13 November, 2010

Saudi Arabia blocks Facebook over moral concerns

As reported by the Associated Press, "an official with Saudi Arabia's communications authority says it has blocked Facebook because the popular social networking website doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values.  He says Facebook's content had "crossed a line" with the kingdom's conservative morals, but that blocking the site is a temporary measure.  Pakistan and Bangladesh both imposed temporary bans on Facebook this year."

At some point ICANN is going to have to come to grips with the fact that its own proposed controversial TLDs (.xxx, .gay etc.) are likely going to be blocked en masse by sovereign states and there will assuredly be an impact on the global internet as a result. 

On this topic, ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee wrote:

"The GAC firmly believes that the absence of any controversial strings in the current universe of top level domains (TLDs) to date contributes directly to the security and stability of the domain name and addressing system (DNS) and the universal resolvability of the system."

Inasmuch as ICANN has purportedly studied everything else, one wonders why we haven't seen any studies on the potential impact of massive across-the-globe TLD blocking by those nations that abide by a code of moral values.  Will such actions lead to ever-increased amounts of Internet censorship?  Probably so... and that is not a path that ICANN should be setting us upon.

1 comment:

  1. Will such actions lead to ever-increased amounts of Internet censorship? Probably so

    The .xxx fiasco demonstrated just how out of their depth the ICANN board was. A strong personality imposing/presenting their political/personal beliefs as considered professional opinion can be a very expensive furrow to plough.

    What was it $5 million $10 million wasted on this alone????

    It seems rather than trying to get to grips with this behavior ICANN has decided it should be rewarded.

    Even more worrying than the fact that we have to pay for this nonsense, is that the fabric of the Internet could be severely damaged if the current ineptness is not brought to task.