Policy & Regulation

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FCC Implements Broadband Labels

The FCC voted recently to implement consumer broadband labels. This was required by section 60504 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The new rules will become effective after the Office of Management, and Budget approves the new rules and after the final notice is published in the federal register. ISPs will then generally have six months to implement the labels. The labels look a lot like the nutrition labels that accompany food. more

Justice Department Recommends That the FCC Deny the Proposed ARCOS Cable Segment Connecting Florida and Cuba

In September 2020, I wrote a post on a proposed 56-kilometer link between the ARCOS undersea cable and the north coast of Cuba, near Havana. The Trump-appointed Justice Department Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector was to conduct a 120-day security review of the proposal. more

AI Already Succeeding in Most Creative Tasks and Getting Better by the Day

It is redundant to point out how much progress AI applications made during the past few years. What is escaping the attention of many people, however, is that in most creative areas, there are already fully working consumer-grade tools based on generative AI that can produce output similar to that of a human with above-average capabilities, and there are many more on the way. These tools also happen to be rather affordable, making them accessible to a large amount of people. more

Achieving Multi-Stakeholder Progress on DNS Abuse

DNS Abuse and how to address it has been the topic of intense, often conflictual, and rarely conclusive discussions for many years, starting with the very definition of the term and the degree of responsibility bestowed upon DNS operators. In 2018, after several months of intersessional work, the Internet & Jurisdiction Global Conference brought together in Ottawa more than 200 key stakeholders to define a roadmap to address certain jurisdictional challenges on the Internet, including DNS abuse. more

ICANN Policymaking Should Be Even More Transparent

Transparency and accountability are embedded in ICANN's core values. Indeed, ICANN's Bylaws mandate that "ICANN and its constituent bodies shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner ...". Public Interest Registry believes that a dedication to transparency is fundamental to the strength and continued effectiveness of ICANN's multistakeholder model. more

The Continuing WHOIS Disappearing Act

WHOIS is about to become even harder to find. ICANN has recently concluded long-delayed contract negotiations with industry meant to accommodate the technical migration from the WHOIS protocol to the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP). Instead of limiting the changes to what's necessary to implement the new technical protocol, the proposals effectively gut WHOIS, making it virtually impossible to find by eliminating web-based WHOIS access... more

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

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

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

From “Network Neutrality” to “Sender Pays”, the Principles Remain Much the Same

The entire set of issues of network neutrality, interconnection and settlements, termination monopolies, cost allocation and infrastructure investment economics is back with us again. This time it's not under the banner of "Network Neutrality" but under a more directly confronting title of "Sender Pays." The principle is much the same: network providers want to charge both their customers and the content providers to carry content to users. more

WHOIS Disclosure Questions

In 2020, the ICANN Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council approved a plan to revamp the WHOIS system as per the recommendations given by the ICANN Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP). This plan directed ICANN to develop a centralized System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) for WHOIS records. After much debate regarding the suitability and cost of such a system, ICANN brought together a group... 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

News Briefs

CENTR Publishes Comment on the European Commission’s DNS Abuse Study

18 Million of the 22 Million Net Neutrality Comments Received by FCC in 2017 Were Fake

Government of India Gives the Go-Ahead for 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials, Avoids Chinese Firms

Backlash Over Potential Firing of U.S. Election Cybersecurity’s Top Official

CENTR Has Released an Animated Video on ccTLDs and Their Technical Role Concerning Content

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

First Round of U.S. Layoffs Due to Huawei Blockade

China Accuses Washington of Damaging Global Trade With Huawei Sanctions

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

Internet Society Calls the US Clean Network Program a Political Act, A Push Towards “Splinternet”

UK Bans Huawei 5G Equipment, Also Orders 5G Kit to Be Removed From UK Networks by 2027

Trump Admin Ramping Up Attacks on GDPR – Says It Helps Cybercrime, Threatens Public Health

FCC Doubts LEO Satellite Broadband Services Like SpaceX’s Starlink Can Meet Latency Requirements

Department of Commerce to Allow US Companies Work With Chinese to Develop 5G and Other Standards

FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

American University Washington College of Law to Hold Open Discussion on the .ORG Sale Controversy

FCC Gives Google, Sony and Others Full Authorization for Commercial Deployment of 3.5 GHz Spectrum

Vint Cerf Says He Is in Favor of .ORG Acquisition, Explains Why

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) Issues Inspection Request to ICANN Concerning the .ORG Sale

U.N. Approves Resolution to Combat Cybercrime Despite Opposition From E.U., the U.S. and Others

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