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Fact Checking the Recent News About Google in Cuba

Google's Cuba project has been in the news lately. Mary Anastasia O'Grady wrote a Wall Street Journal article called "Google's Broken Promise to Cubans," criticising Google for being "wholly uninterested in the Cuban struggle for free speech" and assisting the Castro government. The article begins by taking a shot at President Obama who "raved" about an impending Google-Cuba deal "to start setting up more Wi-Fi access and broadband access on the island." more»

Global Content Removals Based on Local Legal Violations - Where are we Headed?

From the Internet's earliest days, the tension between a global communication network and local geography-based laws has been obvious. One scenario is that every jurisdiction's local laws apply to the Internet globally, meaning that the country (or sub-national regulator) with the most restrictive law for any content category sets the global standard for that content. If this scenario comes to pass, the Internet will only contain content that is legal in every jurisdiction in the world... more»

The Internet Must Remain Open - Even for Those We Disagree With

Over the past couple of weeks, following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, there has been significant discussion in social and traditional media about various technology companies removing websites from their servers, or otherwise making them unavailable. As the operators of Canada's Internet domain, we at CIRA are getting numerous inquiries about our stance and policies on this issue. I'd like to use this opportunity to make a couple of clarifications about how CIRA works and what CIRA actually does. more»

Nation Scale Internet Filtering — Do's and Don'ts

If a national government wants to prevent certain kinds of Internet communication inside its borders, the costs can be extreme and success will never be more than partial. VPN and tunnel technologies will keep improving as long as there is demand, and filtering or blocking out every such technology will be a never-ending game of one-upmanship. Everyone knows and will always know that determined Internet users will find a way to get to what they want, but sometimes the symbolic message is more important than the operational results. more»

What Does Trump's Cuba Policy Memorandum Say About the Internet?

I recently reviewed Trump's Cuban policy speech and its implications for the Internet. The speech was accompanied by a national security memorandum on strengthening US-Cuba policy, which was sent to the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, and heads of various departments. The first thing that struck me about the memorandum was that it was a "national security" memorandum. Does Trump think Cuba poses a threat to our national security? more»

Blaming Technology and the Rule of Law

Imagine that Ford was held responsible every time one of its Mustangs broke the speed limit. Imagine that the company responded by limiting the speed of its vehicles to 65 MPH, or that the company was required by the government to report every speeding car to highway patrol. It sounds far-fetched, but is actually a good metaphor for the way that many want technology companies to respond to infractions. more»

Does ICANN's UDRP Preserve Free Speech and Allow Room for Criticism?

The phenomenal growth of the Internet has resulted in a proliferation of domain names. The explosion of '.com' registrations coincided with an increase in domain name disputes, and with it the legal branch of intellectual property devolved into virtual mayhem. ICANN's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) was created... The UDRP was brought into force in October 1999, and it can be said that it has contributed handily to the resolution of domain name disputes. However, deeper investigation into the UDRP paints a different picture. more»

Trying to Predict Miguel Diaz-Canel's Internet Policy

I recently gave a short talk that concluded with some speculation on the attitude of Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is expected to replace Ra├║l Castro next year, toward the Internet. I searched online and came up with three clues -- two talks he has given and one act. In May 2013, Diaz-Canel gave a speech at an educator's conference in which he anticipated today's preoccupation with fake news. He acknowledged the futility of trying to control information. more»

New Chapter Working Groups Open Closed Doors

One thing was clear from a recent presentation by the new leaders of the SF-Bay Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter Working Groups: inclusion and collaboration will be the key to these groups' success. As Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, the Internet Governance Working Group (WG) Chair said, "We haven't yet cracked the code on what 'multistakeholder' means." But that won't stop her and Dr. Jaclyn Kerr, the Data Protection, Privacy, and Security WG Chair, from trying. more»

Flipping the Kill Switch: Internet Restrictions Becoming the New Normal

The Internet was built on the promise that everyone, everywhere could create, share information and ideas without frontiers. Yet, Internet restrictions are increasing to the point they are becoming the norm. And it's happening fast. In its 2016 Freedom on the Net report, Freedom House revealed that Internet freedom declined for the 6th year in a row. The report notes that more governments have been blocking social media and communication apps than ever before. more»