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Does the Internet Need "Governance"?

It's remarkable to me that there are now two powerful agencies fighting to "govern" the Internet -- the ITU and the FCC. On any given day, it's hard to tell whether they are on the same side or different sides. The ITU process apparently began in earnest with the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) meetings, where the concept of "Internet Governance" became an urgent goal. The FCC process began when incumbent Internet Access Providers (IAPs) argued that "Net Neutrality" was a stalking horse for government control... more»

ccTLDs Might Be Property

The long-running saga of victims who are pursuing 'state sponsors of terrorism' via ICANN has taken yet another turn. Some time back the Plaintiffs in Rubin & ors -v- Islamic Republic of Iran & ors managed to obtain Writs of Attachment in the Federal court district in Washington (D.C.) courts ordering that the ccTLDs of those respective countries be seized in part-payment of the damages they are owed. ICANN, fairly predictably, became involved at this point. more»

Europe and Data Protection: We Need a Real Debate - Exactly What We Don't Have Now

Europe is at the forefront of the global debate about data protection and privacy. Unfortunately that debate is characterised more by hyberbole and scaremongering than real discussion. Europeans deserve better -- and so does the world, who rightly see Europe as a leader on this subject. The new Commission has a chance to truly lead in partnership with governments, like Brazil, that agree with us. more»

Stopping Illegal Activity Online - It's More Complicated Than It Seems

There was a compelling article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the other day about ICANN and illegal online pharmacies. The result of a six-month investigation, the reporter, Jeff Elder, calls into question ICANN's effectiveness in investigating complaints of suspected illegal activity on domain names it has a contractual relationship with. Elder cites a recent incident where Interpol and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tried to have 1,300 websites shut down because they were suspected of selling drugs without a prescription. more»

Where Is Cyberspace?

In my first CircleID post, I compared the cyberspace to a farmland, which has to be cultivated and developed. I ended by asking: Where is cyberspace? I have asked this same question from many people, many of whom are internet experts. They all said the cyberspace is in the computers, networks, or servers, or the Internet itself. I agree with these cyberspace ideas. In addition, my opinion is a bit different. more»

Cigarette Smuggling and Cyber Security: Low-Tech Crimes Fund High-Tech Threats

You may not connect the cheap cigarettes sold under the counter (or out of a trunk, bodega or by a street vendor) with the mysterious charges on your credit card that you don't remember making or the cash that has, somehow, just disappeared from your bank account. You also may not connect that website selling cheap cigarettes made in second and third world countries with Shellshock or whatever the fashionably scary cyber-threat of the day is when you're reading this. more»

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 cafĂ©, 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»

News Briefs

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

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

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