Censorship / Featured Blogs

Internet: Quo Vadis (Where are you going?)

Articles, blogs, and meetings about the internet of the future are filled with happy, positive words like "global", "uniform", and "open". The future internet is described in ways that seem as if taken from a late 1960's Utopian sci-fi novel: the internet is seen as overcoming petty rivalries between countries, dissolving social rank, equalizing wealth, and bringing universal justice. If that future is to be believed, the only obstacle standing between us and an Arcadian world of peace and harmony is that the internet does not yet reach everyone... more»

Populism and Hi-Tech

At a recent panel discussion in Berkeley, USA, the topic - The Moral Economy of Tech - was explored. The panel discussed the way hi-tech people in general view themselves and their work, and even though I am not an engineer or a developer of software and algorithms I could very much relate to that. I often mention the fact that I am proud to be a member of this industry, as it in general provides positive developments to society and the economy. more»

Final Day to Give Input on "Future of the Internet" Survey

Today, June 26, is the final day that you can help the Internet Society with its "Future of the Internet" survey. It takes about 20-25 minutes and will help my colleagues at the Internet Society develop a number of scenarios about the possible future of the Internet. These scenarios can help all of us in talking to policy makers, leaders, media and the general user population about the choices we have before us for the future of the Internet. more»

China's MIIT Clarifies New Domain Name Regulations, Allays Concerns Over Government Interference

A recent clarification to draft domain name regulations by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) indicates greater engagement and openness with the domain name market, not a contraction as some had feared. Following the MIIT's announcement on March 25th 2016, the same Ministry issued a clarification on Wednesday March 30th stating that its new draft regulations will not affect any foreign enterprises or foreign websites from resolving in China. more»

Blocking and Filtering in Collaborative Security Context - A Reflection on RFC 7754

The other day, I planned to take my 15-year-old son to the movie theatre to see "Hateful Eight" in 70mm film format. The theatre would not allow him in. Under article 240a of the Dutch penal code, it is a felony to show a movie to a minor when that movie is rated 16 or above. Even though I think I am responsible for what my son gets to see, I understand that the rating agency put a 16-year stamp on this politically-incorrect-gun-slinging-gore-and-curse-intense-comedy feature. more»

How Effective Are Internet Blackouts? Insights from Uganda

On 18th February, 2016, Uganda Communications Commission, the Telco regulator, ordered all ISPs to sever access to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. 11 million Internet users, including myself were forced to live through a four-day Internet blackout. With this unprecedented move, Uganda joined Syria, Russia, Egypt, Burundi and other regimes that have weaponized the Internet to curtail free speech and access to information. more»

India's Net Neutrality Win: Lessons for Developing Countries

On 8th February, 2015, Internet users celebrated news that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had passed regulation prohibiting ISPs from discriminating access to data services based on content". This directive follows similar developments in the U.S, E.U, Chile et al, and is a huge milestone in the fight for Net Neutrality: the principle that ISPs should treat all Internet traffic the same way. Meanwhile, Net Neutrality issues are not unique to India. more»

Just Another 'Black Box'? First Thoughts on Twitter's Trust and Safety Council

On Tuesday, Twitter announced the creation of the Trust and Safety Council, a body comprising 40 organisations and individuals from civil society and academia, tasked with "ensur[ing] that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter". The move is clearly a response to specific criticism of Twitter and its perceived inadequacies in dealing with hate speech -- a theme so popular and well-trodden that it recently spawned a parody account. more»

Republican Presidential Candidate Upset With ICANN CEO

Republican senator and US presidential candidate Ted Cruz is not very happy with ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade. In a letter dated today, Cruz along with two other senators, have dropped some pointed questions for Chehade in relation to his involvement with a recent meeting in China... "As you must know, the World Internet Conference is not a beacon of free speech..." more»

Officially Compromised Privacy

The essence of information privacy is control over disclosure. Whoever is responsible for the information is supposed to be able to decide who sees it. If a society values privacy, it needs to ensure that there are reasonable protections possible against disclosure to those not authorized by the information's owner. In the online world, an essential technical component for this assurance is encryption. If the encryption that is deployed permits disclosure to those who were not authorized by the information's owner, there should be serious concern about the degree of privacy that is meaningfully possible. more»