Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Freedom of Expression Part 3: Child Pornography, Manga, Anime, Obscene Publication

At the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council, we heard how 1 billion children in 2019 who were subjected to various forms of violence and the need for more action to protect children according to the Special Rapporteur. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child released Guidelines on the implementation of the international treaty that bans child pornography, proposing to expand its interpretation to include bans on drawings and stories that sexually depict minors. more

Freedom of Expression Part 2: Blocking, Filtering and Removing Online Content

The Internet is a catalyst for what has revolutionised and transformed human societies in giving extraordinary access to information that has catapulted development and economic growth. It also comes with threats of exploitation by those who wish to do harm. In Part 1 of these series, we looked at how Twitter banned Graham Linehan for his tweet where we saw that to an extent, it was justifiable under Californian law but that a Judge in the Fiji courts would disagree with. more

Freedom of Expression Part 1: Hate Speech, Linehan, Trans as a Protected Class in California

Graham Linehan was banned from Twitter last week. Graham Linehan is an Irish writer and creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Twitter closed Graham Linehan's account for tweeting "men aren't women though" which twitter perceived as "hate speech" and offensive to the Trans community. Context always shapes meaning, and so I thought it would be useful to explore how hate speech is interpreted in California and then to see how it is treated in Fiji. more

ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group Leadership Handover

The ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) is one of several stakeholder groups within the ICANN community and is the representative body of ICANN accredited domain name registrars. It is a diverse and active group that works to ensure the interests of registrars and their customers are effectively advanced. The leadership team (ExCom) consists of five officers who manage the Registrar Stakeholder Group. more

Marking the 30th Anniversary of the Internet and Cybersecurity Treaty

Next week on 1 July 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most significant treaty instruments in modern times. On 1 July 1990, the Melbourne Treaty came into force as the first and only global treaty that enabled worldwide internets and mobile networks to exist, together with the cybersecurity provisions designed to protect those infrastructures. The achievement remains as an enduring tribute to Richard Edmund Butler of Australia who was one of the most influential, and best-loved Secretaries-General of the ITU. more

Rural Broadband Subsidy – What's the Rush?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted procedures for Phase I of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, which will award up to $16 billion in support over ten years for the deployment of fixed broadband networks to homes and businesses in census tracks that are unserved by voice and broadband with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. more

UN Secretary General's Roadmap on Digital Cooperation: Creative Navigating in Stormy Cyberwaters

When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced in January 2020 that he was preparing a global "roadmap for digital cooperation," he had no idea that six months later, the world had made a quantum leap into the digital age. Home office, distance learning, online shopping, and video conferencing have been around for a long time, but the standstill of the real world during the pandemic has led to an unexpected expansion of the virtual world. more

Thumb on the Scales

Does the ICANN Board putting its thumb on the scale, change the status quo assumption of a Policy Development Process (PDP)? The primary assumption of most PDPs is that, in the absence of consensus for change, the status quo remains. Otherwise, Policy would be made by fiat by the PDP's Chair or Co-Chairs and there would be a mad rush to occupy those unpaid, thankless positions. more

Privacy in the Age of COVID-19

The Washington Post reports that a recent poll conducted shows that 3 out of 5 Americans are unable or unwilling to use an infection-alerting app developed by Google and Apple. About 1 in 6 adults can't use the app because they don't own a smartphone -- with the lowest ownership levels for those 65 and older. People with smartphones evenly split between those willing versus unwilling to use such an app. more

Canada Caves to the US, Blocks Huawei 5G (Inference)

Huawei is the strong favorite of Canadian network builders, for good products and extraordinary support. It displaced the incumbents at Bell Canada years ago and has a joint "Living Lab" in Vancouver with Telus. Huawei had already won the 5G contracts. It has a thousand researchers and spends a quarter billion dollars on Canadian R&D. It was a government decision. more