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Federal Data Crisis: Unreliable Federal Databases are Destroying Opportunities for Small Businesses

Databases are the infrastructure of the modern administrative state and data is its lifeblood. When the data is contaminated with errors, federal agencies have difficulty performing even the most basic administrative functions such as managing its inventory of office space and protecting the personally identifiable information (PII) of social security number holders. The federal dissemination of unreliable data doesn't just waste money; it undermines public trust in government and leaves it unmanageable. more»

Which Way Does Your Data Flow?

Data may be moving to the cloud, but understanding the physical geography underlying the cloud is becoming increasingly critical. October's decision by the European Court of Justice, striking down key portions of the Safe Harbor rules that some companies had relied on to legally transfer personal data between Europe and the U.S., was only the latest example of the regulatory uncertainty involved in cross-border data flows. While Internet companies have begun to address challenges at the static geographic points where data is resident, understanding the actual paths that data travels is an important and sometimes overlooked part of the compliance analysis. more»

Cheers! Registries and Registrars Doing the Right Thing by Patients

Domain name registration is a hot industry. Registrars represent a growing multi-billion dollar industry with the keys to the Internet for any organization hoping to have a web presence. Further, because of their role as one of the gatekeepers to the Internet, registrars have the unique ability and are often asked to take action against illegal activity online. This fact was highlighted in the report released this week by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the 2015 Out-of-Cycle Notorious Markets List. more»

Encryption = good : Backdoor = bad

Every time there is a tragic attack on people or property, there is a cry from various authorities or politicians for law enforcement to get unfettered access to all kinds of communication tools. But that would cause far more harm than good, and is a really bad idea. The argument goes something like this: 'These bad actors hide behind encrypted communications to plan their evil deeds...' more»

Zero Rating, a Poisoned Chalice for the Developing World

A very Interesting meeting The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) with an ambitious theme of connecting the worlds next billion people to the Internet took place in early November 2015 in a beautiful resort city of João Pessoa in Brazil under the auspice of the United Nations. Few citizens of the world paid attention to it yet the repercussions of the policy issues discussed affect us all. more»

The TPP and the DNS

On November 5, 2015 the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the official text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That text consists of 30 separate Chapters totaling more than 2,000 pages, and is accompanied by four additional Annexes and dozens of Related Instruments. Only those who negotiated it are likely to have a detailed understanding of all its provisions, and even that probably overstates reality. more»

Internet Society's New Policy Brief Series Provides Concise Information On Critical Internet Issues

Have you ever wanted to quickly find out information on key Internet policy issues from an Internet Society perspective? Have you wished you could more easily understand topics such as net neutrality or Internet privacy? This year, the Internet Society has taken on a number of initiatives to help fill a need identified by our community to make Internet Governance easier to understand and to have more information available that can be used to inform policymakers and other stakeholders about key Internet issues. more»

Decoding the WSIS Message - ISOC Releases Matrix of Countries' WSIS+10 Positions

Over the next few months, major discussions at the United Nations will shape the future of Internet governance. In order to prepare with our community for the ten-year Review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS+10), in New York, USA, on 15 to 16 December 2015, we are publishing today a matrix of the countries' positions on WSIS+10. The matrix draws from their written contributions to the UN this summer, and is designed to help all stakeholders better understand the key issues at the the heart of the negotiations. more»

The ICANN Accountability End Game

It was predictable, and inevitable, I suppose, that the end game of a search for a more accountable ICANN would devolve to a lawyer's contest. When there is money on the table, and when global politics are invoked to one degree or another, it is the lawyers who are tasked to translate lofty goals into precise words on paper that will survive the inspection of judges and courts. And ambitious politicians as well. more»

ICANN Should Curb Anonymous Domain Name Abuses

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses sell to consumers -- including those involved in illicit activities, such as websites peddling illegal narcotics, pirated movies and music, or counterfeit handbags. For example, 96 percent of Internet pharmacies do not comply with U.S. laws, and as they ship pills tainted with paint thinner, arsenic, and rat poison, they put the health and safety of consumers at risk. Why don't law enforcement officials do more to combat this problem? Partly because of the difficulty of identifying who is actually operating the illegal pharmacies. It is time to fix this, while allowing anonymity for those who deserve it. more»

ICANN Wins a Very Weak TLD Lawsuit

Back in the 1990s as the Internet was starting to become visible to the world, several people had the bright idea of setting up their own top level domains and selling names in competition with what was then the monopoly registrar Network Solutions (NSI). For these new TLDs to be usable, either the TLD operators had to persuade people to use their root servers rather than the IANA servers, or else get their TLDs into the IANA root. Attempts to get people to use other roots never were very successful... more»

ICANN 53 - Guaranteeing Accountability in Internet Governance

I recently attended the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) 53rd meeting in Buenos Aires to further discuss the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition process. During the meeting, public and private Internet stakeholders made important strides on a transition timeline, accountability planning and future management of the Internet that supports global creativity and innovation. more»

Managing (in)Security Through Regulation: A Key Phase for Nation States

Not so long ago, the notion of introducing laws and other regulatory responses to address cyber security issues was regarded with significant hesitation by governments and policy makers. To some extent, this hesitation may well have stemmed from a general perception by those who do not work directly in the field that the world of cyber security is somewhat of a 'dark art'. More recently, however, there has been a substantial shift in this attitude, with proposals to regulate a range of cyber security related matters becoming increasingly numerous. more»

Is Sharing the Answer to .BRAND Top Level Domain Disputes?

In opening up for the .BRAND top level domain, ICANN has artificially created a scarce resource of great commercial value. Indeed, the values of the .BRAND TLDs may be astronomical due to the investments made by the companies that own the trademarks represented in the .BRAND TLD. While the above is interesting in its own right, I will here focus specifically on how we deal with situations where more than one company has a legitimate trademark interest in a particular .BRAND TLD. more»

Law and Disorder: When .Brand Meets .Crime

Barclays Bank is a .brand pioneer, having recently announced plans to migrate its primary online presence to two new gTLDs it will operate on its own behalf. But Barclays Bank has also just plead guilty to a major financial services felony and been fined $2.4 billion for that criminal activity. While the new gTLD Registry Agreement is clear that a registry operator must remove any officer or director convicted of a felony, it is ambiguous in regard to whether the Agreement can be terminated when the operator itself has been found to have operated a criminal enterprise. more»

News Briefs

Proposed UK Bill Will Make it Criminal Offence for Tech Firms to Warn Users of Government Spying

U.S. Senators Introduce SEC Cybersecurity Disclosure Legislation

French Police Pushing to Outlaw Anonymous Web Browsing

New Bill Bans Internet Companies From Offering Unbreakable Encryption

European Court Invalidates EU-US Data Pact

EU Launches Inquiry on Whether Online Companies Should be Regulated

Google Ordered to Remove Search Results of 'Right to Be Forgotten' Removal Stories

Newly Released "Domain Name Arbitration" Book Offers Guide for Navigating UDRP

ICANN Asks U.S. Federal Trade Commission Whether .SUCK is Violating Any Laws

Canadian Regulator CRTC Issues $1.1 Million Penalty to Compu-Finder for Spamming

Google Shutting Down Engineering Office in Russia Amid Tighter Data Law

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

German Court Holding Domain Registrar Responsible for Its End User Actions

U.S. Court Overrules Attempt to Seize Iran's, Syria's and North Korea's Domains

Hungarians Protesting Against Proposed Internet Tax

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

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