Law

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ICANN vs. the Federal Reserve

The Internet is about to go independent. After years of support and supervision, the U.S. Government is about to irrevocably relinquish its control over the Internet by transferring its authority to an independent corporation named ICANN. As part of this push, the current chairman of ICANN posted this article to the Wall Street Journal... What's truly amazing about this piece, is how well it's done... It was only after digesting this piece, that I remembered we are talking about ICANN here. more»

Problems With the Burr-Feinstein Bill

What appears to be a leaked copy of the Burr-Feinstein on encryption back doors. Crypto issues aside -- I and my co-authors have written on those before -- this bill has many other disturbing features. (Note: I've heard a rumor that this is an old version. If so, I'll update this post as necessary when something is actually introduced.) One of the more amazing oddities is that the bill's definition of "communications" (page 6, line 10) includes "oral communication", as defined in 18 USC 2510. more»

Transfers of Domain Names Contemporaneous with Complaint: Cyberflight?

Cyberflight (defined as strategically transferring accused domain names to another registrar or registrant upon receipt of a complaint) was a sufficient irritant by 2013 for the ICANN to adopt recommendations to amend the Rules of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Effective July 1, 2015 the Rules now include a requirement for locking the domain as well as a change in the timing of transmitting the complaint to respondents. Before the amendment there had been no uniform approach to locking. more»

The Second Machine Age Calls for Vision and Leadership

This post I've been pondering on for a long time, but never found the right angle and perhaps I still haven't. Basically I have these observations, thoughts, ideas and a truckload of questions. Where to start? With the future prospects of us all. Thomas Picketty showed us the rise of inequality. He was recently joined by Robert J. Gordon who not only joins Picketty, but adds that we live in a period of stagnation, for decades already. "All great inventions lie over 40 years and more behind us", he points out. 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»

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»

New Bill Bans Internet Companies From Offering Unbreakable Encryption

Companies such as Apple, Google and others will be banned from offering encryption so advanced that even they cannot decipher it when asked to under the UK's Investigatory Powers Bill. 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»

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»

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»

Live Streaming Apps: Piracy Trends Are-A-Changing

Until recently, digital pirates have used both P2P sites and cyberlockers to upload and share pirated content. But as Internet connection speeds have increased, the piracy landscape has changed, and the appearance of streaming content has proliferated. In fact, 38% of online sporting fans are watching live streaming of their favorite events. However, the recent introduction of live streaming apps is further compounding issues surrounding online piracy... more»

Asking a Better Question to Uncloak the Online Copyright Debate

The proverbial Pandora's box that is opened whenever the topic of online copyright infringement is raised throws into sharp relief a host of challenges that have confounded policy makers, internet service providers and consumers for many years. Chief amongst them is how to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the rights of content owners while continuing to promote the interests of the public and preserving the benefits of the internet, given its unprecedented ability to facilitate the rapid dissemination of copyrighted content. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»