Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Recently Commented

Can ICANN Survive Today’s Global Geo-Political Challenges Under Its Existing Narrow Mandate?

Recently, the Presidents of four Latin American countries slammed ICANN over its .amazon domain name decision. This added to a long list of geo-politically infused challenges which ICANN needed to render final decisions on after all delay tactics or deferments had already been fully exhausted. It is clear that ICANN is facing unprecedented challenges as it tackles issues that go beyond its current narrow mandate. more

ICANN at a Crossroads: GDPR and Human Rights

The European Data Protection Board certainly has been keeping its records straight. Its 27 May statement starts with the following: "WP29 has been offering guidance to ICANN on how to bring WHOIS in compliance with European data protection law since 2003." All internet users have dealings with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, yet the vast majority have never heard of ICANN. more

5G Security Transparency

There is considerable rhetoric propagated today about 5G security. Some of the more blatant assertions border on xenophobia with vague assertions that the 5G vendors from some countries cannot be trusted and wholesale government banning is required. Existing treaty obligations are being summarily abrogated in favour of bilateral trade bullying. These are practices that the late President George H.W. Bush sought to eliminate a quarter century ago through intergovernmental organization initiatives... more

Trump Orders Cyberattacks by US Companies

It is supremely ironic. A rogue national leader with the stroke of a pen, dictates that its companies will expose a foreign company's end users to cyberattacks. This is the net effect of denying security patches or operating system updates pursuant to Trump's order. In the US Great Rogue Leader's bizarro world, this is the very behavior that he claims makes his actions necessary. In fact, this Trump malware attack is worse because of the mass exposure to exploits. more

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

India's eCommerce Policy: NOT a 'Bollywood Drama' but an Adaptation of Script of Acts from Elsewhere

The draft e-commerce policy paper of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India raises valid observations concerning some of the imbalances, such as, on the excessive advantages gained by the "first movers" in the private sector, which implies advantages gained by the first -mover States on the Internet, on some of the prevailing gaps in the space and also on concerns about the abusive practices by a few e-commerce platforms and vendors. Most of these concerns are best addressed globally... more

Putting Cyber Threats Into Perspective

As society uses more digital technologies we are increasingly also faced with its problems. Most of us will have some horror stories to tell about using computers, smartphones, and the internet. But this hasn't stopped us from using the technology more and more. I believe that most people would say that their lives would be worse without technology -- in developed countries but equally in the developing world. more

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM. During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN. more

Can Trademarks and Brands Help Save the Internet From Itself?

Trademarks and brands are often among a company's most valued assets. Customers associate trademarks and brands with producer integrity. They engender consumer trust. Without TMs and Brands, companies struggle for attention and find it more difficult to link the company's integrity and trustworthiness in the marketing of its goods and services. Representing company promise and customer expectations, they are uniquely positioned to symbolize common values and aspirations. more

Facebook and Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg shocked a lot of people by promising a new focus on privacy for Facebook. There are many skeptics; Zuckerberg himself noted that the company doesn't "currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services." And there are issues that his blog post doesn't address; Zeynep Tufekci discusses many of them While I share many of her concerns, I think there are some other issues - and risks. more

Protect Access to Safe Online Pharmacies Through Cyber Policy

The high cost of prescription drugs has created a health and economic crisis in the U.S. Personal prescription importation gives Americans a lifeline for affording safe medications. As prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket, the Internet has made it possible for Americans to access medications safely at considerable cost savings. As I've shared previously on CircleID, safety and affordability are the most important considerations when choosing an online pharmacy. more

Banning 5G Equipment is a Foolish Strategy

It has become popular today around Washington and the venues of its coerced allies to issue threats to ban telecommunications equipment from certain countries - especially equipment intended for 5G use. The guise is vague assertions of "national security." It is an old tactic dating back to the turn of the last century and recurrent for decades. A combination of treaty instruments and collaborative industry standards activity several decades ago largely put an end to the banning tactic - significantly benefitting the entire world. more

Internet Economics

One year ago, in late 2017, much of the policy debate in the telecommunications sector was raised to a fever pitch over the vexed on-again off-again question of Net Neutrality in the United States. It seemed as it the process of determination of national communications policy had become a spectator sport, replete with commentators who lauded our champions and demonized their opponents. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2019: Innovative Multilateralism vs. Neo-Nationalistic Unilateralism

What says the "Crystal Ball" for the Internet Governance Ecosystem in 2019? In a best case scenario, we will take three steps to Cyber-Heaven. In the worst case scenario we will take three steps to Cyber-Hell. The middle way is no "digital big bang", but some small "digital goodies" and some small "digital disasters". Stumbling further forward into the digital cyberworld. However, 2019 could also go into the history books as the year of "digital wisdom". more