Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Proxy-Privacy User Higher for Illicit Domains

WHOIS issues are looming large for the ICANN meeting next week, starting with an all-day WHOIS Policy Review on Sunday (background). WHOIS is a subject that has been the recent topic of a number of issues including a debacle over potentially disclosing the identities of compliance reporters to spammers and criminal domainers. more»

Conflict Over Efforts to Develop a Best-Practices Document for Blacklist Operators

Neil Schwartzman writes to report: "Ken Magill covers the current rake fight on the IRTF's Anti-Spam Research Group mailing list concerning anti-spam DNS Blacklist, or Blocklist, (DNSBL) operators charging for delistings, that is well worth a read, he has quotes from many experts and leaders in the industry who are decidedly against the practice." more»

NTIA Request for Comments on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions

On Feb. 25, 2011, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration released the following request for comments concerning the USG's contract for the IANA function. As indicated, the USG's contract for the IANA function with ICANN expires later this year. Interested parties can file comments with NTIA by March 31, 2011. more»

No Government Veto Over Future Top-Level Domain Names

Declan McCullagh reporting in CNET News: "The Obama administration has failed in its bid to allow it and other governments to veto future top-level domain names, a proposal before ICANN that raised questions about balancing national sovereignty with the venerable Internet tradition of free expression. A group of nations rejected that part of the U.S. proposal last week, concluding instead that governments can offer nonbinding 'advice' about controversial suffixes such as .gay but will not receive actual veto power." more»

ICANN Threatens to Shut Down .Jobs

Andrew Allemann reporting in Domain Name Wire: "ICANN has notified .jobs registry Employ Media LLC that it is in breach of its contract at ICANN, and the contract is subject to cancellation if the breach isn't corrected within 30 days. ... In a letter dated February 27, ICANN informs Employ Media that it has failed to establish policies that conform with the "intent and purpose" of the .Jobs Charter." more»

Registries, Registrars, Resellers and the Fight Against Cyber Crime: The EU-US Meeting

On 24 and 25 February 2011 the European Commission, DG Home Affairs, organised a meeting on cyber crime in cooperation with the US government, Department of Justice, with representatives of the law enforcement community, registries and registrars. The basis of the discussion was the RAA due diligence recommendations (hence: the recommendations) as presented by LEAs in the past years during ICANN meetings. The meeting was constructive, surprising and fruitful. I give some background, but what I would like to stress here is what, in my opinion, could be a way forward after the meeting. more»

ICA Tells DOC of Concerns Over USG and GAC "Scorecards"

The ICA has just dispatched a letter to Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling in advance of the talks scheduled in Brussels on February 29-March 1 between ICANN's Board and its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Our letter expresses strong concerns that the positions being advocated by the U.S. government and the GAC regarding the proposed Final Applicant Guidebook (AG) for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) would be detrimental to ICANN's multi-stakeholder policy process and would undermine the rights of legitimate registrants at new gTLDs. more»

A Fairness 'Scorecard' for Trademark Protection Under the New gTLDs

In the last few years, ICANN has made huge strides in Protecting Trademarks within new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Now much more is being asked. Is it right? Is it appropriate? Will these changes make the new gTLDs unusable for the very communities we most hope will want them: developing countries, developing communities, new businesses, growing organizations and all the people born in the future? more»

The Wayward AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) has lost its way. The ACPA was passed in an era of domain name land grabs, where nefarious individuals would register and warehouse oodles of valuable domain names, and then extract ransom from bewildered-trademark owners. These nefarious individuals are known as "cybersquatters", and, according to the ACPA, they are bad. The Ninth Circuit, in an early reading of the ACPA, stated... more»

US Bill to Prohibit So Called Internet "Kill Switch"

Grant Gross reporting from IDG News: "Three U.S. senators criticized for past legislation that would allow the president to potentially quarantine or shut down parts of the Internet during a major cyberattack have introduced a new bill that would put limits on that authority. The Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act, introduced late Thursday, would explicitly deny the president or other U.S. officials "authority to shut down the Internet." more»

Collecting Cybercrime Data: Can Signal Spam Be a Piece of the Puzzle?

The gathering of coherent data on cybercrime is a problem most countries haven't found a solution for. So far. In 2011 it is a well known fact that spam, cybercrime and botnets are all interrelated. The French database Signal Spam may be a significant part of the solution to gather, analyse and distribute data on spam, phishing, cybercrimes and botnets, but also be a forum in which commercial mass e-mail senders and ISPs can work on trust. more»

Good is Better than Perfect in ICANN Accountability

In the next few months, ICANN will have a concrete opportunity to improve its accountability and transparency by enacting the recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT). Those recommendations may not be perfect, but if the history of the ICANN process is any indication, we can't afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the very good. more»

Obama's Broadband Plan Will Fail

We stand by our analysis from March 2010, in which we indicated that a national wireless broadband plan remains a second-class option as the infrastructure for the emerging digital economy in America. In his State of the Union address President Obama set the goal of enabling businesses to provide high-speed wireless services to at least 98% of all Americans within five years. To pay for this the government hopes to raise nearly $28 billion from spectrum auctions. more»

Unlicensed Wireless Broadcasting Spectrum in the USA

New developments that have been announced by the FCC in the United States have rekindled the decade-old debate on the use of the so-called 'white spaces' in broadcast spectrum that are to be used for telecoms purposes. In September 2010, the FCC adopted a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order that updated the rules for unlicensed wireless devices that can operate in broadcast television spectrum at locations where that spectrum is unused by licensed services. This unused TV spectrum is commonly referred to as television 'white spaces'. The rules allow for the use of unlicensed TV devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses. more»

Super Bust: Due Process and Domain Name Seizure

With the same made-for PR timing that prompted a previous seizure of domain names just before shopping's "Cyber Monday," Immigration and Customs Enforcement struck again, this time days before the Super Bowl, against "10 websites that illegally streamed live sporting telecasts and pay-per-view events over the Internet." ICE executed seizure warrants against the 10 by demanding that registries redirect nameserver requests for the domains to 74.81.170.110, where a colorful "This domain name has been seized by ICE" graphic is displayed. more»