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ICANN Announces Blocking Usage Review Panel

John Levine

Culminating a year-long policy development process, ICANN today launched its new Blocking Usage Review Panel (BURP). The BURP provides long-needed oversight over services that block Internet traffic.

"While everyone understands that national laws such as the U.S. CAN SPAM define what traffic is or is not elegible to block, legal processes can be slow and cumbersome," said a spokeswoman. "Since the Internet is global and traffic often traverses multiple countries, the array of different laws cause uncertainty."

The BURP is designed to be quick and easy. No signup process is needed, since everyone who sends traffic to or from the Internet is covered automatically. When a complaint is filed, an evaluation panel is selected with a member from each constituency:

  • IP based blocklists including Spamhaus, UCEPROTECT, SORBS, and Spamcop
  • Major brand advertisers including Kraft, the AARP, and Vistaprint
  • Public interest groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Software Foundation, and Stophaus

The BURP panel will meet and promptly produce its decision, typically in no more than six to ten weeks. During that time, to prevent inadvertent damage, any blocking will be suspended.

"While it is possible that a small amount of spam or malware might slip through during the decision period, we're confident that the increased transparency far outweighs any minor inconvenience," noted ICANN.

Spamhaus president Steve Linford, contacted at their temporary headquarters in space subleased from Google in Chapel Hill NC commented:

"Spamhaus welcomes this increased level of detailed oversight. We expect the BURP to increase confidence among major stakeholders including marketers, the press, and developers of installable software."

ICANN disclosed that they have hired a well known specialist in e-mail marketing, who recently completed a multi-year assignment.

"We are fortunate to have been able to retain Mr. Alan Ralsky to oversee the new BURP. His broad industry experience uniquely qualifies him for the role," said ICANN, "and the timing couldn't be better."

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: ICANN

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Comments

Happy April Fool's Day! Frank Bulk  –  Apr 01, 2013 12:41 PM PDT

Happy April Fool's Day!

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