Internet Governance

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Leaked Documents Reveal Xi Jinping's Communist Chinese Plan to Control the Internet's Root

Yesterday, The Epoch Times reported on leaked internal Chinese government documents revealing that premier Xi Jinping has "personally directed the communist regime to focus its efforts to control the global Internet, displacing the influential role of the United States." Xi's ultimate aim is for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to wield "discourse power" over communications and discussions on the global geopolitical stage by controlling content on the Internet. more

Trusted Notifiers and the Future of DNS Abuse

Efforts have been ongoing in the ICANN community to develop a better understanding of its role in the combat of abuse. This theme has been rising in prominence every year since 2018, and 2021 appears to be the tipping point, in which consensus has built around the idea that more can be accomplished in terms of reducing the impact of rogue actors using the Internet for malicious purposes. more

Facebook's "Supreme Court" Has Implications for International Law

Last year, Facebook created its widely dubbed "Supreme Court" (officially the Oversight Board) in an effort to outsource some of the platform's most difficult content decisions. By all accounts, Facebook hoped the Board would have global legitimacy to make the toughest content decisions and help avoid reputational damage for being biased, arbitrary, tone-deaf, or worse. more

Is NIST's Recent Letter on o.com a Bureaucratic Coup d'Etat?

Verisign recently informed ICANN that it had received a letter from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, regarding the proposed auction of o.com described in the Second Amendment to the .com Registry Agreement agreed to by ICANN and Verisign in March 2019. This letter, which doesn't appear to be on official letterhead, is from a NIST Grants Officer and purports to overturn a letter raising objections to the auction... more

The Multistakeholder Moment of Truth: Will Stakeholders Hold ICANN Accountable?

During the two-year period preceding the IANA transition in 2016, there was a near-superhuman effort put forth by the community of stakeholders to design, debate, and deploy an accountability framework for ICANN that would serve to check and balance the coordinator of the global DNS. One of the overriding concerns that stakeholders sought to address was the possibility of ICANN being captured, and it was argued that the global community of stakeholders would serve as a "backstop" that would hold ICANN accountable. more

Cybersecurity, an Essential Weapon in the Cyberwarfare to Protect Our Democracy

We see the problems that we are facing within an increasingly digital society and economy. We cannot go backward; the only way forward is to ensure that this new digital environment is made as safe as possible from a personal, social, political and economic perspective. We are currently struggling on these fronts. Unfortunately, we have now clearly entered a situation of cyber warfare. States now use digital technologies to impose and undermine ideologies. more

The Insult and Injury of the U.S. Government's Failure to Enforce ICANN's Contractual Obligation

Someone recently observed that many stakeholders have fallen victim to a "chilling effect" resulting from fear of retaliation by the rich and powerful bullies currently infecting the multistakeholder community, ICANN, and Internet governance. I related to what I was hearing because I've been personally targeted and libelously attacked and it is deeply dismaying enough having to worry about threats to revenue and reputation along with other harmful effects of such thuggery. more

Why ICANN Rejected ISOC's Billion-Dollar Attempt At Feathering Its Own Nest With .org Sale?

As I've pointed out in recent articles, the promises and obligations of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are merged by direct reference into the InterNIC licensing agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN. This licensing agreement has been extended twice by mutual consent, most recently until January 2025. Therefore, the MOU's promises and obligations remain in effect through the InterNIC licensing agreement despite the fact that the MOU itself terminated in 2009. more

An Anti-Competitive .com Fait Accompli?

In a recent article, Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Obligations to the U.S. Government, I wrote: The referenced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the vehicle by which the U.S. government delegates to ICANN the responsibilities for overseeing the technical management of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS)... This is important for many reasons, and much remains to be analyzed for additional context that can help expose the rot at the Internet's root. more

Time to Start Calling Facebook "The Dark Empire" and Regulate It Accordingly

It appears people, governments, regulators and legislators worldwide may have forgotten Facebook's complicit involvement with Cambridge Analytica (CA). It is possible that new priorities such as the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 may have pre-occupied them, and rightly so. But an unprecedented data breach in 2019 unfolded this weekend, bringing a recurring nightmare of the past back into today's reality. more

Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Contractual Obligations to the U.S. Government?

