Law / Featured Blogs

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»

Competing Processes Obfuscate Internet Policy-Making in India

Net Neutrality has become a hot topic in India, following a brief but high-profile national debate instigated by a consultation paper from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that solicited views on what net neutrality is, and whether regulations protecting it are needed in India. The paper also hinted at possible regulation of all kinds of online services (like Skype, Uber, or Google) in the future. But no-one could have predicted what happened next... more»

Should Barclays Lose the .Barclays Top-Level Domain?

According to Reuters, Barclays has plead guilty to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates, and has agreed to pay substantial fines, along with other major banks. Barclays is also the operator of the .Barclays new top-level domain name. This is not a case where it's a single rogue employee or officer has been found guilty of a financial crime. Here, it is the entire bank (and registry operator) that has plead guilty. more»