Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

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

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

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

Not So Private Thoughts at IETF 105

At IETF 105, held in Montreal at the end of July, the Technical Plenary part of the meeting had two speakers on the topic of privacy in today's Internet, Associate Professor Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University and Professor Stephen Bellovin of Colombia University. They were both quite disturbing talks in their distinct ways, and I'd like to share my impressions of these two presentations and then consider what privacy means for me in today's Internet. more

The Ageless Warning of Icarus

It wasn't that long ago that, during a visit home, my brother asked me, "Why are you so stuck on this Internet thing?" His direct question caused me to realize that I had never actually stopped and considered why I was investing so much time – and in such a highly visible manner – into Internet governance when I wasn't being compensated for doing so and, in fact, was – not putting too fine of a point on it – flat broke. more

Trump's Assault on 5G Standards Bodies

Over the past 30 months, since Trump was installed in the White House, he has systematically abrogated US treaty responsibilities and diminished the nation's engagement in international collaborative activities. More recently, his gambits have expanded to market entry, chip component, and software restrictions on Chinese telecommunication equipment vendors, especially Huawei. more

Can ICANN Survive Today’s Global Geo-Political Challenges Under Its Existing Narrow Mandate?

Recently, the Presidents of four Latin American countries slammed ICANN over its .amazon domain name decision. This added to a long list of geo-politically infused challenges which ICANN needed to render final decisions on after all delay tactics or deferments had already been fully exhausted. It is clear that ICANN is facing unprecedented challenges as it tackles issues that go beyond its current narrow mandate. more

ICANN at a Crossroads: GDPR and Human Rights

The European Data Protection Board certainly has been keeping its records straight. Its 27 May statement starts with the following: "WP29 has been offering guidance to ICANN on how to bring WHOIS in compliance with European data protection law since 2003." All internet users have dealings with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, yet the vast majority have never heard of ICANN. more

5G Security Transparency

There is considerable rhetoric propagated today about 5G security. Some of the more blatant assertions border on xenophobia with vague assertions that the 5G vendors from some countries cannot be trusted and wholesale government banning is required. Existing treaty obligations are being summarily abrogated in favour of bilateral trade bullying. These are practices that the late President George H.W. Bush sought to eliminate a quarter century ago through intergovernmental organization initiatives... more

Trump Orders Cyberattacks by US Companies

It is supremely ironic. A rogue national leader with the stroke of a pen, dictates that its companies will expose a foreign company's end users to cyberattacks. This is the net effect of denying security patches or operating system updates pursuant to Trump's order. In the US Great Rogue Leader's bizarro world, this is the very behavior that he claims makes his actions necessary. In fact, this Trump malware attack is worse because of the mass exposure to exploits. more

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

Five Inconvenient Facts about the Migration to 5G Wireless

An unprecedented disinformation campaign purposefully distorts what consumers and governments understand about the upcoming fifth generation of wireless broadband technology. A variety of company executives and their sponsored advocates want us to believe that the United States already has lost the race to 5G global market supremacy and that it can regain it only with the assistance of a compliant government and a gullible public. more

Understanding 5G: A Basic Primer

The initial, essential step toward understanding 5G is to perform an intellectual body purge of the endless disgorging of cluelessness and disinformation that emerges from the Washington White House and radiates out around that city and then to the outside world that it infects. The institutes, pundits, self-professed experts, summits, and even the U.S. press all pretty much feed out of the same trough of 5G political slop that gets passed around as incantations of ignorance, spin, and K-street lobbying. more