Meeting might be moved to different location in Kenya.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has called a special meeting of the Board of Directors to address security concerns for the upcoming ICANN meeting in Kenya.
Although the details on ICANN’s web site are minimal, an editorial in ComputerWorld Kenya suggests ICANN is considering moving the meeting from Nairobi to a UN compound in Gigiriin.
This isn’t the first time security concerns have affected an ICANN meeting in Kenya. A meeting was planned for last year, but was canceled after social unrest following the 2007 Kenyan elections.
The editorial suggests that ICANN has a double standard, holding meetings in Mexico City and Seoul but not Kenya.
I think ICANN has its double standards; if they were truly concerned about the security, the meeting in Seoul would not have taken place; South Korea is always under alert because of North Korea nuclear intentions.
The meeting in Mexico city would not have gone on, after all every one there is said to carry a gun and the senior executives within ICANN membership were at risk of kidnappings. But the meetings took place.
Last year I discussed how Mexico City was a poor choice due to security concerns.
But the editorial also suggests that an ICANN meeting in Nairobi would happen without incident:
In short, ICANN should know that they will come, they will hold their meeting, they will go away, and no one will probably remember they were here. How many people know about ICANN and what it does? How many people know that the people present are online millionaires?
Perhaps. But it’s only a matter of time before an “online millionaire” has an unfortunate experience at an ICANN event held in the wrong place.
Domain Investor says
When I first heard Icann was going to Kenya, I thought they were trying to kill off top management.
As mentioned, first Mexico City, then Seoul, then Kenya, I assumed they were trying to drastically reduce quantity of dissent at the Icann meetings.
I heard a rumor that Icann is considering the North Pole in 2012.
titus Ngeno says
This does not make sense at all 75 percent of Kenyans have no clue of what the work of ICANN is all about. So why would you be concern. I think there’s more to this.
I do realized information-technology-inspired politics move faster than traditional ones — but they’re not necessarily better. But this is far stretch
I really don’t understand these concerns. I have been in many African countries and the chances that you get robbed might be higher in Mexico or LA than in Kenya.
Chelsea L says
I hear Gaza is nice this time of year?
titus Ngeno says
In the Memorandum of Understanding that set up the relationship between ICANN and the U.S. government, ICANN was given a mandate requiring that it operate “in a bottom up, consensus driven, democratic manner.” However, the attempts that ICANN have made to set up an organizational structure that would allow wide input from the global Internet community did not produce results amenable to the current Board. As a result, the At-Large constituency and direct election of board members by the global Internet community were soon abandoned.
It is argued that ICANN was never given the authority to decide policy (i.e., choose new TLDs or shut out other interested parties who refuse to pay ICANN’s US$185,000 fee), but was to be a technical caretaker. Critics suggest that ICANN should not be allowed to impose business rules on market participants, and that all TLDs should be added on a first-come-first-served basis and the market should be the arbiter of who succeeds and who does not.
A member of the European Parliament, William Newton-Dunn, has recently been addressing questions to the European Commission which asks whether ICANN is engaging in restraint of European free trade laws by imposing restrictions on who can operate a TLD and sell domain names. Some restrictions are considered insurmountable by many small business owners and individuals, such as the perhaps-partially-refundable $185,000 application fee.
John Berryhill says
Incidentally, the Board has confirmed they are proceeding with the meeting.
I am one of the folks who did not understand the “security concerns” here in the first place. The incident that prompted the recent “concerns” is an internal law enforcement issue in Kenya, and is unlikely to inspire anyone to get excited over something as mundane as ICANN meeting in a conference facility that regularly hosts international meetings of all kinds.
The “security scorecard” thus far is that quite a few meeting participants were mugged in Rio de Janeiro, and one contracted malaria in Ghana.
I agree with the Kenyan blogger’s article to the effect that it is difficult not to suspect that a double standard is at work relative to the “security concerns”. Yesterday, a man was arrested for firing a gun on the steps of the Texas legislature. How many organizations with business in Texas are re-evaluating their plans?
Andrew Allemann says
@ John – I heard that the Intellectual Property Constituency said it’s not going to Nairobi. Does that mean gTLDs will finally get pushed through?