Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Will Launch of New gTLD Program Be Delayed as a Result of Recent Hearings?

Yesterday evening, the ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) held its last teleconference of the year. We had invited ICANN's new gTLD supremo Kurt Pritz to give an update on the recent US Congress hearings. Kurt was ICANN's spokesperson in both hearings, and felt that the first was more favourable to ICANN than the second. more»

ICANN Asked to Delay New gTLD Expansion at the House of Representatives Committee Hearing

ICANN's expansion of top-level domain program faced a second hearing today (see last week's Senate Committee hearing here), this time by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. During the hearing critics once again warned that ICANN's January roll-out of the program is not adequately developed and it should be delayed. "I don't think this is ready for prime time," said Representative Anna Eshoo, D-Calif. more»

2nd FCC Workshop on PSTN Transition Streaming Live Today

Today, December 14, 2011, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is holding the second of two workshops on the transition of the PSTN to new technologies. The workshop started streaming live this morning at 9:30am US Eastern. The FCC's note about the workshops mentions that people watching the live stream can send in questions to panelists using either of two methods... more»

ISOC Joins Opposition to Stop Online Piracy Act

In a letter released on Monday, the Internet Society Board of Trustees has expressed concern with a number of U.S. legislative proposals that would mandate DNS blocking and filtering by ISPs to protect the interests of copyright holders. "Policies mandating DNS filtering undermine the open architecture of the Internet and raise human rights and freedom of expression concerns," says Internet Society (ISOC). more»

Video Recording Now Available of FCC Dec 6th Workshop on PSTN Transition

If you missed attending or listening to the live stream of the US Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) workshop on the transition of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to new technologies that was held last week on December 6th, the FCC has very nicely made a video recording available from their website for viewing... FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also appeared briefly to provide a few comments. more»

Online Property Protection and the Public Interest

Proposals to enhance online property protection have received a lot of attention lately. Brand managers, goods manufacturers, and content distributors strenuously argue that current law enforcement mechanisms are inadequate to meet the challenges of today's fast-paced marketplace. They specifically note that foreign-based "rogue websites" continue to distribute unlicensed products and content despite existing rules; they maintain that new legislation is needed to empower intellectual rights holders to counter such cyber-criminals more effectively. more»

Security, Privacy Issues and USB Drives

In an article on CSO.com.au a report from Sophos Australia is reported on. The anti-virus software company had bought 50 usb drives for analyses at a public transport auction of devices left on the Sydney trains. When they wrote that 66% was infected with malware, I presumed that they were left behind consciously, but were they? more»

SOPA Could Shutter Registrars and other Domain Name Industry Intermediaries

The Internet Commerce Association has just sent a letter to senior members of the House Judiciary Committee regarding the likely unintended but potentially devastating impact of H.R. 3261 ("SOPA") as introduced upon ICANN-accredited registrars and other participants in the broad domain name industry, as well as upon the domain registrants who use those services. more»

2012: The Year of Securing Websites?

In a seemingly never-ending row of news on hacks of websites now the news in which 2.3 million individual cases of privacy sensitive data were accessible through a leak in the websites of most public broadcasting stations in the Netherlands. To make the news more cheerful, the accessible data was, if compiled, sufficient to successfully steal a complete identity. What were thoughts that came to my mind after hearing this news on Friday? more»

European Court of Justice: Courts in EU May Not Order ISPs to Filter Out P2P

The European Court of Justice has ruled that content owners cannot ask ISPs to filter out illegal content. The ruling could have implications for the creative industries as they attempt to crack down on piracy. The court said that while content providers can ask ISPs to block specific sites, wider filtering was in breach of the E-Commerce Directive. more»

ICANN and Monopolies

One thing that ICANN clearly lacks is a set of well documented and often referenced founding principles. This leaves the awkward position where everyone who has been around since the beginning has a different position on what those principles should have been and all those that have joined later know that there is something fundamental missing. The missing principle vexing me this week is that of fair competition. Even now, long after the gTLD vote, the argument still runs on... more»

Taking the Anti-SOPA Message to the People

It was fascinating last week to read coverage of congressional hearings around the SOPA bill, or Stop Online Privacy Act. The bill has strong support from the Motion Picture Association of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and big pharmaceutical companies. It's opposed by most technology and telecom companies, plus consumer advocate groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge. more»

ICANN: The Stakes in Registrar Accreditation

Law enforcement demands to domain name registrars were a recurring theme of the 42d ICANN public meeting, concluded last week in Dakar. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) took every opportunity at its public meetings with GNSO and Board, and in its Communique to express dismay, disappointment, and demands for urgent action to "reduce the risk of criminal abuse of the domain name system." more»

ISOC Issues Statement in Response to Increasing Internet Access Restrictions by Governments

The Internet Society (ISOC) has addressed human rights issues related to Internet access stating "[t]he increasing pressure to limit access to the Internet has escalated the sense of urgency in addressing this situation." ISOC, in the announcement, reaffirmed its policy area and its work to bring attention to the impact of Internet freedom on other aspects of human rights. more»

Modest Proposals for gTLD Profits

When does a non-profit organization become a profit-making one? This and similarly fundamental questions about ICANN's institutional character are raised by the high probability that the gTLD project will produce profits for ICANN. How much money those profits will amount to remains in question, but it is increasingly difficult for ICANN to say that there will be no profit at all. more»