Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

The Empire Strikes Back: ICANN Accountability at the Inflection Point

The members of the ICANN community engaged in the work of the Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-ACCT, or just plain "CCWG" for this article) has been engaged since late 2014 in designing an enhanced ICANN accountability plan to accompany the transition of oversight of the IANA root zone functions from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the global multistakeholder community. On August 3rd the CCWG released its 2nd Draft Report (Work Stream 1) for a public comment period that closed on September 12th. more»

'The Global Village' Idiot

I recall from some years back, when we were debating in Australia some national Internet censorship proposal de jour, that if the Internet represented a new Global Village then Australia was trying very hard to position itself as the Global Village Idiot. And the current situation with Australia's new Data Retention laws may well support a case for reviving that sentiment. more»

Sept 8 Deadline for Comments on IANA Stewardship Transition - Have You Submitted Your Comments?

Have you submitted your comments on the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal? Do you believe the proposal of the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) for how to transition the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions away from the U.S. government to the global community to be a solid proposal? Do you have points in the proposal you would like to emphasize? Do you have concerns? more»

ICANN Should Curb Anonymous Domain Name Abuses

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses sell to consumers -- including those involved in illicit activities, such as websites peddling illegal narcotics, pirated movies and music, or counterfeit handbags. For example, 96 percent of Internet pharmacies do not comply with U.S. laws, and as they ship pills tainted with paint thinner, arsenic, and rat poison, they put the health and safety of consumers at risk. Why don't law enforcement officials do more to combat this problem? Partly because of the difficulty of identifying who is actually operating the illegal pharmacies. It is time to fix this, while allowing anonymity for those who deserve it. more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

Posted here on behalf of DotConnectAfrica Trust as rejoinder and reply to Andrew Mark's recent article... In his article, Mr. Mark tried to re-frame the ongoing discussions and commentary about DCA Trust's recent IRP victory against ICANN as one about "requisite support for geographic string" to assist him reach the biased conclusion that ZACR's bid has the required support to run .Africa whilst DCA Trust's bid does not. more»

How to Move Cybersecurity Forward in a More Positive Way

In 2013 I wrote a blog Telecoms as a spying tool, in which I mentioned that those who use the internet to spy indiscriminately will have to face the reality that such activities will only start a cat-and-mouse game -- the technology will always be able to stay one step ahead of those who are using the internet for criminal purposes. Since that time some very significant developments have taken place that have confirmed our prediction. more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

I've heard a lot of discussion of the .africa controversy of late -- from conspiracy theories to questions about staff competence to concerns about the role of the GAC. And it's hard not to find faults galore in the way this process and the IRP reporting has played out. But before we get too lost in the weeds of procedure or the future of ICANN, lets not lose track of what this debate was first and still is fundamentally about: a string. more»

Dot SUCKS: The Ultimate Vanity Domain

When last we wrote, trademark lawyers had written an outraged letter to ICANN about the $2500 price to preregister trademark.sucks names, and ICANN, reliably panicking in the face of legal threats, wrote to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs saying please tell us that's illegal so we can shut down this registry with whom we just signed a long-term contract. (The mysterious $1 surcharge turned out to be a weak attempt by ICANN to collect debts that affiliates of registry owner Momentous defaulted on long ago.) more»

The Senate Should Take the DOTCOM Act Off Cruz Control

Recently we speculated on the question "Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?" That article discussed the possibility that the Obama Administration's decision to relinquish ICANN stewardship via the periodic re-awarding of the IANA functions contract might arise in the ongoing U.S. Presidential sweepstakes, most likely from a Republican entrenched in the far right wing of that Party. We also discussed whether its introduction might erode the currently broad and bipartisan Congressional acceptance of the transition... more»

Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?

The bitter partisan divide that characterizes so many of official Washington's current policy discussions was conspicuous in its absence at the July 8th hearing held on "Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. In opening remarks that asked "What is the multi-stakeholder community, anyway?", Subcommittee Chairman Greg Waldren went on to declare that he and his colleagues "sought to strike the right balance between supporting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, while still protecting the invaluable tool of communications and commerce the Internet has become". more»

Never Invited, but Always Present

Listening today to the U.S. Congress' House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on ICANN governance reminded me just how often Vox Populi Registry, the company bringing dotSucks names to the Internet, is a guest at parties to which it has never been invited. Sometimes, like today, we are able to view it all from a distance and mostly we have refrained from trying to correct every misstatement or argue each odd point. more»

Confessions of an Ex-Opponent of Whois Privacy

The following is the easyDNS response to ICANN's public comment period on GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. The public comment period is open until July 7, 2015. We strongly urge you to make your voice known by signing the petition over at Save Domain Privacy. I submit these comments as a CEO of an ICANN accredited registrar, a former director to CIRA and a lifelong anti spam contributor with an unblemished record of running a managed DNS provider that maintains zero tolerance for net abuse or cybercrime... more»

Three Things TLD Registries Must Know About China's Domain Name Regulation

Recently there have been a number of news reports/articles that are incorrect or misleading in interpreting China's domain name management policy. James has posted an article aiming to clarify what is going to in China's domain name market. Considering the potential negative impact of those reports on the participants of this market, I supplement James's post by pointing out three things, which I believe critical for any TLD registries that hope to have a better understand of China's domain name regulation and the special action based on it. more»

Managing (in)Security Through Regulation: A Key Phase for Nation States

Not so long ago, the notion of introducing laws and other regulatory responses to address cyber security issues was regarded with significant hesitation by governments and policy makers. To some extent, this hesitation may well have stemmed from a general perception by those who do not work directly in the field that the world of cyber security is somewhat of a 'dark art'. More recently, however, there has been a substantial shift in this attitude, with proposals to regulate a range of cyber security related matters becoming increasingly numerous. more»

Is Sharing the Answer to .BRAND Top Level Domain Disputes?

In opening up for the .BRAND top level domain, ICANN has artificially created a scarce resource of great commercial value. Indeed, the values of the .BRAND TLDs may be astronomical due to the investments made by the companies that own the trademarks represented in the .BRAND TLD. While the above is interesting in its own right, I will here focus specifically on how we deal with situations where more than one company has a legitimate trademark interest in a particular .BRAND TLD. more»