Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Why Are the EU Data Protection Authorities Taking Away Our Fundamental Right to be Safe?

What if we created a rule that gave everyone - good or bad - the right to hide their license plate, where they live, who they are, and just go incognito? What if we made it a right to walk into any building in the world, and simply say "No, thank you" when the security guards asked for one's identification? The criminals would celebrate, and we'd all be utterly alarmed. We would immediately be afraid for our personal safety. more

A Climate of Change for the Caribbean Internet

Spring storms with winter qualities clobbered North America this week, threatening Canada with slow-moving storms, and pounding the United States with near-record snowfall in the midwest, low temperatures in the south and tornadoes further east. You could say change was in the air. And although the unseasonable weather didn't reach as far south as Florida, the climate of change still dominated the atmosphere at the fifteenth regional meeting of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). more

The Fight Is on to Save Access to WHOIS: A Call to Action for Brand Owners

Late last week, ICANN published the guidance from the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) that we have been waiting for. Predictably, WP29 took a privacy maximalist approach to the question of how Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to WHOIS, a tool widely used by cybersecurity professionals, businesses, intellectual property owners, consumer protection agencies and others to facilitate a safer and more secure internet.  more

GDPR and WHOIS - We've Heard from the Article 29 Working Party, Now What?

Well, here we are on Friday the 13th and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than providing an update on GDPR, WHOIS and ICANN. There's lots to cover, so let's dive right in. As we have been talking about for a number of months now, the EU's new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) will become enforceable on May 25th. The ICANN community has been struggling with how GDPR will impact the WHOIS system. more

US Congress Re-Launches Treaty Talks on Internet Economy

Final echoes of the US Senate committee's questions of Facebook this week will only fade in the UN Security Council where, in a few years, Member States will adopt a treaty on regulation of the Internet Economy. By opening wide the door to questions on privacy, revenue, security and purpose, Congress showed its well-placed concern and signaled that others can too. more

Game Over for Public Whois? Article 29 Gives ICANN the Advice It Asked For

We've talked about the conflicts between our ICANN contract and privacy law in the past. Not once, not twice, but multiple times. We refused to sign the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with ICANN until we'd received a data retention waiver. That decision probably cost us money, but if we have to choose between operating legally or illegally our path is clear. more

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember that the Nazis rounded up Jews, Roma, political dissidents, and other "undesirables" using the best data and technology of the day and sent them off to concentration camps. We don't normally deal with this type of political reality in ICANN, but now is the time to do so. In 1995, the recently formed European Union passed the EU Data Protection Directive. more

Is It Time for a Data Sharing Clearinghouse for Internet Researchers?

Today's Senate hearing with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will start a long discussion on data collection and privacy from Internet companies. Although the spotlight is currently on Facebook, we shouldn't forget that the picture is broader: companies from device manufacturers to ISPs collect network traffic and use it for a variety of purposes. more

Today's Internet: More BRICS Than Westerners

Something over 55% of landline broadband users are in the "Global South," about 500M. The South is about 65% if you include "wireless-only" many of which are 4G LTE at ten megabits or more. The gap is widening rapidly and will increase by well over 70M in 2018. Six large developing countries are growing 5% or more in the last year, compared to only one in the developed world. China is adding ~30M more each year. Most developed countries are between 75% and 95% connected. That leaves little room for growth. more

GDPR and WHOIS - Winners and Losers

I think we are all hoping that when ICANN meets with the DPAs (Digital Protection Authorities) a clear path forward will be illuminated. We are all hoping that the DPAs will provide definitive guidance regarding ICANN's interim model and that some special allowance will be made so that registrars and registries are provided with additional time to implement a GDPR-compliant WHOIS solution. more