Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

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»