ICANN Gets Involved to Keep the Internet (and Domains) Functioning in Ukraine – Domain Name Wire

Board directs ICANN to implement assistance plan and allocates $1 million, suspends cancellation requirement.

The ICANN Board of Directors held a last-minute meeting Meet over the weekend it approved funding to keep Ukraine’s internet running.

The Board has asked ICANN to put in place a plan to:

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

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

The resolutions state:

Whereas the ICANN Board of Directors confirms that ICANN stands for a single, global, interoperable Internet that serves all the peoples of the world in exercising their fundamental human rights, including the human right to seek, receive and share information and ideas. It is through unfettered access to the Internet and the free flow of information that people can gain knowledge and be exposed to a diversity of viewpoints and information. This is especially critical when timely access to information and communication can save lives.

The board action may be in response to press reports that ICANN has denied Ukraine’s request to restrict Russia’s access to the internet.

ICANN also suspended the contractual requirement that registrars cancel domains that have not been renewed, as it has done following natural disasters. He informed the registrars yesterday. Kevin Murphy at Domain Incite Noted this possibility last week.

Some registrars also step in to make sure Ukrainian domains and hosting plans don’t expire. For example, GoDaddy is extending products that expire within 60 days free of charge to customers in Ukraine.

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