Declan McCullagh on Wed, 9 Feb 2000 01:51:41 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> FC: Yes, British Telecom *does* want to segregate Web sites

     [orig to <>, cc: <>;
      reformatted for nettime--tb]


Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 12:53:20 -0500
From: Milton Mueller <>
Subject: Re: FC: British Telecom says idea "distorted," wants other 


Your take on Lewis's policy perspective was exactly correct. I have been
interacting with Lewis and another BT representative on ICANN's Working
Group C on new TLDs for several months. The BT representatives have
consistently advocated a highly regulated DNS name space. For example,
instead of allowing new businesses and organizations to propose their own
new TLD names, BT wants ICANN to establish a central, fixed classification
scheme for new TLDs. Each TLD would have a very specific "charter" as to
who could and could not register within it. 

As Lewis put it, "the TLD structure should embody a framework which
precludes replication of domain types, interest groups or business areas,
to avoid confusing Internet customers." 

This has profound implications for the regulation of the Net as a whole. 
Your discussion of how pornography might be classified did the community a
service by highlighting one of the dangers of such an apporach. But it is
only one aspect of what could turn out to be a way to exert sweeping forms
of leverage over Internet content. Imagine how robust the publication
market would be if some international authority decided that there should
be a "framework which precludes replication of [magazine content] types,
interest groups, or business areas, to avoid confusing [magazine]
customers." Imagine the regulation that would be imposed as a relatively
unaccountable international regulatory agency (ICANN) decided which form
of publication content belongs in which category. 

Those of you who have not been struggling in the trenches of ICANN's
working groups for the past 8 months probably cannot believe how rigid and
regulatory are the attitudes of the business and political interests who
have gravitated to ICANN's DNSO. 

Declan McCullagh wrote: 

 > Is BT justifiably annoyed or simply backpedaling from a proposal
 > accidentally sent to a public list? You decide:

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