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Just Another 'Black Box'? First Thoughts on Twitter's Trust and Safety Council

On Tuesday, Twitter announced the creation of the Trust and Safety Council, a body comprising 40 organisations and individuals from civil society and academia, tasked with "ensur[ing] that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter". The move is clearly a response to specific criticism of Twitter and its perceived inadequacies in dealing with hate speech -- a theme so popular and well-trodden that it recently spawned a parody account. more»

ITU-T - Still Living in 1924

Sometime later this year - at a venue still unknown - something short of a thousand people from around the world will gather together and engage in a now meaningless ritual almost exactly like they did in 1924. In the 1990s the name of the gathering was changed from the CCITT Plenary Assembly to a World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA). more»

Are Telcos Becoming Slum Landlords?

In the 1950s and 60s, large numbers of immigrants came to London from the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries. They had few resources, yet needed somewhere to live. Many fell prey to exploitative landlords. These unscrupulous rentiers packed tenants into formerly swanky parts of town, which then became slums. This process even birthed a new word in British English - "Rachmanism" - to define the archetypal unethical treatment as practised by one notorious landlord. more»

Federal Data Crisis: Unreliable Federal Databases are Destroying Opportunities for Small Businesses

Databases are the infrastructure of the modern administrative state and data is its lifeblood. When the data is contaminated with errors, federal agencies have difficulty performing even the most basic administrative functions such as managing its inventory of office space and protecting the personally identifiable information (PII) of social security number holders. The federal dissemination of unreliable data doesn't just waste money; it undermines public trust in government and leaves it unmanageable. more»

Internet Governance Outlook 2016: Cooperation & Confrontation

In 2015 we saw many agreements on Internet Governance. 193 Governments agreed in the UN General Assembly on the WSIS 10+ Outcome Document. They agreed to extend the mandate of the IGF for ten years. They agreed to strengthen the multistakeholder approach. And they agreed to make more efforts to bring the next billion users online until 2020. The UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) agreed on a number of confidence building measures to strengthen cybersecurity. more»

Which Way Does Your Data Flow?

Data may be moving to the cloud, but understanding the physical geography underlying the cloud is becoming increasingly critical. October's decision by the European Court of Justice, striking down key portions of the Safe Harbor rules that some companies had relied on to legally transfer personal data between Europe and the U.S., was only the latest example of the regulatory uncertainty involved in cross-border data flows. While Internet companies have begun to address challenges at the static geographic points where data is resident, understanding the actual paths that data travels is an important and sometimes overlooked part of the compliance analysis. more»

How .MUSIC Will Go Mainstream and Benefit ICANN's New gTLD Program

Since the launch of the New gTLD Program in 2012, it has become evident that new gTLD registries overestimated the demand for new Top-Level Domain name extensions. Furthermore, new gTLD registries did not anticipate the hurdles in raising awareness, not to mention creating adoption for new domains. Even the most pessimistic New gTLD Program critic did not expect such uninspiring results. It was a wake up call for many in the domain industry. The New gTLD Program currently lacks credibility. No new gTLD has yet to go mainstream and capture the world's imagination. more»

Why More Effort Won't Solve the Exceptional Access Problem

In the debate over government "exceptional access" to encrypted communications, opponents with a technical bent (and that includes me) have said that it won't work: that such a scheme would inevitably lead to security problems. The response -- from the policy side, not from technical folk - has been to assert that perhaps more effort would suffice. FBI Director James Comey has said, "But my reaction to that is: I'm not sure they've really tried." Hillary Clinton wants a "Manhattan-like project, something that would bring the government and the tech communities together". More effort won't solve the problem - but the misunderstanding lies at the heart of why exceptional access is so hard. more»

Cheers! Registries and Registrars Doing the Right Thing by Patients

Domain name registration is a hot industry. Registrars represent a growing multi-billion dollar industry with the keys to the Internet for any organization hoping to have a web presence. Further, because of their role as one of the gatekeepers to the Internet, registrars have the unique ability and are often asked to take action against illegal activity online. This fact was highlighted in the report released this week by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the 2015 Out-of-Cycle Notorious Markets List. more»

