Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

The Ageless Warning of Icarus

It wasn't that long ago that, during a visit home, my brother asked me, "Why are you so stuck on this Internet thing?" His direct question caused me to realize that I had never actually stopped and considered why I was investing so much time – and in such a highly visible manner – into Internet governance when I wasn't being compensated for doing so and, in fact, was – not putting too fine of a point on it – flat broke. more

Trump's Assault on 5G Standards Bodies

Over the past 30 months, since Trump was installed in the White House, he has systematically abrogated US treaty responsibilities and diminished the nation's engagement in international collaborative activities. More recently, his gambits have expanded to market entry, chip component, and software restrictions on Chinese telecommunication equipment vendors, especially Huawei. more

Responding to "The Case for Regulatory Capture of ICANN"

This past Monday, as ICANN65 was beginning in Marrakesh, the technical review blog Review Signal published a detailed expose, "The Case for Regulatory Capture of ICANN" authored by site founder and "geek-in-charge" Kevin Ohashi. The post was clearly the product of extensive investigative reporting – and what it reveals is deeply disturbing. more

The West Is Shooting Itself in Its IT Foot

In our globalized economy, it is vital that we do establish levels of fair trade, and the USA is right in addressing that issue. However, making technology a key element of the trade war will backfire. Let's take (again) the Huawei issue as an example. The company has admitted that the US boycott is hitting them severely with an estimated loss of $30 billion in revenues. One of the other elements of the trade boycott is that Google is no longer allowed to provide... more

Move Fast and Regulate Things

The international community is converging on one notion at least: that Facebook cannot be prosecutor, judge and jury of its own achievements and transgressions. The calls to regulate social media companies first came from various legislative bodies, then from civil society and national policymakers, then from the CEO of Facebook itself, "to preserve what is best about [the Internet]." If some scepticism followed that was natural enough – was the company sincere in calling for more regulation? more

Havana Can Have 5G Before Miami

Compared to Miami, Havana is an Internet desert, but Havana may have 5G wireless connectivity before Miami. 5G architecture, US politics and policy, and the 5G timetable favor Havana. Let's start with 5G architecture. 5G will require many "small cells" because it uses high-frequency radio signals that don't travel as far as 4G signals and are more easily blocked by obstructions like trees and buildings. more

5G and the Health Scare

Having been involved in the telecommunications industry for a long time, I followed many of the discussions involving health concerns when the 3G and 4G mobile technologies were introduced. This time, with 5G, the situation is no different. Again, there are many communities worried about the potential negative health effects of the radiation that emanates from mobile communications. more

Is UN SG Guterres Driving the Bus That Macron Threw UN IGF & Multistakeholderism Under at IGF Paris?

A fresh & transparent, community-led, bottom-up, public debate has now become unavoidable and undeferrable. "....we need limited and smart regulation" were the clear and unambiguous words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the launch of the final report of his UN Panel on Digital Cooperation last week in New York. Last November, I wrote about President Macron throwing down the gauntlet at UN IGF Paris challenging IGF and Multistakeholderism to become more relevant.  more

The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation: An Agenda for the 2020s

The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation presented last week in New York its final report, and an old question is back on the international agenda: Could the global Internet be ordered by a reasonable arrangement among stakeholders which would maximize the digital opportunities and minimize the cyber risks by keeping the network free, open and safe? more

Cuba's New WiFi Regulations – Good, Bad or Meh?

Soon after ETECSA began rolling out WiFi hotspots for Internet access, people began linking to them from homes and community street nets. These connections and importing the WiFi equipment they used were illegal, but generally tolerated as long as they remained apolitical and avoided pornography. Regulations passed last month legalized some of this activity in a bid to boost connectivity by allowing Internet access from homes and small private businesses like restaurants and vacation rentals that are located close enough to a hotspot to establish a WiFi connection. more

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