Security faux pas in Nairobi

Kevin Murphy, March 11, 2010, 14:09:28 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN committed a diplomatic faux pas in its handling of the security scare before its meeting in Nairobi, according to the Kenyan Government Advisory Committee rep.

“We spent most of the months leading up to the meeting occupied and dealing with issues to do with security and I feel this was to do with badly handled communication,” Alice Munyua of the Communications Commission of Kenya said during a meeting on Tuesday.

“I feel that communicating people’s fears and the efforts being made to ensure everybody’s safety could have been handled more diplomatically and respectfully for Kenya as host,” she said.

Before the meeting, ICANN had posted a series of security updates to its web site, including a blunt warning from the US State Department that Somali terrorists were planning to blow up the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

ICANN’s own language was not particularly alarmist, but it was enough to cause a reaction. The following week, 72 confirmed on-site attendees, including reps from Go Daddy and Neustar, had cancelled their registration.

“We tried to be very sensitive to the situation in Kenya, but at the same time we had community members demanding of us full disclosure of any information we might have, so we sought to strive for a balance,” ICANN boss Rod Beckstrom told Munyua. “Perhaps we didn’t find the right balance.”

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  1. [...] developed an as-yet unpublished “Meetings Security Plan”, presumably in response to the terrorism fears that kept many constituents at home for the Nairobi meeting in March. Related posts (automatically [...]

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