Internet Governance

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At the Crossroads: The State of Domain Registration Data Services

The Internet's users rely on domain name registration information for vital purposes, including providing security, problem-solving, and legal and social accountability. The data is so important that users perform more than two billion WHOIS queries every day. ICANN has instituted new data policies over the last two years, and is also directing a migration to a new technical protocol, RDAP, that will replace WHOIS access in the near future. So at this critical juncture, how is it all going? more

Why Are Internet Security Standards Badly Deployed and What to Do About It?

In 2019 under the aegis of the Internet Governance Forum, a pilot project was conducted into the causes of and solutions for the, in general, slow deployment of internet security standards. Standards that on mass deployment make the Internet and all its users safer, indiscriminately, immediately... Recently the report 'Setting the standard. For a more Secure and Trustworthy Internet. The Identification of Pressure Points in Society to Speed up Internet Standards Deployment', was published on the IGF website. more

Dear U.S.A. – Observations on the Cyber Solarium Commission Report

I am writing to you as someone who is not your citizen, (although I had the fortune to wed the most beautiful of your daughters), to share my thoughts about the recent US Government Cyber Solarium Commission report. U.S.A. We owe you one! Without you and your citizens there would be no free Internet as we know it. Thank You! Your constitution is our inspiration. We, the global digital citizenship want to be "the people", in order to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." more

Namecheap, EFF and the Dangerous Internet Wild West

This past week I had two items pop up on my alerts. The first was about Facebook suing domain registrar Namecheap for allowing domains that impersonate the social media company and can be used for scams. The second was a plea by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to join in its crusade to stop the sale of the .ORG domain. It took me a moment to realize these are linked. more

The Sad Story of Private Public Interest Commitments (PICs)

The voluntary Public Interest Commitments (PIC) have a long and sad history at ICANN. They were a process never created or evaluated by the Multistakeholder process, thrown together for one purpose and allowed to morph into a mechanism for an almost unlimited number of un-reviewed other purposes. Disputes are delegated to a resolution process which itself was never evaluated for... more

Accountability Initiatives to Secure a Strong Future for .ORG

Last fall, when we put forth our bid to acquire the Public Interest Registry (PIR), our announcement - made jointly with PIR and its parent, the Internet Society - was met with questions. We took them seriously and made a conscious effort to engage with representative members of the .ORG community to deepen our understanding. We found that a consistent message was that the commitments made by Ethos since this fall addressed most of the community's issues, but there was a question as to whether they were enforceable and if so, how? more

WTSA-2020: Reflecting on a Contemporary ITU-T Role

Every four years – as it has done for nearly a hundred years – the ITU-T as the world's only global intergovernmental standards body for all telecommunication, invites its 196 sovereign state members to a meeting where they examine their work and set the stage for the next four years. There is no treaty prepared, but they do examine major developments and decide needed standardization work, priorities and structure of the organization itself – including their leadership. more

Truth in Web Digital Identity?

Most of us, when we go to a website and see the little lock at the top of the browser, don't think twice and trust that we are communicating with the right company or organization. However, this is no longer the case because of a rather radical development that has largely occurred without notice or intervention by almost everyone. The web now has its own rapidly spreading version of CallerID spoofing that is about to get worse. more

ICANN: Do Not Allow Closed New gTLDs With Generic Strings

Within the next year, the ICANN Board may well face a decision that will help determine whether ICANN is capable of serving the global public interest or whether it is degenerating into an industry-controlled self-regulatory association. The issue can be framed quite simply: will ICANN approve a process for the creation of a new wave of new generic top level domains that will include "closed generic" gTLDs? more

Here's How We Can Truly #SaveDotOrg

Many of my friends in the civil-liberties and Internet-law communities have been criticizing the Internet Society's agreement to sell the Public Interest Registry, which administers the .ORG top-level domain. I'm a free-speech guy, so I support their right to raise all these criticisms. But they often ask me directly – knowing that my track record as an Internet civil-libertarian is longer than most – why as a member of the Internet Society (a.k.a. ISOC) board I decided to join the board's unanimous approval of the deal. more

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more

Who Pays When .Org Prices Rise?

When .org prices rise, who suffers – nonprofits or speculators? Will Ethos Capital raise prices more aggressively than ISOC would? Vint Cerf attributed concerns about higher prices to speculators: "Of course, companies that hold domain names in the tens of thousands for speculative purposes might find such increases more troubling, but I don't have much sympathy for that business model in the context of the organizations the .org brand is intended to serve." more

5G Leadership Reality Check: January 2020

As we embark on a new year and decade, it seemed worthwhile to take a peek at the principal forums for global 5G industry technical collaboration and do a quick assessment of what is occurring and who are the "leaders." The leadership dimension is especially relevant in Washington these days – which is suffering from a peculiar 5G dementia. As the year ended, there were no less than 35 current 5G related Congressional legislative actions, several of which actually passed one of the chambers. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2020: The Next Generation of Players and Problems Is Coming

The beginning of a new decade is always an invitation to have a broader look into the future. What, in the next ten years, will happen in the Internet Governance Ecosystem? Will the 2020s see the usual swinging pendulum between more liberal and more restrictive Internet policies in an interconnected world? Or will we move towards a watershed? more

A Stronger PIR and .ORG: Standing Behind Our Commitments

We respect the right of all parties who wish to express a point of view on the Internet Society's sale of Public Interest Registry ("PIR") to Ethos Capital. However, it's important those views are based on facts -- which has not always been the case. Some have expressed concern that for-profit ownership of .ORG will automatically mean .ORG prices will rise dramatically, or that .ORG's principles will change. more