Policy & Regulation

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Permissionless Innovation: Why It Matters

We live in a world of information abundance and the proliferation of ideas. Through mobile devices, tablets, laptops and computers we can access and create any sort of data in a ubiquitous way. But, it was not always like that. Before the Internet information was limited and was travelling slow. Our ancestors depended on channels of information that were often subjected to various policy and regulatory restrictions. The Internet changed all that. more»

Better Than Best Efforts Routing of Mission Critical Traffic and the FCC

It appears that the FCC will permit exceptions to the standard, plain vanilla best efforts routing standard for Internet traffic, such as the paid peering arrangement recently negotiated between Comcast and Netflix. In both academic and applied papers I have supported this option, with several major conditions... With no opposition that I have seen, companies like Akamai offer better than best efforts routing of "mission critical" traffic from content source to last mile, "retail" Internet Service Providers. more»

Spotlight on African Contributions to Internet Governance Discussions (Part 1: NETmundial)

The internet affects every individual in this world whether directly or indirectly. For example, a medical professional somewhere in Goma, Congo might access the internet to read and post reviews to current medication available and this might have an impact on the kind of medication that he/she recommends to the patient, whether the patient has access to affordable internet or not. Since the internet affects everyone, Africans citizens who are aware of internet governance discussions, expect African stakeholders to engage in these discussions. more»

European Data Protection Supervisor Smacks ICANN Over Privacy Issues With 2013 RAA

ICANN has been sent a letter by the European Data Protection Supervisor calling them out with respect to both data collection, retention and privacy within the context of the 2013 Registrar contract (RAA). The letter is the first instance of one, to my knowledge, which makes reference to the ECJ's recent ruling that rendered the data retention directive null and void. more»

Verisign's Preliminary Comments on ICANN's Name Collisions Phase One Report

Verisign posted preliminary public comments on the "Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions" Phase One Report released by ICANN earlier this month. JAS Global Advisors, authors of the report contracted by ICANN, have done solid work putting together a set of recommendations to address the name collisions problem, which is not an easy one, given the uncertainty for how installed systems actually interact with the global DNS. However, there is still much work to be done. I have outlined the four main observations... more»

Interconnection Disputes Are Network Neutrality Issues (of Netflix, Comcast, and the FCC)

A lot of people have been talking about the "interconnection" deal between Comcast and Netflix and whether that deal is related to network neutrality. (It is.) This question comes partly because the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order (also known as the network neutrality order) was recently struck down. So network neutrality lands back at the FCC, with a new Open Internet proceeding, at the same time Netflix starts working so poorly on Comcast that Netflix had to cut a special deal with Comcast. more»

Internet Governance Back in the Limelight

In my special role as adviser to the UN Broadband Commission I reported extensively in 2013 on the WCIT-12 conference in Dubai. Unfortunately the world disagreed on a way forward in relation to internet governance. However, despite all the grandstanding of the USA and its western allies, simply ignoring it and saying "there is no room for governments to be involved in internet governance" - will not make the issue go away. more»

Black Helicopters for the DNS: What Happens In 2025?

When Steve delBianco from NetChoice testified (April 2, 2014) in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the US House of Representatives on "Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet", he proposed a stresstest for new mechanisms which could substitute the role of the NTIA in overseeing the IANA contract with ICANN. Stresstests are good. It is good for cars, it is good for banks and it is good for new mechanisms... more»

IANA: The World Loses if the Technical Industry Checks Out

On Friday, 14 March 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intention to transition the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community. As expected, the announcement has sent adrenaline coursing through the veins of Internet governance experts and government policy people the world over. I'd argue, however, that it is an important point for the Internet's technical experts to sit up and take notice, as well: the fact that you are probably saying "what problem does this solve?" is a testimony to how much works well today, and we want to make sure it continues to work well in any future arrangements. more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. more»

NTIA & You: NTIA's Intention to Transfer IANA Functions to the Global Community Is Welcome, But…

It is no secret that both the US government, ICANN, and the global Internet community have argued and worked tirelessly for the past 15 odd years on the vexing issue of globalizing the US government's role in the IANA function. Despite the desire, long-held by many, for the US to relinquish its control of the IANA function, it is clear that getting to full multistakeholder control of the function is not going to be easy. more»

The Path Forward: Accountability Through the IANA Transition

It's clear that the US government is intent on dropping its legacy contractual role for the IANA functions. Whatever your views on the wisdom or timing of that decision, the challenge now is to ensure that the transition leaves ICANN in the best possible position to succeed. Arriving yesterday to the island nation of Singapore felt strangely appropriate. Over the past week I've been one of the lonely people in the ICANN community to express concern about the US government's decision. more»

Questions and No Answers to US Oversight transition, ICANN's Role and Future of Internet Governance

Traditionally, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Domain Name System (DNS)... ICANN has also evolved in its structures to use the 'Multistakeholder Model' in the dissemination of some of its functions and this has seen the creation of working groups and constituencies. more»

Closed Generic TLDs - The Final Battle?

Over the past couple of years I've posted several times on the issue of "closed generics". In essence these are new TLD applications where the string is a "generic term" AND the applicant wanted to keep all domains in the registry for their own use. The baseline registry agreement with ICANN now contains language that resolves the issue, or at least it would appear to do so. more»

Aligning Broadband and Healthcare

For many years I have been saying that in order to generate business cases that will support the developments of national broadband networks it is necessary to take into account the social and economic benefits of such investments. The reality is that these benefits do not show up on the balance sheets of the traditional telecoms infrastructure companies and this is a key reason they are reluctant to make such investments. more»

News Briefs

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

Bruce Schneier: Government and Industry Have Betrayed the Internet, and Us

ICANN, NTIA, Verisign and ANA Weighing In on 'Name Collisions' and the Readiness of New gTLD Program

National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Cautions ICANN on .INC, .LLC, .LLP, .CORP TLDs

Senate Appropriations Committee Critical of NTIA Role Within ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee

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