Internet Governance

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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»

Decision Day for ICANN: The End of the Beginning, or the Beginning of the End?

I've just arrived in Singapore, where ICANN's board will almost surely vote to launch an unprecedented expansion plan for generic top-level domains (gTLDs). As the new gTLDs start lighting-up over the next two years, we'll look back on this week as the "end of the beginning" since it ended several years of planning for the actual expansion. After the vote the real work begins: evaluating applications, implementing new mechanisms, and contract compliance on a scale far greater than ICANN has ever seen. more»

ITU Staff Gone Wild

In virtually all governmental legislative bodies, the staff is there to provide secretariat services for the government representatives. The staff role does not include telling the representatives what decisions they should be making. The stricture is supposed to be the same at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for its treaty making activities. It is with some amazement that last week, the ITU secretariat staff showed up at a seminar in Bangkok they helped schedule... more»

Independent Objector (IO) Launches Objection on New Applied-for gTLDs

Independent Objector (IO) has lodged objections on 24 new Applied-for gTLD (name scripts) before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on 12th March 2013. IO has exercised his important role and functionality in favor of Public interests on the grounds of Limited Public Interest and Community. New gTLD name scripts .Med, .Health, .Hospital, .Amazon, .Indians are included in the list of objections filed. more»

Zero-Rating and the Creation of Digital Castes

During the last Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, a day was devoted to Net Neutrality with three panels devoted to the subject. The first was exactly about Zero-Rating: Net Neutrality, Zero-Rating & Development: What's the Data? the second was Network Neutrality: a Roadmap for Infrastructure Enhancement and last, the main session Network Neutrality: Towards a Common Understanding of a Complex Issue and Zero-rating was discussed on all three panels. more»

Rewiring Internet Governance: Step One Is About ICANN (Part 1)

It is time for some straight talk about governance. The word "governance" used here means authority. It does not merely mean rules, or coercion, or any other weasel-worded definitions that deflect our attention from the art of good governance as distinct from self-serving opportunism and illusory power sharing. Politics, as Theodore Lowi reminded us, is ultimately about "who gets what". Quibbling with endless essays about who rules the root is useful, but not demonstrative. more»

Is Bulgarian Cyrillic .бг (.bg) Really Similar to Other Latin ccTLDs?

Bulgaria has proposed for an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) ccTLD string .бг (Cyrillic for .bg, or U+0431 U+0433), but the proposal was turned down by the ICANN DNS Stability panel in May 2010 without any arguments or an option for appeal. The proposed string is composed of two characters... more»

Lessons Behind the Microsoft 3322.org Takedown

The Microsoft action against 3322.org, a Chinese company, started with the news that computers were infected during the production phase. Stepping away from the controversy surrounding the approach, there are important lessons that cyber security officials and upper management, deciding on the level of and budget for cyber security in organisations should learn and take into account. I'm writing this contribution from a premise: China uses the fact that most IT devices are built in China to its advantage. Allow me to start with an account from personal memory to set the stage. more»

Governments Concerned Over ICANN's Complex, Lengthy and Ambiguous Processes

The world's governments have told domain name overseer ICANN that its processes are "complex, lengthy and ambiguous" and warned that they may be ineffective at dealing with domain-name abuse or fraud. The extraordinary statement comes in the official communiqué of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN, published today following a week-long meeting in Singapore. more»

Who is Ready to Leap on the "Localized Internet"

Four pioneers are ready to Leap on the "Localized Internet". ICANN has approved four character strings of IDN ccTLD (Internationalized Top-Level Domain Names) after evaluation. The Lucky-Ones are Russian Federation, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. 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»

Google Shutting Down Engineering Office in Russia Amid Tighter Data Law

Google is closing its engineering office in Russia as a result of new law coming into force next year requiring foreign firms to store Russian users' personal data on servers located in Russia. more»

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»

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»

The IETF's *Other* Diversity Challenge: An Update

Last June I wrote an article titled "The IETF's Other Diversity Challenge" where I discussed the positive steps the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is taking to increase the diversity of its participants and raised a potentially overlooked demographic: Network Operators. That essay was a problem statement of sorts, and I was long ago taught that you should only raise problems that you have a solution for, or are at least willing to help solve. more»