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The Cock and the Goat: ICANN in the Age of Horrorism

Like everyone else, former ICANN board members have been preoccupied by the horrific November 13th, 2015 attacks on Paris, France, by a bunch of cold-blooded mass murderers. Our email list discussion of the Paris attacks covered a number of issues, including the inevitable question: what, if anything, should ICANN do in response? Some list subscribers concluded that the events had nothing to do with ICANN's mission, and that we should just sigh and move on. Others, on the other hand, said: not so fast, it would serve ICANN well to take a closer look at the matter, and its ramifications on wider world of ICANN.  more

Canadian Regulator CRTC Issues $1.1 Million Penalty to Compu-Finder for Spamming

Neil Schwartzman writes: "The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC's) Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer today issued a Notice of Violation to Compu-Finder, which includes a penalty of $1.1 million, for breaking Canada's anti-spam law. Compu-Finder has 30 days to submit written representations to the CRTC or pay the penalty. It also has the option of requesting an undertaking with the CRTC on this matter." more

The Great ITU Internet Heist

There was a meeting in Geneva a few weeks ago dealing with Internet names and addresses. Known as the Second Informal Expert Group Meeting of the Fifth World Telecommunication / Information and Communication Technologies Policy Forum, it was yet another of the endless blathering bodies on this subject that have met for the past fourteen years. more

U.S. Intends to Remain in Full Control of Internet Root Zone, Says Letter from NTIA

In a letter sent by bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to ICANN, the department has made it clear that despite recent discussions in Paris meetings, the U.S. department intends to remain in full authority over the Internet root zonemore

TPP IP Chapter Leaks Reveal New U.S. Proposed Regulations for Country-Code Domain Names

The leaked Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter has revealed a number of U.S. proposals including U.S. demands for Internet provider liability that could lead to subscriber termination, content blocking, and ISP monitoring, copyright term extension and anti-counterfeiting provisions. This post discusses Article QQ.C.12 on domain names. more

Google Asks U.S. Government to Allow Transparency for Its National Security Request Data

In an open letter published today, Google has asked the U.S. Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for more transparency regarding national security request data in light of the NSA data collection controversy. more

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary. more

Bruce Schneier: Government and Industry Have Betrayed the Internet, and Us

Bruce Schneier in an op-ed piece published in the Guardian on Thursday writes: "Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us. By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract..." more

Is WCIT Failure the Start of a Digital Cold War?

This was never part of the plan. Going into the Dubai World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) two weeks ago, there was optimism aplenty. After weeks of online and media campaigning, proponents of a free Internet had managed to scare everyone into thinking that WCIT was tantamount to digital Armageddon. This had the effect of defusing the conference before it even started, or so it seemed... more

ICANN Accountability: Beware the Bridge Too Far

Yesterday I had the privilege of delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Internet Society (Canada) Symposium. In my remarks, I took the opportunity to talk about my thoughts on the current status of the IANA stewardship transition and enhancing ICANN accountability processes. Fact is I'm getting increasingly concerned. As we head into what will be a critical meeting of the CCWG-Accountability in Los Angeles today, I fear that the Internet governance community is headed for a showdown, the consequences of which could prove detrimental. more

Internet Society Urges for Increased Effort to Address Unprecedented Challenges Facing the Internet

During the 11th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a United Nations-convened conference taking place in Mexico, 6-9 December, the Internet Society urged the global Internet community to redouble its efforts in addressing the wave of unprecedented challenges facing the Internet. more

Really? A Hearing on New gTLDs at this Late Stage?

To the dismay of many (and the chagrin of some), it appears as though the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will be conducting a hearing on New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Meanwhile, ICANN is careening towards the finish line of the new gTLD Program with a vote by the ICANN Board scheduled for June 20th. Just what this all means remains to be seen. more

US Government Waves the Caution Flag at ICANN

This month, ICANN is driving hard to get two of its horses to the finish line. The first is barely a year old - it's the first formal review of ICANN's accountability and transparency. The second horse is going on 4 years old: ICANN's plan to introduce hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs) for the Internet. Just as these horses have entered the home stretch, one of the racecourse officials is vigorously waving the yellow caution flag. And ICANN would do well to pull back on the reins. more

The 'Domain Rights Dozen' - ICA's RPM Revision Review Principles

As the fall of 2012 begins the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs is reaching a critical stage... Given the half year interval between the upcoming Toronto ICANN meeting and the following Beijing meeting in April 2013, it is highly desirable, and perhaps essential, that community discussion in Toronto result in a clear consensus on how RPM implementation should proceed if new gTLDs are to launch without further delay and if potential registrants are to perceive them as acceptable platforms for speech and commerce. more

Radical Shift of Power Proposed at ICANN Putting Govts in Primary Decision Making Role

ICANN has proposed a major change to its bylaws that would require the organization to adopt all policy "advice" issued by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) unless 2/3 of ICANN's non-conflicted board members vote to oppose the adoption of that governmental rule. This draconian proposal to change ICANN's bylaws would fundamentally transform ICANN away from being a "bottom-up" and "private-sector-led" organization and into a governmental regulatory agency... more