Internet Governance

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Solving the .US Registrant Data Directory Services (RDDS) Conundrum

Recently ten Democratic Members of Congress wrote a letter to Alan Davidson, head of the NTIA, requesting that the "NTIA immediately cease the public disclosure of personal information about users of .US" country code top-level domain (ccTLD). This communication highlights a significant concern regarding domain registration data: the need to protect the privacy rights of Registrants. However, an equally significant concern regarding registration data was raised... more

Toward an ITU Renaissance

For nearly fifty years now, a significant portion of my professional engineering and lawyering life has been threaded through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It has included all of its multiple sectors, working on the inside for two Secretary-Generals and running its Relations between Members and Regulations Division, writing two books including "The ITU in a Changing World" with the late George Codding, representing the U.S. at several conferences... more

ITU Secretary-General Elect Doreen Bogdan-Martin

This morning in Bucharest, Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected by the member nations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as its 12th Secretary-General. Of the 164 votes cast, she received 139 -- an overwhelming majority of 85 percent. Only 15 countries voted for her opponent, Rashid Ismailov of Russia, who sought to implement a divisive techno-political agenda. more

Why Facebook Is Not a Common Carrier

The ever-entertaining Fifth Circuit has recently upheld a strange Texas law that forbids most kinds of social media moderation. (Techdirt explains many of the reasons the court is wrong, so I won't try.) This brings us to the trendy question of whether Facebook, Twitter, et al. should be treated as common carriers. You can make a good argument to separate the point-to-point data transport from the ISP and make the former common carriage. more

Your Choice

Let's face it. The suppression of free speech is happening all over the Internet. Examples range from fanatics shouting down "unbelievers" in chatrooms to governments silencing voices to rig elections. We are equally convinced that freedom of speech as a principle should be generally upheld in cyberspace. This principle is strong where freedom and democracy are strong. It shines bright for those in search of freedom and democracy. Well, folks, think again. A recent experience has made me think otherwise. more

ICANN’s Accountability and Transparency – a Retrospective on the IANA Transition

As we passed five years since the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority transition took place, my co-authors and I paused to look back on this pivotal moment; to take stock of what we've learned and to re-examine some of the key events leading up to the transition and how careful planning ensured a successful transfer of IANA responsibilities from the United States Government to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. more

How to Restore Trust Into Cyberspace? Beer Has the Answer!

Let's face it, when it comes to digital technologies, fundamental human rights are not on top of the digital agenda. They seem irrelevant and remote, even an obstacle to digital innovation and opportunities. We are quick to pay lip service to them, but we permit the profit motive and stakeholder self-interests to override human rights principles. It does not matter how right and righteous the cause might be; to be implemented, it must be profitable or carry stakeholder benefits. more

Regulation of Algorithmic Regulation Begins

A Chinese law that went into effect six months ago required online service providers to file details of the algorithms they use with China's centralized regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). In mid-August, CAC released a list of 30 algorithms used by companies such as Alibaba, TenCent and Douyin, the Chinese version of Tiktok, with a brief description of their purpose. more

Amplifying the Internet Governance Forum: Will the New IGF Leadership Panel Make the Difference?

On August 16, 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres nominated ten high-level and eminent persons to serve in a new IGF Leadership Panel (ILP). The ILP includes luminaries like Vint Cerf, the father of the Internet, Tomas Hendrik Ilves, the former president of Estonia, and Maria Ressa, the Philippine woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. It is an interesting mix of "usual suspects" and "fresh blood." more

The Latest OEWG on ICTs Report: Thoughts and Recommendations

At the end of July, the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on ICTs -- which is currently discussing how states should and shouldn't behave in cyberspace - concluded its third meeting, which falls in the middle of its four-year mandate (ending in 2025). Below, we provide a summary of what happened, reflections on the outcomes and implications (the good and the bad), and some practical recommendations for stakeholders and governments to consider ahead of the next meeting. more

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