Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Flipping the Kill Switch: Internet Restrictions Becoming the New Normal

The Internet was built on the promise that everyone, everywhere could create, share information and ideas without frontiers. Yet, Internet restrictions are increasing to the point they are becoming the norm. And it's happening fast. In its 2016 Freedom on the Net report, Freedom House revealed that Internet freedom declined for the 6th year in a row. The report notes that more governments have been blocking social media and communication apps than ever before. more»

A Case for Further DNS Registrar Industry Self-Regulation

In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting. Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point... more»

Use STIX to Block Robocalls

It is one of those oddities that occurs around Washington from time to time. During the same hour today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was meeting at its downtown headquarters trying to stop robocalls, while a large gathering of government and industry cybersecurity experts were meeting a few miles away at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab advancing the principal means for threat information sharing known as STIX. more»

Shedding Light on How Much Energy the Internet and ICTs Consume

Ever since I published an essay exploring the relationship between climate change and the Internet, I have endeavored to bring this subject to the fore as often as possible (and in relevant fora and discussions) since the responsibility of creating a more sustainable world falls on all communities and stakeholder groups. It is particularly pressing now -- at a time when international interest in curbing climate change is strengthening, while it is juxtaposed with the receding commitments of the United States government... more»

Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Honors Leading Companies at ICANN

Last week the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global; www.BuySafeRx.pharmacy) presented its inaugural Internet Pharmacy Safety E-Commerce Leadership Award to two organizations during the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Joint Meeting of the Registries and Registrars Stakeholder Groups at ICANN58 in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was announced on Tuesday. more»

Is Call Forwarding an "Information Service" and Why It Matters for FTC Jurisdiction

Time to brush the dust off your Computer II notebooks. Are voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding enhanced services or telecom services? Today's case: FTC v. American eVoice, Ltd... The FTC brought an action against Defendants claiming that they were engaged in cramming, adding unwanted voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding services to consumers bills to the tune of $70 million. more»

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more»

WikiLeaks' Vault 7: CIA Gives a Free Lesson in Personal Cyber Security

WikiLeaks' newly released Vault 7 trove is a tantalizing study in how one of the world's premiere intelligence agencies hacks devices. Analysts and experts have signaled that this leak appears authentic based on some clues in the content. But while it may ultimately be comparable in size to the Snowden or Manning leaks, it lacks the "wow" factor that made those landmark whistleblowing cases so important. What lessons are to be learned from the leaks, and how should we apply them to our personal digital lives? more»

Agriculture At High-Speed: Project Updates on Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide

When farms are connected to the Internet, we all benefit. Agriculture that gains real-time information about plants, soil, atmosphere, and irrigation, dubbed "precision agriculture", can save farmers 20-30% of their water consumption while increasing productivity by 20-70%, according to Valley Vision. The San Francisco-Bay Area Internet Society Chapter is pleased to announce that we have started phase one of our collaborative project, "Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide with Mobile Broadband"... more»