FY16 Appropriations Act Extends IANA Transition Freeze without DOTCOM Act

The U.S. Government has been operating so far in Fiscal Year 2016, which began on October 1st, with funding provided by two continuing Appropriations bills. The last one passed on December 11th and provides funding through midnight tonight, December 16th. Meanwhile, bipartisan Senate and House leadership, Appropriations Committee members, and Chairs of authorizing committees have been negotiating an omnibus Appropriations bill, along with a separate revenue package of tax provisions, behind closed doors. more»

A Bend in the River: ICANN Should Prepare for a 2 °C World

Toward the end of last week, the world waited with bated breath for the outcome of the 21st annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The meeting, commonly called COP 21, was held in Le Bourget, Paris, from November 30 to December 12; a bit too soon after the terrorists attacks on Paris earlier in November. COP 21 was important because COP 15 in Copenhagen (2009) failed to arrive at a global consensus... more»

The WSIS+10 Outcome Document - Some Initial Thoughts

The final outcome document of the WSIS +10 Review was released late last night. I thought I would give you some initial impressions as we enter the week of the WSIS+10 Review at the United Nations in New York. The text endorses the central tenet of the multistakeholder model of governing ourselves on the Internet and re-commits to the Tunis agreement. It extends the mandate of the IGF for 10 years recognizing the role that this Forum plays in bottom up governance processes. more»

Youth Aren't Just the Internet's Future, Youth Shape the Internet's Future

For the past 27 years, or at least as long as I can remember, I have heard one phrase on an endless loop: "youth are the future." It is a statement that always caused me to feel mild confusion. I thought, "How can I, for instance, be the future if I'm here now?" As I "grew up" and the term "youth" seem to expand in both meaning and breadth of inclusion, I quickly realized that when this statement is used by many it is platitudinous at best and disingenuous rhetoric at worst. What should actually be clarified is that, as no one is immune from the natural progression of the life course (at least not yet anyway), youth will one day constitute the key decision-makers in political, economic and social institutions. more»

The Appeal Against Broadband Reclassification

A British perspective on a very American process... As a new member of the the "Tech Elders", I was invited to join yesterday's hearing in Washington, DC on the reclassification of broadband Internet access services. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decreed that Internet access should switch from being lightly regulated as an 'information service' (Title I) to a more heavily regulated as 'telecommunications service' (Title II). I'd first like to say that the process and content was a credit to the rule of law in the United States. more»

Encryption = good : Backdoor = bad

Every time there is a tragic attack on people or property, there is a cry from various authorities or politicians for law enforcement to get unfettered access to all kinds of communication tools. But that would cause far more harm than good, and is a really bad idea. The argument goes something like this: 'These bad actors hide behind encrypted communications to plan their evil deeds...' more»

News Briefs

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

ICANN Denies .GAY's Request for Reconsideration

Companies and Organizations Around the World Ask Leaders to Support Strong Encryption

ISOC President on the Path to a Global Internet of Opportunity

China Calls for Global "Governance System" to Regulate Internet, Activist Warn Threat to Free Speech

ISOC Joins 200 Others Urging UN to Safeguard Key Internet Principles

Vehicle Manufacturers Tell Govt to Stay Off Regulating "Internet of Cars"

Internet Society Reinforces Need to Connect the Unconnected, Build Trust

Internet a Key Catalyst for Sustainable Development, Says ISOC CEO

EU Parliament Says Citizens Rights Still in Danger, Calls for Immediate Measures

EU, US Strike Deal in Principle on New Data-Sharing Agreement

Facebook Accused of "Secretly" Lobbying for Cyber Bill

U.S. Bypassing ICANN on Whois Privacy With Closed-Door Meeting in Paris

China Calls on the United Nations to Impose an International Code of Conduct on the Internet

European Court Invalidates EU-US Data Pact

Former Chinese Commander Highly Critical of American Internet Policies

Global Re-Distribution of IPv4 Addresses Requires Greater Trading Transparency and Security

EU Launches Inquiry on Whether Online Companies Should be Regulated

Xi Insists on China's Right to Regulate Its Own Internet

U.S. and China Negotiating Cyeberwarfare Control Deal

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