Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

ICANN Community Issues Unprecedented Letter Questioning ICANN's Proposed Accountability Process

In another unpredicted development the entire community of ICANN stakeholders has sent a joint letter to CEO Fadi Chehade and the ICANN Board that strongly questions the "Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance - Process and Next Steps" document published by ICANN staff on August 14th over widespread community objections. Signatories to the August 26th letter include the GNSO Council and all of the GNSO's stakeholder groups and constituencies, the Country Code Name Supporting Organization, the At-Large Advisory Committee, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee - and, most surprisingly, the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

Accountability and Redress

In ICANN circles these days, accountability is the buzz word. Nearly everybody is talking about it. Generally everybody is in favor of it, but that's where the agreement ends. This paper urges action by ICANN to provide a means for redress of grievances as an essential element of accountability. I would like to review the ICM case (the delegation of the .xxx domain), and the role of ICANN's Independent Review Panel (the IRP). As you will recall, the ICANN Board had originally awarded .xxx to ICM, but in a subsequent reconsideration had reversed the award. more»

Net Neutrality Undermining Spreads to Developing Countries

After the USA set the bad example of allowing telcos to start charging different rates for content delivery services, other incumbent telcos elsewhere are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon and use the American example as a reason and an excuse to end net neutrality (NN) in their countries also. As did their American counterparts they too see this as another way to grab some extra monopolistic income. more»

African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Streaming Live This Week From Dakar, Senegal

The 5th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) gets underway today, August 26, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal, with a packed agenda full of sessions focused on the future of peering and interconnection in Africa. There are sessions targeted at Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), infrastructure providers, content creators and policy makers and regulators. The event goes through Thursday, August 28, 2014. more»

Prepare for the Worst, But Hope for the Best

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the importance of the timeline leading up to the September 2015 deadline for the IANA oversight transition proposal. In that post, I explored the nature of U.S. politics and how it can affect the transition if we, as a community, are not diligent in our efforts to meet that deadline. Since then, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has held its first meeting and a conference call, resulting in some new information that necessitates an update to that post. more»

Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control

After a long await, ICANN's senior management finally released its plan for "Enhancing Accountability" at the private California corporation that makes global Internet domain name policy. Unfortunately, the accountability deficit crisis created by ICANN's longstanding policy of purely "self-policing" with no meaningful external accountability mechanisms will not be solved by this weak plan for more self-policing. more»

Call for ICANN to Educate and Not Mislead GAC

I read with interest the recent blog written by Theresa Swinehart a Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy. She wrote: "The most critical element of this [ICANN Transition] process is trust and alignment. To ensure success on this accountability track, we must as a community work closely together to make sure that the final process is meaningful. There is plenty of work to be done in an ambitious period of time." more»

Is ICANN's .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more»

NTIA's FOIA Disclosures Shed Limited Light on IANA Transition Decision

On March 27, 2014, shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) March 14th announcement of its intent to transfer its counterparty status on ICANN's IANA functions contract to the global multistakeholder community, the conservative advocacy organization Americans for Limited Government (ALG) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with NTIA. ALG's request was for disclosure of "All records relating to legal and policy analysis developed by or provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that support its decision to "transition key internet domain name functions," including any analysis showing whether the NTIA has the legal authority to perform the transition." more»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

Inter Mundos: ICANN's Accountability is a Matter of Human Rights

The debate over the IANA Functions transitions has captivated the minds of all stakeholders. The U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has announced that they intend to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multistakeholder community. Thus, we find ourselves in the midst of a transition between worlds. All stakeholders are pondering the following questions: what should be the appropriate transition? What should be our goal? more»

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Botnet Takedowns (July 15, 2014)

The background is of course quite interesting, given how soon it has followed Microsoft's seizure of several domains belonging to Dynamic DNS provider no-ip.com for alleged complicity in hosting trojan RAT gangs, a couple of days after which the domains were subsequently returned -- without public comment -- to Vitalwerks, the operator of No-IP. This is by no means a new tactic for Microsoft, who has carried out successful seizures of various domains over the past two or three years. more»

Microsoft's Takedown of 3322.org - A Gigantic Self Goal?

I will first begin this post by emphasizing that this article is entirely my personal viewpoint and not to be considered as endorsed by or a viewpoint of my employer or any other organization that I am affiliated with. Neither is this to be considered an indictment of the sterling work (which I personally value very highly) that several people in Microsoft are doing against cybercrime. Microsoft's takedown of 3322.org to disrupt the Nitol botnet is partial and will, at best, have a temporary effect on the botnet itself... more»

Thank You GNSO - From the SHE.africa

The recent announcement at the ICANN 50 London, by all stakeholder groups and constituencies comprising of ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) to endorse a joint statement in support of the creation of an independent accountability mechanism "that provides meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by ICANN action or inaction in contravention of an agreed upon compact with the community" is a very welcome development to the Multistakeholder framework. more»

The Essential Ingredient of Politics Is Timing

The transition of the IANA contract oversight is, of course, the topic du jour at ICANN 50 in London. From the sessions to the hallway banter, it's the hottest topic I can recall in ICANN's history. It's an inherently over-the-top political topic, merging partisan politics in Washington with Internet governance. On numerous occasions in Singapore, Larry Strickling raised the domestic politicking on the part of the Republican Party regarding the IANA oversight transition, cautioning us of the discourse fuelled by opportunism. more»