While everyone in Internet Governance space probably may heard about the IANA stewardship transition and ICANN reform, we are definitely not going to talk about that. What matters is the policies made within and by ICANN.
ICANN is an hybrid organisation of business and regulator nature creating policy with global overreach for DNS. It enforces its policies through contracts with domain names registries and registrars, or what can be described as term of services having little protection for the registrant.
For years, governments, law enforcement, intellectual property and business interests have been pressing and attempting to get ICANN going beyond its limited mission. They are still lobbying to create policies impacting registrants and users without real safeguards and in several occasion in contradiction with laws:
* Collecting and accessing to registration data (or the so-called whois) linked to domain weakening users privacy.
* Abusing the arbitration process such UDRP threatening freedom of expression, or hijacking the contractual compliance to go into copyright and content issue
* Using DNS to impose content policy via the new generic names launched lately arguing safety, morality and public interest.
The panel is aimed to describe this in more details and with concrete cases happened in the last years , and to explore how civil society, activists and digital defenders can respond to that effectively. We need to prevent that domain name become a weak point and a risk for the privacy and rights of activists, also to learn from other experiences.