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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the entity responsible for assigning domain names on the Internet.

On September 25, 2010, the ICANN board of directors approved the following resolution: “The definition of Continent or UN Regions in the Guidebook should be expanded to include UNESCO’s regional classification list which comprises: Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.” The new “Geographic Region” definition collapses Europe and North America into a single region, while creating a new “Arab States” region.

The change marks a fundamental shift from what are more or less geographical regions to cultural/ethnic regions.

Should the September 25 resolution become applicable to ICANN’s board of directors, it would mean that the “Arab States” region would be entitled to between one and five directorships, while the collapsed “North American and Europe” region would have a maximum of five seats.

ICANN’s board also removed a reference to “terrorism” from the fourth version of its Draft Applicant Guidebook after complaints were received from several Arab individuals and organizations.
Failing to retain the ability to investigate applicants for ties to terrorism would significantly hamper ICANN’s effectiveness, and could lead to a proliferation of pro-terrorist websites.

(Aaron Eitan Meyer - Lawfare Project)

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