Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

The Future of Communications Cross-Subsidies

It used to be so much easier to manage a system of cross subsidies for communications. If a regulator wanted consumer services to be subsidized by businesses, rural to be subsidized by urban, local subsidized by long distance, TV production subsidized by distribution, it could just issue an order to make it so. So let it be written; so let it be done. There were few, if any, other suppliers of those services, so there were limited arbitrage opportunities. more»

Policy Advisory Board Model Now a Test of Multistakeholder Model

In early November 2013, prior to ICANN's Buenos Aires meeting, I published an article at this forum, Policy Advisory Boards – A Cornerstone PICS (Public Interest Commitment Specification), that extoled the advantages of adopting a Policy Advisory Board (PAB) model as a practical, effective, and least burdensome means of effectively implementing the request of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) for consumer and competitive safeguards at sensitive new gTLD "strings" - especially those that are related to regulated industries and professions. It is deeply gratifying that the article has received nearly 9,000 views since first being posted and inspired considerable discussion. more»

Best Practices in the Global Internet

In an increasingly global environment, the Internet infrastructure industry faces a diverse set of serious issues that we as an industry need to address together. To look at these concerns, an area of focus for the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) has been best practices for our industry. Our approach to developing best practices encapsulates three areas, always with the goal of striking the right balance between security, safety and privacy: working with experts and industry professionals; identifying like-minded partners; and fostering the growth of the Internet economy. more»

FCC Not Backing Down from Net Neutrality, Plans to Set New Rules

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday said it plans to revamp its rules for net neutrality, ushering in a new battle over whether the government should flex its regulatory powers over the Internet. The future of the FCC's "open Internet" rules was left in doubt last month after an appeals court overturned them on the grounds that the agency overstepped its authority. But Tom Wheeler, the FCC's chairman, said the agency is not backing down... more»

Mind the Step(-function): Are We Really Less Secure Than We Were a Year Ago?

In January 1995, the RFC Editor published RFC 1752: "The Recommendation for the IP Next Generation Protocol"... The Internet is a security officer's nightmare -- so much openness, so easy to capture packet traffic (and/or spoof it!) and send all manner of unwanted traffic. It was built as a research network, hosted by institutes that were 1/ professionally responsible and 2/ interested in working together collegially. So, in the 19 years since the publication of that statement, have we really failed to address the stated goal? more»

Audio Recording from the "Power, Privacy, and the Internet" Conference

On October 30 – 31, 2013, The New York Review of Books held a conference called "Power, Privacy, and the Internet," taking a look at the role of the Internet both as a vehicle of political and cultural dissent and, in the hands of the state, as a weapon of repression and control. The recordings from the event have recently been released where listeners can stream or download the audio. more»

Turkish Parliament Approves Internet Bill, Lets Government Block Websites, Seize Personal Data

Turkey's Parliament has passed a bill that includes controversial arrangements concerning the protection of online privacy despite concerns raised by the European Union as well as Turkish NGOs and opposition parties, according to a report today by Turkey's Daily News. more»

Downsizing Sao Paulo

On January 27th the Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC) held its first meeting to plan the "Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of the Internet Governance" scheduled to be held in Sao Paulo on April 23rd-24th. A review of that planning session's results indicates a Sao Paulo meeting with downsized attendance and, most likely, accompanying expectations.  more»

ICANN New gTLD Auctions - Apparently No Antitrust Concerns?

There has been much discussion in ICANN circles concerning auctions to resolve new gTLD contention sets. This article summarizes the discussion and events to date, and suggests there should be little worry for applicants seeking to resolve their contention sets via private auction, rather than ICANN's "last resort" auction. more»

The Seriously Flawed American Telecoms Market

The recent decision regarding the end of Network Neutrality (NN) in the USA is based on a totally flawed telecoms policy. Once the foundation of a telecoms 'house' is fundamentally wrong, whatever is built on top of that will basically collapse at a certain point. The market fundamentals in the USA are so wrong that any initiative to improve broadband access, fibre roll-outs, infrastructure competition or telecoms and transactor innovation, will either fail or have a minimal impact. more»

April 8 2014: A World Less Secure

Not long after the message that Microsoft will stop updating Windows XP from 8 April onwards, after extending it beyond the regular life cycle for over a year already, came the soothing message that malware will be monitored for another year. That may be good news to some, but the fact remains that this is not the same as patching. Remaining on XP leads to a vulnerable state of the desktop, lap top and any other machine running on XP; vulnerable to potential hacks, cyber crimes, becoming part of a botnet, etc. more»

U.S. Court Strikes Down FCC's Net Neutrality Rules

A federal appeals court has struck down the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which prohibited Internet providers from blocking or prioritizing Web traffic. The decision on Tuesday is the latest in a lengthy legal battle over whether the FCC can regulate the Internet. In an opinion written by Judge David Tatel, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the network neutrality rules contradicted a previous FCC decision that put broadband companies beyond its regulatory reach. more»

Going Going Gone: ICANN Auction Rules Cause a Stir

The applicant community is working its will on the rules for generic top-level domain (gTLD) auctions published by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). But, as always, ICANN is no pushover. ICANN posted the new gTLD auction rules for public comment last month after community outcry over the preliminary rules during ICANN's Public Meeting in Buenos Aires in November. more»

Evolving Network Business Models

AT&T got critics' keyboards activated by announcing plans for a Sponsored Data service, enabling websites to pay for their end-users data consumption. The service has been characterized as a type of toll-free or "1-800″ style service for mobile data. Does this contravene network neutrality principles? AT&T says the traffic from the sponsoring sites will be treated the same as other traffic on the network. A US public interest group, Public Knowledge, claims this is precisely what a net neutrality violation looks like. more»

Internet Governance Outlook 2014: Good News, Bad News, No News?

What does the crystal ball say for the Internet in 2014? Here are three scenarios for what could happen with the global Internet Governance Eco-System in the coming 12 months... In the worst case scenario the Internet gets more and more fragmented and re-nationalized. A growing number of governments start to define a "national Internet segment" and develop policies to surveil, censor and control access to and use of the Internet. National firewalls will separate the "domestic Internet" from the global Internet and an exit and entrance regime into networks is introduced where users need passwords, handed out by governmental authorities on an annual basis, to go from one domain to another... more»