Michael Gurstein on 1 Nov 2000 20:20:53 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Fw: AFRO-NETS> Dot-Health: a new top level domain

This one is exceptionally interesting. It goes rather beyond the .union proposal
to include an internal governance scheme for the TLD and one moreover which is
under the broad authority of a multi-lateral agency, i.e. not the U.S. Dept. of

It will be interesting to see how this one flies.

Mike Gurstein

----- Original Message -----
From: Dr Joan Dzenowagis <dzenowagisj@who.int>
To: <afro-nets@satellife.healthnet.org>
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2000 5:46 AM
Subject: AFRO-NETS> Dot-Health: a new top level domain
> Dot-Health: a new top level domain
> ----------------------------------
> Source: ahila-net@who.ch
> The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a major initiative to-
> wards improving the quality of health information available on the
> Internet. It has proposed the creation of .health as a new, instantly
> recognisable Internet top-level domain (TLD) designed to enable rapid
> access to trustworthy information on health matters worldwide. If the
> proposal is accepted, WHO, as a specialized agency of the United Na-
> tions, would be uniquely positioned to provide neutral, international
> support for standards of health information on the Internet.
> Many national and international groups (such as Health on the Net
> Foundation, Health Internet Ethics, and Internet Healthcare Coali-
> tion's e-Health Ethics Initiative), have been struggling to find a
> way to ensure the quality of health information on the Internet,
> given its variability and uncertain reliability, the problems of
> sheer volume, plus the undesirability and impossibility of regulating
> Internet content.
> As the sponsoring organization of .health, WHO would have the respon-
> sibility to set policy on how the name is distributed and used. By
> managing it as a "restricted" rather than an "unrestricted" TLD, WHO
> will ensure that there are enforceable rules on who may register un-
> der it, and how those registrations can be used. The standards will
> be enforceable in that the TLD can be suspended or cancelled if do-
> main-name holders violate the rules. WHO is committed to working
> within an international consultation process to establish fair and
> equitable standards and policies for serving the .health community.
> WHO has officially submitted the proposal to the Internet Corporation
> for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This private sector, not-for-
> profit corporation has the authority to prescribe the means by which
> TLDs are added to the domain name system. For the first time since
> the mid-1980s, new TLDs will be introduced as part of a careful proc-
> ess designed to maintain the stability of the Internet while coping
> with its ever-growing use. ICANN has invited and received proposals
> from many organizations, businesses and individuals for new TLDs, in-
> cluding .health from WHO. These proposals will be subject to a tech-
> nical review and public comment, after which some TLDs will be se-
> lected for more detailed negotiation and implementation.
> WHO's intention is that the TLD .health will immediately identify the
> domain-name holder as adhering to known quality and ethical stan-
> dards, instilling confidence in the information provided. This has
> high value for enhancing consumer protection as well as for improving
> public health and medical information, products and services.
> The creation of a .health TLD with the World Health Organization as
> the sponsoring organization is a unique opportunity to explore and
> expand the role that an international organization might play in im-
> proving information on the Internet. The .health TLD has the poten-
> tial to become a reference model for how international organizations
> can support and promote transparent, high quality information in
> their respective fields on the Internet.
> By registering your support for this initiative, you can help to
> shape the future of the Internet. The ICANN review process is now un-
> der way, and public comments are being taken until 5 November at
> http://www.icann.org, where the full TLD application is posted.
> Please visit the ICANN site, under the .health forum, to register
> your support for the creation of a new top-level domain with a goal
> of improving health information on the Internet.
> Dr Joan Dzenowagis
> Scientist
> Health Information Management and Dissemination
> World Health Organization
> Geneva
> mailto:dzenowagisj@who.int
> --
> Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `afro-nets@usa.healthnet.org'.
> Mail administrative requests to `majordomo@usa.healthnet.org'.
> For additional assistance, send mail to:  `owner-afro-nets@usa.healthnet.org'.

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