Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Most Commented

Internet Drug Traffic, Service Providers and Intellectual Property

You could call this Part Three in our series on Illicit Internet Pharmacy. Part One being What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic, Part Two being Online Drug Traffic and Registrar Policy. There are a few facts I'd like to list briefly so everyone is up to speed. The largest chunk of online abuse at this time is related to illicit international drug traffic, mostly counterfeit and diverted pharmaceuticals. more

In Praise of Relatively Dumb Pipes

Comcast's furtive and undisclosed traffic manipulation reminds me of a curious, red herring asserted by some incumbent carriers and their sponsored researchers: that without complete freedom to vertically and horizontally integrate the carriers would lose synergies, efficiencies and be relegated to operating "dumb pipes."... Constructing and operating the pipes instead of creating the stuff that traverses them gets a bad rap. It may not be sexy, but it probably has less risk. But of course with less risk comes less reward, and suddenly no one in the telecommunications business is content with that. So incumbent carriers assert that convergence and competitive necessity requires them to add "value" to the pipes. more

Jakarta Declaration Calls on Governments to Recognize Legitimacy of Encryption

Today in Indonesia, media leaders gathered at UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event issued the "Jakarta Declaration" calling on governments of the world to recognize the importance of a free and independent media in creating "peaceful, just and inclusive societies". The declaration calls on governments to take steps to support the freedom of the press, and, in the midst of the many actions was this statement: Recognise the legitimacy of the use of encryption and anonymisation technologies more

Let American Telcos and Cablecos Merge - But Declare Infrastructure a Utility

While there is much discussion in the United States about the mergers of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and of AT&T and DirectTV, issues such as this are generally discussed from a very narrow perspective and, we maintain, from the wrong underlying telecoms regime operating in that country - one that has stifled competition in the telecoms for nearly two decades. The same wrong parameters apply to the endless debates on net neutrality an issue that is, by the way, largely of significance to the US market alone. more

More on WHOIS Privacy

Last week I wrote a note the ICANN WHOIS privacy battle, and why nothing's likely to change any time soon. Like many of my articles, it is mirrored at CircleID, where some of the commenters missed the point. One person noted that info about car registrations, to which I roughly likened WHOIS, are usually available only to law enforcement, and that corporations can often be registered in the name of a proxy, so why can't WHOIS do the same thing? more

Heritage Holding Anti-IANA Transition Event With Cruz

The Heritage Foundation are conservative, in the American political sense. So it's not surprising that they've been linked to some of the anti-IANA transition stuff coming from Ted Cruz and Co. Tomorrow they're holding an event, which is clearly not aimed at bolstering support on Capitol Hill for the IANA transition... While I, and many others, would find the entire "jeopardizing free expression and enterprise" angle to be total bunkum, it is aimed at tapping into US conservative fears. more

The World is in Need of Transformative Solutions

The world has changed significantly since 2000, when the countries of the world adopted the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While strong economic growth in the developing world has helped lift millions out of poverty, global population growth, modern lifestyles and consumption are now stretching the limits of the planet's resources. During this time, technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have radically transformed the way people communicate and lead their lives; now ICT can play a vital, transformative role in helping to put the world on a more sustainable path. more

Where Is Cyberspace?

In my first CircleID post, I compared the cyberspace to a farmland, which has to be cultivated and developed. I ended by asking: Where is cyberspace? I have asked this same question from many people, many of whom are internet experts. They all said the cyberspace is in the computers, networks, or servers, or the Internet itself. I agree with these cyberspace ideas. In addition, my opinion is a bit different. more

The Framing of "IP Transition" Fails to Come to Terms With Real Impact of the Internet

I keep seeing so many articles about the Internet and related policy issues that it's hard to know how to respond. The term "IP Transition" may be a good starting point since the term is an attempt to treat the Internet as a smooth transition rather accepting the idea that we are in the midst of a disruptive change. It seems that the FCC's approach is to simply substitute IP for old protocols and to preserve policies tied to the accidental properties of a copper infrastructure. This shows a failure to come to terms with the new reality. more

How SOPA Will Destroy The Internet

As you read this, please keep in mind that I say it all with a track record nearly 14 years of being proactive and having a zero-tolerance policy toward criminal activity and network abuse on our system. We have great relationships with Law Enforcement Agencies both here in Canada and abroad. We are always helpful and (usually) happy to answer questions, and help LEA understand the complexities and nuances of the internet. We've had the good fortune to meet some really intelligent and clued in cybercrime units. We participate in numerous communities in combating net.abuse and cybercrime. more

Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have Authority on Registries and Registrars

Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. more

GDPR Didn't Affect Spam? Not So Fast

I have recently become aware of a blog post from Recorded Future that attempts to analyze the effects of the GDPR on online security. Unfortunately, it starts by asking an irrelevant question and then goes on to use irrelevant metrics to come to a meaningless answer. The premise of Recorded Future's article - that spammers would send more spam and register more domains because GDPR came into effect - tells us nothing useful about how GDPR affects anything. It's the wrong question... more

ICANN is MIA on .XYZ

By now anyone who's part of the domain investment or broader ICANN community is aware of the curious saga of the recently launched .XYZ registry. Soon after its young CEO boldly stated, "we hope to reach 1 million .XYZ registrations in the first year and 5 million registrations in the first three years", the registry launched with a remarkable total of nearly 18,000 registrations on its first day, a total that has quickly grown to more than 100,000. But it was soon noted that "the zone files showed that over 70% of all .XYZ registrations had been made at NetworkSolutions... more

The Two Sides of Net Neutrality

Over the last decade or so the telecoms industry has been at loggerheads with the content providers and distributors (OTT companies) regarding the use of the infrastructure by the OTT players. On one side we have the people arguing for net neutrality (leave the OTT players alone), and on the other we have the telcos wanting to charge certain players for using their network. The whole issue came to a head, when in mid April the FCC decided to allow telecom operators (or ISPs as they are called in the USA) to charge content providers for higher quality services. more

Trademarks for TLDs

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently circulated proposed examination guidelines to allow the USPTO to begin providing Trademark Protection for Top Level Domains (TLDs). This is an important new development. TLDs today are currently ineligible for Trademark protection on the basis that they do not constitute a source-identifying mark. The USPTO is currently in the process of rectifying this situation by extending Trademark protection to Registry Service providers and has released its proposed examination procedures for that purpose. However, there are some very concerning elements to their proposed examination guidelines. more