Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

Trump, Tides, and the US Tech Sector

When a tax is too high people avoid it, and when the political cost of supporting the US government becomes too high, foreign governments will avoid it too. Add to that cost America's new inclination to withdrawal, and consider the muddy tidal flat on which could soon list the hull of what used to be American technological primacy... When countries try to develop technology policies to compete with the United States, they often begin with rules over immigration. more»

Must IETF, ICANN Stop Meeting in the U.S.?

With Trump's "extreme vetting" extending to Pakistan and others, nearly all U.S. institutions with a global reach will be cut off from some members. Internet Society Board Member Walid Al-Saqaf, from Yemen, can't attend the IETF meeting next month in Chicago. Board Member Alice Munyua from Kenya may also have to skip the event. "There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya," the British government reports. Kenyans likely will require extreme vetting. ICANN board member Kaveh Ranjbar, born in Iran, has also been appointed to the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee. more»

Nuking Silicon Valley

The new head of the U.S. Executive Branch took several actions this week that have profound collateral consequences for Silicon Valley as well as its scientific and technical communities. Presumably, he thought it was payback time for not supporting him. Perhaps he thought that producing automobiles domestically for non-Muslim U.S. citizens to drive around a walled nation is the way to future economic success. No matter, the effects of actions taken this week are the equivalent of nuking Silicon Valley. more»

The International Telecommunication Union and the Trump Administration

The question is not uncommon these days for someone who has been the principal historian on the ITU over the past 40 years. The short answer is that the institution should do just fine. Indeed, the appearance of bizarre phenomena like Trump, enhance the value and trustworthiness of a stable, globally inclusive intergovernmental venue dealing with matters that by their nature require worldwide cooperation and is buttressed by one of the most highly regarded Secretary-Generals in its history. more»

Luddites of the 21st Century Unite, Revisited

Some years ago I wrote a post on the fact that I saw the world automate fast and did not see a lot of people worrying about the consequences for their lives. Nobody was smashing automated production lines. Smashing smartphones and laptops. In fact, embrace of new technology by the masses probably never before in history went this fast. Several and very different causes, including globalization, have led to a level of wealth that made these expensive tools and toys within reach of a vast number of people. more»

FAKE45: Trump Administration Illegitimacy Under International Law

The FAKE45 sign in the photo lower right corner appearing on the front page of today's Washington Post -- ironically in front of the Department of Justice headquarters -- captures a result of yesterday's events that may have far-reaching consequences. About 4.5 million people -- including a million in Washington DC alone -- spontaneously came together from every corner of the nation and world to question the legitimacy of a Trump Administration, express disdain for its actions, and assert the repugnancy of its positions. I was there. more»

Help Us Answer: What Will the Internet Look Like in 10 Years?

What will the Internet look like in the next seven to 10 years? How will things like marketplace consolidation, changes to regulation, increases in cybercrime or the widespread deployment of the Internet of Things impact the Internet, its users and society? At the Internet Society, we are always thinking about what's next for the Internet. And now we want your help! more»

If Slate Comes in Standard Sizes, Why Not Broadband?

Last week I was at the National Slate Museum in Wales watching slate being split apart. On the wall were sample pieces of all the standard sizes. These have cute names like "princess". For each size, there were three standard qualities: the thinnest are the highest quality (at 5mm in thickness), and the thickest have the lowest quality (those of 13mm or more). Obviously, a lighter slate costs less to transport and lets you roof a wider span and with less supporting wood, hence is worth more. more»

Cyber-Terrorism Rising, Existing Cyber-Security Strategies Failing, What Are Decision Makers to Do?

While conventional cyber attacks are evolving at breakneck speed, the world is witnessing the rise of a new generation of political, ideological, religious, terror and destruction motivated "Poli-Cyber™" threats. These are attacks perpetrated or inspired by extremists' groups such as ISIS/Daesh, rogue states, national intelligence services and their proxies. They are breaching organizations and governments daily, and no one is immune. more»

History is Written and Revised by the Winners - Can the Internet Archive Change That?

I was naively optimistic in the early days of the Internet, assuming that it would enhance democracy while providing "big data" for historians. My first taste of that came during the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 when I worked with colleagues to create an archive of the network traffic in, out and within the Soviet Union. That traffic flowed through a computer called "Kremvax," operated by RELCOM, a Russian software company. The content of that archive was not generated by the government or the establishment media -- it was citizen journalism... more»