ICANN Rejects Ukraine’s Request to Eject Russia from the Internet – Domain Name Wire

ICANN’s role is to coordinate a working Internet, not break it.

ICANN responded to Ukraine’s request to essentially kick Russia off the internet. Unsurprisingly, he denied the request.

Earlier this week, the Ukrainian government asked ICANN to target Russia’s access to the Internet by revoking specific country code top-level domains operated from Russia, arranging for the revocation of SSL certificates issued in these domains and closing a subset of root servers located in Russia.

In a letter (pdf) sent yesterday, ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby told Ukraine:

… In our role as technical coordinator of unique identifiers for the Internet, we take steps to ensure that the operation of the Internet is not politicized, and we have no sanctioning authority. Essentially, ICANN was designed to make sure the Internet works, not for its coordinating role to be used to stop it working.

Marby also noted that ICANN does not have the ability to do some of the things Ukraine requested, such as revoking SSL certificates.

ICANN also pointed out that Internet access can actually help spread the information Russians need to receive:

As you stated in your letter, your wish is to help users find reliable information in alternative domain areas and to prevent propaganda and misinformation. It is only through wide and unhindered access to the Internet that citizens can receive reliable information and a diversity of viewpoints. Regardless of the source, ICANN does not control Internet access or content.