Follow-up to Open Letter to ICANN (11-8-2023)
Dear Tripti, Sally and Danko,
Thank you for your consideration of my previous letter dated November 3, 2023 regarding the Antisemitic statements made by Talal Abu Ghazaleh, the founder and chairman of the Jordan-based organization, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization calling for the removal of the instance of the L-Root from this organization. The response I have gotten from the ICANN community in support for my request has been overwhelming, and I thank community members that have reached out to me personally in dealing with this incredibly difficult and sensitive situation. I wanted, however, to address a couple of comments I have gotten over the past few days to explain what it is that I am asking and why this is different than previous situations. First, I have heard from some that my statement can be mistakenly interpreted as advocating that the L-Root instance should not be with an Arabic, Jordanian, or Palestinian organization. That could not be further from the truth. Although I believe that TAG should not have an instance of the L-Root, there are hundreds, if not more, organizations in Jordan and other Arabic countries that would be worthy and deserving of hosting that instance. I am only calling for the instance of the L-Root to be at an organization in those countries or territories that does not advocate Antisemitic principles or openly call for the eradication of Israel and the extermination of Jewish people around the world.
Second, some have said that the Ukraine situation where ICANN denied a request to remove .ru from the Root established a principle for ICANN staying out of these types of situations. However, this is nothing like the previous request. I am not calling for anyone person, country or organization to be removed from the Internet. I am not asking for anyone to deprived the human right of access to the Internet nor would I ever advocate for that. To be crystal clear, this request does not involve depriving anyone of their fundamental right to access the Internet. No one will be harmed by the removal and relocation of 1 of the 195 instances of the L-Root server (according to https://root-servers.org). This is especially the case if it is transitioned to another Jordanian location (with a non-Antisemitic organization). Finally, hosting an instance of the L-Root should be treated as an honor and a privilege, not a fundamental right. And with that honor or privilege comes a responsibility (at a minimum) to act in accordance with ICANN's Expected Standards of Behavior, which includes treating all people with respect and not to engage in "speech or behavior that is sexually aggressive or that intimidates based on attributes such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, color, national origin, ancestry, disability or medical condition, sexual orientation, or gender identity." (See https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/expected-standards-2016-06-28-en) It is imperative for ICANN's credibility and its future that ICANN and all of its vendors live by what it expects of others. As with my original letter, please post this on the ICANN Correspondence page in the spirit of openness and transparency. Sincerely, Jeffrey J. Neuman