Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

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»

Progress in US Telecoms Transformation

The impact of the changes set in motion by President Obama back in late 2008 in relation to the direction the telecommunications are slowly becoming apparent and are taking many Americans by surprise, even many of the experts and analysts in this industry. This has created a lot of noise and confusion, as people are trying to understand what is happening and how it will affect them. more»

OECD Reports on State of IPv6 Deployment for Policy Makers

OECD, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, has released a report for policy makers assessing the level of IPv6 deployment around the world. "[T]he timely deployment of IPv6 by network operators and content/application providers is an increasing priority for all Internet stakeholders. In terms of public policy, IPv6 plays an important role in enabling growth of the Internet to support further innovation. In addition, security, interoperability and competition issues are involved with the depletion of IPv4." more»

Spectrum Hot Real Estate

The fact that businesses around the world are knocking on the doors of their governments asking for spectrum is a clear indication that this telco real estate market is hotting up. The reason for this is not too hard to guess -- the enormous growth in the demand for mobile broadband. There is a large amount of pent-up demand as the mobile operators didn't want to open up this market while they were in the middle of adding new customers to their mobile voice services. more»

Geeks All Trust Each Other But Not in China

Brian Krebs has a post up the other day on his blog indicating that the amount of spam ending in .cn has declined dramatically due to steps taken by the Chinese government making it more difficult to get a domain ending in .cn... A cursory glance seems to confirm that the amount of spam from .cn as opposed to .ru has switched places. Indeed, if the CNNIC requires people to start writing in application forms, with a business license and identity card, that is seriously going to slow down the rate at which spammers can sign up and register new domains. more»

Privacy Becoming Very Public Matter

At the round tables on privacy held by the Federal Trade Commission, Indiana University law school professor and member of the board of the Privacy Projects, Fred Cate said out loud what long has been silently known about consumer protections based on the notices web sites post to describe their data protection practices and the consumers' choice to click on or away. Cate said: "Choice is an illusion." There is more than a bit of substance behind the bumper sticker... more»

Email User Safety At Risk - MAAWG Consumer Survey 2010

The 2010 version of the now-annual Messaging Anti-abuse Working Group (MAAWG) 'Email Security Awareness and Usage Report' was released yesterday. While un-belied by the title, the vernacular name might get a bit more attention: "The MAAWG Consumer Email Survey". ... Consumers were surveyed in North America and across Europe with variety of questions from computer expertise and savvy, to their preferences of email. more»

GoDaddy Announces Plans to Stop Domain Name Registrations in China

World's largest domain name registrar, Godaddy.com Inc., today announced that it will no longer offer chinese domain name (.cn) in reaction to China's increasing intrusion on registrants. "GoDaddy is the first company to publicly follow Google's example in responding to the Chinese government's censorship of the Internet by partially retreating from the Chinese market," Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) told the Washington Post in a statement. "Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." more»