Internet Governance

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To Tax or Not to Tax

Well it is not new that the US has always maintained that the Internet should be a tax free zone as per the US Congress's Tax Freedom Act 1998 which following expiry continued to be reauthorized and its most recent re-authorization (legal speak for extension) was in October 2007 where this has been extended till 2014. It is unclear whether there will be another extension post 2014. There is a moratorium on new taxes on e-commerce, and the taxing of internet access via the Tax Freedom Act. 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»

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»

Stumbling Forward Means Promoting IDNs

A couple of weeks ago during the 40th ICANN meeting in San Francisco I got up to talk at the microphone. I spoke about the needs of developing markets on the web, about the importance of focusing on the 56% of the world that doesn't use Latin character scripts and about the struggles they still face as they go about their everyday lives - chatting, shopping or when pushed, promoting regime change - all using the internet... more»

European Commissioner Asks for Further Delay on .XXX

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: "European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes asked the US Department of Commerce to delay the introduction of the .xxx top-level domain after ICANN approved it, I can reveal. In an April 6 letter to Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, a copy of which I have obtained, Kroes expressed dismay with ICANN's decision, and wrote..." more»

China and the United States Agree on Forming Joint Cybersecurity Working Group

China and the United States will set up a working group on cybersecurity, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday, as the two sides moved to ease months of tensions and mutual accusations of hacking and Internet theft. Speaking to reporters in Beijing during a visit to China, Kerry said the United States and China had agreed on the need to speed up action on cyber security, an area that Washington says is its top national security concern. more»

Kerry's Call for Internet Freedom Naive, Says China

China criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday for his "naive" call for more Internet freedom in the country, and wondered why his discussion with Chinese bloggers had not touched upon Edward Snowden. During an approximately 40-minute chat with bloggers in Beijing on Saturday, Kerry expressed his support for online freedom in China, as well as for human rights in general. 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»

Is the UN Assailing Internet Governance?

The coven of UN bodies with a hand in internet governance keeps getting bigger: not only is the General Assembly intending soon to decide the fate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), but if the decision coming out of New York does not give them enough of a role, the UN has a back-up plan. In May of 2011, no less than four specialized UN agencies, UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNDP and (perhaps most legitimately) the ITU, are planning a Conference what will allow them to insert themselves still further into the matter. 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»

Urgent Need to Revisit Internet Governance (WCIT-12)

Developments over the past few months - and especially the revelations about the spying work of the NSA on friendly governments and their people and businesses - show how important it is to try and establish some high-level strategies relating to managing the governance of the internet. While companies like Google have been lobbying hard against WCIT-12 - basically because they are opposed to any government interference in the internet - the reality is that, clearly without their knowledge, their own American government through the NSA is already directly interfering in their network. 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»

Collecting Cybercrime Data: Can Signal Spam Be a Piece of the Puzzle?

The gathering of coherent data on cybercrime is a problem most countries haven't found a solution for. So far. In 2011 it is a well known fact that spam, cybercrime and botnets are all interrelated. The French database Signal Spam may be a significant part of the solution to gather, analyse and distribute data on spam, phishing, cybercrimes and botnets, but also be a forum in which commercial mass e-mail senders and ISPs can work on trust. 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»

Anti-Spoofing, BCP 38, and the Tragedy of the Commons

In the seminal 1968 paper "The Tragedy of the Commons" , Garrett Hardin introduced the world to an idea which eventually grew into a household phrase. In this blog article I will explore whether Hardin's tragedy applies to anti-spoofing and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in the Internet, or not... Hardin was a biologist and ecologist by trade, so he explains "The Tragedy of the Commons" using a field, cattle and herdsmen. more»