Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

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

Who Pays When .Org Prices Rise?

When .org prices rise, who suffers – nonprofits or speculators? Will Ethos Capital raise prices more aggressively than ISOC would? Vint Cerf attributed concerns about higher prices to speculators: "Of course, companies that hold domain names in the tens of thousands for speculative purposes might find such increases more troubling, but I don't have much sympathy for that business model in the context of the organizations the .org brand is intended to serve." more

5G Leadership Reality Check: January 2020

As we embark on a new year and decade, it seemed worthwhile to take a peek at the principal forums for global 5G industry technical collaboration and do a quick assessment of what is occurring and who are the "leaders." The leadership dimension is especially relevant in Washington these days – which is suffering from a peculiar 5G dementia. As the year ended, there were no less than 35 current 5G related Congressional legislative actions, several of which actually passed one of the chambers. more

Huawei's Very Red World

The map below shows countries working with Huawei 5G in red and pink. As can be seen, Huawei is doing very well in 5G, although it's not as dominant as the colors here suggest. Ericsson is actually close to Huawei in 5G revenue, aided by the ban in the US and Australia. Years ago, Huawei was the price leader in order to break into the European market. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2020: The Next Generation of Players and Problems Is Coming

The beginning of a new decade is always an invitation to have a broader look into the future. What, in the next ten years, will happen in the Internet Governance Ecosystem? Will the 2020s see the usual swinging pendulum between more liberal and more restrictive Internet policies in an interconnected world? Or will we move towards a watershed? more

Spectrum and Weather Forecasting

There is currently a brewing controversy over the allocation of various radio frequencies for 5G that could have a negative impact on weather forecasting. Weather forecasting has become extremely sophisticated and relies on masses of data gathered from weather satellites and other data-gathering devices. The masses of data, along with modern supercomputers and data center computing, have significantly improved the ability to predict future weather. more

Hilyard Has a Historic Chance to Activate ICANN At-Large

The .ORG sale has placed Maureen Hilyard – ICANN's At-large Chair – squarely between the largest outpouring of individual user sentiment that the Internet community has ever seen, and the people who can do something about it. For At-large, the stakes are high. ICANN has spent years building up a user organization to balance corporate and government interests. At-large could be a key bulwark against the capture of Internet resources by those with capital and political power. more

If ICANN Won't Stand Up to EU in WHOIS Dispute, Then the U.S. Congress Should

The early designers of the Internet quickly realized that as the number of domain names flourished, there was a need for tracking domain name owners to resolve questions and conflicts that might arise. To that end, they created WHOIS, a public database with the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses of registered domain owners and operators. more

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

The Number Resource Organization (NRO), acting as the Address Supporting Organization (ASO), today announced it has submitted correspondence to ICANN regarding the Internet Society's proposed transfer of ownership of PIR, the .org registry, to Ethos Capital. more

Fadi's .ORG Fracasso

The stakeholder community needs to get with the program and assert itself now – if it still can. The recent attempts by the Internet Society (ISOC) to wrap itself in the halo of Jon Postel's "original intent" for .org is specious and laughable. As I've previously published, Postel also didn't like how big the top-level domains were getting and suggested, in 1993, that top-level domains should be capped at 10,000 names and that further zone growth should happen at the second- and third-levels (similar to how the UK has .uk and then .com.uk, for example). more

The End of the Road: ICANN, Whois, and Regulation

There's a well-documented crisis facing the domain name system: very few who rely on domain name registration data from the Whois database to perform vital functions can do so any longer, which is escalating consumer harm and abuse on the internet worldwide. And the problems, thanks to ICANN's overly restrictive policy post-GDPR and a failing policy process, are piling up. more

Leading Domain Registries and Registrars Release Joint Document on Addressing 'DNS Abuse'

A group of leading domain name registries and registrars have joined forces in the fight against abuse in the Domain Name System (DNS), by developing a "Framework to Address Abuse." Each contributing company has shared its expertise and experience mitigating abusive practices with the goal of submitting the resulting Framework as a foundational document for further discussion in the multistakeholder community.  more

Domain Name System to Be Featured Prominently in Upcoming Review of EU Safe Harbor Rules

In July 2019, Netzpolitik and others leaked an internal document by DG Connect that outlines the European Commission's thoughts on an update of the E-Commerce Directive. Based on this document, it seems that the domain name system and its actors will be prominently addressed in the Ursula von der Leyen's Commission-cycle from 2019 to 2025. more

The Utility Formerly Known As WHOIS

Muscle memory is a funny thing. We don't even think about it really, but when we do the same thing over and over again, it just becomes second nature to us. This is how we've come to use WHOIS over the past two decades to get contact information for registered domain names. If you wanted to see who owned a domain, you'd simply do a WHOIS search. I've probably done hundreds of thousands of them during my time in the industry. Well as of this week, a major step in the retirement of WHOIS officially took place. more

What Is the Purpose of ICANN's Comment Periods?

Almost every institution which purports to provide space for public accountability includes some sort of formalized process by which the public can have their say. And in almost every instance, they struggle with a tension between the desire to provide a commenting process which is meaningful and substantive (or, at least, which appears to be so), and a desire to adopt whatever course of action the institution thinks is best. more