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Are Internet Sanctions a Good Idea?

Shortly after the Russian Federation launched its invasion of Ukraine, the government of Ukraine made several public calls for support, including pleas for the global internet governance bodies – ICANN and the RIPE NCC – to restrict Russia’s access to and use of the Domain Names System (DNS) and de-register the Internet Protocol (IP) address resources of Russian network operators. This move sent shockwaves through the world of internet governance and raised questions about who has the authority to withdraw access and connectivity.

After both ICANN and the RIPE NCC rejected Ukraine’s requests, a proposal was circulated calling for the establishment of a new multi-stakeholder body capable of imposing internet sanctions by blocklisting IP routes, traffic and domain names. The proposal for internet sanctions – with the balanced division of tasks between government and non-government actors at its core – may put the internet governance system under stress.

Click on the read ‘read more’ button to find out how internet governance experts reflect on this question.

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