Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Featured Blogs

Cyberspace Solarium Commission Report

The Cyberspace Solarium Report released today is another, in an endless string of reports, that disgorge from Washington committees dealing with the eternal mantra of "defending American interests and values in cyberspace." The challenges (and many reports) here trace back 170 years when transnational telecommunication internets emerged. The dialogue and reports scaled in the 1920s with the emergence of radio internets and cyber threats, then again in the early 1980s... more

NGO Community Urges ICANN to Exercise Independent Judgment as It Reviews the .ORG Sale

ICANN is reviewing the Internet Society's proposed sale of Public Interest Registry, the .ORG registry operator, to private equity firm Ethos Capital. ICANN effectively has the power to stop the sale by terminating PIR's Registry Agreement. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, NTEN, Consumer Reports, Americans for Financial Reform and several other organizations joined Monday's Public Forum at ICANN67 to ask questions about how ICANN plans to review the change of control of the .ORG registry... more

.ORG Stewardship Council Will Ensure .ORG's Commitment to Freedom of Expression Continues

The .ORG Stewardship Council is, in a lot of ways, a natural progression or evolution from our current PIR Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is made up of independent .ORG community members from around the world that provide advice to PIR on policy issues affecting them. The "AC," or the Advisory Council, has been a key part of PIR's work since its inception. more

Report and Analysis of Public Comments Submitted to ICANN on the .COM Pricing Provisions (Part II)

Mr. Arif Ali, a lawyer with Dechert who is very familiar with ICANN governance and has represented numerous parties in ICANN related matters, wrote an extraordinarily detailed and comprehensive critique of the LOI and of Amendment 3. Mr. Ali noted that two of ICANN's most important obligations are to operate for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole and to enable competition and open entry in Internet-related markets, and that the proposed price hikes do not support these obligations... more

Report and Analysis of Public Comments Submitted to ICANN on the .COM Pricing Provisions (Part I)

ICANN's call for Public Comment on Proposed Amendment 3 to the .com Registry Agreement yielded 9,040 public comments during the six-week comment period that ran from January 3, 2020 to February 14, 2020. The public response was amongst the most robust if not the most robust, that ICANN has ever received. To put this in context, the last several Public Comment periods received under 20 comments apiece. more

Dissecting the ISOC/PIR/Ethos Transaction (With Ways to Help Ensure PIR’s 2002 Commitments)

On February 11th, Professor Ben Leff of American University Washington College of Law (WCL) spoke on the panel: The Controversial Sale of the .ORG Registry: The Conversation We Should be Having as a scholar of charitable and nonprofit law. On February 21st, he posted a blog piece on WCL's PIJIP blog outlining and expanding his presentation. With Professor Leff's permission, I repost his piece on CircleID to join the timely discussion taking place here on the .ORG sale. more

Accountability Initiatives to Secure a Strong Future for .ORG

Last fall, when we put forth our bid to acquire the Public Interest Registry (PIR), our announcement - made jointly with PIR and its parent, the Internet Society - was met with questions. We took them seriously and made a conscious effort to engage with representative members of the .ORG community to deepen our understanding. We found that a consistent message was that the commitments made by Ethos since this fall addressed most of the community's issues, but there was a question as to whether they were enforceable and if so, how? more

Mass-Produced Propaganda – a Cuban Example

Earlier this month, Google sent me several notifications for an article entitled "The Internet Is Widely Accessible in Cuba. Why Is the US Insisting It Isn't?" I checked it out and found that Reese Erlich had posted it on Truthout.org, a left-leaning Web site, on February 12. On the 13th, Cabasi.com published a shortened version of the article and Salon.com published the original version on the 17th. These were all in English, and both Salon and Cubasi credited Truthout. more

Why the Dot Org Sale Is Failing and How Brooks, Nevett and Sullivan Could Have Wired It

When ISOC, PIR and Ethos announced the sale in November they hoped for a quick transaction. PIR CEO Jon Nevett announced the same week that PIR would be going on a buying spree. This was optimistic. Six months, if at all, is now the more likely outcome. How many times in recent history have companies surprised stakeholders with their best-laid plans, only to discover we no longer live in a world where business has free reign. The glory days of the 2000s died with Lehman Brothers. more

Troubling Efforts to Distort and Undermine the Multistakeholder Process

ICANN's request for comment on amending the .com registry agreement to restore Verisign's pre-2012 pricing flexibility ended last Friday and, with 8,998 responses submitted by stakeholders, may have been a multistakeholder version of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Public interest in .com pricing is understandably high but the sheer volume of responses – nearly three times the number of comments submitted this summer on deregulating .org pricing – also suggests a show of force... more