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Initiative for the Future of the Global Internet

When reading some of the nonsense constituting this initiative occurring in Washington, one wonders what planet the proponents live on. It is like peering through some perverse wormhole back to a 1990s Washington view of the world that saw “the internet” as some salvation for all the problems of humankind. For a world now focused on rolling out 5G virtualization infrastructure and content-based services and meshed devices, the challenges of cybersecurity and network-based harm to society, the initiative makes the U.S. Administration seem utterly out of touch with reality. Simply goofy. more

Content Blocking at the DNS Level in Germany

For those who follow the issue of blocking illegal content from the Internet, there is an interesting development in relation to this issue here in Germany, and I will tell you a little about it. One way to make it difficult to access illegal content is to block it directly in the DNS. But what is DNS for? Basically, it serves to translate the domain name into the IP of the server that is hosting the content. By blocking directly at the DNS level, a query to a domain will no longer bring the server's IP number, and with that, the user no longer accesses that content. more

Searching for the Meaning of “Registers” in the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)

Where outcomes depend on a word’s meaning, the first task is to define it. “Registers” which is one of the keywords in the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), is still in the process of definition. Its statutory context provides that a domain name registrant is liable to the owner of a mark if “it has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark … and (ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name [corresponding to a mark] that … is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name [and] is identical or confusingly similar to that mark. more

Regulating Magic: Why We Need to Establish a Regulatory Framework for Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence

The promises of quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and other advancing technologies sound like magic. However, even magic is subject to the laws of economics. And even quantum computers are “legal things…technological tools that are bound to affect our lives in a tangible manner,” as Valentin Jeutner explains in The Quantum Imperative: Addressing the Legal Dimension of Quantum Computers. Analogous to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, Professor Jeutner proposes a three-part “quantum imperative,” which “provides that regulators and developers must ensure that the development of quantum computers. more

What Due Diligence Satisfies Domain Name Registrant’s Representations (UDRP)?

Not infrequently mark owners in disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) claim that respondents should have been aware that the domain names they registered corresponded to their marks; and from this, urge panelists to draw the inference that the registrations were designed to take advantage of their goodwill and reputation. To test this premise, we need to take a step back for a quick look at UDRP provisions. All it takes to acquire a domain name is to sign a registrar’s registration agreement. more

Offering Price as Evidence of Bad Faith Domain Name Registration: A False (UDRP) Factor

I have pointed out in earlier posts that some panelists disapprove of the business of speculating in domain names. There have been a succession of decisions expressing this view beginning with <crew.com> discussed below. Forfeiture has been justified with a mixture of theories. If the offering price is allegedly "excessive" or the domain name is passively held, or the respondent has renewed its registration after the mark is first used in commerce, the panelists find respondents have engaged in unlawful conduct and must forfeit their domain names. more

ICANN Is Violating Its Legal Agreements with the U.S. Government – Who’s Next?

In April, I published an article, The Multistakeholder Moment of Truth: Will Stakeholders Hold ICANN Accountable?, alerting stakeholders that ICANN is violating its legal agreements with the U.S. Government -- namely the InterNIC licensing agreement and merged Memorandum of Understanding. At that time, I warned that it is essential for stakeholders not to remain silent in the face of this transgression, "hoping that such behavior left unchecked will end of its own accord." more

Anticompetitive and Predatory Misconduct by ICANN and Contracted Parties Must End

On May 26, 2021, I submitted a complaint to ICANN's Complaints Officer, Krista Papac. In a nutshell, my complaint centers on ICANN's blatant violation of its Bylaws, specifically Section 2.2, named Restrictions, which expressly prohibits ICANN from acting as a registrar. However, despite the absence of any exceptions to this unambiguous prohibition, ICANN is acting improperly as a registrar for the purposes of warehousing and cybersquatting on certain domain names in the .com and .net registries. 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

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

The Supreme Court Decides that Compatible Software is Still Legal

Back in the 1980s, everyone used the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet on their PCs. In 1989, Borland released a competitor, Quattro Pro. It used the same menu commands as 1-2-3 so that users could import their 1-2-3 spreadsheets with keyboard macros. Lotus sued Borland, and after a loss in the district court, Borland won on appeal, arguing that the keyboard commands are a "method of operation" and not subject to copyright. Lotus appealed to the Supreme Court... 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 of Registration in Determining Cybersquatting

While Panels under the UDRP and judges under the ACPA draw upon a similar body of principles in determining infringement -- both mechanisms, after all, are crafted to combat cybersquatting -- and though arbitration panels and judges undoubtedly view alleged tortious wrongdoing by abusive registrations of domain names through similar lenses and apply laws that may be outwardly similar, each protective mechanism has developed its own distinct and separate jurisprudence. 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

News Briefs

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

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

Russia Bans Sale of Smartphones, Computers and Other Devices Not Pre-Installed With Russian Software

China to Require Face Scan for Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December

US Court Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal But Says States Can’t Be Barred from Passing Own Rules

51 CEOs Call on US Congress for Urgent Nationwide Data Privacy Law Overriding State-Level Laws

WIPO Becomes First Non-Chinese Entity to Provide Domain Dispute Resolution Services for China’s .cn

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Appeal in Lawsuit Against US DomainTools

EU Court of Justice Ruling Could Result in Cutting Off Data Flows to US

Huawei Files Motion in US Federal Court Calling Ban Unconstitutional, an Assault on Human Rights

Qualcomm’s Licensing Practices Are Illegal, U.S. Judge Rules

Microsoft Sees Serious Appetite for Revised Privacy Laws in US, Says It’s Time to Match EU’s GDPR

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

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

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

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Canada Considering Right to Repair Legislation Tackling Repair Monopoly Over Brand-Name Devices

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

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