Censorship

Censorship / Most Commented

U.S. Uses Domain Names As New Way to Regulate the Net

Governments have long sought ways to regulate Internet activity, whether for the purposes of taxation, content regulation, or the application of national laws. Effective regulatory measures have often proven elusive, however, since, unlike the Internet, national laws typically end at the border. Earlier this month, the United States began to move aggressively toward a new way of confronting the Internet's jurisdictional limitations - the domain name system. more

Censorship: A Threat to the Stability and Security of the DNS?

Censorship practices by governments and other private actors are becoming more increasingly more sophisticated, and their effects are increasingly being felt globally. A case in point, the YouTube incident in Pakistan was a recent example affecting both users and the DNS at a national and global level. Likely other incidents will occur in the near future. As such, I believe censorship should be considered as a threat to the stability and security of the DNS. In the context of Internet governance discussions, I believe the issue should be raised both at ICANN and the Internet Governance forum. Do others agree? more

Why I Voted for .XXX

The ICANN Board voted today 9-5, with Paul Twomey abstaining, to reject a proposal to open .xxx. This is my statement in connection with that vote. I found the resolution adopted by the Board (rejecting xxx) both weak and unprincipled... I am troubled by the path the Board has followed on this issue since I joined the Board in December of 2005. I would like to make two points. First, ICANN only creates problems for itself when it acts in an ad hoc fashion in response to political pressures. Second, ICANN should take itself seriously as a private governance institution with a limited mandate and should resist efforts by governments to veto what it does. more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part III

For a book project I decided to extend my interview with Milton Mueller from November 2003 (Part I | Part II). Exclusively for CircleID readers, here's part III that deals with WSIS, WGIG, US-American bias and the Internet Governance Project. "...One good result of the WGIG process is that the involved international community has already moved beyond those cliches. No one is proposing that the UN control the Internet. There is growing consensus that control of the DNS root needs to be internationalized..." 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

Nation Scale Internet Filtering — Do's and Don'ts

If a national government wants to prevent certain kinds of Internet communication inside its borders, the costs can be extreme and success will never be more than partial. VPN and tunnel technologies will keep improving as long as there is demand, and filtering or blocking out every such technology will be a never-ending game of one-upmanship. Everyone knows and will always know that determined Internet users will find a way to get to what they want, but sometimes the symbolic message is more important than the operational results. more

Does ICANN's UDRP Preserve Free Speech and Allow Room for Criticism?

The phenomenal growth of the Internet has resulted in a proliferation of domain names. The explosion of '.com' registrations coincided with an increase in domain name disputes, and with it the legal branch of intellectual property devolved into virtual mayhem. ICANN's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) was created... The UDRP was brought into force in October 1999, and it can be said that it has contributed handily to the resolution of domain name disputes. However, deeper investigation into the UDRP paints a different picture. more

Governments Shouldn't Play Games with the Internet

Governments often use small players as pawns in their global games of chess. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework, turning Internet businesses into expendable pawns in a government game. But for the past fifteen years, Safe Harbor allowed data flows across the Atlantic -- fostering innovation and incredible economic development. more

Rape in the DNS

It took three years for ICANN to issue a breach notice to BizCn over the invalid WHOIS record behind RAPETUBE[DOT]ORG. Throughout the history of this absurd case ICANN staff would repeatedly insist the record had been validated and the registrar was compliant, regardless of extensive evidence proving otherwise. Despite a letter sent to ICANN's CEO and an investigation by the Washington Post, the Rape Tube stayed online. more

Is the Future of the Internet at Risk?

The debate about the control of the internet is intensifying, with interesting discussions expected later on this year in Dubai at the WCIT conference organised by the ITU. Over the last 25 years the industry has moved from being mainly telephony-based to being mainly IP-based, and many say that what is now at stake is the future of the internet as we know it at this point in time... The reality now is that the political stakes of the internet have risen significantly. more

Multi-Stakeholder Debate at the IGF: Lessons from a Safari

Here at the IGF in Kenya, we're debating how governments, private sector, and civil society can improve the multi-stakeholder model that's helped the Internet become such a vital part of life around the world. Makes me think of another kind of multi-stakeholder model I saw last week on a photo safari in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve. more

Using Domain Filtering To Effect IP Address Filtering

In Taking Back The DNS I described new technology in ISC BIND as of Version 9.8.0 that allows a recursive server operator to import DNS filtering rules in what ISC hopes will become the standard interchange format for DNS policy information. Later I had to decry the possible use of this technology for mandated content blocking such as might soon be the law of the land in my country. I'm a guest at MAAWG this week in San Francisco and one of the most useful hallway discussions I've been in so far was about the Spamhaus DROP list. more

Are We at the Dawn of a New Cold War?

Over the past say six months there are trends and events on and around the Internet that made me come up with this bizarre sounding question. Still it may actually make sense if we look at some facts. I'll be honest up front. This is a contribution that is not totally thought over and more a compilation of ideas and impressions gathered over the past weeks and months. Still, it could well serve as the beginning of a discussion on giving the recent events a place. There's nothing better than a provocative question in that case! Let's start here. more

Open Internet and Democratic Principles Under Attack

It is somewhat ironic that, several years ago now, Rupert Murdoch (while hinting at China) said something along the lines of the new media constituting a threat to totalitarian regimes, and that these regimes would have to open up and democratise. At that time the entire the western world, led by America (perhaps quietly), applauded his statement. ... However, now that those western leaders are being confronted with exactly the same issues, and are seeing for themselves the enormous democratic benefits of the Internet, they are behaving in a most authoritarian way. more

China Won't Repeat Protectionist Past in Digital Realm

Google may have unnecessarily provoked a fight with China, but the Middle Kingdom better keep its wits, lest it repeat a sad protectionist history. Early last millennium China was the world's richest civilization and technology leader. It famously invented gunpowder, iron casting, paper, porcelain, printing, and gigantic nine-masted sailing vessels. Between 1405 and 1433, the great Muslim Chinese explorer Zheng He led seven expeditions in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, reaching the coast of East Africa. China's naval fleet grew to 3,500 ships... more