Policy & Regulation

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Open Data Leads to Competition

In a previous post, I spoke of Amazon's use of customer and market data in restraint of trade, but they are not alone. For example, leaked internal documents show that plans to sell access to user data were discussed for years and received support from Facebook's most senior executives. For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because Amazon was spending money on advertising and partnered with them on the launch of the Fire smartphone. more

Is Digital Democracy an Option – and What Is Involved in It?

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the internet Berners-Lee, the father of the internet, reiterated his suggestion for a radical change, which would improve the functionality of the internet for the benefit of society. He suggests a sort of refoundation of the web, creating a fresh set of rules, both legal and technical, to unite the world behind a process that can avoid some of the missteps of the past 30 years. While this most certainly would be an excellent development, I am rather pessimistic about a rapid implementation of such a radical change more

DNS Privacy at IETF 104

From time to time the IETF seriously grapples with its role with respect to technology relating to users' privacy. Should the IETF publish standard specifications of technologies that facilitate third-party eavesdropping on communications or should it refrain from working on such technologies? Should the IETF take further steps and publish standard specifications of technologies that directly impede various forms of third party eavesdropping on communications? more

US Government to ICANN - Move Quickly

David Redl has written to ICANN in relation to the ongoing work around whois and GDPR. The letter, which was shared with the GNSO Council last night, is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it offers the carrot in relation to what's been done so far, but then there's the not so veiled threat, which isn't a revelation by any means, of "domestic legislation." more

India's eCommerce Policy: NOT a 'Bollywood Drama' but an Adaptation of Script of Acts from Elsewhere

The draft e-commerce policy paper of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India raises valid observations concerning some of the imbalances, such as, on the excessive advantages gained by the "first movers" in the private sector, which implies advantages gained by the first -mover States on the Internet, on some of the prevailing gaps in the space and also on concerns about the abusive practices by a few e-commerce platforms and vendors. Most of these concerns are best addressed globally... more

Are Inter-Satellite Laser Links a Bug or a Feature of ISP Constellations?

I hope each of these companies has someone in charge of thinking about what might go wrong with a single, satellite-based network providing fast, low-cost links anywhere on the global Internet. OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat and Leosat all aspire to be global Internet service providers using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Their success will require still-unproven technological innovation, but there are also political stumbling blocks. more

Will PDP 3.0 Save the Multi-Stakeholder Model?

For the past several months, there has been much discussion within the ICANN community about something called "PDP 3.0". This has been raised in a number of different contexts including as part of ICANN's new governance review. But what exactly is PDP 3.0? And, will it save ICANN's multi-stakeholder governance model? I believe that if we are to save the multi-stakeholder model then now is the time to address the big issues not just the low hanging fruit on the surface - a new approach to achieving consensus across parties with widely differing views is needed. more

Still No Access to WHOIS Data

The ICANN 64 meeting in Kobe concluded two weeks ago, and we are no closer to accessing WHOIS data critical for law enforcement, cybersecurity threat investigators, intellectual property owners, or other consumer protection advocates who rely on the data to act quickly against online abuse in the domain name system. Instead of a balanced approach to WHOIS that serves the public interest, the ICANN Board is set to approve a new global policy that fails to even fully acknowledge critical... more

The EPDP on Generic Top-Level Domain Registration Data: Phase 1 Down, Phase 2 To Go

The ICANN community recently gathered in Kobe, Japan for its first meeting of the year and it was certainly a busy week for attendees. Much of the meeting centered around the work of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) to address gTLD registration data. As a member of the EPDP team, we had been hard at work since being formed in August of 2018. Just prior to the Kobe meeting, we published the phase 1 Final Report. more

EURid Pauses Brexit Plans

When the UK announced its intention to withdraw from the European Union it was clear to some of us that this would cause complications with .eu and possibly other domain name extensions. Over the past year, it's become clear that the European Commission, who mandate the .eu domain name policy, weren't interested in providing a "soft landing" for impacted registrants of .eu domain names. more

India’s Draft National E-Commerce Policy: A Bollywood Drama in Four Acts

India's recently published Draft National e-Commerce Policy, prepared by the Indian Commerce Ministry think-tank, can be read like the script of a four-act Bollywood drama... They were the dream couple: Princess India and Prince IT. She was full of cultural richness and diversity, with beauty, mystique and natural resources. She also a dark side. She harbored the world's largest number of impoverished people, with little infrastructure, and facing sparse economic prospects. more

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM. During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN. more

ICANN Chair Elections Test Its Institutional Integrity

The ICANN Board will soon be considering candidates for election to the position of ICANN Chairperson and Vice Chair, which compels me to remind both the Board and the ICANN community of the fact that one of the members pursuing the Chairmanship is the subject of an on-going Australian Freedom of Information Act, which was initiated by the irregularities that brought about this individuals dismissal from the .au Domain Administration. more

Putting Cyber Threats Into Perspective

As society uses more digital technologies we are increasingly also faced with its problems. Most of us will have some horror stories to tell about using computers, smartphones, and the internet. But this hasn't stopped us from using the technology more and more. I believe that most people would say that their lives would be worse without technology -- in developed countries but equally in the developing world. more

Facebook and Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg shocked a lot of people by promising a new focus on privacy for Facebook. There are many skeptics; Zuckerberg himself noted that the company doesn't "currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services." And there are issues that his blog post doesn't address; Zeynep Tufekci discusses many of them While I share many of her concerns, I think there are some other issues - and risks. more

News Briefs

FCC to Block China Mobile From Gaining Access to the U.S. Market

Trump Administration Announces Its Big 5G Push: Largest-Ever Spectrum Auction and a 20.4B Fund

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Close to Half of America Not Using the Internet at Broadband Speeds, Says Microsoft

Article Expresses Concern That Google and Other Tech Giants are Quietly Buying Up Undersea Cables

Cybersecurity Continues to Be the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Top Priority for 2019

Russians Take to the Streets to Protest Against New Internet Restrictions

Thousands of UK Businesses, Individuals to Lose Their .EU Web Address in a No-Deal Brexit

US House and Senate Democratic Leaders Announce Bill to Restore Federal Net Neutrality Rules

Domain Registrars Given a Six-Month Deadline to Implement Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

Indian Government Proposes Vast New Powers to Suppress Internet Content

US Senate to Hold Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

US Government and Businesses Need Collaborative Procedures Against Major Cyberattacks, Warns Report

CENTR Publishes a Paper on Domain Name Registries and Online Content

Biggest Fine Yet: French Watchdog Slaps Google With a $57M Fine Under the New GDPR Law

Government Shutdown Halts Trump’s FCC Deregulation Agenda, Says Tom Wheeler

ICANN Gives .amazon Talks a March Deadline

Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls for New Privacy Law, Suggests Data Broker Clearinghouse

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