Policy & Regulation

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Enhanced Confusion: The European Council and the Governance of the Internet

On November 1, 2014, the new European Commission started its work. One of the priorities of its new president, Jean Claude Juncker, is the digital agenda. The European Union wants to be a leader in the Internet world of tomorrow. Vice President Andrus Ansip from Estonia (some people spell the country name "e-stonia") and Commissioner Günter Oettinger from Germany will have special responsibilities to implement the big plans. Juncker was elected by the European Parliament, although the green light for his nomination came from the European Council. more»

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»

Taking It to the Streets

It is interesting to see telecommunications policy issues being covered by the general media. Of course, we expect to see coverage of communications issues in the business press. The sector is a large employer, makes massive investments in infrastructure and virtually every citizen buys communications products and services every month. Still, covering the sector in the business section is different from seeing coverage move to the front page or the general editorial pages. more»

An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of India, from Within India, Through an Internet Blog

Hon' Prime Minister, Why would India table Proposal 98 for the work of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference? Contribution 98 wants the ITU to develop an IP address plan; wants it to be a contiguous IP address platform so as to enable the Governments to map and locate every Internet user; suggests that the ITU may coordinate the distribution of IP addresses accordingly; instructs the ITU Secretary General to develop policies for... naming, numbering and addressing which are [already] systematic, equitable... more»

Internet Society Posting Updates from ITU Plenipot 2014 in Busan

If you are, like me, not in Busan, South Korea, for the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference but are curious about what is going on there, my Internet Society colleagues on our public policy team have been posting regular updates to the Internet Society's blog and to the @ISOCPolicy Twitter account... Given that I work in the technology side of Internet Society's work and don't have the cycles to keep up-to-date with everything going on there in Busan, I've found these updates very helpful in understanding some of the major events happening at the ITU Plenipot 2014. more»

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more»

Towards More Efficient Registry-Registrar Relations

On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group. The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz. more»

ICANN in Hollywood: Foreshadowing a Happy Ending?

As we arrived in Hollywood -- the land of happy endings -- ICANN had just given us cause to hope that the ICANN accountability process might get its own Hollywood ending, despite a fitful start. As one who's been critical of ICANN management's heavy-handed attempts to control the accountability process, it's only appropriate to give credit where credit is due. In accepting the community's strenuous -- and nearly unanimous -- calls for a cross-community working group to lead the process of improving ICANN's accountability mechanisms, ICANN management says it's now prepared to follow the community's lead, rather than dictating and constraining it. more»

.trust Technical Policy Launch

Whenever I examine the technical elements of the various Internet security certifications and standards that organisations are clamouring to achieve compliance against, I can't help but feel that in too many cases those businesses are prioritising the wrong things and wasting valuable resources. They may as well be following a WWI field guide on how to keep cavalry horses nourished and bayonets polished in a world of stealth aircraft and dirty bombs. more»

UN Broadband Commission 2.0

Back in late 2009 I had the honour of explaining my views on how broadband can deliver social and economic benefits to countries and their people to Dr Hamadoun Touré the Secretary-General (SG) of the ITU, the UN body looking after global telecoms. He showed a particular interest in the initiative Australia had taken in developing the NBN. This discussion with the SG led to the establishment in 2010 of the UN Broadband Commission, co-sponsored by UNESCO and the ITU. Dr Touré invited 50 Commissioners from around the world to participate in this initiative, half of them from private industry. more»

ICANN 51 Focus: Making ICANN Directly Accountable to the Broader Internet Community

ICANN 51 taking place in Los Angeles this week may not have its customary evening Gala, but it opened with rousing remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in the first-ever ICANN appearance of the head of the Cabinet agency from which it was born and which has exercised continuous oversight of its key IANA functions. The themes of the growing importance of Internet Governance and the U.S. government's steadfast commitment to defense of the multistakeholder model, as well as the connection between maintenance of an open Internet and fostering free speech and economic growth, were key elements of Secretary Pritzker's address. 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»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

Privacy and Security - Five Objectives

It has been a very busy period in the domain of computer security. With "shellshock", "heartbleed" and NTP monlink adding to the background of open DNS resolvers, port 445 viral nasties, SYN attacks and other forms of vulnerability exploits, it's getting very hard to see the forest for the trees. We are spending large amounts of resources in reacting to various vulnerabilities and attempting to mitigate individual network attacks, but are we making overall progress? What activities would constitute "progress" anyway? more»

Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II

At the NANOG meeting in Baltimore this week I listened to a presentation by Patrick Gilmore on "The Open Internet Debate: Section 706 vs Title II." It's true that this is a title that would normally induce a comatose reaction from any audience, but don't let the title put you off. Behind this is an impassioned debate about the nature of the retail Internet for the United States, and, I suspect, a debate about the Internet itself and the nature of the industry that provides it. more»

News Briefs

Washington Post: How the U.S. Plans to Avoid a U.N. Vote on the Future of the Internet

World Economic Forum Announces Plans for Multilateral Architecture to Govern the Internet

Eric Schmidt Warns Spying Could 'Break' Internet

A Look at the Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market

Open, Inclusive Internet Depends on Enriched Debate About Policy Creation, Says Global Business

Video Interviews Highlighting ICANN 50 in London

Major Web Companies Reiterate Opposition to Paying ISPs for Fast Lane Access

France Protesting ICANN Over Approval of .Wine TLD

Mozilla Offers Proposal for Solving Net Neutrality Problem

Sophia Bekele: The AUCC Debate on Cybersecurity Needs to Involve All Stakeholders

European Standardization Organizations Discuss Role of Standards for EU Cybersecurity Strategy

US House Hearing Scheduled on Internet Stability, IANA Transition

FCC Not Backing Down from Net Neutrality, Plans to Set New Rules

Audio Recording from the "Power, Privacy, and the Internet" Conference

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

U.S. Court Strikes Down FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

IETF Reaches Broad Consensus to Upgrade Internet Security Protocols Amid Pervasive Surveillance

Google DNS to Be Discontinued in Brazil Ahead of New Law

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

Stronger Pro-Growth International Policies Are Needed for the Internet, Says ICC

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