Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Hidden in Plain Sight: FCC Chairman Pai's Strategy to Consolidate the U.S. Wireless Marketplace

While couched in noble terms of promoting competition, innovation and freedom, the FCC soon will combine two initiatives that will enhance the likelihood that Sprint and T-Mobile will stop operating as separate companies within 18 months. In the same manner at the regulatory approval of airline mergers, the FCC will make all sorts of conclusions sorely lacking empirical evidence and common sense. more»

Security Costs Money. So - Who Pays?

Computer security costs money. It costs more to develop secure software, and there's an ongoing maintenance cost to patch the remaining holes. Spending more time and money up front will likely result in lesser maintenance costs going forward, but too few companies do that. Besides, even very secure operating systems like Windows 10 and iOS have had security problems and hence require patching. (I just installed iOS 10.3.2 on my phone. It fixed about two dozen security holes.) more»

WannaCry: Patching Dilemma from the Other Side

WannaCry, originated firstly in state projects but spread by other actors, has touched upon myriads of infrastructure such as hospitals, telecommunication, railroads that many countries have labelled as critical. IT engineers are hastily presenting patching codes in various localized versions. The other patch needed, however, is more than technical. It is normative and legislative. The coding of that patch for a situation like this is in two layers of dilemma. more»

The 2-Character Answer to this GAC Advice Should be "No"

ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) has reacted to the ICANN Board's November 2016 decision to authorize the release of two-character domains at new gTLDs with advice to the Board that does not have true consensus backing from GAC members and that relates to procedure, not policy. The Board's proper response should be to just say no, stick to its decision and advise the GAC that it will not consider such advice. more»

Why Not Connect Cuba's Gaspar Social Streetnet to the Internet?

I've been covering Cuban streetnets (local area networks with independent users that are not connected to the Internet) for some time. Reader Doug Madory told me about Gaspar Social, a new streetnet in Gaspar, a small town in central Cuba. Gaspar Social opened to the public last October and has grown quickly -- about 500 of Gaspar's 7,500 residents are now users. Streetnets are illegal in Cuba and the government has ignored some and cracked down on others... more»

Telecoms Competition on a Downhill Slide in America

That is what happens when you base your telecommunications policies on the wrong foundations. The problems with the telecommunications industry in America go back to 1996 when the FCC decided that broadband in America should be classified as internet (being content) and that therefore it would not fall under the normal telecommunication regulations. Suddenly what are known as telecommunications common carriers in other parts of the world became ISPs in the USA. How odd is that? more»

Trying to Predict Miguel Diaz-Canel's Internet Policy

I recently gave a short talk that concluded with some speculation on the attitude of Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is expected to replace Raúl Castro next year, toward the Internet. I searched online and came up with three clues -- two talks he has given and one act. In May 2013, Diaz-Canel gave a speech at an educator's conference in which he anticipated today's preoccupation with fake news. He acknowledged the futility of trying to control information. more»

Would You Like Your Private Information to be Available on a VHS or Betamax Tape?

When I was a young child growing up in the late 1980s, my parents were lucky enough to be able to afford to have both a VHS-tape video-recorder in the living room and a Betamax tape recorder in their bedroom. This effectively meant that to me, the great video format wars weren't a decade-defining clash of technologies, but rather they consisted mainly of answering the question "in which room can I watch my favorite cartoons?". more»

In Response to Offensive Destruction of Attack Assets

It is certainly true that DDoS and hacking are on the rise; there have been a number of critical hacks in the last few years, including apparent attempts to alter the outcome of elections. The reaction has been a rising tide of fear, and an ever increasing desire to "do something." The something that seems to be emerging is, however, not necessarily the best possible "something." Specifically, governments are now talking about attempting to "wipe out" the equipment used in attacks. more»

Jakarta Declaration Calls on Governments to Recognize Legitimacy of Encryption

Today in Indonesia, media leaders gathered at UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event issued the "Jakarta Declaration" calling on governments of the world to recognize the importance of a free and independent media in creating "peaceful, just and inclusive societies". The declaration calls on governments to take steps to support the freedom of the press, and, in the midst of the many actions was this statement: Recognise the legitimacy of the use of encryption and anonymisation technologies more»