Internet Governance

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US, UK, Canada and Other Countries Will Not Sign UN Telecom Treaty

The U.S., U.K. and Canadian delegations to a worldwide telecom treaty-writing meeting will not ratify a resolution approved by the majority of countries because regulations will include provisions on Internet governance and content. Negotiations at the International Telecommunication Union's World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) in Dubai ended Thursday with disagreements about ITU regulation of the Internet and censorship of the Web. Negotiations were still ongoing late at night Dubai time, and a final version of the resolution was expected Friday. more»

ICANN Has Opened Up Opportunities for Everyone Including Africa

The ICANN latest reveal of the applications pending batching has shown a number of very crucial details of what the new domains system is like. The new system before batching presents new applications with the North Americas having the highest applications amounting to 911, Europe follows with 675, Asia pacific which already has one continental domain .asia has three hundred and three domains, Latin America which shares the same ecological niche with Africa has 24 new applications 7 domains higher than Africa which has presented 17 new domains. 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»

The Third Wave of Internet Exceptionalism

From the beginning, the Internet has been viewed as something special and "unique." For example, in 1996, a judge called the Internet "a unique and wholly new medium of worldwide human communication." The Internet's perceived novelty has prompted regulators to engage in "Internet exceptionalism," crafting Internet-specific laws that diverge from regulatory precedents in other media. Internet exceptionalism has come in three distinct waves... more»

Green Dam is Breached… Now What?

As a number of China hands predicted, the Chinese government has postponed its mandate requiring that all computers sold in China must include the Green Dam -Youth Escort censorware by today. Yesterday after the news broke I told the Financial Times: "There's been this impression in the internet industry that when the Chinese government makes a demand, they have to roll over and play dead. The lesson here is that's not necessarily the case." 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»

CENTR: Internet Governance in 2013 and What's Coming Up in 2014

Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR) has published an Issue Paper entitled "Internet Governance Landscape this year and next." The following is a summary from the paper along with links to download the document in full. more»

.vla TLD: Not So Fast, Says Flemish Government

As reported last July, there is a proposal from some Flemish politicians to create a .vla top level domain under the new gTLD process launched by ICANN. The proposal further elaborated that the Flemish government would have to cover the costs. Not so fast, says the Flemish government... more»

Fixing WHOIS (and Some Other Stuff Too)

ICANN is the only institution with responsibility for the functioning of DNS. And so it is natural that when there is a DNS problem for people to expect ICANN to come up with the solution. But having the responsibility to act is not the same as having the ability. Like the IETF, ICANN appears to have been designed with the objective of achieving institutional paralysis. And this is not surprising since the first law of the Internet is 'You are so not in charge (for all values of you). more»

Innovation and Cybersecurity Regulation

The market has failed to secure cyberspace. A ten-year experiment in faith-based cybersecurity has proven this beyond question. The market has failed and the failure of U.S. policies to recognize this explains why we are in crisis. The former chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox, a longtime proponent of deregulation, provided a useful summary of the issue when he said, "The last six months have made it abundantly clear that voluntary regulation does not work."... 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»

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»

Debugging Legislation: PROTECT IP

There's more than a hint of theatrics in the draft PROTECT IP bill that has emerged as son-of-COICA, starting with the ungainly acronym of a name. Given its roots in the entertainment industry, that low drama comes as no surprise. Each section name is worse than the last: "Eliminating the Financial Incentive to Steal Intellectual Property Online" (Sec. 4) gives way to "Voluntary action for Taking Action Against Websites Stealing American Intellectual Property". more»

Who is Wagging Who? Same Dog, New Tale.

Today, my company AusRegistry International signed an open letter to the United States House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet as a show of support for ICANN and its new Top-Level Domain program. I'm disappointed by the nature of the oversight hearing the Subcommittee has called and I believe it will only be a distraction. Let's not kid ourselves; the reason for this hearing is to beat up ICANN over the new TLD program. I think this is unfair and unjustified... more»