Internet Governance

Internet Governance / Featured Blogs

Internet Meltdown?

Is the internet on the verge of a meltdown? A non-profit organization, People For Internet Responsibility (PFIR), is concerned that there is the risk of "imminent disruption, degradation, unfair manipulation, and other negative impacts on critical Internet services..." PFIR believes that the "red flag" warning signs of a potential meltdown include "attempts to manipulate key network infrastructures such as the domain name system; lawsuits over Internet regulatory issues... ever-increasing spam, virus, and related problems..." more

ICANN’s Picture of Itself

ICANN has released its draft new budget. The document gives us a good look at how ICANN sees itself. It's arguably an internally inconsistent view. ...This budget calls for ICANN to have almost 60 staff members by the end of the next fiscal year. Expenses under this budget are predicted to be twice those of last year ($16 million v. $8 million). more

To Fight Domain Name Theft: Sex.com Gives Birth to a New Property Right

For those who are Star Wars fans, the following scene from the prequel, Attack of the Clones, will be easy to recall: a young and misinformed Jedi, known as Obi-waan Kenobi, opines about how an army of clones had been able to snatch a victory from imminent defeat. Yoda, a Jedi Master and virtual fountain of wisdom, immediately gushes forth an important correction: "Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-waan, not victory." Yoda explains that winning a battle is not a victory, if the win merely signals that the war has just begun. Yoda's apparent perception seems particularly apt for the precedent setting federal court opinion involving the sex.com domain name. Notwithstanding that individual domain name registrants may seek comfort in the victory obtained from the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Kremen v. Cohen, that decision merely signals a beginning -- not an end -- to the controversy over the proper legal framework for resolving domain name theft.  more

Internet Governance and Diplomacy

Developments in modern international relations have shown that traditional diplomacy is not capable of sufficiently addressing complex new issues, for example, the environment, health protection, and trade. Governance of the Information Society and the Internet is probably one of the most complex international issues facing diplomacy today. Issues surrounding the Information Society require a multi-disciplinary approach (the various concerns include technology, economy, impact on society, regulatory and legal issues, governance and more); a multi-stakeholder approach (various actors are involved, including states, international organizations, civil society, private sector, and others) and a multi-level approach (decision-making must take place on different levels: local, national, regional and global). Diplo has developed a research methodology which takes all of these approaches into account. Post includes illustration from Diplo Calendar 2004. more

Sex.com Settles Monumental Case Against VeriSign/Network Solutions

Sex.com announced today a final settlement with VeriSign (formerly Network Solutions, Inc.), concluding a six-year legal fight that set several important precedents for the future of the Internet. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Sex.Com a sweeping victory that held VeriSign/Network Solutions, Inc. (collectively "VeriSign") strictly responsible for mishandling the famous domain name, Sex.Com and VeriSign have settled Sex.Com's lawsuit against VeriSign. more

Why Does A Technical Manager Function As A Regulator?

Unlike ICANN, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) responded graciously, promptly and substantively to inquiries from the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) regarding governance of the internet. CRE sent a letter to NTIA in mid-March asking about public access to documents prepared by ICANN under Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NTIA. NTIA provided a quick and clear response to CRE's questions. NTIA also reiterated its commitment to achieving transparency and accountability in ICANN's processes. NTIA's response to CRE, although clear and comprehensive, raised a number of important questions about ICANN and their governance of the internet. more

Governments and Governance

A United Nations task force recently held a two-day workshop on the question of who governs the Internet. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan challenged those of us present to ensure that the Internet and the World Wide Web support "the cause of human development."
Following in the long-standing tradition of skepticism about governments in the Internet community, some in the technical community and the Internet's chattering classes view the concerns expressed by the United Nations and countries such as Brazil, India and others, as a threat to the operation of the Internet itself. This article was originally published at CNET News.Com on April 6, 2004. more

UN Global Forum on Internet Governance

More than 200 leaders from government, business and civil society attended the Global Forum on Internet Governance, held on 25 and 26 March 2004 and organized by the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force. The forum, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, was intended, according to a UN press release, "to contribute to worldwide consultations to prepare the ground to a future Working Group on Internet Governance to be established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which is to report to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, 2005)". more

Adult-Related TLDs Considered Dangerous

In an RFC prepared by Donald E. Eastlake 3rd and Declan McCullagh, an analysis is offered for proposals to mandate the use of a special top level name or an IP address bit to flag "adult" or "unsafe" material or the like. This document explains why these ideas are ill considered from legal, philosophical, and technical points of view: "Besides technical impossibility, such a mandate would be an illegal forcing of speech in some jurisdictions, as well as cause severe linguistic problems for domain or other character string names." more

It’s About Connectivity Not The Internet!

I've been trying to avoid writing about the Internet as such. With as "At the Edge" I'm looking at larger issues but can't escape writing more directly about the Internet. It seems as if everyone wants a say in Internet policy without distinguishing between technical and social issues. Today the term "The Internet" or, for many simply "Internet" is more of brand than a term for a specific technology and its implications. It has become too easy to talk about the Internet in lieu of understanding. We also see the converse -- a failure to recognize "Internet" issues. more

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