Internet Governance

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ICANN vs. the Federal Reserve

The Internet is about to go independent. After years of support and supervision, the U.S. Government is about to irrevocably relinquish its control over the Internet by transferring its authority to an independent corporation named ICANN. As part of this push, the current chairman of ICANN posted this article to the Wall Street Journal... What's truly amazing about this piece, is how well it's done... It was only after digesting this piece, that I remembered we are talking about ICANN here. more»

The Second Machine Age Calls for Vision and Leadership

This post I've been pondering on for a long time, but never found the right angle and perhaps I still haven't. Basically I have these observations, thoughts, ideas and a truckload of questions. Where to start? With the future prospects of us all. Thomas Picketty showed us the rise of inequality. He was recently joined by Robert J. Gordon who not only joins Picketty, but adds that we live in a period of stagnation, for decades already. "All great inventions lie over 40 years and more behind us", he points out. more»

GAC Empowerment in Post-Transition ICANN

On March 20th, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Op-ed writer L. Gordon Crovitz published an article titled "Stop Obama's Internet Giveaway". In his opinion piece Mr. Crovitz opposed any near-term transition of the IANA functions... In the course of his article Mr. Crovitz also stated, "Icann already has been kowtowing to authoritarian regimes," alluding to former CEO Fadi Chehade's December 2015 decision to become a Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee to China's World Internet Conference... more»

Don't Break out the Champagne Just Yet: More Work to Do Before IANA Transition Occurs

After two years of meetings, comment periods, and more meetings, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers submitted its IANA transition proposal to the US Department of Commerce last week at the end of the ICANN 55 meeting in Marrakech. While this is a critical milestone and the multi-stakeholder community should be commended for its efforts, several concerns still remain. more»

CEO Chehade, Senator Cruz, and the IANA Transition End Game

On February 4, 2016, U.S. Senator (and Republican Party Presidential nomination contender) Ted Cruz, joined by Senators James Lankford and Michael Lee, dispatched a letter to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade stating that "we were surprised and dismayed to learn that you have agreed to co-chair a high-level advisory committee for the World Internet Conference, which is organized by the Chinese government, while you serve as the Chief Executive Officer of ICANN under contract with the United States Government". The letter continued by posing a series of nine questions... more»

Moving Forward Towards NetMundial 5+: Focus on Principles and Roadmap

The 3rd meeting of the Inaugural Coordination Council of the Net Mundial Initiative (NMI.CC), hosted by Telefonica in Madrid on February 27, 2016, paved the way for the second phase of the innovative NMI platform. The council discussed how to adjust the strategic orientation and the structural design of the initiative, so that future activities are more focused on implementation of the Sao Paulo principles and roadmap. more»

ICANN CEO Farewell Letter Overlooks Innovation

Departing ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé has penned a goodbye letter to the organisation's Board as he prepares to leave this March. The 7-page letter reads like a long list of Chehadé's achievements since he took over the helm in 2012. Whilst there can be little doubt about Chehadé's tireless energy and dedication to making ICANN a more effective governance mechanism for the Internet, his celebration of the last four years seems to overlook one important opportunity. more»

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade is Misleading the US Senate, Says Sen. Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has released a statement today regarding a letter that Cruz, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) received from Fadi Chehade, CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Friday. more»

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a letter today stating "companies and organizations that run the Internet's domain name system shouldn't be in the business of policing the contents of websites, or enforcing laws that can impinge on free speech. more»

Just Another 'Black Box'? First Thoughts on Twitter's Trust and Safety Council

On Tuesday, Twitter announced the creation of the Trust and Safety Council, a body comprising 40 organisations and individuals from civil society and academia, tasked with "ensur[ing] that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter". The move is clearly a response to specific criticism of Twitter and its perceived inadequacies in dealing with hate speech -- a theme so popular and well-trodden that it recently spawned a parody account. more»

ICANN Denies .GAY's Request for Reconsideration

ICANN's Board Governance Committee (BGC) today released its comments on recent reconsideration request of dotgay LLC's new top-level domain .GAY application. Kevin Murphy from Domain Incite reports: "ICANN has refused dotgay LLC's latest appeal against adverse .gay decisions, and has taken the unusual step of preemptively defending itself against probably inevitable accusations from gay right groups." more»

Internet Governance Outlook 2016: Cooperation & Confrontation

In 2015 we saw many agreements on Internet Governance. 193 Governments agreed in the UN General Assembly on the WSIS 10+ Outcome Document. They agreed to extend the mandate of the IGF for ten years. They agreed to strengthen the multistakeholder approach. And they agreed to make more efforts to bring the next billion users online until 2020. The UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) agreed on a number of confidence building measures to strengthen cybersecurity. more»

ICANN Accountability Progress Made in Second CCWG Draft Proposal

The December 21 deadline for submission of public comments on the latest CCWG-Accountability draft proposal is quickly approaching. In this second draft of the proposal, great strides have been made toward addressing the accountability issues that members of the community have raised (notably, Lawrence Strickling's recent remarks). As I have previously emphasized, any plan to ensure the accountability of the ICANN Board of Directors must be closely scrutinized before ICANN pursues its implementation. more»

Consumer Trust? Not at ICANN Compliance

Every person and every entity must have a philosophy if they are to be successful. Consumer trust is one of the key issues at the heart of keeping the Internet open as well as prosperous. The ICANN Affirmation of Commitments was signed in 2009 and has been the guiding principle for ICANN's activities going forward. The title of section 9.3 is Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice. This section is in essence the embodiment of the commitment of ICANN. more»

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»