Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Featured Blogs

ICANN Does Something Technical!

I've often said that ICANN regulates the business of buying and selling of domain names and that ICANN's claim that it coordinates technical matters to preserve the stability of DNS is a fantasy. Well I am proven wrong. ICANN has done something technical. ICANN has issued Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names, Draft Version 2 [PDF] (pending approval by the ICANN board.) It's only four pages long, but those few pages contain a lot of significant material. more

Forgotten Principles of Internet Governance

Suddenly internet governance has become a hot topic. Words and phrases fly back and forth but minds rarely meet. We do not have discussion, we have chaos. We are not moving forwards towards a resolution. It's time to step back and review some basic principles. 1. Principle: The internet is here to serve the needs of people (and organizations of people); people are not here to serve the internet. Corollary: If internet technology does not meet the needs of users and organizations than it is technology that should be the first to flex and change. more

Public Policy Questions for Internet

There is little doubt that the Internet has formed part of the impetus for a revolutionary change in the nature of the global communications industry. "Revolutionary" in the sense that the past decade has seen fundamental and highly disruptive changes in the nature of the underlying technologies used by the industry, changes in the composition, ownership and role of industry players, changes in the nature of services offered to the end consumer, changes in the associated financial models used by the industry, and changes in the regulatory environments in which this industry operates. Considering that this industry was, in the latter half of the twentieth century, one of the largest and most influential industry sectors on a global basis, these revolutionary changes will doubtless have consequences that will echo onward for some time yet. more

IGP Asks You to Weigh in on the USG's .xxx Intervention

Responding to the .xxx intervention by the US Commerce Department, the Internet Governance Project has produced a "STATEMENT OPPOSING POLITICAL INTERVENTION IN THE INTERNET'S CORE TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS." You can view the statement here and add your name as a signatory at the bottom. Over 60 people have endorsed it. The Statement claims that "The NTIA's recent intervention in the .xxx proceeding undermines assurances" that the U.S. government's special unilateral authority over ICANN "would never be used to shape policy but was only a means of protecting the stability of the organization and its processes." The NTIA's open acknowledgment of the influence of religious groups made the intervention particularly dangerous. more

Monetizing the Internet

What would duopoly providers of internet access really like to have? They'd really like to be paid for providing non-commodity services. They'd really like to be rewarded for running the network, top to bottom. "But that's not possible," you say. No provider can tell one packet from another. Providers can only block the ports used by applications they don't like, and that's a clumsy, unwinnable arms race. The applications can always switch to common and useful ports, and no provider wants to alienate its subscriber base. But what if providers could inspect the contents of packets, without using too much computational power, and discriminate among applications? "Naah," you say. "They can't possibly do that."... more

Signposts in Cyberspace: An NRC Report on the DNS and Internet Navigation

In light of the recent decision by the United States government to "maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file" and ICANN's recent decisions to add more gTLDs (including .xxx), and to renew VeriSign as the .net registry, readers may be interested in the just-published report of the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation. ...a comprehensive policy-oriented examination of the Domain Name System in the broader context of Internet navigation. more

Live Nude Domain Names

ICANN announced recently that it has begun negotiations with an applicant for another 'sponsored' (non-open) top level domain, .XXX. There has been a fair amount of coverage, for and against. My initial reaction is (with the proviso that the public information to assess these things is always insufficient): .XXX seems plausible for what it is but it isn't what many probably think it is. ...that's the key to understanding this. This TLD is intended to be a trade association and is not a form of regulation. more

Twenty Myths and Truths About IPv6 and the US IPv6 Transition

After hearing over 350 presentations on IPv6 from IPv6-related events in the US (seven of them), China, Spain, Japan, and Australia, and having had over 3,000 discussions about IPv6 with over a thousand well-informed people in the IPv6 community, I have come to the conclusion that all parties, particularly the press, have done a terrible job of informing people about the bigger picture of IPv6, over the last decade, and that we need to achieve a new consensus that doesn't include so much common wisdom that is simply mythical. There are many others in a position to do this exercise better than I can, and I invite them to make a better list than mine, which follows. more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part III

For a book project I decided to extend my interview with Milton Mueller from November 2003 (Part I | Part II). Exclusively for CircleID readers, here's part III that deals with WSIS, WGIG, US-American bias and the Internet Governance Project. "...One good result of the WGIG process is that the involved international community has already moved beyond those cliches. No one is proposing that the UN control the Internet. There is growing consensus that control of the DNS root needs to be internationalized..." more

ICANN Approves New Domain for Adult Sites

The Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has determined that the proposal for a new top level domain submitted by ICM Registry, Inc. has met the criteria established by ICANN. Accordingly, ICM Registry will now move forward into technical and commercial contractual negotiations with ICANN to generate a voluntary .xxx top-level domain (TLD). more