Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

The Internet Is for All

Over the past fifty years, participants in what began as the DARPA internet community have been turning out diverse technical specifications for TCP/IP network architectures and services. The first twenty years under government agency sponsorship were marked by rather free-wheeling sharing of ideas and collegial accommodation of divergent views typically found in most professional, academic activities. more

2020's New Internet Success

Chinese technology policy is now more effective even than their naval posture in the South China Sea, and both are playing out in full sunshine. This success is not about the hardware pillar of Chinese tech policy, though: its focus is the structural approach China and, increasingly, other stakeholders are taking to global Internet Governance... Late in the Year of the Pig just gone, China's offer of a New Internet Protocol was chewed over in senior-level advisory groups of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)... more

Addressing Anticompetitive Behavior in Internet Standards Bodies

A significant focus is emerging today on the anticompetitive behaviour of Silicon Valley companies directed at dominating critical sectors of the on-line marketplace, and a U.S. Congressional hearing is scheduled. Such practices can be pursued in many ways. One of the more elusive, but very effective anticompetitive playbooks - known legally as the "antitrust conspiracy" - can occur in internet standards bodies. more

The State of DNS Abuse: Moving Backward, Not Forward

ICANN's founding promise and mandate are optimistic -- ensure a stable and secure internet that benefits the internet community as a whole. Recent months, however, have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that ICANN's and the industry's approach to DNS abuse is actually moving backward, ignoring growing problems, abdicating on important policy issues, and making excuses for not acting. Further, the impending failure of ICANN's new WHOIS policy to address cybersecurity concerns will add fuel to the fire, resulting in accelerating DNS abuse that harms internet users across the globe. more

Senate Report on 5G: Recipe for Disaster

The Democratic Staff Report Prepared for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, July 21, 2020, entitled "The New Big Brother," is actually all about 5G technology. The report jumps on the runaway anti-China train chaotically flailing around Washington these days to "out-Trump, Trump." It characterizes 5G technology, longstanding international collaboration, and COVID-19 tracking as all part of a global conspiracy for "digital authoritarianism" run out of Beijing. more

Freedom of Expression Part 1: Hate Speech, Linehan, Trans as a Protected Class in California

Graham Linehan was banned from Twitter last week. Graham Linehan is an Irish writer and creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Twitter closed Graham Linehan's account for tweeting "men aren't women though" which twitter perceived as "hate speech" and offensive to the Trans community. Context always shapes meaning, and so I thought it would be useful to explore how hate speech is interpreted in California and then to see how it is treated in Fiji. more

Cybersecurity Is Failing Big-Time and This Is Hard to Fix

It has become clear that having a big cybersecurity war room is not enough to deliver true end-to-end security throughout the complex networks, systems and structures on which our modern society is based. Furthermore, looking at the forever changing draconian government interventions in this space, it is also obvious that they are often stabbing in the dark. more

Marking the 30th Anniversary of the Internet and Cybersecurity Treaty

Next week on 1 July 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most significant treaty instruments in modern times. On 1 July 1990, the Melbourne Treaty came into force as the first and only global treaty that enabled worldwide internets and mobile networks to exist, together with the cybersecurity provisions designed to protect those infrastructures. The achievement remains as an enduring tribute to Richard Edmund Butler of Australia who was one of the most influential, and best-loved Secretaries-General of the ITU. more

UN Secretary General's Roadmap on Digital Cooperation: Creative Navigating in Stormy Cyberwaters

When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced in January 2020 that he was preparing a global "roadmap for digital cooperation," he had no idea that six months later, the world had made a quantum leap into the digital age. Home office, distance learning, online shopping, and video conferencing have been around for a long time, but the standstill of the real world during the pandemic has led to an unexpected expansion of the virtual world. more

Thumb on the Scales

Does the ICANN Board putting its thumb on the scale, change the status quo assumption of a Policy Development Process (PDP)? The primary assumption of most PDPs is that, in the absence of consensus for change, the status quo remains. Otherwise, Policy would be made by fiat by the PDP's Chair or Co-Chairs and there would be a mad rush to occupy those unpaid, thankless positions. more

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

China Will Remember the U.S. Huawei War for a Generation

Only an idiot would believe that the U.S. is blocking TSMC manufacture of Huawei cell phone chips because of security fears. This is a commercial rivalry. The U.S. wants to put China's leading technology company out of business. We will fail, of course, at a price far higher than D.C. understands. The U.S. is ready for China's immediate countermeasures, even if Apple's stock price falls $hundreds of billions. But the long-run price will be devastating. more

What's Next for Dot-Org

When I began writing about the dot-org sale, it was out of concern for the loss of what I felt strongly was long understood to be a unique place in the Internet's landscape. Like a national park, dot-org deserved special protection. It turns out lots of people and organizations agreed. On April 30th, 2020, The ICANN Board upheld these values. They unanimously withheld consent for a change of control of the Public Interest Registry to a private equity firm. more

ICANN and Attorneys General: Ends, Means and Unintended Ends

In a move, unprecedented in scale, ISOC moved to sell PIR, the registry for .ORG, to a for-profit entity which intends, in turn, to convert PIR into a for-profit entity itself. This move has, understandably, raised concerns from around the Internet community and cast a bright light on ICANN, the nature of its contracts with Registries and the responsibilities of the ICANN Board... As the Vice Chair for Policy of the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), I've tried to navigate a consensus involving ALL of those parties because of our diverse membership. more

Preserving ICANN's Independence Through Bold Action – Not Inaction

This week, the ICANN Board will vote on whether to approve the transfer of control of the .ORG domain to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. This is a weighty decision for ICANN, since in order to approve the sale, it will have to convince itself that this is the right choice in the face of tremendous and widespread opposition, including from those who will be most affected by the sale. more