Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the Internet

ICANN has consistently said its intention in complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to comply while at the same time maintaining access to the WHOIS domain name registration database "to greatest extent possible." On February 28, ICANN published its proposed model. Strangely, while ICANN acknowledges that some of the critical purposes for WHOIS include consumer protection, investigation of cybercrimes, mitigation of DNS abuse, and intellectual property protection, the model ICANN proposes provides no meaningful pathway to use WHOIS in those ways. more

Washington State Passes Country's Toughest Net Neutrality Legislation

Washington may be the first state to approve a net neutrality law that applies to all wired and wireless Internet providers in the state. more

Humming an Open Internet Demise in London?

In mid-March, the group dubbed by Wired Magazine 20 years ago as Crypto-Rebels and Anarchists - the IETF - is meeting in London. With what is likely some loud humming, the activists will likely seek to rain mayhem upon the world of network and societal security using extreme end-to-end encryption, and collaterally diminish some remaining vestiges of an "open internet." Ironically, the IETF uses what has become known as the "NRA defence": extreme encryption doesn't cause harm, criminals and terrorists do. more

GDPR and What Comes Next: The Parade of Horribles

The compliance deadline for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is nearly upon us, the unveiling of a proposed model to bring WHOIS into compliance is said to come from ICANN next week, and everyone is scrambling to understand all that's involved. Implementation of a revised WHOIS model is clearly on the horizon, but what comes after may be the real story! Specifically, if WHOIS information becomes more than nominally restricted, what's the consequence to the data controllers (ICANN and the contracted parties) who implement this revised model? more

GDPR - Territorial Scope and the Need to Avoid Absurd and Inconsistent Results

There is an urgent need to clarify the GDPR's territorial scope. Of the many changes the GDPR will usher in this May, the expansion of EU privacy law's territorial scope is one of the most important. The GDPR provides for broad application of its provisions both within the EU and globally. But the fact that the GDPR has a broad territorial scope does not mean that every company, or all data processing activities, are subject to it. more

Transition of the Telecoms Industry Is Overdue

It is interesting to observe the changes in the telecommunications environment over the last few decades. Before videotex (the predecessor of the internet) arrived in the late 1970s early 1980s, 90% of telecommunications revolved around telephone calls. And at that time telephony was still a luxury for many, as making calls were expensive. I remember that in 1972 a telephone call between London and Amsterdam cost one pound per minute. Local telephone calls were timed... more


Black's Law Dictionary defines it as "the extraterritorial operation of laws; that is, their operation upon persons, rights or jural relations, existing beyond the limits of the enacting state, but still amenable to its laws. The term is used to indicate jurisdiction exercised by a nation in other countries, by treaty..." Extraterritoriality is also the most significant emerging development today in the law shaping virtual network architectures and services that includes OTT and NFV-SDN. more

Next on the US Telecoms Agenda: Downgrading Broadband

The American industry lobby (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) successfully pushed the regulator to get rid of net neutrality, but they are not stopping there. They can sense the opportunity under the Trump Administration to roll further back any regulations that stand in the way of maximising their profits. As all three largely enjoy geographic monopolies in their regions of operation, there is little competition driving innovation forward, so their aim is to milk the networks that they currently have in place for as long as possible. more

Montana Becomes First State to Require ISPs to Abide by Net Neutrality Principles Despite FCC Repeal

Montana Governor Steve Bullock signs an executive order requiring ISPs with state contracts to adhere to internet neutrality principles. more

The End of Net Neutrality Regulation COULD Mean the End of Last-Mile Oligopolies

Landline networks like the old phone system and the new(er) cable systems do lend themselves to monopoly or at least duopoly outcomes. Building these networks is both very expensive and requires myriad government approvals. Once a system is in place, it is hard for anyone to raise the capital to duplicate it. Even a network of wireless towers is hard to compete with. more

First Do No Harm: Ensuring Compliance with the EU's GDPR While Preserving Access to WHOIS Data

There is growing concern about how ICANN will comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whose enforcement sanctions come into force in May of 2018. How will ICANN comply with GDPR without unduly restricting global Internet users' access to the public WHOIS database? For nearly the past 20 years, Internet users, businesses, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies have relied on WHOIS as a necessary resource. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2018: Preparing for Cyberwar or Promoting Cyber Détente?

In 2018, Internet Governance will be one of the top priorities in the geo-strategic battles among big powers. In today's world, every global conflict has an Internet-related component. There is no international security without cybersecurity. The world economy is a digital economy. And human rights are relevant offline as well as online. It is impossible to decouple cyberspace from the conflicts of the real world. more

Is it Finally Time to Eliminate Needs-Based IPv4 Transfer Policies?

Two weeks before depletion of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) IPv4 free pool in September 2015, we published an article recommending that the ARIN community adopt transfer policies that encourage trading transparency and improve whois registry accuracy. By eliminating needs justification as a pre-condition to updating the registry, we argued that ARIN could eliminate existing policy-based barriers that have kept many otherwise lawful and legitimate commercial transactions in the shadows. more

The Digital Geneva Convention Exists: Just Use It

It is one of those surreal, ironic moments in time. This coming week, an event called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2017 will be held at Geneva in the old League of Nations headquarters now known as the Palais des Nations. On its agenda is a workshop to discuss "A Digital Geneva Convention to protect cyberspace." If the IGF participants, as they enter the Palais grounds, simply look in the opposite direction south across the Place des Nations, they would see 100 meters away, a glass cube building provided by the Republic and Canton of Geneva. more

Net Neutrality Not a Serious Issue Outside America

Most countries, don't have to fear internet quality problems in the same way as would be possible in the USA. The US competition watchdog has little power to hold telcos accountable to the nature of their broadband services. Back in 1996 broadband was classified as a content service and not a telecom service. So, for example, if a telco wants to provide preferred access to Google, it can sell them a superior broadband services which could create a two speed internet service... more