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Move Fast and Regulate Things

The international community is converging on one notion at least: that Facebook cannot be prosecutor, judge and jury of its own achievements and transgressions. The calls to regulate social media companies first came from various legislative bodies, then from civil society and national policymakers, then from the CEO of Facebook itself, "to preserve what is best about [the Internet]." If some scepticism followed that was natural enough – was the company sincere in calling for more regulation? more

The Start of Something Big: ICANN Announces Planning for Round Two of New gTLDs

ICANN has published a short paper in advance of its 65th meeting in Marrakech which starts on 23 June 2019. Entitled, "ICANN Org's Readiness to Support Future Rounds of New gTLDs," it describes ICANN's working assumptions for "policy implementation and operational readiness for a subsequent round of new gTLDs". The document is necessary for ICANN to move forward with essential preparations for the next round. more

Is UN SG Guterres Driving the Bus That Macron Threw UN IGF & Multistakeholderism Under at IGF Paris?

A fresh & transparent, community-led, bottom-up, public debate has now become unavoidable and undeferrable. "....we need limited and smart regulation" were the clear and unambiguous words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the launch of the final report of his UN Panel on Digital Cooperation last week in New York. Last November, I wrote about President Macron throwing down the gauntlet at UN IGF Paris challenging IGF and Multistakeholderism to become more relevant.  more

The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation: An Agenda for the 2020s

The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation presented last week in New York its final report, and an old question is back on the international agenda: Could the global Internet be ordered by a reasonable arrangement among stakeholders which would maximize the digital opportunities and minimize the cyber risks by keeping the network free, open and safe? more

State Department Should Return to Its Knitting

Having researched and written about the 100 year history of U.S. State Department's institutional machinations in the telecom/cyber sector, taught law school graduate courses, and worked with its bureaus and staff over the past 45 years, the latest twists and turns seem to repeat past mistakes. The fundamental problem is that the U.S. is the only country whose Foreign Ministry is given a significant role and engaged in telecom and cyber matters in global venues. more

Can ICANN Survive Today’s Global Geo-Political Challenges Under Its Existing Narrow Mandate?

Recently, the Presidents of four Latin American countries slammed ICANN over its .amazon domain name decision. This added to a long list of geo-politically infused challenges which ICANN needed to render final decisions on after all delay tactics or deferments had already been fully exhausted. It is clear that ICANN is facing unprecedented challenges as it tackles issues that go beyond its current narrow mandate. more

ICANN and Voodoo Economics in Wonderland

The exposed areas needing improvement by ICANN - both the organization as well as its global community of stakeholders - provide a target-rich environment. In the nearly three years since the completion of the transition of the Internet Assigned Names Authority (IANA), ICANN has persistently sought to drive top-down dictatorial policymaking; to shroud its activities and decision-making from public view; and, to evade accountability -- in some cases even doubling down on its efforts. more

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

Trump Orders Cyberattacks by US Companies

It is supremely ironic. A rogue national leader with the stroke of a pen, dictates that its companies will expose a foreign company's end users to cyberattacks. This is the net effect of denying security patches or operating system updates pursuant to Trump's order. In the US Great Rogue Leader's bizarro world, this is the very behavior that he claims makes his actions necessary. In fact, this Trump malware attack is worse because of the mass exposure to exploits. more

A Closer Look at the "Sovereign Runet" Law

In December 2018, a bill on the "stable operation" of the Russian segment of the Internet was introduced and got the title "Sovereign Runet" in mass media and among the public. It was adopted after 5 months later, despite doubts about the technical feasibility of its implementation. The law is very ambitious in its intent to simultaneously control Internet traffic and protect Runet from some external threats, but legislators still have no idea how it would actually work. more

The Borg in Us All: Is Resistance Futile?

One of the main roles played by science fiction is to portray fundamental issues and questions that face humanity long before they actually become relevant to our daily lives. We cannot always be sure of where our reality ends, and fiction begins. Star Trek storylines including Borgs are a good example. In the storyline, Borgs are part organic, part artificial and created eons ago, yet they seem to presage the challenges in our contemporary personal reality and challenges in the Internet's cyberspace. more

Experts Call for Caribbean to Make Its Voice Heard on Global Internet Governance

The internet has come to play a vital role in the social and economic development of the Caribbean. Yet, countries in the region are, in the main, relying heavily on external interests to make important decisions about the technical specifications and security of the technology and rules that impact how the Internet is governed. "We find that the Caribbean governments are abdicating their seats at the table in global fora where major decisions are made regarding the future of the Internet. more

The Three-Character Question at the Heart of Single-Character .COMs: W-H-Y?

In the matter relating to O.COM, I've focused on the fact that VeriSign has -- in correspondence to the organization that is counter-party to its .COM and transliterated .COM IDN Registry Agreements, in earnings calls with its investors and financial analysts, and in policy published on its website for every innocent and unsuspecting Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world to be duped by -- stated an unequivocal and unwavering commitment . more

How to Best Manage the Social Media

The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions -- just some of the potential attached to the internet. more

The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

News Briefs

Domestic Internet of Russia, Iran Far Deeper Kind of Fragmentation, More Physical Than Seen Before

ICANN's Recent .amazon Decision Denounced by Presidents of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia

Microsoft Sees Serious Appetite for Revised Privacy Laws in US, Says It's Time to Match EU's GDPR

ICANN Says Amazon Inc's Application for .AMAZON TLD Can Proceed Following 30 Days of Public Comment

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Chief David Redl Resigns

Vladimir Putin Signs 'Sovereign Internet' Law to Further Tighten Government Control of the Internet

Canada Says Facebook Has Refused to Address Serious Privacy Deficiencies Concerning Its Local Laws

Non-Profit Organizations Send Joint Letter to ICANN Opposing the Removal of .org Price Caps

Russian Lawmakers Pass Bill to Expand Government Control Over Internet, Protests Expected to Ensue

ICANN Postpones Amazon Domain Decision, Crusade Continues Between Amazon Nations and Amazon Inc.

Russians Take to the Streets to Protest Against New Internet Restrictions

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Russia Is Studying China's Legislative Experience in Fighting Internet Corruption, Cyber-Terrorism

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

Indian Government Proposes Vast New Powers to Suppress Internet Content

Russia to Disconnect Entirely From the Internet as Part of Cyber-Defense Measure

Government-Directed Internet Shutdowns and Fiber Cuts Continue in 2019 Impacting Various Countries

US Senate to Hold Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

US Government and Businesses Need Collaborative Procedures Against Major Cyberattacks, Warns Report

CENTR Publishes a Paper on Domain Name Registries and Online Content

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