Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

Interconnection Disputes Are Network Neutrality Issues (of Netflix, Comcast, and the FCC)

A lot of people have been talking about the "interconnection" deal between Comcast and Netflix and whether that deal is related to network neutrality. (It is.) This question comes partly because the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order (also known as the network neutrality order) was recently struck down. So network neutrality lands back at the FCC, with a new Open Internet proceeding, at the same time Netflix starts working so poorly on Comcast that Netflix had to cut a special deal with Comcast. more»

Black Helicopters for the DNS: What Happens In 2025?

When Steve delBianco from NetChoice testified (April 2, 2014) in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the US House of Representatives on "Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet", he proposed a stresstest for new mechanisms which could substitute the role of the NTIA in overseeing the IANA contract with ICANN. Stresstests are good. It is good for cars, it is good for banks and it is good for new mechanisms... more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. more»

Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead

Recently during an afternoon meeting with a friend of mine, Bob Ochieng, who happens to work for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Africa Operations, he lamented that at online Internet Governance discussions fora such as CircleID, and 1net.org, there is no serious frequent engagements from African Voices. This got me thinking and I realized that most African Internet Stakeholders would rather use a "wait and see approach" in matters as critical as Internet Governance. more»

Designing Effective Regulation for IPv6 Adoption

So you are the IT regulator for a country and you are convinced that the shortage of IPv4 address space represents a threat to the development of the Internet in your country and you want to do something about it. Being that as regulator you don't really run the countries IP networks, what can you really do? I've heard many regulators in over 30 countries grapple with this problem. The purpose of this article is to think through some ideas to guide action on using (or not) regulation to drive IPv6 adoption. more»

ICANN's Uncertain State: 2014

In a recent video interview conducted while he attended the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade stated "legitimacy comes from accountability". That statement is correct. It is also troubling, in that many of ICANN's recent policies and activities raise serious questions regarding whether it is sufficiently accountable and therefore perceived as acting in a legitimate manner - as well as whether it is continuing to faithfully abide by the Affirmation of Commitments (AOC) it entered into when the US government terminated direct oversight of ICANN in 2009. more»

Luddites of the 21St Century Unite?

In the past few weeks doom and gloom stories about the future were printed, discussed and opined in the press. The down and out of the message of futurists is that the middle class is going to be swept away in the coming years because of software and robotic solutions (from here on: automated processes), making humans redundant... Do Luddites of the 21st century need to rise? I want to look at the topic from a few angles. more»

Comcast-TWC: Why Compete and Innovate When You Can Buy Market Share?

Expect a charm offensive as Comcast and scores of sponsored researchers explain how acquiring Time Warner Cable will promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. You might not hear too much about two traditional concerns remedied by actual facilities-based competition: incentives to innovate and reduce prices. Comcast will frame its acquisition as necessary to achieve even greater scale to compete with other sources of video content and maybe to compete with the limited other sources of broadband access. more»

The Need for a Remedial gTLD Program for #newgtlds

I think the new gTLD program will have many successes. It is a failure, however, when it comes to serving developing and less developed economies, especially the communities in those economies. Actually it failed in serving communities anywhere, but it really failed when it came to serving the peoples of the world outside WEOG (the UN designations for the developed Western European nations and Other Groups; others including AU, CA US, and NZ). more»

Playing the Long Game at the Internet Governance Poker Table

Poker players say if you can't spot the fish within your first 15 minutes at the table, you're the fish. With that in mind, I'm tempted to ask ICANN President Fadi Chehade who's the fish in the high-stakes game of global Internet governance we're now playing. In 2013, ICANN dramatically changed its course in the global Internet governance debate. For a decade ICANN largely stayed out of the game, allowing stakeholders to defend the multi-stakeholder model where private sector and civil society are on equal footing with governments. But in 2013 ICANN went on the offensive... more»

USG Provides First Official Statement on Montevideo, Brazil, and ITU Plenipotentiary

The United States government (USG) has provided its first official reaction to the October 2013 Montevideo Statement issued by organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet technical infrastructure, the upcoming April Internet governance conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil , as well as other matters related to Internet governance -- including the ITU Plenipotentiary meeting scheduled for October in Busan, South Korea. more»

Singular and Plural New gTLDs: Costly Headaches

ICANN has recently stated that it will allow the public to register plural and singular gTLDs that are variants of words already registered as domain names. .Books will be able to join the currently allocated .book, and .pet will be able to join .pets. Of course, a pair like .blue and .blues, two words that look alike but have different meanings, isn't at issue here. The focus is just plurals and singulars. But that leaves plenty of room for trouble, and ICANN has to tackle some tough questions now, before the policy launch. more»

The Economy, Not Surveillance or Weapons Systems, Is the Real Source of National Security

The worldwide public discussion about surveillance produced by the Snowden revelations has so far largely missed a major strategic fault with national security arguments for continued mass surveillance: that economic damage to the technology sector but more fundamentally to the wider economy is a likely result. This damage is also likely to undermine security far more than any potential gains from continuing as we are - or continuing but with some transparency or narrowing that leaves the existing industrial scale surveillance system largely unchecked. more»

From Wikileaks of 2012 to Snowden's NSA Leaks of 2013: Implications for Global Internet Governance

2012 will always be remembered as the Year of Wikileaks. Similarly, 2013 shall also be remembered as the year that Edward Snowden, a computer security specialist and former CIA employee and National Security Agency contractor, leaked classified information regarding the NSA global surveillance programs. Whilst Wikileaks was about US diplomatic cables, the Edward Snowden disclosure of classified NSA information to private media organizations such as the UK Guardian newspaper has had graver implications for global Internet privacy. more»

On Mandated Content Blocking in the Domain Name System

COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act) is a legislative bill introduced in the United States Senate during 2010 that has been the topic of considerable debate. After my name was mentioned during some testimony before a Senate committee last year I dug into the details and I am alarmed. I wrote recently about interactions between DNS blocking and Secure DNS and in this article I will expand on the reasons why COICA as proposed last year should not be pursued further in any similar form. more»