Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

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

Even a Pandemic Isn't Enough

The most incredible thing about the dot-org sale is no longer the billion-dollar price tag. It's not surprise fait-accompli announcement. It's not the republican billionaires. It's that the proponents have continued to advocate for it in the midst of the worst crisis the world has faced since the second world war. The biggest crisis in almost a hundred years. One that will reverberate for generations. more

Reflections on the .ORG Domain Registry Sale

For all the many reasons raised by thousands of petitioners by prominent members of the U.S. Congress, and the California Attorney General's office, this "sale" plainly should not be occurring. However, in a very real way, it is déjà vu. For me, as one of the handful of people who were members of the original InterNIC public advisory committee which oversaw the spinout of the registry activity from its DARPA government instantiation to a private enterprise business... more

The US-China Cold War in Cyberspace

In 2019 and 2020, the economic conflict between the US and China reached a peak. There was a months-long tariff battle that is still not fully resolved. After blocking Chinese-centered equipment manufacturer Huawei from its own markets, the US pushed hard to get the Five Eyes and all of its allies to block Huawei from foreign markets, too. Then the US started blocking its own companies... more

A Short History of Internet Protocol Intellectual Property

A little over 25 years ago, the Internet Society proposed that they assume responsibility for the DARPA Internet Protocol (IP) specifications Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that were being evolved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to facilitate their use by the mainstream network communication standards bodies and providers. Last week, the IETF, in an attempt to fend off alternative Internet Protocols emerging in the 5G ecosystem and create a standards monopoly, asserted... more

A New Low for the ICANN Multistakeholder Process

ICANN's dismissal of public comments submitted on the .COM Registry Amendment wasn't surprising given that it recently dismissed the public comments on the .Org Renewal Agreement, but the speed and disdain which it demonstrated was. Despite public pronouncements by ICANN President and CEO, Gören Marby and assurances from ICANN Board Chair, Maarten Botterman, that public comments were welcomed and that ICANN would take them seriously... more

At the Crossroads: The State of Domain Registration Data Services

The Internet's users rely on domain name registration information for vital purposes, including providing security, problem-solving, and legal and social accountability. The data is so important that users perform more than two billion WHOIS queries every day. ICANN has instituted new data policies over the last two years, and is also directing a migration to a new technical protocol, RDAP, that will replace WHOIS access in the near future. So at this critical juncture, how is it all going? more

Dear U.S.A. – Observations on the Cyber Solarium Commission Report

I am writing to you as someone who is not your citizen, (although I had the fortune to wed the most beautiful of your daughters), to share my thoughts about the recent US Government Cyber Solarium Commission report. U.S.A. We owe you one! Without you and your citizens there would be no free Internet as we know it. Thank You! Your constitution is our inspiration. We, the global digital citizenship want to be "the people", in order to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..." more

Why Are Internet Security Standards Badly Deployed and What to Do About It?

In 2019 under the aegis of the Internet Governance Forum, a pilot project was conducted into the causes of and solutions for the, in general, slow deployment of internet security standards. Standards that on mass deployment make the Internet and all its users safer, indiscriminately, immediately... Recently the report 'Setting the standard. For a more Secure and Trustworthy Internet. The Identification of Pressure Points in Society to Speed up Internet Standards Deployment', was published on the IGF website. more

Consistency, Urgency, and Transparency Needed for Registrant Data Requests

As we reported in our Post-GDPR Compliance Rate retrospective in January 2020, registrar compliance rates in response to verified requests for redacted registrant information using the Appdetex WHOIS Requestor System was 25 percent. Our most recent report shows the compliance rate has increased to 27 percent, based upon a total of 243 requests for redacted WHOIS information sent to 68 registrars over the period starting January 1, 2020, through February 24, 2020. more

Why Are the U.S. Broadband Prices So High?

I've wondered for years about why broadband prices are higher in the U.S. than the rest of the world. The average price in other industrial counties is significantly lower. In France, broadband averages $31, Germany is $35, Japan is $35, South Korea is $33, and the U.K. is $35. The average price of broadband in the U.S. is approaching $70, so we're at twice the price as other countries. more

Addressing Recent Media Mischaracterizations of the .ORG Acquisition

Given the level of public interest in Ethos' acquisition of Public Interest Registry ("PIR") from the Internet Society, it is no surprise that this agreement continues to attract press attention. Ethos welcomes open discussion on this important investment, and we are of course following the media coverage closely. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to respond point-by-point to every article, so I would like to take this opportunity to address several mischaracterizations of the deal recently reported by Wired, Deutsche Welle, and others. more

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more

Who Pays When .Org Prices Rise?

When .org prices rise, who suffers – nonprofits or speculators? Will Ethos Capital raise prices more aggressively than ISOC would? Vint Cerf attributed concerns about higher prices to speculators: "Of course, companies that hold domain names in the tens of thousands for speculative purposes might find such increases more troubling, but I don't have much sympathy for that business model in the context of the organizations the .org brand is intended to serve." more