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Patents and Standards, or: How a Court Case Will Affect Our Everyday Lives

Industry standards are indispensable for today's technology driven economies. Every time we use a mobile phone to place a call, or connect a computer to the Internet at a café, we rely on standardized technology. Most standards are developed over years through the collaboration of numerous engineers from different companies -- the result is a technical document explaining how to make products that can 'interoperate' with one another. As EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes put it: 'Standards are the foundation of interoperability.' more»

Is ICANN's .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more»

Inter Mundos: ICANN's Accountability is a Matter of Human Rights

The debate over the IANA Functions transitions has captivated the minds of all stakeholders. The U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced that they intend to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community. Thus, we find ourselves in the midst of a transition between worlds. All stakeholders are pondering the following questions: what should be the appropriate transition? What should be our goal? more»

It's Time to Talk Solutions on Mass Surveillance

The public discussion of surveillance one year on from the Snowden revelations remains a search for the biggest sinner. New stories 'outing' countries and companies are great transparency and essential for healthy societies but they have a side effect that isn't so benign: they create an evergreen source of new justifications for security services to demand more money for a surveillance and counter-surveillance arms race. more»

GNSO Constituencies Issue Unanimous Joint Statement on ICANN Accountability

In an unprecedented development, all stakeholder groups and constituencies comprising ICANN"s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) unanimously endorsed a joint statement in support of the creation of an independent accountability mechanism "that provides meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by ICANN action or inaction in contravention of an agreed upon compact with the community". The statement was read aloud during a June 26th session on the IANA transition process held on the last day of the ICANN 50 public meeting in London. more»

Rape in the DNS

It took three years for ICANN to issue a breach notice to BizCn over the invalid WHOIS record behind RAPETUBE[DOT]ORG. Throughout the history of this absurd case ICANN staff would repeatedly insist the record had been validated and the registrar was compliant, regardless of extensive evidence proving otherwise. Despite a letter sent to ICANN's CEO and an investigation by the Washington Post, the Rape Tube stayed online. more»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

Senate Appropriators Add IANA Language As House Requests GAO Study and Civil Society Opposes Shimkus

The Senate Appropriations Committee just reported out on June 5th its version of the Commerce-Justice-State Departments Appropriations bill for FY 15. In the course of its deliberations it added a consensus amendment on the IANA transition offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)... Parsing the amendment's language, the requirement that NTIA conduct a thorough review and analysis of any proposed IANA transition plan amounts to telling it to do its job properly; implicit in this requirement is that the analysis be shared with Congress. more»

Second House Amendment Ups the Stakes on IANA Transition

The House of Representatives has passed another measure related to the proposed IANA functions transition, and has again attached it to "must pass" legislation. This move ups the ante and may well be the final straw that compels the Senate Commerce Committee to hold its own oversight hearing on the IANA transition proposal.On May 30th the House adopted the Duffy Amendment to the Appropriations bill funding the Commerce, Justice, and State Departments in FY 2015. The final vote on the amendment was 229 in favor and 178 opposed -- it was fairly partisan outcome, with only ten Democrats voting aye while just one Republican voted nay. more»

Disclosing Unique User IDs in URLs Doesn't Violate ECPA - In re Zynga/Facebook

In separate lawsuits, plaintiffs alleged Facebook and Zynga violated the Stored Communications Act (in Zynga's case, also the Wiretap Act). The crux of plaintiffs' allegations was that when a Facebook user clicked on an ad or a link, the HTTP request sent by the browser included the user's Facebook ID and the address of the webpage the user was viewing when he or she clicked the link. An end user's request to play Farmville would result in the transmission of similar information to third parties. more»

House Committees Taking Aim at IANA Transition Proposal

In an unanticipated move a third Committee of the US House of Representatives has weighed in with concerns regarding the NTIA's proposed transition of the US role as counterparty to ICANN's IANA functions contract to one with the "global multistakeholder community". On May 13th the House Armed Services Committee Report for HR 4435, the Defense Authorization bill, was released. more»

Net Neutrality's Legal Binary: An Either/Or With No "Third Way"

People working on net neutrality wish for a "third way" — a clever compromise giving us both network neutrality and no blowback from AT&T;, Verizon, Comcast and others. That dream is delusional because the carriers will oppose network neutrality in any real form; they want paid fast lanes. They have expressed particular opposition to "Title II" of the Communications Act — something telecom lawyers mention the same way normal people might reference the First or Second Amendments. Title II is the one essential law to ban paid fast lanes. more»

PINGO: NETmundial Adopts Principles on INternet GOvernance

The Internet Governance Roadmap, which was adopted recently in Sao Paulo by the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of the Internet Governance Ecosystem (NETmundial) includes a lot of controversial issues -- from net neutrality to mass surveillance -- and it is unclear how this will be translated into reality. However, the Internet Governance Principles, also adopted by NETmundial, were less controversial, but will have probably a sustainable and deep effect for the future of the Internet. more»

Yes, 3 Billion Net Users by End of Year, but What Will the Majority in Emerging Markets Do Online?

The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announcement that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users -- two-thirds of them from the developing world -- with mobile-broadband penetration approaching 32 per cent. This information is so timely that it needs to be put in proper perspective by asking: What will the majority of these two-thirds do online? And how do we in the ICANN community deliver on our mandate of serving the global public interest? more»

Outcome from NETMundial Meeting in Brazil Largely Seen as Positive for Business

Last Month at the NETMundial meeting in Brazil, representatives from governments, private sector, civil society, the technical community and academia met to debate the key principles on which the Internet should evolve. The meeting culminated in a supporting the principles of a decentralized and multistakeholder (ie: non-governmental) driven Internet ecosystem, committed to principles of openness, fairness, accessibility, security and safety. more»

News Briefs

Turkish Parliament Approves Internet Bill, Lets Government Block Websites, Seize Personal Data

Spam-Friendly Registrar 'Dynamic Dolphin' Shuttered by ICANN

Brazil Pushing Plans for Local Internet Data Storage Amid U.S. Spying

More Petition by Google for Greater Transparency

Bruce Schneier: Government and Industry Have Betrayed the Internet, and Us

Renowned Security Expert Bruce Schneier Joins EFF Board of Directors

Google Asks U.S. Government to Allow Transparency for Its National Security Request Data

France Drops Its Internet "Three Strikes" Anti-Piracy Law

US Should Take More Aggressive Counter-Measures On IP Theft, Including Use of Malware

Arrest Made in Connection to Spamhaus DDoS Case

Research Group Releases International Law on Cyber Warfare Manual

Ron Paul Caught in Domain Dispute with Supporters

German Court Rules People Have Right to Claim Compensation for ISP Outages

France Orders ISP to Stop Blocking Online Advertisements, No Right to Edit Web Content

New Law in Russia Lets Authorities Take Down Certain Sites Without Trial

Google Denied Right to Oogle.com, Registrant May Keep Domain

Domain Seizures for Copyright Infringement Likely to Move Beyond U.S. Based Registries

Study Links Half of "Rogue" Online Pharmacies to Two Domain Name Registrars

Geist on the Bodog.com Seizure Case

Canadians Indicted on US Gambling Charges, Domain Name Seized

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