Policy & Regulation

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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

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

FCC Nixes Starlink and LTD Broadband

On August 10, the FCC issued a press release denying the long-form applications of Starlink and LTD Broadband in the RDOF reverse auction. This is big news because these are two of the biggest winners of the reverse auction. LTD Broadband was the largest winner of the auctions at $1.32 billion, while Starlink had claimed over $885 million in the auction. more

A New Definition of Broadband?

FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel has circulated a draft Notice of Inquiry inside the FCC to kick off the required annual report to Congress on the state of U.S. broadband. As part of preparing that report, she is recommending that the FCC adopt a new definition of broadband of 100/20 Mbps and establish gigabit broadband as a longer-term goal. I have a lot of different reactions to the idea. more

The Internet as a Public Good

It is time to recognize the Internet as a public good - freely available like other basic infrastructures such as roads and sidewalks. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web by taking advantage of open connectivity available among universities and research institutions. Today we see that same open connectivity within corporations, in our homes, and on university campuses. more

The Politics of Submarine Cable in the Pacific

There was a naive idealism in the early days of the Internet that attempted to rise above the tawdry game of politics. Somehow, we thought that we had managed to transcend a whole set of rather messy geopolitical considerations that plagued the telephone world and this new digital space that the Internet was creating was simply not going to play by the old rules. more

World Economic Forum Davos 2022: War in Ukraine, Metaverse und Splinternet

The war in Ukraine, Metaverse and Splinternet were among the most discussed items during the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The topic of cyber security was primarily about the role of cyberattacks in the Ukraine war. Cyber is not the focus of day-to-day public war reporting but is an integral part of warfare on both sides. This applies above all to the use of "social media." more

Law as Unusual: Quantum Computing’s Five-Dimensional Challenge to the Legal Establishment

Quantum computers are coming, and the American Bar Association's SciTech section is beginning to consider the legal implications. This raises the question, will the legal profession be able to adopt emerging quantum technologies on a tech-business as a usual basis? Or will the developments flowing from quantum mechanical theory present a categorical challenge to the legal-industrial complex? more

Webcast May 23: Finnish Internet Forum – ‘Internet and War’ Panel

On Monday May 23 2022 at 3 -- 5pm EEST (12:00 -- 14:00 UTC) the Finnish Internet Forum will convene a panel at the University of Helsinki with the topic 'Internet and War'. A panel of experts will address the question of how the war has affected the Internet and how the Internet has been used to influence Finland and elsewhere during the war. The event will be conducted in English. 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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