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New Zealanders Appointed to World Internet Bodies

"New Zealand's effective voice in the arena of international Internet governance changes has been recognised by the appointment of two New Zealander's to important international Internet bodies" said Sue Leader, the Executive Director of the Internet Society of New Zealand today. "We feel the appointment of Wellington Barrister Peter Dengate Thrush to the Working Group of the Domain Name Supporting Organisation of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and the secondment of Andy Linton, of Netlink Corporate Internet Specialists to the Internet Governance Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery pays tribute to the years of work of both men have put into an open and accessible Internet for everyone," Leader said.

Both Dengate Thrush and Linton were key speakers at the April 30
National Summit on Internet Governance Changes held in Auckland.The
Summit established a New Zealand position to take to the ICANN Open
Board Meeting in Berlin last month. ICANN is the new international
Internet governance body which has run into considerable controversy
over the way it has gone about setting up the new structures to take
the Internet into the next millennium.
Peter Dengate Thrush was one of the Internet Society of NZ
Inc (ISOCNZ) representatives putting the New Zealand position at the
recent ICANN Board Meeting in Berlin, where he made a successful case
to prevent ICANN from adopting the controversial recommendations of the
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). The WIPO
recommendations included the compulsory take down of Domain Names in
alleged Trade Mark infringements and a proposed compulsory global
disputes resolution process.
When the New Zealand Internet community met at the April National
Summit, organised by ISOCNZ, they developed a New Zealand position on
the WIPO recommendations as well as other ICANN proposals to the Berlin
ICANN Board meeting on May 26. At the Berlin meeting Dengate Thrush
successfully argued the New Zealand position that the Interim ICANN
Board should not make a decision on the WIPO recommendations. "The
Articles of Association for ICANN require any such sweeping policy
recommendations be handed over to the appropriate Constituency group
for consideration and recommendation", Dengate Thrush said. "We are
pleased that the outcome was for ICANN to pass the WIPO report to the
Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) as the DNSO is the legally
mandated body to deal with the issue" he finished.
The DNSO has acted and set up five committees which will look at how
to respond to the Board's request for policy input, by July 31, on
Chapter 3 of WIPO. Dengate Thrush's appointment to Working Group A will
focus on the areas of particular areas of interest for New Zealand.
They are: whether there should be a standard dispute resolution process
throughout all Registrars / Registries; whether the dispute resolution
process should be voluntary or mandatory, or a combination of both; and
whether there should be some method for contracting out of the right to
seek a court ruling if one undertakes to submit to the dispute
resolution process. Dengate Thrush joins an international committee of
Andy Linton is the Operations Manager for Netlink and is also
a Councillor of the Internet Society of New Zealand. Linton has been
involved in the development of the Internet for over sixteen years and
has played a crucial role in shaping many of the underlying
philosophies of openness and accessibility. He is, and has been, a
key-player in the technical arena of the underlying network which forms
the Internet and was heavily involved in getting Victoria University
connected to the Internet in 1989.
"Historically the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) policy
committees, and hence the Internet Governance Committee of the ACM
(ACM-IGC), generally limit their work to issues and/or situations where
ACM and ACM members have particular expertise to offer, and the needs
and/or rights of public constituencies may be at risk due to technology
or technology policy." Linton said.
"The ACM council considered the Internet governance arena to meet
these criteria, and therefore chartered the ACM Internet Governance
Committee, ACM-IGC," he continued. "A key principle is that the
Internet should be for the benefit of humankind. This recognises that
the Internet should be governed within the confines of the law, but
that variances in cultural assumptions and laws need to be accepted and
taken into account. Also that the technology should be encouraged to
continue development as broadly as possible within reasonable bounds of
social responsibility."
Because individuals, non-profits, social agencies, parties from less
aggressive cultures lack the financial resources to mobilise as
effectively as large business and governments there is a risk their
voices may not have been heard yet. Therefore ACM-IGC believes that no
constituency, e.g. the global Top Level Domain (gTLD) should be closed
to membership at this early stage of the ICANN process of development
of Internet governance. "The group will work to see that no-one, no
matter how well-intentioned, will attempt to formally represent 'small
players' while also having hats of other major interests or
constituencies",Linton concluded.
For further information on the ACM
For "The Internet is For Everyone."See Vint Cerf's IETF Internet-Draft FTP or HTTP
© 1999 The Internet Society of New Zealand

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