Policy & Regulation

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A Closer Look at the "Sovereign Runet" Law

In December 2018, a bill on the "stable operation" of the Russian segment of the Internet was introduced and got the title "Sovereign Runet" in mass media and among the public. It was adopted after 5 months later, despite doubts about the technical feasibility of its implementation. The law is very ambitious in its intent to simultaneously control Internet traffic and protect Runet from some external threats, but legislators still have no idea how it would actually work. more

Understanding 5G: A Basic Primer

The initial, essential step toward understanding 5G is to perform an intellectual body purge of the endless disgorging of cluelessness and disinformation that emerges from the Washington White House and radiates out around that city and then to the outside world that it infects. The institutes, pundits, self-professed experts, summits, and even the U.S. press all pretty much feed out of the same trough of 5G political slop that gets passed around as incantations of ignorance, spin, and K-street lobbying. more

The Borg in Us All: Is Resistance Futile?

One of the main roles played by science fiction is to portray fundamental issues and questions that face humanity long before they actually become relevant to our daily lives. We cannot always be sure of where our reality ends, and fiction begins. Star Trek storylines including Borgs are a good example. In the storyline, Borgs are part organic, part artificial and created eons ago, yet they seem to presage the challenges in our contemporary personal reality and challenges in the Internet's cyberspace. more

The Three-Character Question at the Heart of Single-Character .COMs: W-H-Y?

In the matter relating to O.COM, I've focused on the fact that VeriSign has -- in correspondence to the organization that is counter-party to its .COM and transliterated .COM IDN Registry Agreements, in earnings calls with its investors and financial analysts, and in policy published on its website for every innocent and unsuspecting Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world to be duped by -- stated an unequivocal and unwavering commitment . more

How to Best Manage the Social Media

The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions -- just some of the potential attached to the internet. more

The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

Open Data Leads to Competition

In a previous post, I spoke of Amazon's use of customer and market data in restraint of trade, but they are not alone. For example, leaked internal documents show that plans to sell access to user data were discussed for years and received support from Facebook's most senior executives. Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because Amazon was spending money on advertising and partnered with them on the launch of the Fire smartphone. more

Is Digital Democracy an Option – and What Is Involved in It?

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the internet Berners-Lee, the father of the internet, reiterated his suggestion for a radical change, which would improve the functionality of the internet for the benefit of society. He suggests a sort of refoundation of the web, creating a fresh set of rules, both legal and technical, to unite the world behind a process that can avoid some of the missteps of the past 30 years. While this most certainly would be an excellent development, I am rather pessimistic about a rapid implementation of such a radical change more

DNS Privacy at IETF 104

From time to time the IETF seriously grapples with its role with respect to technology relating to users' privacy. Should the IETF publish standard specifications of technologies that facilitate third-party eavesdropping on communications or should it refrain from working on such technologies? Should the IETF take further steps and publish standard specifications of technologies that directly impede various forms of third party eavesdropping on communications? more

US Government to ICANN - Move Quickly

David Redl has written to ICANN in relation to the ongoing work around whois and GDPR. The letter, which was shared with the GNSO Council last night, is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it offers the carrot in relation to what's been done so far, but then there's the not so veiled threat, which isn't a revelation by any means, of "domestic legislation." more

India's eCommerce Policy: NOT a 'Bollywood Drama' but an Adaptation of Script of Acts from Elsewhere

The draft e-commerce policy paper of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India raises valid observations concerning some of the imbalances, such as, on the excessive advantages gained by the "first movers" in the private sector, which implies advantages gained by the first -mover States on the Internet, on some of the prevailing gaps in the space and also on concerns about the abusive practices by a few e-commerce platforms and vendors. Most of these concerns are best addressed globally... more

Are Inter-Satellite Laser Links a Bug or a Feature of ISP Constellations?

I hope each of these companies has someone in charge of thinking about what might go wrong with a single, satellite-based network providing fast, low-cost links anywhere on the global Internet. OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat and Leosat all aspire to be global Internet service providers using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Their success will require still-unproven technological innovation, but there are also political stumbling blocks. more

Will PDP 3.0 Save the Multi-Stakeholder Model?

For the past several months, there has been much discussion within the ICANN community about something called "PDP 3.0". This has been raised in a number of different contexts including as part of ICANN's new governance review. But what exactly is PDP 3.0? And, will it save ICANN's multi-stakeholder governance model? I believe that if we are to save the multi-stakeholder model then now is the time to address the big issues not just the low hanging fruit on the surface - a new approach to achieving consensus across parties with widely differing views is needed. more

Still No Access to WHOIS Data

The ICANN 64 meeting in Kobe concluded two weeks ago, and we are no closer to accessing WHOIS data critical for law enforcement, cybersecurity threat investigators, intellectual property owners, or other consumer protection advocates who rely on the data to act quickly against online abuse in the domain name system. Instead of a balanced approach to WHOIS that serves the public interest, the ICANN Board is set to approve a new global policy that fails to even fully acknowledge critical... more

The EPDP on Generic Top-Level Domain Registration Data: Phase 1 Down, Phase 2 To Go

The ICANN community recently gathered in Kobe, Japan for its first meeting of the year and it was certainly a busy week for attendees. Much of the meeting centered around the work of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) to address gTLD registration data. As a member of the EPDP team, we had been hard at work since being formed in August of 2018. Just prior to the Kobe meeting, we published the phase 1 Final Report. more

News Briefs

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Chief David Redl Resigns

US Federal Trade Commission Says It Lacks Resources to Go After Privacy Violations Effectively

Representatives From EU, NATO, USA, Japan, Australia Hold Meeting on 5G Security and Policy Measures

No GDPR Action Against Any Big Tech Firms Since Law Imposed Last Year, Doubts Escalate Over Enforcer

UK Government Planning on New Laws for IoT Devices Including a Mandatory Security Labelling Scheme

Canada Says Facebook Has Refused to Address Serious Privacy Deficiencies Concerning Its Local Laws

World's Growing Refugee Population Requires Access to Broadband to Mitigate Problems, Says Report

Non-Profit Organizations Send Joint Letter to ICANN Opposing the Removal of .org Price Caps

FCC to Block China Mobile From Gaining Access to the U.S. Market

Trump Administration Announces Its Big 5G Push: Largest-Ever Spectrum Auction and a 20.4B Fund

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Close to Half of America Not Using the Internet at Broadband Speeds, Says Microsoft

Article Expresses Concern That Google and Other Tech Giants are Quietly Buying Up Undersea Cables

Cybersecurity Continues to Be the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Top Priority for 2019

Russians Take to the Streets to Protest Against New Internet Restrictions

Thousands of UK Businesses, Individuals to Lose Their .EU Web Address in a No-Deal Brexit

US House and Senate Democratic Leaders Announce Bill to Restore Federal Net Neutrality Rules

Domain Registrars Given a Six-Month Deadline to Implement Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

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