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Google, China, and Lawful Intercept

Like many people, I was taken by surprised by Google's announcement about its threatened withdrawal from China in the wake of continued censorship and attacks that appeared to emanate from there. My immediate reaction was quite simple: "Wow". There's been a lot of speculation about just why they pulled out. Some reports noted that Google has been losing market share to Baidu... I don't think, though, that that's the whole story. more»

Why I Won't Buy an E-book Reader - and When I Might

There have been many news stories lately about ebook readers. The New York Times said that they were prominently featured at the Consumer Electronics Show. Amazon is pushing its Kindle; Barnes and Noble has its Nook. There are many other aspirants, either on the market now or waiting in the wings. For now, though, I'm sitting on the sidelines. more»

eHealth: Start With the Professionals

With the prospect of broadband networks becoming more and more of a reality, it appears that concepts such as eHealth are not too far away. Digital healthcare describes the whole system of GPs, hospitals and regional healthcare centres, while eHealth describes the many health applications which will become available for people to use at home. more»

$111M Good Reasons to Cancel Your Twitter Account

Need a good reason to cancel your Twitter account? Well, Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards basketball team may have about $111M reasons to do so. Last Thursday, following his indefinite suspension from the National Basketball Association in the wake of a gun-related altercation with a teammate, Arenas canceled his Twitter account. His tweeting had factored somewhat into his suspension and, under his father's advice, he canceled his account so as not to be tempted to make matters worse. more»

Google Puts Its Foot Down

Google's announcement that it will "review" its business operations in China and is no longer willing to censor its Chinese search engine, Google.cn, is generating a range of reaction in China. Conversation over at the #googlecn hashtag on Twitter -- created shortly after the announcement -- has been raging fast and furious. more»

10 Noteworthy Cyberlaw Developments of 2009

While I like John Ottaviani's perspectives on 2009's top Cyberlaw developments a lot, I independently developed my own top 10 list that has a different emphasis. You might enjoy the contrasts. My list... more»

Google Energy - Are You Surprised?

Just when you thought Nexus One was the biggest thing coming out of Google this week, we now get word about Google Energy. Well, Nexus One is a big deal, but I say that wearing my telecom analyst hat. Switching to my smart grid hat, Google Energy is something else altogether... As big as that is -- and will be -- Google Energy has all kinds of implications for smart grid. For starters, more»

International Fibre Bandwidth Hubbing, a Lucrative Business

The small West African country of Benin has been working quietly over the past few years to become a regional hub for international fibre bandwidth. The national telco, Benin Telecoms (BT) has been building terrestrial fibre routes to landlocked neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Niger, allowing them to connect to its landing station for the SAT-3/WASC cable, the only one serving the region. more»

Virtual Banishment and the First Amendment: Estavillo v. Sony Computer Entertainment of America

I saw this case in the excellent National Association of Attorneys General publication Cyber Crime e-newsletter. Many of us host or sponsor online communities of one form or another. On occasion, this means we must engage in moderation of the discourse in that community, and, as chance may arise, on occasion, we must give some chap the boot from the community for violating the AUP or the TOS. Inevitable, the booted chap screams "First Amendment Violation," to which we must respond, "The First Amendment restrains government actors -- we are not government actors." more»

How Not to Develop Public Policy

Some of ICANN's current proceedings on the introduction of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) provide a case study on how not to develop public policy. In particular, the Rights Protection Mechanism proceedings, with serious implications for trademark owners, have followed a course that does not correspond to the ideal of ICANN's bottom-up, consensus-based processes for policy development. More importantly, these proceedings are effectively unilateral developments in international law without the benefit of treaties or international conventions. more»

Changes in the ICANN Board's Operational Activities

One of the more interesting developments in this new year is the proposed changes in how, or perhaps more accurately, when the ICANN Board will undertake its activities. Historically, the ICANN Board has held monthly teleconferences (Special Board Meetings), with the exception of those months when the ICANN Board meet in person as part of a regional meeting (Regular Board Meeting). Approximately five years ago, the ICANN Board also began holding bi-annual retreats as part of their regular business activities. Interestingly, the proposed 2010 agenda for the ICANN Board has only four proposed Special Meetings... more»

IDN Scaremongering: Mashable and Times Online Screw Up

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) might be a slightly "hot" topic at the moment following on from ICANN's launch of the IDN country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) program recently. However, IDNs are NOT a new topic. Far from it. They've been around for quite some time. Unfortunately neither The Times Online or Mashable seem to have done any homework. more»

Email Related Predictions for 2010

As my recent series of posts has indicated, I am seeing a lot of future changes in the email industry. What do I think we can look forward to in email in 2010? ...In the realm of real authentication, the protocol most are using is is DKIM. While people will probably continue to publish SPF records (and Microsoft will continue to cling to the hope it becomes widespread) its relevance will continue to decrease. more»

Internet Drug Traffic, Service Providers and Intellectual Property

You could call this Part Three in our series on Illicit Internet Pharmacy. Part One being What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic, Part Two being Online Drug Traffic and Registrar Policy. There are a few facts I'd like to list briefly so everyone is up to speed. The largest chunk of online abuse at this time is related to illicit international drug traffic, mostly counterfeit and diverted pharmaceuticals. more»

The World's Most Dangerous Country Code Top-Level Domains

If you want to know the world's most dangerous country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), ask an anti-virus software company. McAfee has released its list of most dangerous country codes. Here are the top five... more»

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