Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

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»

"One Google, One World; One China, No Google"

China's insomniac twitterati were on fire this afternoon U.S. time, powered no doubt by much caffeine and sugar in the the wee hours of the morning in China. Half an hour before Google's David Drummond posted his announcement that Google.cn is now effectively operating from Google.com.hk, Guangzhou-based open source programmer @LEMONed broke the
news that google.cn was being redirected to the Hong Kong service. Reacting to the news, @wentommy quipped: "One Google, One World; One China, No Google." more»

Google Stops Operating Under Google.cn, Now Redirecting Traffic to Hong Kong Site

Earlier this year Google made the announcement that it is reviewing its business operations in China and considering possible closure due to China's cyberattacks and limits on free speech. Google today stopped censoring its search services (Google Search, Google News, and Google Images) on its chinese website, Google.cn and users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Hong Kong's site, Google.com.hk. more»

Using Electricity Infrastructure to Roll Out Broadband

The FCC proposal in its recently launched National Broadband Plan to share infrastructure is a very smart initiative indeed. Sharing infrastructure makes a lot of sense. Without it the business model for universal high-speed broadband will not stack up -- the costs of infrastructure is one of the most critical elements in any national broadband plan. Australia is following an identical course with the rollout of their National Broadband Network. In all six current rollout sites utilities are either already involved or are negotiating to become involved. more»

Egypt Begins Enforcing Ban on International Calls Through Mobile Internet Connections

Egypt has banned international calls via mobile internet connections in an apparent reaction to a drop in international call volumes made through country's landline monopoly Telecom Egypt. "The ban is on Skype on mobile internet, not on fixed, and this is due to the fact it is against the law since it bypasses the legal gateway," said Amr Badawy, the executive president of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA). more»

F.C.C. Questioned on Plan to Expand Broadband Access

Federal regulators on Tuesday made public the details of their ambitious policy to encourage the spread of high-speed Internet access. But their 376-page proposal, the National Broadband Plan, was met with a chorus of questions, even from the staunchest advocates of its goals. Telecommunications companies praised the intent but worried that new regulations might impede rather than encourage their progress in expanding Internet access. more»

What's Wrong With the FCC's Consumer Broadband Test?

The FCC recently published some tools to let consumers measure some internet characteristics. The context is the FCC's "National Broadband Plan". I guess the FCC wants to gather data about the kind of internet users receive today so that the National Broadband Plan, whatever it may turn out to be, actually improves on the status quo. The motivation is nice but the FCC's methodology is technically weak. more»

The Free Internet in Jeopardy

The venerated BBC World Service recently commissioned a polled involving more than 27,000 people across 26 countries. The findings are unremarkable: some 87% of Internet users believe that Internet access should be a basic right, and more than 70% of non-users believe that they should have access to it. more»

More Available Wireless Spectrum and Higher Market Entry Barriers

The tremendous demand for, and profitability of mobile telephony supports legislative and regulatory efforts to refarm spectrum with an eye toward reallocating as much as possible for wireless telephony and data services. But there is a downside that no one seems to acknowledge. In light of past FCC practice and the behavior of incumbent wireless carriers I expect two anticompetitive outcomes to occur with the onset of any more spectrum. more»

The Internet is Interconnection

There's a scene in the Steven Soderbergh movie, Traffic, where the widow of a drug dealer brings a doll to the Columbian drug kingpin. "The doll is stuffed with cocaine. Big deal, we've been doing that for years," he says dismissively. "No," she answers, "the doll is cocaine." The whole toy is a heat-treated, compression-molded block of cocaine, undetectable to sniffing dogs. The drug lord becomes very interested. The Internet is like that doll... more»

German High Court Says No to Retaining Telecom, Email Data for Tracking Criminal Networks

The highest court in Germany has ruled against telephone and email data retention used to track criminal networks. Melissa Eddy of the Global and Mail reports: "A law ordering data on calls made from mobile or landline telephones and e-mail exchanges be retained for six months for possible use by criminal authorities violated Germans' constitutional right to private correspondence, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled. In its ruling, the court said the law failed to sufficiently balance the need for personal privacy against that for providing security."
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Switching on the Light: Expression of Interest for New TLDs

They say late converts are the most passionate believers. Until now I haven't supported the Expression of Interest (EOI) for new TLDs, the proposed mechanism to measure the number and type of likely applications. Not because it won't work (I think it'll work fine) but because I didn't think it was necessary. I've changed my mind. Here's why. more»

Email Portability Approved by Knesset Committee

The email portability bill has just been approved by the Knesset's committee for legislation, sending it on its way for the full legislation process of the Israeli parliament. While many users own a free email account, many in Israel still make use of their ISP's email service. According to this proposed bill, when a client transfers to a different ISP the email address will optionally be his to take along, "just like" mobile providers do today with phone numbers. more»

FCC Aiming for 100 Million Households at 100 Megabits Per Second

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled a plan on Tuesday proposing minimum broadband speeds of 100Mbps. In his remarks, FCC's chief Julius Genachowski said: "To meet the imperatives of global competitiveness and enduring job creation, we must have broadband networks of such unsurpassed excellence that they will empower American entrepreneurs and innovators to build and expand businesses here in the United States. Our plan will set goals for the U.S. to have the world's largest market of very high-speed broadband users. A '100 Squared' initiative -- 100 million households at 100 megabits per second -- to unleash American ingenuity and ensure that businesses, large and small, are created here, move here, and stay here." more»

European ACTA Document Leaks With New Details on Mexico Talks and Future Meetings

A brief report from the European Commission authored by Pedro Velasco Martins (an EU negotiator) on the most recent round of ACTA negotiations in Guadalajara, Mexico has leaked, providing new information on the substance of the talks, how countries are addressing the transparency concerns, and plans for future negotiations. more»