Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Comcast's Demand for a Video Surcharge From Its Level 3 "Peer"

According to Level 3, a major long haul Internet Service Provider, Comcast has demanded a "recurring fee" when Level 3 hands off movie and other high capacity video traffic for delivery by Comcast to one of the cable company's subscribers. This demand warrants scrutiny, perhaps less in the context of Network Neutrality and more in terms of further diversification (unraveling) of the peering process. more»

FISMA Standards Could Have a Major Impact on the Private Sector

The public is taking an increasing interest in ensuring that IT assets of federal agencies are protected from cybersecurity attacks. FISMA is addressing this concern, in part, by initiating a standard setting process for continuous monitoring. The actions taken by NIST for the federal sector could have a very significant impact on the private sector because pending legislation would provide the federal government with the authority to mandate cybesecurity measures on the private sector. more»

Mandatory Provision of Abuse Contact Information in WHOIS

An industry professional at Abusix is the backbone behind a proposal to improve and create better mitigation of abuse across different global internet networks. Basically, this introduces a mandatory "abuse contact" field for objects in global Whois databases. This provides a more efficient way for abuse reports to reach the correct network contact. Personally - as a Postmaster for a leading, white-label ISP, I applaud this with great happiness for multiple reasons. I also feel people who handle abuse desks, anti-abuse roles, etc. should closely follow this. more»

Trust Us

Here's the question: is it meaningful or important for a federal agency to have regulatory authority over high-speed Internet access connectivity? Right now, the FCC (which is supposed to oversee "communication over wire and radio") has no clear authority to make policy about high-speed Internet connectivity. (Transport is different than content - this post is not about applications or uses of this connectivity. Be careful when you talk about the Internet "ecosystem," because transport has been historically and remains different from everything else. I'm talking about the capacity to send packets from Point A to Point B, whether provided by wired or wireless providers.) more»

Lawful Access Bills Proposed for ISPs in Canada

Michael Geist writes: "The bills contain a three-pronged approach focused on information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies, and new police powers. The first prong mandates the disclosure of Internet provider customer information without court oversight. Under current privacy laws, providers may voluntarily disclose customer information but are not required to do so. The new system would require the disclosure of customer name, address, phone number, email address, Internet protocol address, and a series of device identification numbers." more»

Vertical Integration of gTLDs Registries and Registrars Now Permitted

While many were expecting a decision of strict Registry/Registrar separation, in an unexpected ruling, it was announced that ICANN will not restrict cross-ownership between Registries and Registrars. While the current set of agreements prohibits Registries from acquiring Registrars, they do not prohibit Registrars from applying for or operating TLDs. The Board Resolutions also made note of the fact that while individually negotiated contracts have included restrictions on Registry ownership of Registrars, cross-ownership provisions have varied over time and no formal "policy" on this topic has ever been recommended by the GNSO or adopted by ICANN. more»

ICANN Board Gets Decisive, Vertical Integration Debate Killed Off

Michele Neylon writes: "Earlier this morning ICANN made public the resolutions from the most recent board meeting of November 5th 2010. The meeting was not a "normal" meeting - it was deemed a "special meeting" and its sole topic was vertical integration and cross-ownership between registrars and registries. This topic, often simply referred to as VI, has been a subject of debate - often very heated - for the last 12 months." more»

FISMA Focus: Continuously Monitoring the Cyber-Levee

NIST's release of their initial public draft of SP 800-137, Guide for Continuous Monitoring of Information Systems and Organizations will create a set of challenges for the federal cybersecurity community. Agencies and contractors will need to shape the document through the multi-stage revision process while continuing to implement their own continuous monitoring measures. more»

Ed Felten Named FTC's First Chief Technologist

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has named Edward Felten, a Princeton professor of computer science and public affairs, as its Chief Technologist, effective January 1. Felten's main role will be to provide advice on technology policy issues. more»

Why Wouldn't Skype Want 30 Million Paying Customers?

Skype has cut Nimbuzz off. What that means is that users of Nimbuzz' popular mobile clients will no longer be able to make calls using the SkypeOut network. According to Skype themselves, it was for unspecified violations of the Skype API terms and license... more»

And Then There Was the Issue of Time

Anyone who has been part of the community during its soon-to-be 12-years of existence will be the first to tell you that while ICANN's intentions are good, its execution, time and again, has been lacking. Unfortunately, the global business world does not and cannot accept only good intentions. Businesses require surety, consistency and clear evidence of stability before they can establish the foundation for their enterprises. more»

Broken Policies

As an email policy wonk, I think a lot about how specific policy implementations can go wrong. Sure, every policy can go wrong, or not fit a common case. A lot of people only write polices that address common cases and don't worry about the rarer cases. The problem is there are some rare cases that may cause significant harm and those cases should be addressed. Consumerist has a case up about email policy gone wrong with a clear path to harm but no policy for handling the issue. There are a couple places I see where this policy hole can be fixed. more»

Google In Hot Water Again Over Street View Privacy Breach

Canada's privacy watchdog has accused Google Inc. of violating the rights of thousands of Canadians by inappropriately collecting their personal information in building its Street View service. Data collected include telephone numbers, emails, real names of individuals, residential addresses, instant messenger headers, and medical records according to findings by Canadian technical experts from Canadian Privacy Commissioner who visited Google's offices in Mountain View, California on July 19 and 20, 2010. Canada initiated the investigation following similar complaints from German data protection authority. more»

UK Plans to Track, Store All Browsing, Email and Phone Data

Tom Whitehead reporting in the Telegraph: "It will allow security services and the police to spy on the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the internet. Moves to make every communications provider store details for at least a year will be unveiled later this year sparking fresh fears over a return of the surveillance state." more»

URL Shorteners, Domain Hacks and Quasi-gTLDs: What are ccTLDs Really About?

The Twitterverse is awash with catchy URL shortening services, which allow what would otherwise be long URLs to fit within the strict character limit of individual Tweets. Before the Twitter phenomenon really took hold, tinyurl.com was one of the more popular services; now much shorter options are available, using various Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) which have the significant advantage of being only two characters after the last dot. more»