Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Recently Commented

ICANN's Rocky Beginning - When Friends Were Scarce

In ICANN's earliest days, it had very few friends, or so it seemed to the initial Board members. There were none of the compliments and congratulations that normally accompany the creation of a new corporation. There was great hesitancy among potential donors over the fact that we did not yet have (and would not have for nine long months), a federal tax exemption number. There was also a poisonous open Board meeting in December 1998 in Cambridge, Massachusetts... more

The Road Less Traveled: Time Is Running Out for NTIA-Verisign Cooperative Agreement

It is remarkable  -  for all the wrong reasons  -  that only two months remain before the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) must make a fateful decision on how it will address its' long-standing Cooperative Agreement with Verisign  -  the private-sector corporation that edits the authoritative address book of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), maintains two of the DNS root servers, and operates the .com and .net registries of the Internet, undoubtedly one of the most lucrative concessions ever granted. more

Traceability

At a recent workshop on cybersecurity at Ditchley House sponsored by the Ditchley Foundation in the U.K., a primary topic of consideration was how to preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet while protecting against the harmful behaviors that have emerged in this global medium. That this is a significant challenge cannot be overstated... That these harmful behaviors can and do cross international boundaries only makes it more difficult to fashion effective responses. more

Spare a Thought for Venezuela

Please spare a thought for Venezuela. This, the 33rd largest country in the world and with about 34 million people, the largest proven reserves of oil, the cheapest price of gasoline in the world, and was in 1950 richer than Germany, has fallen on times so hard in this once Latin America's richest country that 75% of the population lost an average of 11 Kg (24 pounds) in weight in one year because of food scarcity. And you might ask: "Why should I care?" more

Trump's Outrageous ITU Elections Gambit

Every four years, the 168-year-old, Geneva-based treaty organization that provides the legal basis for worldwide network communications, radio spectrum management, and satellite placements holds a "plenipotentiary" conference among its 193 sovereign nation members. The next plenipotentiary begins on 29 October for three weeks. In addition to potentially altering treaty provisions and resolutions, and constituting its Council as an interim governing body, it elects 17 individuals to its five permanent bodies... more

Special Interests Circulating Draft Legislation to Cut Short ICANN's Whois Policy Process

Special interests who oppose privacy are circulating draft legislation to cut short ICANN's Whois policy process, warns Milton Mueller in a post published today in Internet Governance Project. more

Taking a Multi-Stakeholder Look at Cyber Norms

Recently we've seen several examples of likely state sponsored security incidents of which the appropriateness was later strongly debated. Incidents such as states impacting commercial enterprises during cyber attacks; purported sabotage of critical infrastructure, and attacks on civilian activists have all, to a greater or lesser degree, led to concerns being raised by both civilian watchdog groups, academics, technologists and governments. more

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more

IPv4 Historical Imbalances and the Threat to IPv6

It is an open secret that the current state of IPv4 allocation contains many accidental historical imbalances and in particular developing countries who wish to use IPv4 are disadvantaged by the lack of addresses available through ordinary allocation and are forced into purchasing addresses on the open market. As most of the addresses for sale are held by organisations based in the developed world, this amounts to a transfer of wealth from the developing world to the developed world, on terms set by the developed world. more

The Geo-Politics of ICANN vs ITU

Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to talk to US policy makers and have seen how ITU and ICANN have emerged as proxies for a much wider diplomatic dispute over who is going to control cyberspace. The Internet is now the engine of the new global economy. It is a communication infrastructure. Both have been correctly regarded as national security interests of the very highest level of priority. Some of the participants in the ICANN/ITU world are former participants in arms limitation circles. Their mode of thinking is illustrated by the frequent use of phrases such as 'why would we give up...'. more

Trump's Tweets Flouting the Cybercrime Treaty Curbs on Racist and Xenophobic Incitement

The existence of the 2001 Cybercrime Convention is generally well known. The treaty has now been ratified/acceded to by 60 countries worldwide, including the United States. Less well known is the existence of the Additional Protocol to the Convention "concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems." more

It's About Whois Display And Access

The need for an access model for non-public Whois data has been apparent since GDPR became a major issue before the community well over a year ago. Now is the time to address it seriously, and not with half measures. We urgently need a temporary model for access to non-public Whois data for legitimate uses, while the community undertakes longer-term policy development efforts. more

US Govt Formally Asks Whether It Should Reassert Its Control of Internet, Reversing ICANN Handover

A formal inquiry released by the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on Tuesday questions whether IANA Stewardship Transition should be "unwound." more

WHOIS Users Facing Serious Challenges Caused by Post-GDPR Fragmentation

On May 25, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, meaning that European data protection authorities (DPAs) can begin enforcing the regulation against non-compliant parties. In preparation, the ICANN Board passed a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data - essentially a temporary policy amendment to its registrar and registry contracts to facilitate GDPR compliance while also preserving certain aspects of the WHOIS system of domain name registration data. more

GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros. One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when... more