Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

UN Broadband Commission 2.0

Back in late 2009 I had the honour of explaining my views on how broadband can deliver social and economic benefits to countries and their people to Dr Hamadoun TourĂ© the Secretary-General (SG) of the ITU, the UN body looking after global telecoms. He showed a particular interest in the initiative Australia had taken in developing the NBN. This discussion with the SG led to the establishment in 2010 of the UN Broadband Commission, co-sponsored by UNESCO and the ITU. Dr TourĂ© invited 50 Commissioners from around the world to participate in this initiative, half of them from private industry. more»

Privacy and Security - Five Objectives

It has been a very busy period in the domain of computer security. With "shellshock", "heartbleed" and NTP monlink adding to the background of open DNS resolvers, port 445 viral nasties, SYN attacks and other forms of vulnerability exploits, it's getting very hard to see the forest for the trees. We are spending large amounts of resources in reacting to various vulnerabilities and attempting to mitigate individual network attacks, but are we making overall progress? What activities would constitute "progress" anyway? more»

World Economic Forum Announces Plans for Multilateral Architecture to Govern the Internet

The upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place 21-24 January, 2015 in Switzerland, is dubbed "The New Global Context". The theme aims at reflecting "the period of profound political, economic, social and technological change that the world has entered, which has the potential to end the era of economic integration and international partnership that began in 1989, says WEF's recent announcement." more»

Eric Schmidt Warns Spying Could 'Break' Internet

The integrity of the Internet could be at risk if Congress does not act to rein in the National Security Agency, Google head Eric Schmidt warned on Wednesday. Speaking alongside other tech executives and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) at a Silicon Valley event, Schmidt said the revelations about U.S. surveillance could prompt countries to wall off their networks. "The simplest outcome: We're going to end up breaking the Internet," Schmidt said. more»

Cigarette Smuggling and Cyber Security: Low-Tech Crimes Fund High-Tech Threats

You may not connect the cheap cigarettes sold under the counter (or out of a trunk, bodega or by a street vendor) with the mysterious charges on your credit card that you don't remember making or the cash that has, somehow, just disappeared from your bank account. You also may not connect that website selling cheap cigarettes made in second and third world countries with Shellshock or whatever the fashionably scary cyber-threat of the day is when you're reading this. more»

A Look at the Security Collapse in the HTTPS Market

While in recent years, HTTPS has become integral part of protecting social, political, and economic activities online, widely reported security incidents -- such as DigiNotar's breach, Apple's #gotofail, and OpenSSL's Heartbleed -- have exposed systemic security vulnerabilities of HTTPS to a global audience. more»

Understanding the Long-Term Value of the IGF

This year's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul comes at a critical moment in the Internet's history and is the latest in a series of pivotal meetings that will have far-reaching consequences for its future. One of those central questions posed recently was how the IGF, founded nine years ago in Tunis as part of the two founding phases of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), could be improved to increase its relevance and inclusiveness in meeting the new challenges facing our open Internet. more»

DCA Trust Strongly Urges ICANN Board Not to Adopt the Proposed Amendment to Its Bylaw

ICANN has been busy in managing several parallel processes that are also closely tied together in one way or the other. The processes include the new gTLD process, the IANA transition and most currently and important action yet that would act as the synergizing factor is the accountability process. ICANN has also posted for public comment proposed Bylaws revisions that would incorporate a higher voting threshold for the Board to determine not to follow the advice of the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

Open, Inclusive Internet Depends on Enriched Debate About Policy Creation, Says Global Business

At the ninth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Istanbul, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) have welcomed the reaffirmation of the IGF's relevance and continued importance as well as the opportunity to work collaboratively with other stakeholders to further improve it. more»

Policies to Promote Broadband Access in Developing Countries

In the 2014 Istanbul-Turkey IGF workshop on policies to promote broadband access in developing countries organised by Rui ZHONG of ISOC China, we realized that while technological solutions are advancing rapidly, policy and regulations remain a significant barrier to affordable internet especially in the developing world. According to a report by Alliance for Affordable Internet ( A4AI), the key to affordability is the policy and regulatory environment that shapes the different actors in the market. more»

Stress Test: Accountability Reconsideration Request Filed with ICANN Board

In a rapid follow-up to the unprecedented joint letter sent on August 26th by all members of the ICANN community questioning the proposed Accountability Process imposed by ICANN staff, three of the groups that signed that letter have now submitted a formal Reconsideration Request (RR) to the ICANN Board. The August 29th RR -- submitted jointly by the Business Constituency, Registry Stakeholders Group, and Non-Commercial Stakeholders group -- requests that ICANN "confer with the community as soon as possible to address these concerns and amend its plan in such a way that the community input is taken into account as the plan goes forward.  more»

Radical Shift of Power Proposed at ICANN Putting Govts in Primary Decision Making Role

ICANN has proposed a major change to its bylaws that would require the organization to adopt all policy "advice" issued by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) unless 2/3 of ICANN's non-conflicted board members vote to oppose the adoption of that governmental rule. This draconian proposal to change ICANN's bylaws would fundamentally transform ICANN away from being a "bottom-up" and "private-sector-led" organization and into a governmental regulatory agency... more»

Accountability and Redress

In ICANN circles these days, accountability is the buzz word. Nearly everybody is talking about it. Generally everybody is in favor of it, but that's where the agreement ends. This paper urges action by ICANN to provide a means for redress of grievances as an essential element of accountability. I would like to review the ICM case (the delegation of the .xxx domain), and the role of ICANN's Independent Review Panel (the IRP). As you will recall, the ICANN Board had originally awarded .xxx to ICM, but in a subsequent reconsideration had reversed the award. more»

IGF Call for Public Comments on the Definition of Multistakeholder Participation Mechanisms

Over the past weeks, communities gathering experts from government, business, Civil Society, and the academic and technical communities, have been working through open mailing lists and online virtual meetings on IGF Best Practices. The discussion was documented by independent experts that will feed into five 90 minute Forums in Istanbul and that will in turn report into a Best Practices Main Session. more»

Constituencies Coalesce on IANA Transition and Enhanced ICANN Accountability Principles

It is now being broadly acknowledged that, as expressed unanimously by all GNSO constituencies at the recent ICANN London meeting, "as part of the IANA transition, the multi-stakeholder community has the opportunity and responsibility to propose meaningful accountability structures that go beyond just the IANA-specific accountability issues". In a July 22nd Keynote Address at the American Enterprise Institute, NTIA head Lawrence Strickling - whose agency must approve any IANA transition plan developed by Internet stakeholders - made this linkage an explicit element of U.S. government policy... more»