Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary. more»

FCC Moves Towards Broadband Regulation

Ryan Singel reporting in Wired: "The FCC began in earnest Thursday to assert its primacy on how the internet will be governed, crafting rules that will have a long-term impact on the devices, services and apps we'll be able to use on broadband. The agency, which regulates the nation's communications services, is scrambling to find solid legal ground to keep an eye on broadband providers..." more»

Reading Tea Leaves: China Statement on Internet Policy

The Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China has issued a statement on "Internet Policy in China." Released Tuesday, the lengthy statement covers a range of topics from promoting internal development and use, to freedom of expression, protecting Internet security, and international cooperation. A quick review reveals two interesting passages relevant to global Internet governance. more»

China Favors Aggressive Expansion of Internet Access But No Relaxation of Censorship

China will not ease state control over what can be said online and will brook no foreign criticism of its rules, according to a government white paper released on Tuesday after months of wrangling about freedoms for Web users. ... Over the next five years, the government aims to give 45 percent of its 1.3 billion people access to the Internet, up from about 30 percent now, pushing everyone from officials to farmers to get online, the policy document said. more»

Internet Governance and ICANN: Emerging Policy Issues, June 18th Conference Hosted by CEPS, TPI

Amy Smorodin writes: The Technology Policy Institute and the Centre for European Policy Studies are co-hosting "Internet Governance and ICANN: Emerging Policy Issues," scheduled for June 18th at CEPS in Brussels. The conference will feature discussion on issues stemming from ICANN's newly established operating structure under the Affirmation of Commitments. more»

Mobile Prices Unlikely to Be Affected by AT&T Decision

Contrary to what some financial analysts would have us believe, it is highly unlikely that the price increases for mobile broadband services which were recently announced by AT&T will be replicated by other mobile operators around the world. The mobile market in the US is one of the least regulated and therefore one the most monopolised markets in the western world. more»

The ICANN Board by the ICANN Board

A self-appraisal of the ICANN Board has just been posted on the organization's website. In it, Board members rate 89 different measures of their own performance according to a seven-measure rating from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree". Unfortunately, despite plenty of figures in the documents, there is zero analysis of what this all means, so I have gone through them and prepared one. more»

ITU: Broadband Internet Access for Half the World's Population by 2015

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations agency on information and communication technologies (ICT), reaffirmed its goal on Tuesday to provide broadband internet access for half the world's population by 2015. "The number of Internet users has more than doubled since 2003, when the World Summit on the Information Society first met, and today more than 25 per cent of the world's population is using the Internet," says Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. more»

The Extent of DNS Services Being Blocked in China

The most recent episode of The Ask Mr. DNS Podcast offers up some disturbing corroborating evidence as to the extent of DNS filtering and outright blocking occurring in China. VeriSign's Matt Larson and InfoBlox's Cricket Liu, who co-host the geeky yet engaging and extremely informative show, held a roundtable discussion including technical experts from dynamic name service providers (better known as "managed DNS" services) DynDNS, TZO, No-IP, and DotQuad, as well as Google and Comcast. more»

Facebook, Privacy, and the Loss of Trust

Facebook sure is getting beaten up recently. There's even a crowd-funded initiative to replace it with something open, called Diaspora -- everyone on Facebook is talking about it. Yet it wasn't even two full years ago that Facebook was the darling of the ditherati. For a while it seemed as if nearly everything Facebook did was hailed as the future of messaging, perhaps the future of the Internet - or maybe the Internet didn't matter anymore, except for Facebook. more»

Washington Supreme Court Approves Library System's Full Internet Filtering Policy

In a decision that may lead some libraries to adopt more stringent Internet filtering policies, the Supreme Court of Washington, in a 6-3 decision has agreed that a public library can filter Internet access for all patrons without disabling the filter on request of an adult library patron to allow access to websites with constitutionally protected material... more»

FCC Proposes a 'Third Way' of Regulating Broadband Providers

Jared Newman reporting in PC World: "Wounded from a court decision that stopped the government from regulating Internet service providers, the Federal Communications Commission has announced a new way to gain some control over the broadband industry. The proposal would let the FCC treat Internet transmissions like telephone communications, entailing more oversight, but would prevent government control over Web services, applications and e-commerce sites." more»

Network Neutrality and the FCC's Inability to Calibrate Regulation of Convergent Operators

For administrative convenience and not as required by law, the FCC likes to apply an either/or single regulatory classification to convergent operators. Having classified ISPs as information service providers, the Commission unsuccessfully sought to sanction Comcast's meddling with subscribers' peer-to-peer traffic. Now Chairman Genachowski wants to further narrow and nuance regulatory oversight without changing the organic information service classification. more»

Set-Top-Box Revisited: How Does the Gateway Solution Increase Competition?

The FCC seems determined in revisiting and repairing the current CableCard rules fiasco in which it chose to mandate a universal Set-Top-Box for Cable, Telco, and DBS providers. Where does a solution lie, and is the FCC going down another road of improbable acceptance? The problem with a CableCard solution, in an attempt to create more competition, was the opening of current provider STB's to access other venues, which turned out to be both technically and business concept unfriendly. more»

Tackling Cyber Security: Should We Trust the Libertarians?

One of the RSS feeds that I read is Reason magazine, which is a web site for libertarians. In general, libertarians want less government intervention both in our personal lives and in the economy. The idea behind libertarians is that today's Republicans want less government intervention in our economy but are perfectly fine to have them dictate some aspects of morality. Similarly, today's Democrats want less government intervention in our personal lives but are perfectly fine with creating government bureaucracy to deliver social services. That's an oversimplified summary, but is more or less correct. About two months ago I got an article in my RSS feed where Reason was commenting on the government's response to the cyber war threats. more»