Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Obama Signs Cybersecurity Executive Order

President Barack Obama has introduced a cybersecurity executive order in his state of the union address on Tuesday that offered a broad outline of how the government plans to deal with cyber threats. The eight-page document outlines a process that allows government agencies to work with private industry to combat cyber threats, while seemingly addressing concerns of citizen privacy. Past legislative attempts at cybersecurity have been criticized by groups who believe bills like Cispa violate privacy by allowing information-sharing between private industry and the government. more»

Thinking Carefully About New gTLD Objections: Limited Public Interest (Part 2 of 4)

The second installment in my four-part series on New gTLD objections will focus on the limited public interest ("LPI") variety. The overarching theme however is essentially the same: new gTLD objections are generally more complicated (and costly) than UDRP actions and need to be approached with care. In fact, LPI represents one of the best examples of the tough climb that would-be objectors are likely to face. Understanding exactly what is required beforehand - and whether or not you can deliver - is absolutely critical. more»

CENTR Paper on Fifth World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum

Many nations, particularly from the developing world, look to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for advice on telecommunications issues and, increasingly, Internet governance issues. The ITU's Fifth World Telecommunication / ICT Policy Forum (WTPF-13), 14-16 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland, will be the first WTPF to focus exclusively on Internet issues. more»

ACCC Loses Court Case: Google Not Responsible for Content Paid Adds

In a court case running since 2007 Australia's High Court judged Google not responsible for the content of paid ads it presented after an end user's search request. In the example Reuters gives a car sales company presented itself under the name of a car brand, thus misleading the end user. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deemed this misleading advertising by Google and stared a court case. The High Court judged differently. more»

Internet and the Telecommunication Acts of 1900

On his blog Bruce Schneier recently published a post called "Power and the Internet". An article that most people in the western world will agree with. Internet freedom against Internet safety and security, the powerful have a lot of power to wield and the rest is at best ad hoc organised or fairly powerless lobby organisations. So who is likely to win? Vested interests, he warns. more»

Thinking Carefully About New gTLD Objections: String Confusion (Part 1 of 4)

Since speaking last fall on community-based TLDs at the New gTLD Summit in Los Angeles, I have been asked a number of times to provide input on the objections ICANN allows in its New gTLD Applicant Guidebook ("AGB" or simply the "Guidebook"). As the March 13 deadline approaches, I now present the first of a series of four spotlight articles on the subject -- one on each of the four permissible grounds for objection. more»

Dial "L" for Liability - Sec. 230 Protects Online Service for Errant Phone Number

The Communications Decency Act has been described as the greatest Internet law. The first major Internet law designed to censor the Internet actually enabled the interactive Internet. While the censorship provisions of the Communications Decency Act went down in unanimous supreme court flames, a separate provision remains standing. The Good Samaritan provision of the CDA (47 U.S.C. § 230) declared that networks and online services are not publishers and therefore are not liable for the content of third parties. more»

France Proposes Internet Tax - An Old War resurfacing

France is proposing an Internet Tax which was reported in the New York Times. The proposal if it follows through will affect the landscape of internet governance in days ahead. The Actual Report was commissioned by President François Hollande, which described various measures his government was taking to address what the French see as tax avoidance by Internet companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. more»

Petition to Decrease US Government Funding to the ITU

I have a "We the People" petition up on the White House website to decrease the US government funding to the ITU from $11M/year to the minimum $22K/year and minimize the USG head-count at meetings, with all of the reclaimed resources going to support Internet governance and diplomacy supporting the multistakeholder Internet governance model. more»

CircleID's Top Ten Posts of 2012

Here are the top ten most popular news, blogs, and industry updates featured on CircleID during 2012 based on the overall readership of the posts for the past 12 months. Congratulations to all the participants whose posts reached top readership and best wishes to the entire community for 2013. more»

Loopholes and Ambiguities in Contracts that ICANN Oversees

ICANN oversees the creation of many contracts. Its highest paid contractor has historically been the law firm of Jones Day, and of course ICANN has many lawyers on staff. In the past I've identified loopholes in proposed contracts, and those were corrected before they were exploited. However, are there other loopholes sitting in existing contracts waiting to be exploited, or ambiguities with major financial consequences depending on their interpretation? more»

After Saying No in Dubai: What Next

What occurred in Dubai on 14 December was unprecedented in the history of the ITU. It was unprecedented in the history of international telecommunication law. Most of the major nations of the telecommunication world rejected a profoundly broken treaty instrument that had no reason to even exist. A large number of "minor" networking nations accepted the obligations of the treaty instrument, although almost all of them entered significant reservations. In the long history of telecommunication law and intergovernmental organizations since 1850, this has never occurred. more»

WCIT and Internet Governance: Harmless Resolution or Trojan Horse?

The Resolution No. 3 called "To Foster an Enabling Environment for the Greater Growth of the Internet" became the subject of a rather substantial controversy during the recent World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) which ended last week in Dubai. Some people have argued that they did not understand the noise around the short text... However a second reading of the ten paragraphs makes you sensitive that this "harmless resolution" could become also a "Trojan Horse". more»

WCIT Denouement

It is midnight in Dubai and I am listening to the final readings of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR). This instrument is the final output of two weeks of negotiations at the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT), a gathering of the world's nations to update the the ITRs. The Chair goes through the document article by article, section by section, and with each passing "thank you", this Conference draws to a close. Many in the room are elated. more»

US, UK, Canada and Other Countries Will Not Sign UN Telecom Treaty

The U.S., U.K. and Canadian delegations to a worldwide telecom treaty-writing meeting will not ratify a resolution approved by the majority of countries because regulations will include provisions on Internet governance and content. Negotiations at the International Telecommunication Union's World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) in Dubai ended Thursday with disagreements about ITU regulation of the Internet and censorship of the Web. Negotiations were still ongoing late at night Dubai time, and a final version of the resolution was expected Friday. more»