ICAAN’s, conference in Abu Dhabi is setback for freedom of speech, endangers bloggers, activists
Nov 05 2017
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICAAN conference held in Abu Dhabi on 23 October to 3rd of November 2013 is a setback for freedom of speech and the basic right of freedom of expression. The conference is titled “ICANN Annual General 60”. The event hosted Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The International Campaign to Boycott UAE (ICBU) denounced with the strongest words the irresponsible action of ICAAN to hold such an event in Abu Dhabi, the capital of “repression”, “oppression” and autocracy.
“How on earth such an organisation accepts to hold its event in an autocratic country hosted by Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This means ICAAN loses its independency, integrity and impartiality” said Henry Green, ICBU spokesperson
ICANN Conference’s agenda touched upon, “typically they cover contractual issues with the retail and wholesale arms of the Domain Name System, ways to respond to illegal or abusive use of the Internet’s naming systems, internal restructuring, and new initiatives for increasing competition on the Internet.”
ICBU thinks that holding such meetings would risk hundreds of thousands of bloggers, writers and journalists who choose to hide their identity in UAE and the Arab world. The ever growing ICANN relations with UAE is risking revealing their identity thus they may face imprisonment or killing giving that UAE is sharing information with repressive regimes across the Arab world. Bearing in mind that ICANN’s staff have access to the database of domain owners.
Thus, we hold ICANN responsible for any incidents that may include the imprisonment and killing of activists, bloggers or journalists.
Therefore, we call on ICANN to drop its cooperation with UAE, especially the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
The Campaign will add the ICANN to the black list of organisation and individuals aiding UAE’s attempts of freedom of expression repression.