Recently, I had time to reflect on various matters after the alternator in my vehicle decided that the middle of a mountain pass was the appropriate time and place to go to that great big pick-and-pull scrapyard in the sky while leaving me stranded with no cell signal on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Until that point, I had been seriously considering applying to ICANN's Nominating Committee for one of the three open seats on ICANN's Board of Directors. more

Digital Culture Wars: Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" and China's Social Credit System

We are on the cusp of a grave risk where unscrupulous groups with various agendas are using digital technologies to wage cultural war to stamp out dissent and gain control and power. The two most prominent recent examples are Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) and China's Social Credit System (SCS). The following piece was prompted by work on the UDHR and Internet Governance series, for CircleID to deal with UDHR Article 27 and the role of culture, arts, and science in the life of the community.  more

ICANN Must Release the Single-Character .com Hostages from the IANA Impostor's Warehouse

Most of the single-character .com labels were initially registered in 1993 by Dr. Jon Postel while performing work pursuant to a contract with, and funded by, the U.S. government and are currently assigned to a "shell registrar" created and controlled by ICANN. This shell - which is the 376th entry on ICANN's list of accredited registrars - is misleadingly identified as the IANA registrar while being engaged in the illicit warehousing of domain names for speculative purposes. more

Developing the Next Generation of Internet Champions – Internet Society's Early Career Fellowship

How do we help develop the next generation of champions for an open Internet? As many of us who were involved in the early years of the Internet are getting older, how do we help inspire a new wave of advocates for an open Internet available to everyone? As we face so many threats to "the Internet way" from many different forces - governments, corporations, criminals, and other organizations - how do we help build the corp of people who understand Internet technology and policy issues and can help shape the future of this Internet we have all come to rely on? more

A Look at Cuba's Digital Revolution

In spite of having a slow, expensive, government-controlled Internet infrastructure, Cuba is undergoing what Ted Henken and Sara Garcia Santamaria refer to as a digital revolution. The digital revolution might be said to have begun in 2007 when Yoani Sánchez launched her blog "Generation Y." Internet access was difficult -- she would get illegal connectivity at tourist hotels, and the blog was initially hosted in Germany. Soon, the Huffington Post began publishing her posts, and she has subsequently received many international awards, including the Ortega y Gasset Award for Digital Journalism in 2008. more

News Briefs

The Government of Niue Launches Proceedings With ICANN to Reclaim Its .nu Top-Level Domain

U.S. Military Is Buying Location Data of People Around the World Through Ordinary Apps

CENTR Has Released an Animated Video on ccTLDs and Their Technical Role Concerning Content

New Digital Services Act Should Not Disrupt Internet's Technical Operations, Warn RIPE NCC, CENTR

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

Internet Society Calls the US Clean Network Program a Political Act, A Push Towards "Splinternet"

i2Coalition and The Domain Name Association Announce Their Intent to Merge

Trump Admin Ramping Up Attacks on GDPR – Says It Helps Cybercrime, Threatens Public Health

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

American University Washington College of Law to Hold Open Discussion on the .ORG Sale Controversy

California Attorney General Asks ICANN for Detailed Information On the .ORG Sale

Vint Cerf Says He Is in Favor of .ORG Acquisition, Explains Why

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

U.N. Approves Resolution to Combat Cybercrime Despite Opposition From E.U., the U.S. and Others

Russia Says It Has Successfully Tested a Country-Wide Alternative to the Global Internet

EFF and 26 Other Organizations Send Letter to Internet Society Urging It to Stop Sale of .ORG

Iran Almost Completely Shuts Off Internet Access Across the Country Amid Protests Over Fuel Prices

Internet Commerce Association Calls for ICANN to Withhold Approval of .Org Sale

EFF: For ISPs to Retain Power to Censor the Internet, DNS Needs to Remain Leaky

Leading Domain Registries and Registrars Release Joint Document on Addressing 'DNS Abuse'

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Industry Updates

Together for the Good of the Internet: eco Complaints Office Registers More Reports Than Ever Before

The New .AU Domain Licensing Rules and Their Impact

Afilias Joins Global Encryption Coalition to Promote Internet Security

i2Coalition and DNA Merger Creates North America's Largest Internet Infrastructure Advocacy Group

Afilias Endorses Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace Final Report at Paris Peace Forum

Neustar and usTLD Stakeholder Council to Hold .US Town Hall Live Webcast

Afilias Thanks Desiree Miloshevic for 12 Years of Service to ISOC

Afilias Joins Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace

Melinda Clem Named i2Coalition Chair Elect for 2019

i2Coalition Releases Statement On Australian Encryption Law Passing

Neustar and usTLD Stakeholder Council to Hold .US Town Hall Live Webcast

Frank Stiff Appointed Director and 2019 Board Chair Elect of the i2Coalition

i2Coalition Supports Open Internet and Multistakeholder Model in Comments to NTIA

eco/i2Coalition Update Webinar on ICANN Contracted Party GDPR Compliance

i2Coalition Focuses on Intermediary Liability Issues

Participants – Random Selection