Law

Law / Recently Commented

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead

Recently during an afternoon meeting with a friend of mine, Bob Ochieng, who happens to work for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Africa Operations, he lamented that at online Internet Governance discussions fora such as CircleID, and 1net.org, there is no serious frequent engagements from African Voices. This got me thinking and I realized that most African Internet Stakeholders would rather use a "wait and see approach" in matters as critical as Internet Governance. more»

Luddites of the 21St Century Unite?

In the past few weeks doom and gloom stories about the future were printed, discussed and opined in the press. The down and out of the message of futurists is that the middle class is going to be swept away in the coming years because of software and robotic solutions (from here on: automated processes), making humans redundant... Do Luddites of the 21st century need to rise? I want to look at the topic from a few angles. more»

Comcast-TWC: Why Compete and Innovate When You Can Buy Market Share?

Expect a charm offensive as Comcast and scores of sponsored researchers explain how acquiring Time Warner Cable will promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. You might not hear too much about two traditional concerns remedied by actual facilities-based competition: incentives to innovate and reduce prices. Comcast will frame its acquisition as necessary to achieve even greater scale to compete with other sources of video content and maybe to compete with the limited other sources of broadband access. more»

Playing the Long Game at the Internet Governance Poker Table

Poker players say if you can't spot the fish within your first 15 minutes at the table, you're the fish. With that in mind, I'm tempted to ask ICANN President Fadi Chehade who's the fish in the high-stakes game of global Internet governance we're now playing. In 2013, ICANN dramatically changed its course in the global Internet governance debate. For a decade ICANN largely stayed out of the game, allowing stakeholders to defend the multi-stakeholder model where private sector and civil society are on equal footing with governments. But in 2013 ICANN went on the offensive... more»

Domains Locked in London Police Takedown Ordered to Be Transferred

The National Arbitration Forum has just handed down its decision in respect to the three domain names locked down at Public Domain Registry in response to the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit takedown requests. The decision is in favour of easyDNS and orders the three names to be transferred to us. more»

Anti-Consumer ICANN Can Not be Trusted To Protect Domain Registrants' Property Interests

Domain name registrants who purchase a name in any of the present or pending generic (gTLD) top level domains should think twice before entrusting a domain name property interest to ICANN, even though ICANN levies a money tariff on each domain registration. ICANN has no policy language that indemnifies domain name registrants. ICANN language does not even contemplate the possibility of domain theft by an ICANN registrar. more»