Internet Governance

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Potential Impacts of Large-Scale Metaverses on Internet Governance: Bandwidth

Neal Stephenson’s foundational cyberpunk novel Snow Crash brought to the public the concept of a metaverse, a virtual reality in which people interact using avatars in a manufactured ecosystem, eschewing the limitations of human existence. More recently, Ready Player One capitalized on that idea and brought it back to prominence with a bestselling novel and subsequent film adaptation. Amid rebranding efforts and seeking a new way forward, Mark Zuckerberg has made it Facebook’s (now Meta Platforms) priority to build a platform that could enable the metaverse to become a mainstream technology with the sort of reach that their social networks and WhatsApp have. more

Remembering the Cybersecurity Treaty That Never Happened

The cybercrime legal community from around the globe is meeting under the aegis of the Council of Europe (COE) to hold the annual Cooperation against Cybercrime conference dubbed Octopus 2021. It is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Cybercrime Convention treaty signed in November 2001 in Budapest. Not celebrated and little known, however, is the Stanford Draft -- A Proposal for an International Convention on Cyber Crime and Terrorism -- and the initiative begun in 1997 which brought about that draft treaty instrument. more

Afilias’ Rule Violations Continue to Delay .WEB

As I noted on May 26, the final decision issued on May 20 in the Independent Review Process (IRP) brought by Afilias against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rejected Afilias’ petition to nullify the results of the public auction for .WEB, and it further rejected Afilias’ demand to have it be awarded .WEB (at a price substantially lower than the winning bid). Instead, as we urged, the IRP Panel determined that the ICANN Board should move forward with reviewing the objections made about .WEB, and to make a decision on delegation thereafter. more

Transparency Meets Sustainability: Announcing the SDIA Open Data Hub

Last month, the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA) announced our Open Data Hub, a resource that's meant to boost transparency, trust, and data availability to help researchers, industry, and society realize a sustainable digital economy. It is essentially our answer to the challenge recognized across the sector: that the lack of reliable data is one of the most foundational issues we face in creating a sustainable ICT ecosystem. more

The ITU Strategic Plan: Time to Terminate

In recent times, groups of people gather at the ITU in Geneva and write a "strategic plan" covering the next few years. Indeed, there is a current questionnaire to that effect. It is frozen in a world that existed 30 years ago, and by any measure, surreal and absurd. It needs to be terminated. Here is why. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has existed in various forms since 1850 to perform two basic functions. more

The State of the Internet During the Anti-Government Protests in Cuba

On Sunday, July 11, thousands of Cubans, took to the streets in anti-government protests triggered by COVID, the faltering economy, and an overwhelmed healthcare system. In three days, 110 protests took place across the island. The following is a snapshot of an interactive, crowd-sourced map showing the locations of 118 large and small demonstrations (94 reported on the 11th, 14 on the 12th, seven on the 13th and three on the 17th). more

What ICANN Should Do Now to Help Future Applicants of New gTLDs

During ICANN71, the Brand Registry Group (BRG) openly asked potential future applicants what ICANN can do to help prepare them for the next gTLD round. The answer was very clear - commit to opening the next round and provide as much information as possible early on. However, in recent correspondence to the BRG from ICANN Chair, Maarten Botterman, he emphasized that "significant work lies ahead of us: the 2012 Applicant Guidebook must be updated with more than 100 outputs... more

3 Strategies for Keeping ICANN and IANA On-Mission and Out of Politics

Over the last year, the ICANN community has been raging on about two issues: the looming IANA transition away from the US government, and how to ensure the organization is accountable to all the Internet's stakeholders. While the issues have run on separate tracks, they both boil down to one question: can ICANN be trusted to be a good steward of the Internet's future? The answer to this question will go a long way in deciding ICANN's future. more

Multistakeholderism Is Working: Even in Exile

I'm happy to report (mostly) positive feedback on my last article that examined how the multistakeholder model tackled, and tackled well, Phase 1 of the review of all Rights Protection Mechanisms. While bad news may sell more clicks, a little good news from time to time also appears to be welcome. Good news also reminds us of how fortunate we are to have a private sector ICANN with a multistakeholder model of policy development... more

ICANN, or ICAN’T or IWON’T?

We're halfway into ICANN71, and early interactions are posing questions about ICANN Org's capability to carry out its mission to maintain an orderly domain name system (DNS). Or, if that's not the case, ICANN leadership seems bent on a hands-off approach to its oversight responsibilities to the DNS. For years now - years - the ICANN community has raised the volume level about acute issues -- a workable Whois management and access system (including clearly delineated controllership)... more

As DENIC’s CEO Jörg Schweiger Prepares to Step Down, He Speaks About His Time at DENIC

In January Jörg Schweiger, DENIC's CTO from 2007 to 2014 and CEO since 2014, announced he was stepping down from his position in December. It's been quite a ride, and the domain name industry has evolved quite a lot. So we asked Jörg a few questions about his time with DENIC and the changes he's seen... he came up with some insightful views on why he thought new TLDs missed a great opportunity to do something with "innovative new business models," the importance of security to DENIC... more

The IETF Evolution

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a collaborative body that has developed internetworking specifications for more than five decades, successfully shaping the global marketplace of digital network equipment and services. Beginning as a kind of distributed think tank among network researchers in 1969, it evolved to become one of the world's most influential standards bodies. more

Mistrust of ICANN Is Fully Vindicated

Recently, I have been reporting on a highly questionable auction scheme for a single domain name, o.com, which is currently being improperly warehoused by ICANN along with a number of other .com and .net domain names. This violates ICANN's Bylaws -- but, so what? 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

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

Industry Updates

Afrinic’s IP Address Crisis Raises Red Flags for Entire African Internet’s Sustainability

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