Internet Governance

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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