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Comments on the Proposed ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy

Posted by Padma Venkataraman, Rohini Lakshané, Sampada Nayak and Vidushi Marda at Jan 13, 2017 03:56 PM |
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ICANN sought community input on the Proposed ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy on 7 November 2016. In response to this the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) submitted its comments.

We at CIS are grateful for the opportunity to comment on the proposed ICANN Community Anti-Harassment Policy (“Policy”). We provide our specific comments to the Policy below, in three sections. The first section addresses the Terms of Participation, the second deals with the Reporting and Complaint Procedure, and the third places on record our observations on questions and issues for further consideration which have not been covered by the Policy.

Besides various other observations, CIS broadly submitted:

  • The attempt to provide an exhaustive definition of “Specified Characteristics” results in its meaning being unclear and exclusionary.
  • CIS strongly supports the phrase “including, but not limited to” that is followed by a bulleted list of inappropriate conduct.
  • The word “consent” is entirely missing from the draft policy even though the deciding factor in the “appropriateness” of an act or conduct is active and explicit consent to the act by both/ all individuals involved.
  • There is a need for clarity of communication platforms. The current Policy fails to specify instances of face-to-face and online communications.
  • The policy fails to account for a body of persons (as is provided for in the IETF policy) for the redressal of harassment complaints.
  • The provision for an informal resolution of a harassment issue is problematic as it could potentially lead to negative consequences for the complainant.
  • The Ombudsperson’s discretion in the determination of remedial action is detrimental to transparency and accountability.
  • The Policy in its current form lacks provisions for ensuring privacy and confidentiality of the complainant as well as interim relief while the Ombudsperson is looking into the complaint

Read the Complete Submission here

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