Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

The Internet (and ICANN) After the Trump Apocalypse

Three months ago, I pondered the question Would the Internet Survive a Trump Apocalypse? As improbable as that outcome was in August, enough of the American electorate has "pulled the pin" to bring it on. It is a brave new world -- distinctly darker and more uncertain. At the moment, the Trump team is trying to figure out how to manifest their vacuous invectives masquerading as policy. The world is watching, and Washington looks like the scene in Ghostbusters where the containment grid has just been turned off, and the demonic ghosts are rising from the underbelly of K-Street. The result here is a Washington lobbying dream -- a result rather different than that promised to naïve Trump devotees. more»

When CDA Immunity is Not CDA Immunity

Here's a question: If 47 USC 230(c) (the Good Samaritan provision of the Communications Decency Act) says that online services are not liable for third party content, then can you even sue the online service? Shouldn't the online service be immune from lawsuit? Because, after all, what would be the point of being sued for something for which you cannot be liable? more»

What Steps Can Africans Take and Lead in Internet Governance and Social Justice?

Almost three years ago, I published a blog post on CircleID titled "Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead." I argued that African Internet stakeholders use a 'wait and see approach' in matters as critical as Internet governance," and that African voices are missing in key Internet governance discussion fora. Additionally, I suggested that some reasons for this approach, including that Africa lacks well-trained Internet governance experts and Africans see foreign affairs and international relations as an East versus West dynamic. more»

Can the Internet Work Across Borders?

On the face of it, the answer is a rather obvious and simple "yes"! The Internet obviously works across borders. Technically, it is a global network servicing its users wherever they may be on the planet. But it is this very nature -- the fact that the Internet is not bound to a specific country or territory -- which has more and more people asking themselves whether it can really work across borders. more»

Why African Telecom Union (ATU) Proposal Should be Rejected

My attention was drawn to the recent African Telecom Union (ATU)'s proposal for the modification and expansion of Resolution 47... As an affected party to the proposal, I feel obliged to make a comment: Recalling my last article to The Hill titled "ICANN is already under the influence of Foreign Governments", I drew an example of how ICANN allowed the African Union Commission, an Intergovernmental body to heavily interfere in the .Africa application so as to delegate it to itself, which led me to take ICANN to Court. more»

Afilias' Cynical Attempt to Secure a Windfall at Community Expense

On Friday, October 28, Afilias issued a public statement urging the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to nullify the results of its July 27, 2016 public auction for the .web new generic top level domain (gTLD) -- in which Nu Dotco, LLC (NDC) submitted the highest bid for .web -- and disqualify NDC from participation in the .web contention. The real issue here is whether ICANN should enforce the results of a fair and competitive public auction... more»

The Effects of the Forthcoming FCC Privacy Rules on Internet Security

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced new privacy rules that govern how Internet service providers can share information about consumers with third parties. One focus of this rulemaking has been on the use and sharing of so-called "Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI)" - information about subscribers - for advertising. The Center for Information Technology Policy and the Center for Democracy and Technology jointly hosted a panel exploring this topic last May... more»

.WEB is ICANN's First Test of Accountability

Last month, in a much heralded international event, the agreement that ICANN held with the United States Department of Commerce was permitted to lapse and so ICANN became an independent manager of the Internet's addressing system. While some argued that the organization was not "ready" for the transition, the majority of ICANN's multi-stakeholder community, including Afilias, agreed that sufficient accountability measures were in place to ensure that ICANN remains a responsible (and responsive) international organization. more»

Selling DONA Snake Oil at the ITU

A venerable old ITU tradition got underway today. Its Telecommunication Standardization body, known as the ITU-T, gathered, as it has done every four years for much of the past 100 years in a conclave of nations, to contemplate what they should be doing at their Geneva intergovernmental standards meetings for the next four years. The gathering is called the WTSA... Old intergovernmental institutional habits still continue, so the participants are gathered in a remote location in Tunisia called Hammamet. more»

The Massive Cyberattack or Chronicle of a Strike Foretold

During the last Computer Law Conference organized by ADIAR (Argentina Computer Law Association) and the Universidad Nacional de Sur, I gave a conference on the Internet of Things, cybercrime and dangerous situation presented by the lack of proper regulation -- a topic in which I have one of my research projects. At the moment some people argued that I was talking about something that might happen in a relatively distant future, dissenting with my view that the possibility was imminent.. more»