ICANN chips in to keep internet (and domains) working in Ukraine

Board directs ICANN to set up plan to assist and allocates $1 million, suspends cancellation requirement.

ICANN’s Board of Directors held a last-minute meeting over the weekend in which it approved funding to keep the internet working in Ukraine.

The board directed ICANN to set up a plan to:

…develop a process for how ICANN can provide financial assistance to support the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet’s unique identifier systems, specifically for use in supporting mitigation measures where access to the Internet infrastructure is jeopardized by sudden, unexpected events beyond the control of the affected users.

It ordered ICANN to set aside $1 million from the current budget to help keep internet access in Ukraine.

The resolutions states:

Whereas, the ICANN Board confirms that ICANN stands for a single, global, and interoperable Internet that serves all people around the world in exercising their fundamental human rights, including the human right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas. It is through unimpeded access to the Internet and the free flow of information that people can gain knowledge and exposure to a diversity of viewpoints and information. This is especially critical when timely access to information and communication may be life-saving.

The board’s action might be in response to press about ICANN denying Ukraine’s request to curtail Russia’s access to the internet.

ICANN also suspended the contractual requirement that registrars cancel domains that haven’t been renewed, as it has done following natural disasters. It informed registrars of this yesterday. Kevin Murphy at Domain Incite noted this possibility last week.

Some registrars are also stepping in to make sure Ukranian’s domains and hosting plans don’t expire. For example, GoDaddy is extending products that expire within 60 days at no charge to customers in Ukraine.

This story was updated to reflect that ICANN suspended the requirement to cancel domains.

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