Policy & Regulation

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A Case to Further DNS Registrar Industry Self-Regulation

In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting. Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point... more»

Use STIX to Block Robocalls

It is one of those oddities that occurs around Washington from time to time. During the same hour today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was meeting at its downtown headquarters trying to stop robocalls, while a large gathering of government and industry cybersecurity experts were meeting a few miles away at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab advancing the principal means for threat information sharing known as STIX. more»

Shedding Light on How Much Energy the Internet and ICTs Consume

Ever since I published an essay exploring the relationship between climate change and the Internet, I have endeavored to bring this subject to the fore as often as possible (and in relevant fora and discussions) since the responsibility of creating a more sustainable world falls on all communities and stakeholder groups. It is particularly pressing now -- at a time when international interest in curbing climate change is strengthening, while it is juxtaposed with the receding commitments of the United States government... more»

Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Honors Leading Companies at ICANN

Last week the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global; www.BuySafeRx.pharmacy) presented its inaugural Internet Pharmacy Safety E-Commerce Leadership Award to two organizations during the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Joint Meeting of the Registries and Registrars Stakeholder Groups at ICANN58 in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was announced on Tuesday. more»

Is Call Forwarding an "Information Service" and Why It Matters for FTC Jurisdiction

Time to brush the dust off your Computer II notebooks. Are voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding enhanced services or telecom services? Today's case: FTC v. American eVoice, Ltd... The FTC brought an action against Defendants claiming that they were engaged in cramming, adding unwanted voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding services to consumers bills to the tune of $70 million. more»

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more»

WikiLeaks' Vault 7: CIA Gives a Free Lesson in Personal Cyber Security

WikiLeaks' newly released Vault 7 trove is a tantalizing study in how one of the world's premiere intelligence agencies hacks devices. Analysts and experts have signaled that this leak appears authentic based on some clues in the content. But while it may ultimately be comparable in size to the Snowden or Manning leaks, it lacks the "wow" factor that made those landmark whistleblowing cases so important. What lessons are to be learned from the leaks, and how should we apply them to our personal digital lives? more»

Agriculture At High-Speed: Project Updates on Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide

When farms are connected to the Internet, we all benefit. Agriculture that gains real-time information about plants, soil, atmosphere, and irrigation, dubbed "precision agriculture", can save farmers 20-30% of their water consumption while increasing productivity by 20-70%, according to Valley Vision. The San Francisco-Bay Area Internet Society Chapter is pleased to announce that we have started phase one of our collaborative project, "Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide with Mobile Broadband"... more»

Three Layers of China's International Strategy on Cyberspace

China's newly released International Strategy on Cyberspace is marked by three distinctive layers with different degree of priority: (1) sovereignty (or cybersecurity, or UN Charter), (2) globalization (or digital economy, or WTO rules), and (3) fundamental freedoms (or human rights, or UDHR). The good point of the strategy is that it tries to make the three layers peacefully co-exist in one document. The failure, however, lies in the intentional ranking of relevance/importance of the three layers... more»

ICANN Can Help China Secure Cyberspace

Before the righteous too much deride the "International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace" emanating from China's cooperative one-party state, consider what progress it represents: a policy document that begins with principles, speaks often of cooperation, and clearly details the bilateral and multilateral approaches the country intends. By any measure, this is good practice from a keystone of the international system. And it offers a gift to those who would wish the Internet to be governed otherwise. more»

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more»

Blockchain of Things Goes Global at ITU-T Dubai Meeting

Today, one of the world's largest Internet companies, Alibaba, together with a compelling array of other providers, vendors, and government bodies for the first time called for a visionary multilateral technical and operational "framework for a Blockchain of Things." The exceptionally thorough and comprehensive 23-page document, SG20-C.008, was submitted into the upcoming ITU-T SG20 Internet of Things (IoT) Study Group meeting at Dubai, 13j23 March -- the first group gathering in the organization's new 2017-2020 study period. more»

There Is No Cuban Home Internet Plan - And That's Good News

I've followed Cuba's home-connectivity "plan" from the time it was leaked in 2015 until the recent Havana home Internet trial. I thought the plan was a bad idea when it was leaked -- it calls for installation of obsolete DSL (digital subscriber line) technology -- and now that the Havana trial is complete, I question whether the plan was real. ETECSA denied the validity of the leaked presentation at the time, and their definition of "broadband" was "at least 256 kb/s." more»

At the NCPH Intersessional, Compliance Concerns Take Centre Stage

The non-contracted parties of the ICANN community met in Reykjavík last week for their annual intersessional meeting, where at the top of the agenda were calls for more transparency, operational consistency, and procedural fairness in how ICANN ensures contractual compliance. ICANN, as a quasi-private cooperative, derives its legitimacy from its ability to enforce its contracts with domain name registries and registrars... more»

News Briefs

Trump Administration Backs Repeal of Broadband Privacy Rules

U.S. Senate Voted to Eliminate Broadband Privacy Rules

ISPs May Be Required to Remove Content, Shutdown Websites Under New EU-Wide Rules

Owner of .Feedback in Breach of Registry Agreement, Rules ICANN

Verisign Given Approval to Restrict .COM and .NET Domains In Various Countries

China Releases Strategy on Cyberspace Cooperation

FCC Blocks Stricter Broadband Privacy Rules

New Cybersecurity Regulations in New York Go Into Effect

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Net Neutrality "A Mistake", Planning on Much Lighter Style Regulation

FCC Gives Approval to LTE-U Devices

FCC Rolls Back Net Neutrality Transparency Rules for Smaller ISPs

NTIA Extends Comment Period for Its Paper "Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things"

CFR Report: Reversing IANA Transition by Trump Administration Would Be a Grave Mistake

Security Expert Bruce Schneier Calls for Creation of New Government Agency for IoT Regulation

Microsoft's Brad Smith Calls for a 'Digital Geneva Convention' to Protect Civilians

FCC Ends Inquires Into "Zero Rating" Programs

Canada's Privacy Commissioner Asked to Investigate Trump's Cancelation of Privacy Rules

Trump to Sign Cybersecurity Executive Order on Tuesday

US Senator Al Franken Urges FCC Chairman Pai to Protect Freedom of Speech, Enforce Net Neutrality

Internet Society CEO: We are Deeply Troubled by Unprecedented U.S. Entry Bans

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