Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Featured Blogs

NANOGGING

There are many network operator group meetings being held these days. Even in the backwater of the South Pacific where I live there is now AUSNOG, and NZNOG is just next door in New Zealand. We now have MENOG in the Middle East and AFNOG in Africa. The original NOG was the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG), and they have the T-Shirts to prove it! NANOG meets three times a year, and I attended NANOG 41 in October 2007. NANOG meetings cover a broad variety of topics, from operational tools, measurement, and peering practices through to a commentary on the state of the Internet industry. Here are my impressions of the meeting. more

Online Critics and Unlawful Harassment from Trademark Holders

The following is based on my experience and interpretation of the UDRP and the relevant laws of the United Kingdom and European Union. This is not legal advice but just my own experience and interpretation. How does a UK citizen create a non-commercial trademark.tld parody criticism website and avoid harassment from the trademark holder? Here are the steps... more

The "Internet of Things," the Internet and Internet Governance

As the second Internet Governance Forum approaches, it is an appropriate moment to take stock of how the Internet Governance dialogue has evolved since the conclusion of the WSIS Summit in 2005. One year after the first IGF in Athens, it is clear that government, industry and civil society stakeholders are still grappling over the direction and focus of the IGF... There is little doubt that some governments will choose to borrow concepts from the IGF when developing law and policy and will ultimately apply them to the Internet within their respective jurisdictions. Given the global nature of the Internet, this should be a fundamental concern. While this important dialogue about the Internet continues at the IGF in Brazil next month, another no less important debate is emerging with regard to RFID technology and the so-called "Internet of Things." The Internet of Things is a term coined to describe a future ubiquitous sensor network that collects commercial and personal data in public and private settings created, in part, through the rollout of RFID technology... more

Myanmar Internet Shutdown

There have been lots of press stories in the last day reporting on what the Internet shutdown in Myanmar looked like for people there, and that's the important story. This is what it looked like to the rest of the world, from an Internet infrastructure standpoint. The connection between Myanmar and the rest of the world appears to be turned back on, at least temporarily. The 45 megabit per second circuit connecting Myanmar to Kuala Lumpur that is Myanmar's primary connection to the Internet came back up at 14:27 UTC today. It had mostly been "hard down," indicating either that it had been unplugged or that the router it was connected to was turned off, with the exception of a few brief periods since September 28. Myanmar's country code top level domain, .MM, disappeared... more

A Consociational Bureau for the Internet Governance Forum

The principle that Internet governance "is a joint effort which requires cooperation and partnership among all stakeholders" (Geneva Declaration of Principles, para 20) has become axiomatic since it was first agreed at WSIS, and is fundamental to the IGF as a "new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue" (Tunis Agenda, para 72). However at the same time as this principle has been universally embraced, some of its implications, that would require the four stakeholder groups identified in the Tunis Agenda to collaborate on the development of joint policy recommendations (Tunis Agenda para 72(g)) have met with resistance. That the strongest resistance has come from those stakeholders with the greatest investment in the existing Internet governance regime... more

Developing Internet Standards: How Can the Engineering Community and the Users Meet?

There is currently a discussion going on between Milton Mueller and Patrik Fältström over the deployment of DNSSEC on the root servers. I think the discussion exemplifies the difficult relation between those who develop standards and those who use them. On the one hand, Milton points out that the way the signing of the root zone will be done will have a great influence on the subjective trust people and nation states will have towards the system. On the other hand, Patrik states that "DNSSEC is just digital signatures on records in this database". Both are right, of course, but they do not speak the same language... more

Another Whois-Privacy Stalemate

The report of the Whois Working Group was published today. The Working Group could not achieve agreement on how to reconcile privacy and data protection rights with the interests of intellectual property holders and law enforcement agencies. So the Working Group Chair redefined the meaning of "agreement." See the full story at the Internet Governance Project site. more

Aging the Internet Prematurely, One PDP at a Time

After blogging about ICANN's new gTLD policy or lack thereof [also featured on CircleID], I've had several people ask me why I care so much about ICANN and new top-level domains. Domain names barely matter in a world of search and hyperlinks, I'm told, and new domains would amount to little more than a cash transfer to new registries from those trying to protect their names and brands. While I agree that type-in site-location is less and less relevant, and we haven't yet seen much end-user focused innovation in the use of domain names, I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I think ICANN is still in a position to do affirmative harm to Internet innovation. more

TLDs or No TLDs for Cities? Berlin Senate Wants Out

A fight has begun over the virtual existence of Germany's capital: Does a .berlin address space have a right to exist beside the old standby berlin.de? The outcome of the fight could have a broader effect on the future of city names on the Internet. After a recent hearing at Berlin's City Parliament, Michael Donnermeyer, speaker of the Berlin Senate, said the right to the name Berlin belonged to the city and has to be protected. For the young company dotBerlin GmbH that is applying for a new city top level domain (TLD) with the ICANN, the Senate's blockade could kill a long-nurtured project and could set a bad example for other initiatives like .london, .paris or .nyc, sources said. more

ICANN: Keep the Core Neutral, Stupid

ICANN's travelling circus is meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week. One of the main subjects of discussion has been the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), after a GNSO Report [PDF] proposed 19 "Recommendations" for criteria these new domain strings should meet -- including morality tests and "infringement" oppositions. ...It's important to keep ICANN from being a censor, or from straying beyond its narrow technical mandate. The thick process described in the GNSO report would be expensive, open to "hecklers' vetos," and deeply political... ICANN should aim for a "stupid core"... more