domain seizures, legality, seizures


Rather Than Speaking Out Against Domain Seizures, ICANN Provides A 'How To' Manual

from the uh,-bad-decision dept

A couple weeks ago, we noted that with all of these questionable domain seizures going on, it was a shame that ICANN wasn't speaking out against such questionable abuses of the domain system. We thought its silence was a sign of its impotence to actually take a stand. Turns out we may have actually overestimated ICANN's willingness to stand up for the internet. You see, late last week it put out a "Thought Paper on Domain Seizures and Takedowns."

By "thought paper" -- they actually mean an instruction manual.

Seriously. The document is basically a step-by-step guide for government officials on how to seize, takedown and censor websites. It has sections like "guide for preparing domain name orders, seizures & takedowns" and "checklist of information to submit with a legal or regulatory action." This is exactly the opposite of what ICANN should be doing if it believes in preserving the basic structure and principles of the internet. But given ICANN's general incompetence, is it really any surprise that it's ending up on the wrong side of this issue, too?

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  1. identicon
    Jim Trengrove, 23 Mar 2012 @ 4:08pm

    How to?

    The fact is, law enforcement will continue to conduct site seizures in response to criminal activity, so why not provide them a clearer understanding of how domain names and the DNS actually work? On the flip side, why not give registrars and registries some insight into what they can expect if and when the law comes knocking and they’re obliged to comply?

    ICANN believes informed decision-making by all parties involved with site seizures will minimize errors and reduce collateral damage.

    So if you want to label ICANN’s "Thought Paper on Domain Seizures and Takedowns" as a “How to…” manual, finish it with “…prevent more problems.”

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