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Council of Europe wants ICANN role

Kevin Murphy, June 7, 2010, 17:11:22 (UTC), Domain Policy

The Council of Europe has decided it wants to play a more hands-on role in ICANN, voting recently to try to get itself an observer’s seat on the Governmental Advisory Committee.

The Council, which comprises ministers from 47 member states, said it “could encourage due consideration of fundamental rights and freedoms in ICANN policy-making processes”.

ICANN’s ostensibly technical mission may at first seem a bit narrow for considerations as lofty as human rights, until you consider areas where it has arguably failed in the past, such as freedom of expression (its clumsy rejection of .xxx) and privacy (currently one-sided Whois policies).

The Council voted to encourage its members to take a more active role in the GAC, and to “make arrangements” for itself to sit as an observer on its meetings.

It also voted to explore ways to help with the creation of a permanent GAC secretariat to replace the current ad hoc provisions.

The resolution was passed in late May and first reported today by IP Watch.

The Council of Europe is a separate entity to the European Union, comprising more countries. Its biggest achievement was the creation of the European Court of Human Rights.

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Comments (2)

  1. if fact, the C of E was very enthusiastic about .xxx. Back in September 2005 we presented to them in Strasbourg as part of their Pan-European Forum
    HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY:
    RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR BY KEY ACTORS

    and they reported:

    ‘The work of the International Foundation for Online Responsibility and the development of the “.xxx”
    domain for adult entertainment services is another good example of relevant industry actors assuming
    responsibility for self-regulation and labelling through collaboration with human rights organisations, child
    welfare advocates and government and enforcement agencies.’

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