Internet Governance

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Top Three Reasons to Just Say No to ICANN’s Current EOI gTLD Proposal

On December 9, 2009, the ICANN Board announced its intention to vote during its upcoming February 4, 2010 meeting to approve a plan by which ICANN would solicit "Expressions of Interest" (EOI) from prospective applicants for new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) such as .BLOG. But given a number of significant governance and public policy concerns raised by the current EOI proposal, the ICANN Board should take no action on it before the next in-person ICANN regional meeting--in Nairobi, March 3-7, 2010. more»

Business in the Hotseat over Net Censorship

My weekly technology law column focuses on the growth of Internet censorship and the accompanying pressure on the business community to do something about it... China's censorship system may be the most extensive, but it is not alone. The University of Toronto's OpenNet Initiative, a world leader in tracking state-sponsored Internet censorship, recently co-published Access Denied, a book that highlights its pervasive growth. The book notes that some countries control all public Internet services, thereby creating an easy pipeline to implementing filtering technologies. Countries such as Syria have sought to chill access to the Internet by requiring cybercafe owners to record the names and identification cards of clients... more»

Internet's New "Big Bang" Creates Chance to Put Down Roots

The Internet has done as much as the jet engine to shrink the distance between where we are and where we want to go. Even the propeller-type connectivity of dial-up was a giant leap forward. But as much as the technology has allowed us to go with ease to any place we choose - to learn, to be heard, to promote - equally powerful is the platform's ability to help us gather. The phenomena of social media services like LinkedIn and Facebook are present day proof of this human urge. more»

IP Addresses and Privacy Sensitive Data - A Level Playing Field Needed

Reading Peter Olthoorn's book on Google (a link is found here), I ran into a passage on IP addresses. Where Google states that it does not see an IP address as privacy sensitive. An IP address could be used by more than one person, it claims. The Article 29 Working Party, the EU privacy commissioners, states that it is privacy sensitive as a unique identifier of a private person. It got me wondering whether it is this simple. Here is a blog post meant to give some food for thought and debate. I invite you to think about the question 'how private is an IP address'? more»

Some Thoughts on the ICANN EWG Recommended Registration Directory Service (RDS)

It has been my distinct pleasure to serve on ICANN's Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG). We put in many long months and what seemed like countless hours of research, discussion, meetings, and deliberations on how to tackle a clean-slate approach to gTLD directory services, popularly known as "WHOIS". In our Final Report, the Expert Working Group (EWG) recommended a Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace today's WHOIS, providing a next-generation system to better meet the needs of the evolving global Internet with greater accuracy, privacy, and accountability. more»

Still Missing in Action

After wading through the various IANA Notice of Inquiry (NOI) submissions I thought I would take a break and do a secondary review of the recently concluded ICANN regional meeting in San Francisco. In doing this review there were three things that kind of jumped out at me as still missing in action. more»

The Mission Has Already Crept

ICANN's mission, and the avoidance of "mission creep", is currently the subject of intense debate in the Internet community. Multiple cross-community working groups are dealing with the proposal by an agency of the United States government, NTIA, to give up the last vestiges of its control of the IANA function. Many of the new organizational structures under consideration purport to deal with ICANN's expanding mission. 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»

Setting ICANN'S Governmental Advisory Committee Up to Succeed

ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) - the special stakeholder group responsible for providing government advice to ICANN on issues of public policy - has an important role to play in the remaining evaluation and delegation phases of the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program. For some applicants, the future of their new TLD projects may rest on the decisions of the 50 or so national government representatives that are active members of the GAC. more»

Internet Infrastructure: Stability at the Core, Innovation at the Edge (Part 2 of 5)

For nearly all communications on today's Internet, domain names play a crucial role in providing stable navigation anchors for accessing information in a predictable and safe manner, irrespective of where you're located or the type of device or network connection you're using. Over the past 15 years hundreds of millions of domain names have been added to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), and well over two billion (that's Billion!) new users, some ~34 percent of the global population, have become connected. more»

What is 'On-Tap' at ICANN 38 - Brussels (There's More to Belgium than Beer!)

As the shorter of the ICANN interregnums comes to a close and the ICANN faithful finalize their dinner reservation agendas for Brussels, it is time again for a preview of what will be 'on-tap' at next week's ICANN meeting. While, as always, there is a lot going on in ICANN Land, a scan of the blogosphere and ICANN list serves suggests that the four most discussed topics will be... more»

China Hires Hundreds to Clean Up .CN

Owen Fletcher of the IDG News reports: "China's Web domain agency has hired 600 temporary workers to help it vet all domain names ending in .cn for pornographic content and inaccurate records, according to two people familiar with the matter. The major project comes after the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) late last year barred individuals from registering .cn domain names." more»

Supporting Organizations Marginalized in ICANN Accountability Proposal

The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) make a number of helpful recommendations to improve organizational accountability at ICANN, however one aspect of the plan is deeply flawed: changing the role of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) from purely an "advisory" role to a "decision making" role over fundamental matters at ICANN, including its governance. more»

Join InterCommunity 2015 on July 7/8 to Talk Future of Internet Governance, Security, Access

What are the most pressing Internet governance issues in the next 2-5 years? What are the biggest priorities in terms of making the Internet more secure and trusted? What are the best ways to bring the next 3 billion people online? Those will all be topics of discussion at the "InterCommunity 2015" meeting taking place this week on July 7 and 8. The meeting will not take place at any one physical location... more»

NETmundial and the IGF: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The Internet is not new. It has existed, in one form or another, since the 1960s. Since that time, it has been primarily the domain of the engineers and the other technology-minded individuals that built it. The organizations that were put in place to govern it predate the huge growth in end users the Internet experienced in the 2000s... They are able, in structure and capacity, to deal with technological issues. The issues facing the Internet in 2014, however, are very different from those in 1998. more»