Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

Internet Bifurcation: Will the US-China Digital Arm-Twisting Splinter the Open and Free Internet?

The Internet controversy between the US and China is escalating. The Trump Administration is fighting against Huawei, TikTok and We Chat. China is pushing back with new export regulations for Chinese IT technology. August 5, 2020 the US State Department launched a "Clean Network" initiative, aimed to remove Chinese digital corporations from the global supply chain in today's interconnected world. September 8, 2020 the Chinese Foreign Ministry replied with a "Data Security" initiative, aimed to enhance global cybersecurity in "Chinese colours." more

The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

A Failed Whois Policy

ICANN's two-year effort to purportedly preserve the Whois public directory to the greatest extent possible while complying with GDPR has failed. Under the latest proposal, the Whois database, once a contractually-required directory of domain name registrants, will be gutted to the point of virtual worthlessness, as registrars, registries, academics, and hand-wringing others ignored the public interest and imposed ever-higher barriers to legitimate, GDPR-compliant access to registration data. more

First Round of U.S. Layoffs Due to Huawei Blockade

Neophotonics, the Nasdaq-listed producer of various optical communications products, including silicon photonics and photonic integrated circuits (PICs), warned investor this week that the new restrictions on business with China's Huawei - its largest customer - could have a major impact on future sales. more

Uniform Rapid Suspension Not Appropriate for .com Domain Names

The Internet Commerce Association has been actively involved for the last four years on the ICANN Working Group reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Working Group is currently wrapping up its review of the URS. The UDRP will be reviewed in an upcoming second phase. more

Is There Such a Thing as Technical Internet Governance?

In ICANN's "President & CEO Goals for Fiscal Year 2021", Göran Marby went out to make a curious distinction in the document's second stated goal, according to which he intends to "Implement a common strategy for Internet governance (IG) and technical Internet governance (TIG)". Proceeding to state that "we will begin by identifying the most important issues we need to address, followed by an assessment of where and how we can intervene, the venues we should use, and the resources required to be effective". more

Too Little, Too Late? Why ICANN's Proposed WHOIS Access System Isn't Worth It

After two years of grueling, complex and contentious debate, the ICANN EPDP team delivered its Phase 2 Final Report on July 31st, 2020. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the policy recommended for the so-called "System for Standardized Access/Disclosure" (SSAD) fails to meet the needs of the users it supposedly is designed to benefit. more

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more

Internet Governance Outlook 2020: The Next Generation of Players and Problems Is Coming

The beginning of a new decade is always an invitation to have a broader look into the future. What, in the next ten years, will happen in the Internet Governance Ecosystem? Will the 2020s see the usual swinging pendulum between more liberal and more restrictive Internet policies in an interconnected world? Or will we move towards a watershed? more

The TikTok Ban in Context

Donald Trump recently issued an executive order banning TikTok on the grounds that it was necessary to deal with the national emergency he had declared in an earlier executive order. He says he is concerned that TikTok might turn user's "information such as location data and browsing and search histories" over to the Chinese government. Trump does not site evidence of TikTok having shared data with China and TikTok says they have never shared user data with the Chinese government... more

Time to Stop Talking About Unserved and Underserved

I work with communities all of the time that want to know if they are unserved or underserved by broadband. I've started to tell them to toss away those two terms, which is not a good way to think about broadband today. The first time I remember the use of these two terms was as part of the 2009 grant program created by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The language that created those grants included language from Congress that defined the two terms. more

Why Platform Regulation Concerns ICANN

With the publication of the Australian Governmental report on Digital Platforms1and in the light of the ongoing work on the EU's Digital Services Act, the spotlight of policymaking is on platforms such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. It is natural that members of the ICANN community want to discuss the role of platforms within the ICANN framework, but sadly and predictably, the usual bylaws jockeys and keepers of the true ICANN faith were quick to stifle the conversation. more

Trump Wants to Change the Communications Decency Act

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), says that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The law was passed in 1996 in order to shield ISPs that transported content or platforms that hosted it from lability. Bloggers were not responsible for comments on their posts, YouTube and Facebook were not responsible for things users posted, etc. more

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

Perspectives on Cyber Governance

APAN (Asia Pacific Advanced Network) brings together national research and education networks in the Asia Pacific region. APAN holds meetings twice a year to talk about current activities in the regional NREN sector. I was invited to be on a panel at APAN 50 on the subject of Cyber Governance, and I'd like to share my perspective on this topic here. more