Policy & Regulation

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Stress Test: Accountability Reconsideration Request Filed with ICANN Board

In a rapid follow-up to the unprecedented joint letter sent on August 26th by all members of the ICANN community questioning the proposed Accountability Process imposed by ICANN staff, three of the groups that signed that letter have now submitted a formal Reconsideration Request (RR) to the ICANN Board. The August 29th RR -- submitted jointly by the Business Constituency, Registry Stakeholders Group, and Non-Commercial Stakeholders group -- requests that ICANN "confer with the community as soon as possible to address these concerns and amend its plan in such a way that the community input is taken into account as the plan goes forward.  more»

Radical Shift of Power Proposed at ICANN Putting Govts in Primary Decision Making Role

ICANN has proposed a major change to its bylaws that would require the organization to adopt all policy "advice" issued by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) unless 2/3 of ICANN's non-conflicted board members vote to oppose the adoption of that governmental rule. This draconian proposal to change ICANN's bylaws would fundamentally transform ICANN away from being a "bottom-up" and "private-sector-led" organization and into a governmental regulatory agency... more»

Accountability and Redress

In ICANN circles these days, accountability is the buzz word. Nearly everybody is talking about it. Generally everybody is in favor of it, but that's where the agreement ends. This paper urges action by ICANN to provide a means for redress of grievances as an essential element of accountability. I would like to review the ICM case (the delegation of the .xxx domain), and the role of ICANN's Independent Review Panel (the IRP). As you will recall, the ICANN Board had originally awarded .xxx to ICM, but in a subsequent reconsideration had reversed the award. more»

ICANN Community Issues Unprecedented Letter Questioning ICANN's Proposed Accountability Process

In another unpredicted development the entire community of ICANN stakeholders has sent a joint letter to CEO Fadi Chehade and the ICANN Board that strongly questions the "Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance - Process and Next Steps" document published by ICANN staff on August 14th over widespread community objections. Signatories to the August 26th letter include the GNSO Council and all of the GNSO's stakeholder groups and constituencies, the Country Code Name Supporting Organization, the At-Large Advisory Committee, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee - and, most surprisingly, the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Streaming Live This Week From Dakar, Senegal

The 5th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) gets underway today, August 26, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal, with a packed agenda full of sessions focused on the future of peering and interconnection in Africa. There are sessions targeted at Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), infrastructure providers, content creators and policy makers and regulators. The event goes through Thursday, August 28, 2014. more»

IGF Call for Public Comments on the Definition of Multistakeholder Participation Mechanisms

Over the past weeks, communities gathering experts from government, business, Civil Society, and the academic and technical communities, have been working through open mailing lists and online virtual meetings on IGF Best Practices. The discussion was documented by independent experts that will feed into five 90 minute Forums in Istanbul and that will in turn report into a Best Practices Main Session. more»

Prepare for the Worst, But Hope for the Best

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the importance of the timeline leading up to the September 2015 deadline for the IANA oversight transition proposal. In that post, I explored the nature of U.S. politics and how it can affect the transition if we, as a community, are not diligent in our efforts to meet that deadline. Since then, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has held its first meeting and a conference call, resulting in some new information that necessitates an update to that post. more»

Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control

After a long await, ICANN's senior management finally released its plan for "Enhancing Accountability" at the private California corporation that makes global Internet domain name policy. Unfortunately, the accountability deficit crisis created by ICANN's longstanding policy of purely "self-policing" with no meaningful external accountability mechanisms will not be solved by this weak plan for more self-policing. more»

Net Neutrality Undermining Spreads to Developing Countries

After the USA set the bad example of allowing telcos to start charging different rates for content delivery services, other incumbent telcos elsewhere are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon and use the American example as a reason and an excuse to end net neutrality (NN) in their countries also. As did their American counterparts they too see this as another way to grab some extra monopolistic income. more»

Call for ICANN to Educate and Not Mislead GAC

I read with interest the recent blog written by Theresa Swinehart a Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy. She wrote: "The most critical element of this [ICANN Transition] process is trust and alignment. To ensure success on this accountability track, we must as a community work closely together to make sure that the final process is meaningful. There is plenty of work to be done in an ambitious period of time." more»

Constituencies Coalesce on IANA Transition and Enhanced ICANN Accountability Principles

It is now being broadly acknowledged that, as expressed unanimously by all GNSO constituencies at the recent ICANN London meeting, "as part of the IANA transition, the multi-stakeholder community has the opportunity and responsibility to propose meaningful accountability structures that go beyond just the IANA-specific accountability issues". In a July 22nd Keynote Address at the American Enterprise Institute, NTIA head Lawrence Strickling - whose agency must approve any IANA transition plan developed by Internet stakeholders - made this linkage an explicit element of U.S. government policy... more»

Video Interviews of IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) Members

Want to know more about what is going on with the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)? ICANN recently published a set of video interviews with members of the ICG. Here, for instance is the interview with Alissa Cooper who represents the IETF on the ICG... While this is certainly not the complete list of ICG members, it is a good sampling of the variety of people involved with the ICG and does provide a range of different viewpoints into what is going on within the ICG process. more»

Is ICANN's .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more»

NTIA's FOIA Disclosures Shed Limited Light on IANA Transition Decision

On March 27, 2014, shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) March 14th announcement of its intent to transfer its counterparty status on ICANN's IANA functions contract to the global multistakeholder community, the conservative advocacy organization Americans for Limited Government (ALG) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with NTIA. ALG's request was for disclosure of "All records relating to legal and policy analysis developed by or provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that support its decision to "transition key internet domain name functions," including any analysis showing whether the NTIA has the legal authority to perform the transition." more»

AXIS - The Fulcrum of Africa's Internet Success

The Internet Society (ISOC) has been working with the African Union (AU) to facilitate the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS). This AXIS project funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and the Government of Luxembourg will help keep Internet traffic in Africa internal to the continent and avoid expensive international transit costs and delay latency in routing Internet traffic through other continents. more»

News Briefs

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

Meeting Held in Uruguay to Consider Current Issues Affecting the Future of the Internet

ANA: Concerns About ICANN's New gTLD Plans Growing and Very Serious

Verizon and the FCC Clash Over Net Neutrality Laws

More Petition by Google for Greater Transparency

EU Politicians Call for Immediate Suspension of Data-Sharing Agreement Amid New NSA Allegations

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