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U.S. Moving Forward with ENUM

One of the pieces of infrastructure that makes all kinds of networks work and yet gets very little attention is the directory. Directories are big business. For example, there's directory of telephone numbers run by NeuStar, Inc. NeuStar has annual revenues of $92 million. Now, according to Light Reading, AT&T Corp. and MCI Inc., together with unidentified cable companies, telephone companies, and ISPs are preparing to form a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) that will run a process to define a new company that will run ENUM. more

Non-Commercial Website Domain Names Using Trademarks

There are now several different courts of appeals that have upheld the right of individuals to post a non-commercial website using the domain name www.company.com, and there are as yet NO appellate decisions that forbid such websites outside the context of the serial cybersquatter who tries to erect a so-called gripe site as a CYA measure after being sued. In fact, it seems to me that we are getting close to the point where companies that sue over such websites have to consider seriously the possibility that they will not only lose the suit, but face a malicious prosecution action... more

Internet Governance and Diplomacy

Developments in modern international relations have shown that traditional diplomacy is not capable of sufficiently addressing complex new issues, for example, the environment, health protection, and trade. Governance of the Information Society and the Internet is probably one of the most complex international issues facing diplomacy today. Issues surrounding the Information Society require a multi-disciplinary approach (the various concerns include technology, economy, impact on society, regulatory and legal issues, governance and more); a multi-stakeholder approach (various actors are involved, including states, international organizations, civil society, private sector, and others) and a multi-level approach (decision-making must take place on different levels: local, national, regional and global). Diplo has developed a research methodology which takes all of these approaches into account. Post includes illustration from Diplo Calendar 2004. more

Sex.com Settles Monumental Case Against VeriSign/Network Solutions

Sex.com announced today a final settlement with VeriSign (formerly Network Solutions, Inc.), concluding a six-year legal fight that set several important precedents for the future of the Internet. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Sex.Com a sweeping victory that held VeriSign/Network Solutions, Inc. (collectively "VeriSign") strictly responsible for mishandling the famous domain name, Sex.Com and VeriSign have settled Sex.Com's lawsuit against VeriSign. more

Why Does A Technical Manager Function As A Regulator?

Unlike ICANN, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) responded graciously, promptly and substantively to inquiries from the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) regarding governance of the internet. CRE sent a letter to NTIA in mid-March asking about public access to documents prepared by ICANN under Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NTIA. NTIA provided a quick and clear response to CRE's questions. NTIA also reiterated its commitment to achieving transparency and accountability in ICANN's processes. NTIA's response to CRE, although clear and comprehensive, raised a number of important questions about ICANN and their governance of the internet. more

Ireland's .ie To Come Under Government Control

The Irish domain registry (IEDR) is to come under the control of the Commission for Communications Regulation ComReg. At present the registry is managed by a "not-for-profit" company, however it has come under increasing criticism with regard to both its management and policies. Although there are approximately 40,000 IE domains currently registered, it is still one of the strictest and most expensive ccTLDs in the world. more

The Launch of .pro Domain for Professionals

From 5 April to 14 May 2004 trade mark owners can apply in the .pro domain for defensive registrations corresponding to their marks. The .pro domain is only available to doctors, lawyers and CPAs during this period, known as a "sunrise period". ...During the period when the creation of ten new generic domains is being discussed, it seems timely to wonder whether the multiplicity of generic extensions is not killing the specificity inherent of each of them. In addition, having a "sunrise period" for this new domain might be perceived by trade mark owners as an invitation to spend money rather than as a measure aimed at protecting their intellectual property rights. more

New TLD Public Comments: Jumping-to-Conclusions?

Having been involved in the whole TLD issue since its inception, back in the ancient history of the mid-1990's, one would think that nothing would surprise me anymore. As it turns out, however, watching the comments on ICANN's public comment list with respect to the new sTLD proposals, I find that I'm taken-back by some of the kinds of comments I'm seeing. more

ICANN's 9th Status Report: The Goals Are Good

ICANN has made great strides in implementing steps to improve the organization's transparency, accountability, openness - according to their most recent Status Report [PDF]. The report describes the requirements of their MOU with the Department of Commerce and what the organization has done to toward achieving these goals. However, even though the Report makes it sound as if ICANN is on the right track, some troubling issues lay underneath the surface of the Report.  more

Email, Privacy, and Engagement

After they finished the tenth installment of their enormous multi-volume history, The Story of Civilization, Will and Ariel Durant wrote a set of thirteen essays entitled The Lessons of History. I happened to pick up this volume yesterday; it's both slim and sweeping. The Durants loved history, and wanted to show their readership what waves and tensions and trends they perceived. It's not a great book, but it's an undeniably forceful one. One essay discusses the essential moral characteristics of individuals, listing six traits and providing "positive" and "negative" descriptions of ways in which people act. more

Governments and Governance

A United Nations task force recently held a two-day workshop on the question of who governs the Internet. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan challenged those of us present to ensure that the Internet and the World Wide Web support "the cause of human development."
Following in the long-standing tradition of skepticism about governments in the Internet community, some in the technical community and the Internet's chattering classes view the concerns expressed by the United Nations and countries such as Brazil, India and others, as a threat to the operation of the Internet itself. This article was originally published at CNET News.Com on April 6, 2004. more

Survey of Global Internet Jurisdiction

The American Bar Association/International Chamber of Commerce (ABA/ICC) recently released a survey on global Internet jurisdiction. The survey, co-chaired by Professor Michael Geist, involved nearly 300 companies in 45 different countries. It found that U.S. companies were far more concerned and pessimistic about Internet jurisdiction risk than European and Asian companies. The study has also found that an "Internet jurisdiction risk toolkit" is emerging where companies target low risk jurisdictions and take steps to avoid doing business in perceived high risk jurisdictions. more

ICANN Explains Why Judge Should Dismiss VeriSign's Lawsuit

In a 33-page motion filed on Monday, April 5, 2004, ICANN has asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to dismiss VeriSign's recent lawsuit filed against the non-profit organization. More specifically, the filed motion has asked the court to "dismiss VeriSign's first six claims for relief with prejudice," which are... more

ICANN's First Official Report on Whois Data Problems

ICANN has submitted the first report of what will be a series of annual reports summarizing its "expierince" with the Whois Data problems and inaccuracies. While emphasizing that "ICANN-accredited registrars are obligated by the terms of their accreditation agreements to investigate and correct any reported inaccuracies," the report provides the following conclusions: more

UN Global Forum on Internet Governance

More than 200 leaders from government, business and civil society attended the Global Forum on Internet Governance, held on 25 and 26 March 2004 and organized by the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force. The forum, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, was intended, according to a UN press release, "to contribute to worldwide consultations to prepare the ground to a future Working Group on Internet Governance to be established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which is to report to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, 2005)". more

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