Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

Wait and See Approach on Abuse

Wait and see approach on abuse attracts ICANN Stakeholder attention: A few weeks ago I made a detailed argument as to why product safety applies to domains, just like it does to cars and high chairs. I also argued that good products equal good business or "economically advantaged" in the long run. Then I really made a strong statement, I said if we don't actively engage other Internet stakeholders -- those that interact with our products, we would eventually lose the opportunity to self-regulate. more»

Breaking: U.S. Government Funding Bill Delays IANA Transition

On the evening of Tuesday, September 9th, Congressional leaders unveiled a 1,603 page, $1.01 trillion FY 2015 appropriations bill to fund the U.S. government through the end of September 2015. One provision of the omnibus bill would delay the IANA transition until after the September 30, 2015 expiration of the current contract between the NTIA and ICANN. more»

Where We're Going: Leviathan or Golem?

The Internet never ceases to fascinate. I am referring not to its content, but to its governance. The IANA transition is the latest example in a world of interesting possibilities. At the core, we find ICANN, and that is why we need a Human Rights Advisory Committee. Any future model, with or without the NTIA, needs to seriously consider this option. But I prefer the hard truth over my own ideals. Maybe this idea will be dismissed, simply because human rights are discussed as some kind of inconvenience. more»

Section 3.18 of the 2013 RAA: Reasonable Investigations, Appropriate Responses

Section 3.18 of the ICANN 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) contains language requiring registrars to investigate and respond to abuse complaints. Nearly one year into the new RAA's effective period, what do we know about Section 3.18? If a person or entity wants to submit a complaint, what should they keep in mind? This article reviews the meaning of Section 3.18, how to leverage it, offers a list of do's and don'ts for complainants, and offers a few recommendations for registrars. more»

Beyond NETmundial: Initiative or Inertia?

The April NETmundial meeting was a seminal event in the history of Internet Governance. Fears that the meeting might fail to reach consensus were not realized. Instead, the participants achieved a high degree of harmony -- the "Spirit of NETmundial" -- that resulted in issuance of a consensus Statement that, while lacking in precise detail, was effused with positive energy. Since that meeting there has been considerable discussion within the Internet Governance (IG) community as to what lessons have been learned from NETmundial, and how its work might best be carried into the future. more»

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more»

Enhanced Confusion: The European Council and the Governance of the Internet

On November 1, 2014, the new European Commission started its work. One of the priorities of its new president, Jean Claude Juncker, is the digital agenda. The European Union wants to be a leader in the Internet world of tomorrow. Vice President Andrus Ansip from Estonia (some people spell the country name "e-stonia") and Commissioner Günter Oettinger from Germany will have special responsibilities to implement the big plans. Juncker was elected by the European Parliament, although the green light for his nomination came from the European Council. more»

Stopping Illegal Activity Online - It's More Complicated Than It Seems

There was a compelling article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the other day about ICANN and illegal online pharmacies. The result of a six-month investigation, the reporter, Jeff Elder, calls into question ICANN's effectiveness in investigating complaints of suspected illegal activity on domain names it has a contractual relationship with. Elder cites a recent incident where Interpol and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tried to have 1,300 websites shut down because they were suspected of selling drugs without a prescription. 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»

Towards More Efficient Registry-Registrar Relations

On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group. The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz. more»

ICANN 51 Focus: Making ICANN Directly Accountable to the Broader Internet Community

ICANN 51 taking place in Los Angeles this week may not have its customary evening Gala, but it opened with rousing remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in the first-ever ICANN appearance of the head of the Cabinet agency from which it was born and which has exercised continuous oversight of its key IANA functions. The themes of the growing importance of Internet Governance and the U.S. government's steadfast commitment to defense of the multistakeholder model, as well as the connection between maintenance of an open Internet and fostering free speech and economic growth, were key elements of Secretary Pritzker's address. more»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II

At the NANOG meeting in Baltimore this week I listened to a presentation by Patrick Gilmore on "The Open Internet Debate: Section 706 vs Title II." It's true that this is a title that would normally induce a comatose reaction from any audience, but don't let the title put you off. Behind this is an impassioned debate about the nature of the retail Internet for the United States, and, I suspect, a debate about the Internet itself and the nature of the industry that provides it. more»

New gTLD Fees Threaten the Diversity of the Name Space

The great promise of the new gTLD programme is not that it will spawn dozens of .COM clones, but rather that it will lead to the creation of a global constellation of unique names embraced by specific interest groups. As an ICANN community, our challenge now is to ensure that the policy framework we've created to manage new gTLDs advances that vision by not penalising the very sorts of domains that the programme was designed to encourage. more»

Whose Customers Are Those Typing Brand Names in the Browser's Address Bar?

Fourteen years ago, we had so much hope at the start of a new century. We thought the global economy was going to improve a lot because of the emerging Internet technologies. But where are we today? What has happened in the last 14 years? We know that even advanced countries are suffering from economic difficulties today. What happened to these advanced countries with high speed Internet? more»