Internet Governance

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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»

Officially Compromised Privacy

The essence of information privacy is control over disclosure. Whoever is responsible for the information is supposed to be able to decide who sees it. If a society values privacy, it needs to ensure that there are reasonable protections possible against disclosure to those not authorized by the information's owner. In the online world, an essential technical component for this assurance is encryption. If the encryption that is deployed permits disclosure to those who were not authorized by the information's owner, there should be serious concern about the degree of privacy that is meaningfully possible. more»

The Next ICANN CEO

Internet public policy -- and the technical ecosystem -- is at a crossroads and the choice of CEO that ICANN's board makes now is probably the most important such choice it has ever made. Since I work in Internet policy across the Geneva institutions where more than 50% of all international Internet-related policy meetings take place, and have worked at ICANN in senior positions in the past, I thought I would suggest some qualities the next CEO should have. more»

Governments Shouldn't Play Games with the Internet

Governments often use small players as pawns in their global games of chess. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework, turning Internet businesses into expendable pawns in a government game. But for the past fifteen years, Safe Harbor allowed data flows across the Atlantic -- fostering innovation and incredible economic development. more»

ICANN Compliance Lends a Hand to a Violent Criminal While Trashing a Legitimate Business

Imagine a California non-profit corporation providing material assistance to a criminal wanting to do you physical and financial harm. Then, imagine that corporation is ICANN. Imagine no longer, because that is precisely what the ICANN Compliance department managed to pull off this week, in an all-too-common demonstration of the havoc they can cause by sheer ineptitude, without apology or concern. This is the situation which crossed my desk this week. more»

Reconsideration Request Denied

Having been passed over by the "old guard" Board Governance Committee of ICANN Board of Directors, I took the occasion to speak from my heart to provide the "new guard" with the observations of a 16-year ICANN volunteer. For those of you in the community who are wondering what happened, what follows is word for word what I shared with the Board of ICANN at my closed door proceedings. more»

Russia Attempts Large Scale Experiment to Isolate Country from Global Internet

In a large scale experiments, Russia has attempted to test the feasibility of cutting the country off the World Wide Web, according to reports. "The tests, which come amid mounting concern about a Kremlin campaign to clamp down on internet freedoms, have been described by experts as preparations for an information blackout in the event of a domestic political crisis." more»