Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Cyber Security: A Duty to Care?

Yesterday, in my post on three new threats in one day, I posed the question whether it was necessary to develop regulations that would set a minimum standard on cyber security for devices that connect to the Internet. I'm having second thoughts here, which I'll explain in this post, but also try to look at a way forward and ask you to engage. more»

Sovereign Nations on an Unseen Path at WCIT 2012 to Create a Super-Sovereign ITU

It puzzles me to watch Governments introducing or subscribing to proposals that would in effect smoothly concede part their sovereignty to the ITU -- in an area that is central -- Communications. The WCIT 2012, in the middle of its second week, would now discuss Document DT/51-E 11, which is said to be a "package" of not-yet-compromised draft proposal for revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations, which inevitably makes ITU the control center of all communications in the known Universe. more»

WCIT's Security Issues

Another contentious issue at the WCIT in Dubai is 'security'. There has been a dramatic increase in nervousness regarding a whole range of security issues, especially in relation to the internet. They include: SPAM, denial-of-service-attacks, identity theft, cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and privacy issues on social media. From the list above it is clear that some of these issues are related to content, while some can be classified as national security and others as criminal offences. In other words, there is no clear-cut issue on what constitutes security. more»

Saying No to the ITRs

The afternoon of 13 December in Dubai is notable for one important deadline -- "declaration" if a Nation State is willing to accept the obligations of the resulting treaty instrument and if so, subject to what conditions. It is worth emphasizing that multilateral treaty instruments are serious constraints on a Sovereign's powers, and most nations even if they do sign, make general declarations that provide escape routes to the obligations. more»

Sovereignty and the Geography of Cyberspace

The cross-border nature of the Internet challenges an international system based on separate national jurisdictions. Unfortunately, discussions among governments on this growing tension easily spiral into ideological infighting about the application of sovereignty. Early November however, 1600 participants from 100 countries gathered for the 7th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF)... Several sessions showed that it is possible to address the relations between the Internet and sovereignty in a responsible manner. more»

Pot…Kettle…Black: The REAL Hypocrisy Threatening the Future of the Internet

Amongst all of the media pieces in the run up to WCIT-12 next week, few have been as counterfactual as that appearing on the website of the National Journal. The editor, Jean-Christophe Nothias clearly has very little knowledge of how Internet economics or governance works, making such uninformed statements such as "Critically, the connections between the approximately 40,000 autonomous servers at a global level are ruled by contractual agreements between operating agencies." more»

Google Says ITU Is the Wrong Place to Make Future Internet Decisions

Google has launched a "Take Action" page to urge people to speak out amidst the gathering of the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) taking place next month in Dubai to update global telecom rules for the first time since 1988. Google and others have raised concern as some countries may see this as an opportunity to set up new rules for the internet. more»

ICANN's 11th-Hour Domain Name Trademark Policy Negotiations: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

ICANN organized a meeting on 15-16 November 2012 in Los Angeles, the Trademark Clearinghouse policy negotiations... I participated on behalf of noncommercial users in the policy meeting in person in LA on 15 November, and then for part of the discussion on 16 November via telephone. Here is my personal evaluation of the meeting and my initial reactions to the output of the meeting pending further discussion with the NCSG Policy Committee. more»

ICANN Board Starts New Initiative to Tackle gTLD Registration Data Challenges

The ICANN Board of Directors has directed the Chief Executive Officer to launch a new effort to re-examine the purpose of collecting, maintaining and providing access to generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) registration data. The move follows the recommendations of a review team that examined implementation of WHOIS data policy. more»

… and still we are left wanting: Malta's White Paper on Digital Rights

Last month, the Government of Malta published a White Paper for public consultation, proposing the introduction of four so-called "digital rights" in the Constitution of Malta. The proposal is indeed a step in the right direction but lacks punch where it matters most. While the government's efforts are commendable, the White Paper is riddled with misconceptions and does not go far enough. more»

Is ICANN Entering a Bold New Era?

When Barack Obama succeeded George W Bush and became America's 44th president, it seemed he could do no wrong. But this was arguably more a consequence of the perceived inadequacies of his predecessor than a realistic reflection on his own abilities. A fact highlighted by Obama being awarded the Nobel peace prize a mere nine months after taking office, before he'd had any real chance of having an impact on America or the world. When Fadi ChehadĂ© was formally introduced as ICANN's next CEO, at the organisation's 44th international meeting in Prague last June, there was an undeniable Obama effect... more»

INET New York: Open Forum of the Copyright Alert System - Thursday 11/15

The Copyright Alert System, the result of a deal between big content and big ISPs, is a graduated response program - popularly known as the six strikes - that escalates from nastygrams, to copyright school, to Internet throttling. Just like SOPA/PIPA, enforcement targets will be arbitrarily selected by the content owners, but unlike SOPA/PIPA there will be no appeal via the courts - only to an arbitration firm hired by the program. more»

Telcos Cannot Wind Back the Clock

The proposals by the European and Arab telcos that are being considered at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) conference in Dubai later this year are most certainly facing defeat. This is not because the USA believes that the international telecommunications regulations (ITR) cannot be discussed by the ITU. America has a rather strange set of national regulations in which they have combined internet infrastructure and content -- and as such they claim that this no longer has anything to do with telecommunications. more»

NEW CEO, Trademark Clearinghouse, URS and RAA Take Center Stage at ICANN 45 in Toronto

At his first meeting as CEO of ICANN, Fadi Chehade showed up ready to work AND to listen. ICANN's new CEO described his objectives for the organization which included 1) affirmation of purpose, 2) operational excellence, 3) internationalization, and 4) evolution of the multi-stakeholder model on which ICANN is built. He also described significant organizational changes to ICANN leadership and staff... more»

State Hacking: Do's and Don'ts, Pros and Cons

Over the past days a lot has been said and written on counter hacking by enforcement agencies. The cause is a letter Dutch Minister I. Opstelten, Security & Justice, sent to parliament. Pros and cons were debated and exchanged. Despite the fact that I perfectly understand the frustration of enforcement agencies of having to find actionable data and evidence that gets criminals convicted in a borderless, amorphous environment, a line seems to be crossed with this idea presented to Dutch parliament. Where are we? more»