Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

A Case to Further DNS Registrar Industry Self-Regulation

In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting. Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point... more»

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more»

Is Call Forwarding an "Information Service" and Why It Matters for FTC Jurisdiction

Time to brush the dust off your Computer II notebooks. Are voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding enhanced services or telecom services? Today's case: FTC v. American eVoice, Ltd... The FTC brought an action against Defendants claiming that they were engaged in cramming, adding unwanted voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding services to consumers bills to the tune of $70 million. more»

Narcotics Traffic Is Not Part of a Healthy Domain System

A stack contrast is emerging within the DNS between providers who tolerate blatantly illegal domain use and those who do not. Our study, just published here focuses on five U.S.-based providers, their policies, and their response to reports of opioid traffic within their registry or registrar. There are many providers, not covered here, who removed hundreds of domains selling opioids and I applaud their efforts. more»

Three Layers of China's International Strategy on Cyberspace

China's newly released International Strategy on Cyberspace is marked by three distinctive layers with different degree of priority: (1) sovereignty (or cybersecurity, or UN Charter), (2) globalization (or digital economy, or WTO rules), and (3) fundamental freedoms (or human rights, or UDHR). The good point of the strategy is that it tries to make the three layers peacefully co-exist in one document. The failure, however, lies in the intentional ranking of relevance/importance of the three layers... more»

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more»

CFR Report: Reversing IANA Transition by Trump Administration Would Be a Grave Mistake

Council on Foreign Relations has released a brief today authored by Megan Stifel, former director for international cyber policy at the U.S. National Security Council in the Obama administration, urging Trump administration to not back away from the IANA transition and to instead invest in the multistakeholder process. more»

Commercial Incentives Behind IPv6 Deployment

The Best Practice Forum (BPF) on IPv6 at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) explored what economic and commercial incentives drive providers, companies and organizations to deploy IPv6 on their networks and for their services. The BPF collected case studies, held open discussions online and at the 2016 IGF meeting, and produced a comprehensive output report. This article gives a high-level overview. more»

Trump, Tides, and the US Tech Sector

When a tax is too high people avoid it, and when the political cost of supporting the US government becomes too high, foreign governments will avoid it too. Add to that cost America's new inclination to withdrawal, and consider the muddy tidal flat on which could soon list the hull of what used to be American technological primacy... When countries try to develop technology policies to compete with the United States, they often begin with rules over immigration. more»

Must IETF, ICANN Stop Meeting in the U.S.?

With Trump's "extreme vetting" extending to Pakistan and others, nearly all U.S. institutions with a global reach will be cut off from some members. Internet Society Board Member Walid Al-Saqaf, from Yemen, can't attend the IETF meeting next month in Chicago. Board Member Alice Munyua from Kenya may also have to skip the event. "There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya," the British government reports. Kenyans likely will require extreme vetting. ICANN board member Kaveh Ranjbar, born in Iran, has also been appointed to the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee. more»

The International Telecommunication Union and the Trump Administration

The question is not uncommon these days for someone who has been the principal historian on the ITU over the past 40 years. The short answer is that the institution should do just fine. Indeed, the appearance of bizarre phenomena like Trump, enhance the value and trustworthiness of a stable, globally inclusive intergovernmental venue dealing with matters that by their nature require worldwide cooperation and is buttressed by one of the most highly regarded Secretary-Generals in its history. more»

Help Us Answer: What Will the Internet Look Like in 10 Years?

What will the Internet look like in the next seven to 10 years? How will things like marketplace consolidation, changes to regulation, increases in cybercrime or the widespread deployment of the Internet of Things impact the Internet, its users and society? At the Internet Society, we are always thinking about what's next for the Internet. And now we want your help! more»

If Slate Comes in Standard Sizes, Why Not Broadband?

Last week I was at the National Slate Museum in Wales watching slate being split apart. On the wall were sample pieces of all the standard sizes. These have cute names like "princess". For each size, there were three standard qualities: the thinnest are the highest quality (at 5mm in thickness), and the thickest have the lowest quality (those of 13mm or more). Obviously, a lighter slate costs less to transport and lets you roof a wider span and with less supporting wood, hence is worth more. more»

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more»