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The Netizen's Guide To Reboot The Root (Part I)

In the world of ICANN and Internet policy, complexity is manufactured to create an illusion that issues are impenetrably technical such that normal and everyday principles can't apply. This causes a pervasive and entrenched phenomenon of eyes that glaze over at the mere mention of the word "ICANN" -- including those of government regulators and other officials that might otherwise take more of an active interest. more

Why the Internet is Not Like a Railroad

When one person transmits the speech of another, we have had three legal models, which I would characterize as Magazine, Bookstore, and Railroad. The Magazine model makes the transmitting party a publisher who is entirely responsible for whatever the material says. The publisher selects and reviews all the material it published. If users contribute content such as letters to the editor, the publisher reviews them and decides which to publish. more

.com Is A Clear and Present Danger to Online Safety

"The Internet is the real world now." This assessment was offered by Protocol, a technology industry news site, following the very real violence on Capitol Hill during the counting of the electoral college votes that officially determines the next president of the United States. The media outlet went on to say that, "[t]he only difference is, you can do more things and reach more people online -- with truth and with lies -- than you can in the real world." more

Reshaping Cyberspace: Beyond the Emerging Online Mercenaries and the Aftermath of SolarWinds

Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender based in the Middle East and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a "Nobel Prize for human rights"), On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received an SMS text messages on his iPhone promising "new secrets" about detainees tortured if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to the Canadian Citizen Lab researchers. more

NTIA Objects to Planned o.com Auction

According to media sources, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote to Verisign last Friday, objecting to the company's plan to auction o.com to the highest bidder. The planned release for o.com - described by the Second Amendment to the .com Registry Agreement and intended as a pilot for the remaining reserved single-character .com names - involved an opaque consideration process that ignored community input and set aside hard-won trademark protections developed by stakeholders in order to maximize dollars earmarked for an unidentified cadre of non-profit organizations. more

International Law and Cyberspace: It's the "How", Stupid

The Internet has enhanced freedom of communication, ignored national borders, and removed time and space barriers. But the Internet sphere was never a law-free zone. Already ICANN's "Articles of Incorporation" (1998) constituted that the management of critical Internet resources has to take place within the frameworks of "applicable national and international law". more

How Ignorance Can Lead Mark Owners Astray in UDRP Proceedings

The great problem with ignorance is that it leads to disaster when one acts in the belief that he (and not infrequently a corporate "it") is invulnerable to error. The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is fundamentally a straightforward rights protection mechanism, but as in all clearly written laws, ignorance of its application and of its evidentiary demands can (and generally does) lead to disaster. more

UDRP and the Law: Should Cybersquatting be the Default View?

I have returned to the subject of the title on a number of occasions and it is worth revisiting. Like judicial proceedings, the substance of disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and Panel determinations are publicly available. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) mandates in its Rules that all decisions must be delivered to the parties within "three business days" of their receipt of the decision and posted on providers' websites. more

How the War Against Child Abuse Material Was Lost

The battle to purge child abuse images from the Internet has been lost. That doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't continue to work towards the elimination of image-based abuse. But it is widely acknowledged by law enforcement, reporting hotlines, and prevention groups alike that this can't be achieved merely by censoring images from the Internet and by criminalizing those who access or share them – which are the only strategies that society has focused on until now. more

Holding Trump Accountable Under Public International Law

Trump and his enablers are well known to disrespect if not disdain legal systems, including public international law. He has effectively abrogated every treaty instrument relating to international communications at the whim of a tweet. His behavior has dishonoured the USA in a way that will take years to remedy. Trump's actions to ban access to Android Operating System updates on Chinese products have significantly harmed cybersecurity worldwide. more

Assessing Intent to Cybersquat

It, perhaps, does not have to be said that cybersquatting is an intentional tort. No one would expect the respondent to admit unlawful intention, but complainant's proof must nevertheless support that contention. The Panel in Hästens Sängar AB v. Jeff Bader / Organic Mattresses, Inc. FA2005001895951 (Forum July 31, 2020) reminds us that it takes more than bad faith use of a domain name to find cybersquatting. more

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

News Briefs

The Government of Niue Launches Proceedings With ICANN to Reclaim Its .nu Top-Level Domain

New Digital Services Act Should Not Disrupt Internet's Technical Operations, Warn RIPE NCC, CENTR

Russia Bans Sale of Smartphones, Computers and Other Devices Not Pre-Installed With Russian Software

China to Require Face Scan for Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December

US Court Upholds FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal But Says States Can't Be Barred from Passing Own Rules

51 CEOs Call on US Congress for Urgent Nationwide Data Privacy Law Overriding State-Level Laws

WIPO Becomes First Non-Chinese Entity to Provide Domain Dispute Resolution Services for China's .cn

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Appeal in Lawsuit Against US DomainTools

EU Court of Justice Ruling Could Result in Cutting Off Data Flows to US

Huawei Files Motion in US Federal Court Calling Ban Unconstitutional, an Assault on Human Rights

Qualcomm’s Licensing Practices Are Illegal, U.S. Judge Rules

Microsoft Sees Serious Appetite for Revised Privacy Laws in US, Says It's Time to Match EU's GDPR

US Federal Trade Commission Says It Lacks Resources to Go After Privacy Violations Effectively

No GDPR Action Against Any Big Tech Firms Since Law Imposed Last Year, Doubts Escalate Over Enforcer

UK Government Planning on New Laws for IoT Devices Including a Mandatory Security Labelling Scheme

Canada Says Facebook Has Refused to Address Serious Privacy Deficiencies Concerning Its Local Laws

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Canada Considering Right to Repair Legislation Tackling Repair Monopoly Over Brand-Name Devices

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

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