Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Verisign vs. ICANN: More at Stake than Sitefinder

It's easy to dismiss Verisign's antitrust suit as a ploy to push through Sitefinder. But whether one loves Sitefinder or hates Sitefinder, the complaint raises a much more significant issue that won't go away even if ICANN lets Verisign roll out Sitefinder. At the heart of Verisign's complaint is the lack of any definable process for decisionmaking, and its a complaint shared by others. A settlement between Verisign and ICANN that does not create a clear process for decisionmaking at ICANN that includes trustworthy independent review will merely delay the inevitable. Eventually, some other party will become just as frustrated and again challenge ICANN -- either in U.S. court or by enlisting the help of the U.S. Commerce Department, non-U.S. governements, or multinational treaty organizations. ICANN must recognize that the days of ad hoc decision making based on realpolitick must end and give way to stable processes that ICANN staff cannot control. more

Report on Reaction to FOISA

On February 4, 2004, United States Congress held a hearing on a new proposed bill called the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act (FOISA). This bill will increase prison sentences by up to seven years in criminal cases if a domain owner provides "material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority." What follows is a collection of commentaries made in response to this proposed bill. more

ALAC on WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Actions

The At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) has released this statement about the results of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). It is circulated for public comment, in view of subsequent statements to be released in the next months. At the World Summit on the Information Society held on December 10 to 12 in Geneva, the member states of the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action that include specific language on the issue of "Internet Governance". ICANN's At Large Advisory Committee welcomes the fact that these statements clearly recognize the role of civil society as a full participant in the international management of the Internet, and bring attention to the need for a deep involvement of individual users into its governance. more

Security and Fort N.O.C.'s

In an article by MSNBC called "Fort N.O.C.'s" [Network Operating Center] Brock N. Meeks reports: "The unassuming building that houses the "A" root sits in a cluster of three others; the architecture looks as if it were lifted directly from a free clip art library. No signs or markers give a hint that the Internet's most precious computer is inside humming happily away in a hermetically sealed room. This building complex could be any of a 100,000 mini office parks littering middle class America." ...It is hardly the "most precious computer"!!!  more

Nations at WSIS Better Off with an ICANN-Like Structure

There is much talk currently about the WSIS meeting taking place in Geneva this week which means some needed attention is being paid to Internet governance. While some may view the term "Internet governance" as an oxymoron and my natural reaction is something along the lines of "I hope that they continue to view regulation as too complicated so that we Internet-folks can just keep doing what we are doing" I confess to knowing deep down that we would all be better off with a simple, effective policy framework than with the current anarchic state. more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part II

This is the second part of a two-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Milton Mueller discussing ICANN, World Summit on the Information Society, and the escalating debates over Internet Governance. Read the first part of this Interview here. Geert Lovink: "Confronted with Internet governance many cyber activists find themselves in a catch 22 situation. On the one hand they do not trust government bureaucrats to run the Internet, out of a justified fear that regulation through multilateral negotiations might lead to censorship and stifle innovation. On the other hand they criticize the corporate agendas of the engineering class that is anything but representative. What models should activists propose in the light of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)? There seems to be no way back to a nation state 'federalist' solution. Should they buy into the 'global civil society' solution?" more

The Cyber-Sociology of Domain Names

Erica Wass is the editor and contributing author of the recently published book, "Addressing the World: National Identity and Internet Country Code Domains", (Rowman & Littlefield, October 2003). This book is an edited collection of original essays by domain name administrators, academics, journalists and lawyers that examine the connections between various cultures and the use and regulation of their country code domain names. CircleID recently caught up with Erica Wass to gain a better insight into the work behind this book. What follows is the first article of a three-part series where Erica shares her insight and discoveries that lead her to a sophisticated global perspective on "Addressing the world". She begins by examining cyber-sociology of ccTLDs -- the underlying theme of the book. more

SECSAC Special Meeting on Site Finder: A Technical Analysis

After attending the afternoon ICANN Security & Stability Committee meeting, I realized that the issues involved fall into several related but independent dimensions. Shy person that I am *Cough*, I have opinions in all, but I think it's worthwhile simply to be able to explain the Big Picture to media and other folks that aren't immersed in our field. In these notes, I'm trying to maintain neutrality about the issues. I do have strong opinions about most, but I'll post those separately, often dealing with one issue at a time. more

Online Registries: The DNS and Beyond

As the world grows more connected and more complicated, we all need ways of defining, identifying and keeping track of things and cross-referencing them with their owners. The simplest way to do that is with registries -- everything from the Domesday Book, a medieval registry of land, property and people; to current-day auto registries on the one hand and the worldwide Domain Name System on the other...But now, companies and organizations have to keep track of ever more things and people, not just inside their walls but across extended organizational boundaries. Call this new wrinkle an "external registry". Finally, they may want to interact with things and people, rather than just look them up, via an "active registry".  more

Privacy and Trust Go Hand-In-Hand

A few days ago, Eric Goldman wrote an interesting thinkpiece in CircleID regarding users' feeling about privacy. He seems to conclude that the existent regulations and policies on the matter are unnecessary, since Privacy doesn't "really" matters to the consumer. Eric based his argumentation on a number of surveys, stating that, even when the user expresses concerns about their privacy, on line behavior shows a different reality. We don't want to discuss here the soundness of surveys as a reliable source of information, but the author could be assuming too much in his analysis. more

Background on .EU the Upcoming European Identity

Progress is being made towards launching a .eu top-level domain for European individuals, business and organisations.

On 22 May 2003, the European Commission announced its decision to designate the European Registry for Internet Domains (EURID) as the Registry for the new top-level domain (TLD) .eu. EURID is made up of three founder members – the registry operators for the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) .be (Belgium), .it (Italy) and .se (Sweden). The Commission’s decision follows a call for expressions of interest published last September and an evaluation by independent experts of the seven applications received. more

Domain Name Issues In Russia

How are domain names dealt with in Russia? This article discusses current issues related to the registration and assignment of domain names in ".ru" zone (Russian top level country code domain) and trademark protection on Internet. more

Why ICANN Needs Fresh Blood: A Deeper View

I grew up in a utopian community in India.

I make this statement -- which may seem at best tangential to an article on the DNS -- at the outset because it suggests that I know something about ideology and ideologically charged debates.

Like the town where I grew up, the Internet was the product of dreamers, people who believed in the possibility of surmounting reality. In Code, Lessig compared early Internet euphoria to the euphoria that met the downfall of communism. He could just as well have compared it to the utopianism that accompanied the birth of communism. The point is that Internet pioneers were inspired by ideology, by a fervor to change the world. more

A Sustainable Framework For The Deployment Of New gTLDs - Part II

Part I of this article explored some of the current thinking and direction that key policy-makers seem to be headed with the creation of new gTLDS. This part focuses on a new alternative plan for the ongoing deployment of new gTLDs.

ICANN is likely to see many proposals over the coming weeks that attempt to deal with the thorny issue of how to rollout new gTLDs. Any plan that deals with the rollout of new generic top-level domain names must ensure that the expansion of the namespace does not disrupt the existing infrastructure and services. more

A Sustainable Framework For The Deployment Of New gTLDs

At the Fourth Annual Meeting of the ICANN Board in Amsterdam, the ICANN Board asked the DNSO Names Council (who have since become "the GNSO Council") to provide the Board with advice and input on the issues that surround the creation of new generic top-level domain names. Based on the Council's publicly documented conversations thus far, it is becoming clear that Council is moving in directions that do not seem to be consistent with the continued health of the namespace or development of a competitive market for registration and DNS services. more