I’ll be attending events in Canada next week. The first part of the week will be devoted to ICANN related matters at the GDD Summit in Vancouver.

While the schedule for the event has a fairly broad range of topics I suspect a lot of the discussions will be around GDPR and how we’re all going to be implementing it in the short term, as well as talking about how to “fix” the policies and processes for the future.

I recently published an overview of our general GDPR work, some specific to .ie domains and another specific to .uk domains. I’ll be publishing something related to gTLDs and how we (and others) will be handling things post May 25th. Hint: there are going to be several fairly big changes.

The meeting in Vancouver will also be a good opportunity for me to catch up with several of our registry partners to discuss our plans for the rest of 2018.

After Vancouver I’ll be heading to Toronto for RightsCon, which is a conference centred around human rights in a digital world.

The Internet Infrastructure Coalition, which I currently chair, is running a couple of panels during the event and I’ll be involved in one:

Daily Stormer And The Internet Provider’s Role In Mitigating Hate Speech
“Who decides what is free speech and what is hate speech? Right now, determining where that line is falls to Internet companies. But is this the right decision? In this panel, we’ll discuss how Internet providers can negotiate the thorny issues associated with being ‘stuck in the middle’. This session will use difficult scenarios to set the stage for discussion, and show how Internet companies can plan ahead by setting clear and open criteria around acceptable usage. In both the U.S. and EU, we will show how only transparency and openness can save these companies from many bad possible outcomes.”

David Snead – Co-Founder, Policy Chair, i2Coalition and cPanel General Counsel
Liz Behsudi – Vice President and General Counsel, PIR (Public Interest Registry)
Doug Kramer – General Counsel, Cloudflare
Michele Neylon – Board Chair, i2Coalition, Founder and CEO Blacknight
Elliot Noss – President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows
Jeanine Wright – General Counsel, Data Protection Officer, Chief Compliance Officer & Secretary of the Board, NationBuilder
Friday, May 18th 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM EST
Venue 206C

It should be a very interesting conversation, especially since I know that the panelists don’t agree entirely on the topic (which is a good thing!).

From our perspective it’s a complicated and emotive topic. As a company we provide tools and services to a very broad range of individuals and organisations from over 130 countries. Our clients have diverse and divisive views at times. That, however, is not our concern. As long as they are not breaching our terms of service or Irish law then it’s not for us to police them. Sure, that’s a simplistic way of viewing things. The reality is far more nuanced. For example, we would generally take action very swiftly against anything that was causing issues at the infrastructure level eg. DDOS, phishing, spam or some other form of network attack. When it comes to “content” we will allow most things, as long as they’re legal. (This makes for some rather entertaining conversations with our HR company when they insist on putting in standard clauses about staff not viewing pornography!) But what about politics? Or the current referendum? We provide services to most of the Irish political parties on both sides of the border as well as two groups campaigning on both sides of the current referendum debate.

But we *do* have clauses in our terms of service that we can (and have) invoked if we need to. Incitement to hatred is prohibited under Irish law and we are an Irish company, so our perspective about things like Daily Stormer would be quite different from a provider based in the US. That doesn’t mean that we do not value “speech”. We do, but European laws put some limits around it which probably isn’t a bad thing.

If you’re attending either event next week and would like to meet let me know!



Search for your perfect domain name...