Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

FCC's Ignorant Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Bravado

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Report and Order in the matter of its implementation of Ray Baum's Act Section 503 and international call spoofing. The FCC mostly did the right things in the R&O except in one rather extraordinary assertion of legal ignorance and bravado. It asserted unilaterally that it could exercise "extraterritorial jurisdiction that Congress expressly provided in section 503 of the Ray Baum's Act," and it furthermore knew of no "treaty obligation [contravened],...nor other legal barrier...and...are aware of none." more

Cuba Claims New Regulations Expand Internet Access to Homes and Businesses, But Here's the Downside

New Cuban regulations regarding private WiFi networks went into effect yesterday, and the New York Times and others proclaimed that "Cuba expands Internet access to private homes and businesses." Yes, Cubans can legally import and install WiFi routers in their homes, small cafes, B&Bs, etc., but these regulations will make little difference in Internet access. more

Not So Private Thoughts at IETF 105

At IETF 105, held in Montreal at the end of July, the Technical Plenary part of the meeting had two speakers on the topic of privacy in today's Internet, Associate Professor Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University and Professor Stephen Bellovin of Colombia University. They were both quite disturbing talks in their distinct ways, and I'd like to share my impressions of these two presentations and then consider what privacy means for me in today's Internet. more

Open Access for Apartment Buildings

San Francisco recently passed an interesting ordinance that requires that landlords of apartments and multi-tenant business buildings allow access to multiple ISPs to bring broadband. This ordinance raises all sorts of regulatory and legal questions. At the most recent FCC monthly meeting, the FCC jumped into the fray and voted on language that is intended to kill or weaken the ordinance. more

A Mexican Standoff in Wonderland

Wikipedia defines a Mexican standoff as "a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it." This would be an apt way to describe what may be possibly occurring presently between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its largest ratepayer, VeriSign. more

We Need Public 5G Spectrum

Last October the FCC issued a Notice for Proposed Rulemaking that proposed expanding WiFi into the 6 GHz band of spectrum (5.925 to 7.125 GHz). WiFi has been a huge economic boon to the country, and the FCC recognizes that providing more free public spectrum is a vital piece of the spectrum puzzle. Entrepreneurs have found a myriad of inventive ways to use WiFi that go far beyond what carriers have provided with licensed spectrum. more

GDPR Fine Enough or More Disclosure?

The UK cares about its citizens' privacy to the tune of a $229 million (US) fine of British Airways for a breach that disclosed information of approximately half a million customers. It's exciting -- a significant fine for a significant loss of data. I think GDPR will lead to improved security of information systems as companies scramble to avoid onerous fines and start to demand more from those who provide information security services and products. more

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