Internet Governance

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Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

Unintended Benefits of Trump's Twitter Tantrum

Four years ago, progressive intergovernmental organizations like the European Union became increasingly concerned about the proliferation of hate speech on social media. They adopted legal mechanisms for removing Twitter accounts like Donald Trump's. The provisions were directed at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In June of 2016, a "deconstruction" of these mechanisms was presented to one of the principal global industry standards bodies with a proposal to develop new protocols to rapidly remove such accounts. more

CircleID Launches the First in a Series of Community Dialogues on COVID-19 and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid migration of the world's workforce and consumer services to virtual spaces, has amplified the Internet governance and policy issues including infrastructure, access, exponential instances of fraud and abuse, global cooperation and data privacy, to name but a few. The need for practical, scalable and efficient solutions has risen dramatically. more

International Pandemic Contact Tracing Standards Group Formed

The formation of an international pandemic contact tracing standards group was announced yesterday. Designated E4P, it is being established as an open public-private initiative under ETSI to "develop a framework and consistent set of specifications for proximity tracing systems, to enable the development of applications and platforms, and to facilitate international interoperability" that also provide for privacy protection. more

What's Next for Ethos

Since last fall, Ethos has actively engaged with ICANN and .ORG communities regarding our proposed acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR). Through that process, we demonstrated our desire to ensure that .ORG continues and thrives as an exemplary service for the mission-driven community. ICANN has now declined to consent to the proposed change of control of PIR. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 5: Article 15-17

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded in guiding principles from which all policy making is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide our policy making than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). This article as Part 5 of the series of articles (published in installments), and we are revisiting Article 15 to look at empowered Digital Citizenship and Internet Governance, to move on to the rights to a family and property more

What's Next for Dot-Org

When I began writing about the dot-org sale, it was out of concern for the loss of what I felt strongly was long understood to be a unique place in the Internet's landscape. Like a national park, dot-org deserved special protection. It turns out lots of people and organizations agreed. On April 30th, 2020, The ICANN Board upheld these values. They unanimously withheld consent for a change of control of the Public Interest Registry to a private equity firm. more

Even a Pandemic Isn't Enough

The most incredible thing about the dot-org sale is no longer the billion-dollar price tag. It's not surprise fait-accompli announcement. It's not the republican billionaires. It's that the proponents have continued to advocate for it in the midst of the worst crisis the world has faced since the second world war. The biggest crisis in almost a hundred years. One that will reverberate for generations. more

The Price of Lack of Clarity

As anyone reading this blog, assuredly knows, the world is in the grip of a deadly pandemic. One way to contain it is contact-tracing: finding those who have been near infected people and getting them to self-quarantine. Some experts think that because of how rapidly newly infected individuals themselves become contagious, we need some sort of automated scheme. That is, traditional contact tracing is labor-intensive and time-consuming - a time we don't have. more

Preserving ICANN's Independence Through Bold Action – Not Inaction

This week, the ICANN Board will vote on whether to approve the transfer of control of the .ORG domain to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. This is a weighty decision for ICANN, since in order to approve the sale, it will have to convince itself that this is the right choice in the face of tremendous and widespread opposition, including from those who will be most affected by the sale. more

ICANN Independence and Non-Profits on the Net – Get it Right and Go Forward

Later this week, ICANN is finally going to vote on the proposed sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital. It will decide the future owner of .ORG, but the decision will also provide a window into whether ICANN will remain independent of the U.S. government. It's a big decision, one that can strengthen both ICANN and the NGO community on the web, if we get it right. For nearly a decade, the ICANN community fought hard to untether itself from the U.S. Department of Commerce. more

Your Data or Your Life? Towards the Acceptance of Digital Technologies and Data in Medicine

There is currently a heated discussion going on in Europe, and particularly here in Germany, about the use of COVID-19 digital tracing apps, a discussion that shows us how much the Internet has become a matter of life and death. The uses for such apps are undeniable, but the idea of deployment still meets with popular resistance. Sensitized by countless leaks and hacks, and chafing under restrictions in their freedom of movement, people are concerned that even the last zones of privacy are to be monitored, and that the personal data collected could be misused. more

ICANN and Attorneys General: Ends, Means and Unintended Ends

In a move, unprecedented in scale, ISOC moved to sell PIR, the registry for .ORG, to a for-profit entity which intends, in turn, to convert PIR into a for-profit entity itself. This move has, understandably, raised concerns from around the Internet community and cast a bright light on ICANN, the nature of its contracts with Registries and the responsibilities of the ICANN Board... As the Vice Chair for Policy of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), I've tried to navigate a consensus involving ALL of those parties because of our diverse membership. more

.ORG and Change

The .ORG domain is at a crossroads: What will it be? A simple registry offering domain names for organizations, individuals and others? Or something bigger, as Ethos Capital and the Public Internet Registry propose? Will proposed changes make .ORG better? Or worse? There are valid points on both sides, but as an Internet safety advocate who for two decades has worked to teach children how to be safe online, stop the next young girl from being sex trafficked, and... more

Reflections on the .ORG Domain Registry Sale

For all the many reasons raised by thousands of petitioners by prominent members of the U.S. Congress, and the California Attorney General's office, this "sale" plainly should not be occurring. However, in a very real way, it is déjà vu. For me, as one of the handful of people who were members of the original InterNIC public advisory committee which oversaw the spinout of the registry activity from its DARPA government instantiation to a private enterprise business... more

News Briefs

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

American University Washington College of Law to Hold Open Discussion on the .ORG Sale Controversy

California Attorney General Asks ICANN for Detailed Information On the .ORG Sale

Vint Cerf Says He Is in Favor of .ORG Acquisition, Explains Why

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

U.N. Approves Resolution to Combat Cybercrime Despite Opposition From E.U., the U.S. and Others

Russia Says It Has Successfully Tested a Country-Wide Alternative to the Global Internet

EFF and 26 Other Organizations Send Letter to Internet Society Urging It to Stop Sale of .ORG

Iran Almost Completely Shuts Off Internet Access Across the Country Amid Protests Over Fuel Prices

Internet Commerce Association Calls for ICANN to Withhold Approval of .Org Sale

EFF: For ISPs to Retain Power to Censor the Internet, DNS Needs to Remain Leaky

Leading Domain Registries and Registrars Release Joint Document on Addressing 'DNS Abuse'

China's App Allows "Superuser" Access to Entire Data of Over 100 Million Android-Based Phones

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee Is Investigating Google's Plans to Implement DNS Over HTTPS

27 Countries Issue Joint Statement on 'Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace'

51 CEOs Call on US Congress for Urgent Nationwide Data Privacy Law Overriding State-Level Laws

Hong Kong ISPs Oppose Government Plans for Internet Restrictions Without Industry Consultation

Australia to Block Domain Names That Host Extremist Content During Attacks

URS Is a Bad Fit for .ORG, Says EFF

8chan Website Pushed Offline Over Ties to the Mass Shooting in El Paso

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