Law

Law / Recently Commented

Senate Appropriators Add IANA Language As House Requests GAO Study and Civil Society Opposes Shimkus

The Senate Appropriations Committee just reported out on June 5th its version of the Commerce-Justice-State Departments Appropriations bill for FY 15. In the course of its deliberations it added a consensus amendment on the IANA transition offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)... Parsing the amendment's language, the requirement that NTIA conduct a thorough review and analysis of any proposed IANA transition plan amounts to telling it to do its job properly; implicit in this requirement is that the analysis be shared with Congress. more

Second House Amendment Ups the Stakes on IANA Transition

The House of Representatives has passed another measure related to the proposed IANA functions transition, and has again attached it to "must pass" legislation. This move ups the ante and may well be the final straw that compels the Senate Commerce Committee to hold its own oversight hearing on the IANA transition proposal.On May 30th the House adopted the Duffy Amendment to the Appropriations bill funding the Commerce, Justice, and State Departments in FY 2015. The final vote on the amendment was 229 in favor and 178 opposed -- it was fairly partisan outcome, with only ten Democrats voting aye while just one Republican voted nay. more

Disclosing Unique User IDs in URLs Doesn't Violate ECPA - In re Zynga/Facebook

In separate lawsuits, plaintiffs alleged Facebook and Zynga violated the Stored Communications Act (in Zynga's case, also the Wiretap Act). The crux of plaintiffs' allegations was that when a Facebook user clicked on an ad or a link, the HTTP request sent by the browser included the user's Facebook ID and the address of the webpage the user was viewing when he or she clicked the link. An end user's request to play Farmville would result in the transmission of similar information to third parties. more

House Committees Taking Aim at IANA Transition Proposal

In an unanticipated move a third Committee of the US House of Representatives has weighed in with concerns regarding the NTIA's proposed transition of the US role as counterparty to ICANN's IANA functions contract to one with the "global multistakeholder community". On May 13th the House Armed Services Committee Report for HR 4435, the Defense Authorization bill, was released. more

Yes, 3 Billion Net Users by End of Year, but What Will the Majority in Emerging Markets Do Online?

The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announcement that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users -- two-thirds of them from the developing world -- with mobile-broadband penetration approaching 32 per cent. This information is so timely that it needs to be put in proper perspective by asking: What will the majority of these two-thirds do online? And how do we in the ICANN community deliver on our mandate of serving the global public interest? more

NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement Concludes Act One of 2014 Internet Governance Trifecta

On April 24th the NETmundial "Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance" concluded with the issuance of an eight-page statement. This non-binding document falls short of the "Magna Carta for the Internet" called for in an opening statement delivered by Tim Berners Lee, but it does set the stage for the other two major 2014 events that will affect the course of Internet Governance (IG) - the IGF meeting in Istanbul, Turkey and the ITU meeting in Busan, Korea. more

A Civil Society Perspective on NETmundial Final Outcome: A Remarkable Achievement Despite Losses

few 'big picture' thoughts on the Netmundial meeting in Brazil this week and its final outcome document, adopted by its high level committee. Overall, there are some truly amazing and forward-looking principles supported in the "Netmundial Multi-Stakeholder Statement" that we as civil society should be proud of, and especially our civil society representatives who worked tirelessly for this achievement. more

The Illusion of Internet Governance

There's been a lot of controversy over the U.S. Government's proposal to give up their supervisory role over ICANN. This lead Karl Auerbach, one of the only people ever elected to represent end-users in cyberspace, to write this letter to Congress. Karl did an excellent job as North America's first elected representative in cyberspace. He fought for things that would have made Internet governance more representative, and more transparent. more

Permissionless Innovation: Why It Matters

We live in a world of information abundance and the proliferation of ideas. Through mobile devices, tablets, laptops and computers we can access and create any sort of data in a ubiquitous way. But, it was not always like that. Before the Internet information was limited and was travelling slow. Our ancestors depended on channels of information that were often subjected to various policy and regulatory restrictions. The Internet changed all that. more

Best Practices in the Global Internet

In an increasingly global environment, the Internet infrastructure industry faces a diverse set of serious issues that we as an industry need to address together. To look at these concerns, an area of focus for the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) has been best practices for our industry. Our approach to developing best practices encapsulates three areas, always with the goal of striking the right balance between security, safety and privacy: working with experts and industry professionals; identifying like-minded partners; and fostering the growth of the Internet economy. more

Court Says gTLDs Aren't 'Domain Names' for Cybersquatting Purposes, Declines LRO Review of .delmonte

A Swiss Del Monte entity that had a license to use the "DEL MONTE" mark applies to operate the .delmonte generic top level domain (gTLD). Another Del Monte entity, based in Delaware, filed a "legal rights objection" (LRO) - under WIPO-established procedures - to the Swiss Del Monte's application. A three member panel sustained the Delaware company's LRO... The Swiss entity sued in federal court seeking a declaration that it had sufficient rights in the "DEL MONTE" mark to operate the TLD... more

Turkish Parliament Approves Internet Bill, Lets Government Block Websites, Seize Personal Data

Turkey's Parliament has passed a bill that includes controversial arrangements concerning the protection of online privacy despite concerns raised by the European Union as well as Turkish NGOs and opposition parties, according to a report today by Turkey's Daily News. more

Downsizing Sao Paulo

On January 27th the Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC) held its first meeting to plan the "Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of the Internet Governance" scheduled to be held in Sao Paulo on April 23rd-24th. A review of that planning session's results indicates a Sao Paulo meeting with downsized attendance and, most likely, accompanying expectations.  more

ICANN New gTLD Auctions - Apparently No Antitrust Concerns?

There has been much discussion in ICANN circles concerning auctions to resolve new gTLD contention sets. This article summarizes the discussion and events to date, and suggests there should be little worry for applicants seeking to resolve their contention sets via private auction, rather than ICANN's "last resort" auction. more

Canada's Anti-Spam Law Coming Into Force July 01, 2014

Canada's Anti-Spam Law, CASL, is now a done deal. Last Thursday, Treasury Board of Canada President (and champion of CASL) Tony Clement approved Industry Canada regulations in their final form. Today, Minister of Industry the Honourable James Moore announced CASL will come into force in July 1, 2014. more