Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

FTC Report on Broadband Resurrects Freedom of Service Information

The Federal Trade Commission intends to monitor the information that telecom and cable companies provide about high-speed Internet service in the service plans they offer to customers, according to a report issued last week by the agency. The FTC asserts in the report, released on June 27, that since it has jurisdiction over matters involving consumer protection, it "will continue to enforce the consumer protection laws in the area of broadband access."... The consumer protection sections of the FTC report raise this question: are broadband providers engaging in a deceptive practice when they advertise a connection speed of, for example, "up to" 768 kilobits per second (kbps) - and yet actual speeds are considerably lower? more

Tight Control Over Domain Names Will Damage The Internet

BBC is running a commentary by Bill Thompson today arguing that the Internet's core architecture should be kept open both technically and in terms of freedom of expression -- such as the introduction of new top-level domains. Giving every interest group, lobbying organisation and corrupt government a veto is what ICANN needs to avoid, says Bill Thompson. From the story: "ICANN is currently making some decisions that will have a massive impact on the net over the next few years, and we need to make sure that it takes into account the wider feelings of the whole community instead of responding solely to pressure from established interest groups..." more

FTC Tells Law Makers Back Off Net Neutrality

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its report suggesting that concerns over threats to 'Net Neutrality' are a non-issue and that current anti-trust laws provide adequate protection against abuses of network power. more

ICANN: Keep the Core Neutral, Stupid

ICANN's travelling circus is meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week. One of the main subjects of discussion has been the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), after a GNSO Report [PDF] proposed 19 "Recommendations" for criteria these new domain strings should meet -- including morality tests and "infringement" oppositions. ...It's important to keep ICANN from being a censor, or from straying beyond its narrow technical mandate. The thick process described in the GNSO report would be expensive, open to "hecklers' vetos," and deeply political... ICANN should aim for a "stupid core"... more

U.S. Broadband Speed Lagging Behind Other Industrialized Nations

The U.S. is lagging behind other industrialized nations in the availability and use of high-speed broadband connections, according to a report released today by the Washington-based Communications Workers of America. The report, based on aggregated data from nearly 80,000 broadband users, found that the median real-time download speed in the U.S. is 1.9Mbit/sec., compared with 61Mbit/sec. in Japan, 45Mbit/sec. in South Korea, 17Mbit/sec. in France and 7Mbit/sec. in Canada. more

ICANN's 29th International Meeting Opens in San Juan

"The future of the Internet will be front and center as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opens its 29th International Public Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday, 25 June 2007," says the ICANN press release issued today. Discussion will include issues such as new top-level domains and internationalized domain names. more

Google Explains What They Mean by "Net Neutrality"

Google has launched a new Public Policy Blog focused on U.S. government legislation and regulation -- reported in the media as part of Google's efforts in setting up focus on the U.S. government since early 2005. In an entry posted over the weekend on the blog by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, key argument within the net neutrality debate is explained... more

Personal IE Domains Available Soon?

I've mentioned the topic of personal IE domains on here more than once in the past [also discussed here on CircleID] and in my conversations with the IE Domain Registry. Just to recap; Under the current rules you cannot register johndoe.ie if your name is John Doe. You would have to add a number to the name, thus rendering it totally useless eg. johndoe7.ie or something of that style... more

Net Neutrality Reflection

So this afternoon my charge is to lay out all the Net Neutrality (NN) issues to a bar association that doesn't have a telecom subcommittee... Cringely says that "In the end the ISPs [network providers] are going to win this [network neutrality] battle, you know. The only thing that will keep them from doing that is competition, something it is difficult to see coming along anytime soon..." more

Criminal Checks Needed for Domain Name Tasting, Kiting, Spying

International organisations should step in to prevent the "tasting," "kiting" and "spying" related to Internet domain names, say representatives from the US telecommunications and trademark industries. These new activities are dramatically altering online commerce and impacting legitimate businesses, and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) should take action, they say. The US Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) had too many loopholes given the actual trends in the domain name secondary market, said Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon, and Marilyn Cade, former AT&T lobbyist and now consultant on Internet and technology issues... more

Ed Richards of Ofcom on Net Neutrality

Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, was at Columbia today... NN (Net Neutrality) debate does give us insight into importance of disclosure to consumers -- consumers should be able to switch providers, and they should know which ISPs are making prioritization decisions. This should be an obligation of suppliers to communicate this information to consumers. In particular, he says that Ofcom is actively exploring whether network operators whose traffic shaping activities change materially should have to tell consumers -- and if these changes are significant consumers should be allowed to break their contracts with the provider without penalty... more

ICANN Rejects .XXX Domain

Many in the adult-entertainment industry and religious groups alike had criticized the plan, which the Canadian government also warned this week could leave the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in the tricky business of content regulation.

The 9-5 decision by ICANN's board came nearly seven years after the proposal was first floated by ICM Registry LLC. It was the third time ICANN has rejected such a bid. Paul Twomey, ICANN's chief executive, who had described the proposal this week as "clearly controversial, clearly polarizing" abstained from the vote but did not say why. more

ITU Wants to Lower-Case the Word Internet

UN agency reconsiders its role as countries jockey for influence in industry... When David Gross heard last month that the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, wanted to lower-case the word Internet as a matter of official policy, he did not know whether to be alarmed or amused. more

UDRP and Article 92(b) of EUROPEAN COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 40/94

It has been over a year since I posted "The Non-Parity of the UDRP", how little did I know then compared to now! Since that posting, the corporations and their lawyers have given me a crash course in the law and I have learned much. There are many tricks that corporations will play on a domain name registrant in order to silence criticism of the corporation and to violate the registrants right of freedom of expression without frontiers. The UDRP Administrative Proceedings is one such trick... more

League of Nations, United Nations, Next: United Cyber Nations

Though the "Techies" have been heavily involved in many initiatives like Internet Governance, Internationalized (Multi-lingual) Domain Names, Identity Management, Information Security, Access Rights Management etc., they still have to correctly apply the technologies at hand to be able to replicate many accepted norms that have matured in the physical world such as federated identities, non-repudiation, notarizing, witnessing, co-signing etc. more