Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Even if Do-Not-Track Were a Good Idea, Could It Ever Work?

In a recent article, I read about increasingly intrusive tracking of online users, which has lead to a proposal at the FTC, "FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the system would be similar to the Do-Not-Call registry that enables consumers to shield their phone numbers from telemarketers." Maybe I'm dense, but even if this weren't a fundamentally bad idea for policy reasons, I don't see how it could work. more»

The Issue of License Proliferation

When I was on the ICANN board, we were dealing with the issue of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), an initiative to allow non-latin characters in domain names. Technically, it was difficult and even more difficult was the consensus process to decide exactly how to do it. Many communities like the Chinese and Arabic regions were anxious to get started and were getting very frustrated with the ICANN process around IDNs. ... When I joined the Open Source Initiative board of directors, we were also struggling with a similar, but slightly different problem. more»

Indian Government Plans to Begin Use of IPv6 from March 2012

John Ribeiro from IDG News reports: "India will start using IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) from March 2012, according to a new roadmap released by the Indian government. All telecom and ISPs will have to be IPv6-compliant by the end of next year and offer IPv6 services thereafter, the government said in a statement issued on Wednesday by the country's Press Information Bureau." more»

FCC: Broadband Deployment Not Fast Enough in US, 14-24 Million Lacking Access

Grant Gross of IDG News reports: "Between 14 million and 24 million U.S. residents don't have access to broadband service, and deployment isn't happening fast enough, a report from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission concluded. Broadband isn't being rolled out to unserved areas in a timely manner, and immediate prospects for deployment to U.S. residents without service are 'bleak,' the FCC said in the broadband deployment report, released Tuesday..." more»

Failure of the Broadband Plan?

Craig Moffett sees this as I do: "If LTE networks are going to be usage-capped, then the last pretense that LTE can be positioned as a substitute for terrestrial broadband would seem to be gone." The heart of the U.S. broadband plan is to release more spectrum - enough for 10-20 networks like Verizon's LTE now building - and pray that will be enough competition in five to seven years to check price increases. more»

International Academy for Trans-Sector Use of Broadband

While jogging along LacLeman in Geneva I caught up with Dr. Kim Seang-Tae, the President of the National Information Society Agency of South Korea. He is also one of the Commissioners of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development. Dr. Seang-Tae is the chief architect of the FttH miracle that is transforming South Korea. His broadband journey began in 1994, when he developed the country's first broadband plan. more»

White House Issues Update on Cybersecurity Report

J. Nicholas Hoover reporting in InformationWeek: "The White House on Wednesday issued an update of the Obama administration's ongoing cybersecurity work, detailing some of the steps being taken in an effort to secure the nation's networks against cyber attacks and in the process offering some new insight into the administration's future plans. The progress report, issued immediately after a meeting held by White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt with agency secretaries, cybersecurity experts..." more»

Canada: Smart Regulation, Not De-regulation

Canada's CRTC isn't as dumb as U.S. regulators who are considering ruling that the law doesn't apply where the telcos oppose it. (Title II deregulation) Canada just decided wireless needs to follow the rules. In turn, the CRTC intends to make sure the rules are reasonable. Rather than saying "never any rules," they instead try to write sensible ones. more»

Comments on the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

The White House has recently released a draft of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. Some of its ideas are good and some are bad. However, I fear it will be a large effort that will do little, and will pose a threat to our privacy. As I've written elsewhere, I may be willing to sacrifice some privacy to help the government protect the nation; I'm not willing to do so to help private companies track me when it's quite useless as a defense. more»

Google License to Operate in China Renewed

Google Inc. today announced via its official blog that the Chinese government has renewed its license and that it will continue to operate in China. Google further notes: "We currently automatically redirect everyone using Google.cn to Google.com.hk, our Hong Kong search engine. This redirect, which offers unfiltered search in simplified Chinese, has been working well for our users and for Google. However, it's clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable -- and that if we continue redirecting users our Internet Content Provider license will not be renewed (it's up for renewal on June 30). Without an ICP license, we can't operate a commercial website like Google.cn -- so Google would effectively go dark in China." more»

Finland's Broadband USO an Inspiration for Europe

Europe's governments are increasingly acting on the popular belief that the Internet should be a basic right, and that citizens not disposed to using IP-based services should nevertheless have access to its infrastructure. As such, governments either have already introduced legislation to this effect or are in the process of doing so. First off the block was Switzerland: from January 2008 Swisscom's 10-year renewed USO (universal service obligation) has included the provision of broadband at a regulated price. more»

Domain Transfers… Domain Hijacking… Make Your Voice Heard

ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) has formed a working group to consider changes to the domain transfer process to enhance security and reduce hijacking. The working group consists of registrars, aftermarket players, domainers and other members of the ICANN Community. The group published its preliminary recommendations at the ICANN meeting in Brussels two weeks ago and the 20-day comment period has just begun. more»

Google.cn Added ICP License Number on Monday

Beijing News is reporting (in Chinese) that one of their reporters noticed on Monday that the Google.cn landing page has added an ICP license number dated 2010. The license number had not been there before. ... The report did not clarify whether the addition of the ICP license means that the Chinese authorities have renewed Google.cn's ICP license... more»

Finland First Country to Make Broadband Access a Legal Right

CNN reports: Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband internet access a legal right for all citizens. The legislation, which came into effect Thursday, forces telecom operators to provide a reasonably priced broadband connection with a downstream rate of at least one megabit per second (mbs) to every permanent residence and office, the Finnish government said in a statement... more»

Obama Administration to Boost Airwaves Available for Mobile Broadband

Cecilia Kang reporting in the Washington Post: "The Obama administration announced Monday that it will double the amount of airwaves available for mobile broadband to meet the demands of smartphones and other wireless gadgets expected to explode in popularity. Over the next decade, President Obama pledged to make available 500 megahertz of radiowaves for high-speed wireless carriers..." more»