Law

Law / Recently Commented

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»

Brazil Pushing Plans for Local Internet Data Storage Amid U.S. Spying

Brazil, seeking to protect its citizens from alleged U.S. spying, is pushing ahead with its plan to force global Internet companies to store data obtained from Brazilian users inside the country, according to a draft of the law reported by Reuters. If passed, the new law could impact the way Google, Facebook, Twitter and other Internet giants operate in Latin America's biggest country and one of the largest telecommunications markets in the world. more»

Say No to WIPO's Proposal to Amend the PDDRP to Create New Law

A number of comments to ICANN's proposed Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Process for new gTLD Registry Operators support a proposal by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to hold a registry operator accountable for trademark infringement that occurs within a TLD if it "knowingly permitted, or could not have reasonably been unaware of" infringing domain names within the TLD. more»

Registrars That Complied With "Shakedown" Requests May Now Be in Violation of ICANN Transfers Policy

At the time we posted 'Whatever Happened To Due Process,' we were unaware that we were just one of many registrars receiving these notices from the London (UK) Police. We have since been made aware that this was part of a larger initiative against the BitTorrent space as a whole, and that most if not all of the other registrars in receipt of the same email as us folded rather quickly and acquiesced to the shakedown orders. more»

In Which We Consider the Meaning of 'Authorized': GIVAUDAN FRAGRANCES CORPORATION v. Krivda

What does authorized access mean? If an employee with authorized access to a computer system goes into that system, downloads company secrets, and hands that information over to the company's competitor, did that alleged misappropriation of company information constitute unauthorized access? This is no small question. If the access is unauthorized, the employee potentially violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (the CFAA contains both criminal and civil causes of action). But courts get uncomfortable here. more»

ICANN and Your Internet Abuse

In spite of the material we were presented with in Durban something has gone very wrong inside of ICANN Compliance. KnujOn has published a report which demonstrates that ICANN Compliance appears to completely collapse between September 2012 and December 2012. Following December 2012, ICANN seems to stop responding to or processing any complaints. It is around this time certain compliance employees start disappearing. This was not limited to the Sydney office as some would have us believe... more»

Privacy and the Future: Are We Good Trustees of the Internet?

Recently I was reminded of the words, "responsibilities and service to the community." To individuals involved in internet governance, these words should be well known. But have we lived by the code exemplified by these words? Have we lived up to the high standards that they represent? I have always been a student of history because it never fails to show me that humanity, on many occasions, tends to repeat the same mistakes. more»

ICANN - Dispenser of Internet Justice

The following is a paper presented as a keynote speech at Studienkreis 2013 in Pisa, Italy last week. ICANN is beginning to look more and more like a government. It assesses taxes, it has amassed an enormous treasury, it passes laws with international effect, and it has developed an ad hoc judiciary system to enforce its laws. This paper will take a look at that judiciary system and ICANN as dispenser of Internet justice. more»

Mass Surveillance: A Turning Point in Internet History

So far, the debate on mass surveillance has dwelt on the immense resources made available to the agencies (NSA in the US, GCHQ in the UK), on the technological advantage that enables them to access any data and bypass encryption, and on the lack of proper oversight in those two countries. But in order to make their voices heard by their elected representatives, Internet users around the world need to have an even more complete view of the emerging reality. more»

Plumbing Neutrality

I've been having arguments about Network Neutrality with a lawyer. My position is that you can't adequately regulate ISPs to be neutral, because there's no agreement what "neutral" means in practice. He points out that the courts aren't interested in technical details like what packets are dropped, it's that all traffic has to be treated the same, and ISPs should just figure out how to do that. So I contemplated a city with Plumbing Neutrality with the simple rule that all people must be treated the same... more»