Internet Governance

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Internet Access: A Chokepoint for Development

In the 1980's internet connectivity meant allowing general public to communicate and share knowledge and expertise with each other instantly and where it was not possible otherwise. Take the story of Anatoly Klyosov, connecting Russia to the western world for the first time in 1982, as an example. A bio-chemist who was not allowed to leave the soviet territory for security reasons. The internet enabled him to participate in meetings with his counterparts at Harvard University, University of Stockholm and beyond. more»

ICANN the Machine…

ICANN's new gTLD expansion is really quite an ingenious ploy to grow the once small California non-profit into an unstoppable machine, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, which soon plans to finally be free from any external oversight. I have no doubt that ICANN pats itself on the back for pulling the wool over so many eyes, including stakeholders, new gTLD applicants, politicians, and the global general public. more»

A Journey Into the Surreal: The GOP Protecting "Internet Freedom" With 25 Friends

Few people would suggest that much of the life in the U.S. national political scene these days has any nexus to the real world. At national election time, the disconnect and hyperbole in Washington get worse. "Unhinged" seems to be a common term. The recently released GOP platform on "protecting internet freedom" followed up by the "twenty-five advocacy groups" letter to Congressional leaders is definitely an unhinged a journey into the land of the clueless. more»

I Didn't Put My Name on the Census

On many occasions I have written about the dangers of electronic communications in relation to data retention laws, government e-spying and other activities undermining our democracy and our liberty. To date governments still have to come up with evidence that all of this spying on their citizens has prevented any terrorist attacks. Terrorism has been given as the key reason for the government's spying. more»

IBM's SoftLayer Cloud Infrastructure Service Blocks Cuba - Why Now?

Cachivache Media recently reported that the Bitly URL-trimming service had stopped working in Cuba. Cubans had been using the service for several years, so this resulted in many broken links. Cachivache did not know what had happened, but published a traceroute that timed out at an Akamai router. I contacted Akamai, and they said they could not say anything -- they would only talk with their customers -- Bitly in this case. So I contacted Bitly and had an email exchange with one of their support people. more»

Court of Appeals Avoids "Doomsday Effect" in Iran ccTLD Decision

Earlier today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued its decision in Weinstein vs. Iran, a case in which families of terror victims sought to have ICANN turn over control of Iran's .IR ccTLD to plaintiffs. In a unanimous decision the three judge panel stated, "On ICANN's motion, the district court quashed the writs, finding the data unattachable under District of Columbia (D.C.) law. We affirm the district court but on alternative grounds." more»

Would the Internet Survive a Trump Apocalypse?

Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and his supporters are pursuing platforms to create an altered America in a different world that is profoundly different in almost every respect from what has existed until now -- it is a new world best described as the Trump Apocalypse. Would the Internet as we have known it continue to exist? The short answer is probably not. Here is why. more»

TMCH Review Recommends Status Quo

On July 25th ICANN announced the publication of the Draft Report of the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). This study was coordinated for ICANN by the Analysis Group, in conjunction with researchers from the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford as well the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School... while public comments on the draft report will be accepted through September 3rd, this Report was triggered by GAC concerns expressed before the Applicant Guidebook for the new gTLD program was even completed, and is not the work product of a GNSO-created working group and therefore will not directly result in the establishment of any new ICANN policy. more»

How the Clinton "Village" Transformed Internet Paradigms: Together Making a Difference

U.S. Presidential elections and the resulting Administrations can make an enormous difference on many levels and become profound points of inflection. This reality is certainly starkly visible today. Perhaps for the Internet community as well as the general public, some of the largely unknown events and actions surrounding the Internet and the Clinton team from 25 years ago can provide a basis for engagement over the coming months. more»

NTIA Revs up Rhetoric as IANA Transition Looms

It's been almost six weeks since the NTIA announced "that the proposal developed by the global Internet multistakeholder community meets the criteria NTIA outlined in March 2014 when it stated its intent to transition the U.S. Government's stewardship role for the Internet domain name system (DNS) technical functions, known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions", and thereby signaled the start of the last lap of the IANA transition marathon. more»

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»

Heritage Holding Anti-IANA Transition Event With Cruz

The Heritage Foundation are conservative, in the American political sense. So it's not surprising that they've been linked to some of the anti-IANA transition stuff coming from Ted Cruz and Co. Tomorrow they're holding an event, which is clearly not aimed at bolstering support on Capitol Hill for the IANA transition... While I, and many others, would find the entire "jeopardizing free expression and enterprise" angle to be total bunkum, it is aimed at tapping into US conservative fears. more»

Open Season

In June 2016 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) hosted a meeting of ministers to consider the state of the Digital Economy. The central message from this meeting was the message that: "Governments must act faster to help people and firms to make greater use of the Internet and remove regulatory barriers to digital innovation or else risk missing out on the potentially huge economic and social benefits of the digital economy." All well and good, and as a piece of rhetoric it seems to strike an appropriately positive note without straying far from what appears to be bland truisms of our time. 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»

News Briefs

NTIA to Allow IANA Functions Contract to Expire October 1

Controversy Looms as Pakistan Passes Cybercrime Law, Critics Say Violates Human Rights

ICANN Announces Newly Created Organization to Replace IANA

Syria Shuts Down Internet to Prevent Cheating During National High School Exams, Say Insiders

China Orders Sites to Halt Original News Reporting

IANA Transition Under Further Attack, Now Officially Blocked by Republican Policy

Berners-Lee Urges Citizens to Comment: "Four Days to Save the Open Internet in Europe"

Ted Cruz: IANA Transition 'Likely Illegal'

Internet Governance Forum USA 2016 on Thursday, July 14

UN Human Rights Council Passes Resolution 'Unequivocally' Condemning Internet Shutdowns

US Department of Commerce Reports on Open Internet, Privatization of DNS

GCIG Releases Final Report, 'One Internet'

GOP Lawmakers Say NTIA Violated Law in IANA Transition Plan

Ted Cruz Pushing Bill to Prevent Government Handing Off Internet Oversight Without Congress Approval

No Reason to Delay the IANA Transition, Says Internet Society

Republicans Threaten to Derail IANA Transition

The Hill: FCC Response to Sen. Cruz Reveals Hidden ICANN Agenda in Net Neutrality Order

GigaNet Call for Proposals: Internet Governance Research a Decade After WSIS

Internet Society Applauds Plan to Transition Oversight of Key Internet Resources

ICANN Submits Transition Plan to US Government

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