Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Recently Commented

IETF's Descent Into the Political Rabbit Hole

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has a curious, non-linear history as a "non-organization" of technical innovators now approaching 47 years. As it approaches a landmark 100th official meeting, it has become embroiled in a controversy that takes it further down the political rabbit hole it has been deepening in recent years. The IETF is considering cancelling its 100th meeting now scheduled in Singapore in November 2017... because "concerns were raised about anti-LGBT laws." more»

Senate Oversight Hearing Explores "Test Drive" of IANA Transition

The IANA transition still appears to be on track for consummation at the end of the September 30th expiration date of the current contract between NTIA and ICANN in the wake of the May 24th Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing on "Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority". That is, while there are clearly some concerns on both sides of the aisle about terminating the remaining U.S. government ties to ICANN... more»

The Irritating Irresolution of ICANN Jurisdiction

The ICANN community review and Board approval of the draft Bylaws intended to implement the Work Stream 1 (WS1) recommendations of the Cross-Community Working Group on Accountability (CCWG-ACCT) are nearing completion. As we approach that marker, it is worth remembering that a major impetus for the approaching transition of IANA functions control away from the U.S. Government (USG) to the multistakeholder community was the notion that termination of the remaining "clerical function" performed by the USG within the context of the current IANA contract would dampen criticism of ICANN's relationship with the USG... more»

Internet Governance in Transition: The ITU as a Battleground for Rival Visions

During the past few years, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been a battleground where governments promote rival visions of how the Internet should be governed. Although there has been a recent cease-fire as Internet governance debates have focused more on the role of ICANN, those skirmishes may soon restart at the ITU... Co-authored by Ambassador Gross (chair of Wiley Rein's International & Internet Practice), Carl R. Frank, Umair Javed, and Sara M. Baxenberg (members of Wiley Rein's Telecom, Media & Technology Practice). more»

Cruz Sees Himself as Protector of Internet Freedom

It looks like Senator Cruz' letter writing campaign isn't going to end any time soon. While previously the Senator and former US presidential hopeful was happy exchanging salvoes with ICANN he's now switched gears and is instead focussing on NTIA and the US Department of Commerce. The latest letter is focussed on a very strange interpretation of the IANA transition proposals. more»

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»