Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / News Briefs

OECD Reports on State of IPv6 Deployment for Policy Makers

OECD, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, has released a report for policy makers assessing the level of IPv6 deployment around the world. "[T]he timely deployment of IPv6 by network operators and content/application providers is an increasing priority for all Internet stakeholders. In terms of public policy, IPv6 plays an important role in enabling growth of the Internet to support further innovation. In addition, security, interoperability and competition issues are involved with the depletion of IPv4." more

Google Stops Operating Under Google.cn, Now Redirecting Traffic to Hong Kong Site

Earlier this year Google made the announcement that it is reviewing its business operations in China and considering possible closure due to China's cyberattacks and limits on free speech. Google today stopped censoring its search services (Google Search, Google News, and Google Images) on its chinese website, Google.cn and users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Hong Kong's site, Google.com.hk. more

ICANN CEO Urges African Telcos to Shatter Monopolies

ICANN CEO, Rod Beckstrom, urges African leaders to "shatter" telecommunications monopolies in their nations in order to help lower the price of Internet access to their citizens during his opening remarks at the start of the 37th ICANN meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. Beckstrom noted that while 15 percent of the world's population lives in Africa, Africans make up less than 7 percent of all Internet users. more

German High Court Says No to Retaining Telecom, Email Data for Tracking Criminal Networks

The highest court in Germany has ruled against telephone and email data retention used to track criminal networks. Melissa Eddy of the Global and Mail reports: "A law ordering data on calls made from mobile or landline telephones and e-mail exchanges be retained for six months for possible use by criminal authorities violated Germans' constitutional right to private correspondence, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled. In its ruling, the court said the law failed to sufficiently balance the need for personal privacy against that for providing security."
 more

FCC Aiming for 100 Million Households at 100 Megabits Per Second

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled a plan on Tuesday proposing minimum broadband speeds of 100Mbps. In his remarks, FCC's chief Julius Genachowski said: "To meet the imperatives of global competitiveness and enduring job creation, we must have broadband networks of such unsurpassed excellence that they will empower American entrepreneurs and innovators to build and expand businesses here in the United States. Our plan will set goals for the U.S. to have the world's largest market of very high-speed broadband users. A '100 Squared' initiative -- 100 million households at 100 megabits per second -- to unleash American ingenuity and ensure that businesses, large and small, are created here, move here, and stay here." more

Google Dumps Illicit Pharmacy Advertisements

Garth Bruen writes: Within the next few weeks Google plans to update its pharmacy policy which will restrict pharmacy advertisements. Once in effect, the updated policy will only allow VIPPS and CIPA certified pharmacies to advertise. Additionally these pharmacies can only target ads within their country. more

Obama Reinforces Belief in Net Neutrality

Following his State of the Union Speech last week, Obama was asked a number of user-submitted questions via prepared via YouTube. Popular questions included the issue of open internet and neutrality, to which Obama responded: "I'm a big believer in Net Neutrality. I campaigned on this. I continue to be a strong supporter of it. My FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has indicated that he shares the view that we've got to keep the Internet open..." more

Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales

Garth Bruen reports on a paper published by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics of Boston University School of Law authored by Bryan A. Liang and Tim Mackey titled, "Searching for Safety: Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales". From the paper: "Online sales of pharmaceuticals are a rapidly growing phenomenon. Yet despite the dangers of purchasing drugs over the Internet, sales continue to escalate. These dangers include patient harm from fake or tainted drugs, lack of clinical oversight, and financial loss. Patients, and in particular vulnerable groups such as seniors and minorities, purchase drugs online either na├»vely or because they lack the ability to access medications from other sources due to price considerations. Unfortunately, high risk online drug sources dominate the Internet, and virtually no accountability exists to ensure safety of purchased products."  more

SnapNames Faces Lawsuit; Attorney Says Domain Industry Is the Wild West Because It Is Unregulated

A class action lawsuit was filed today in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court on behalf of lead Plaintiff Carlos A. Cueto and others who participated in online auctions for domain names. In the lawsuit, Mr. Cueto alleges that an executive of the company conducting the auctions acted as a shill bidder to manipulate bids. The domain names were auctioned online by Oversee.Net, Inc. subsidiary SnapNames.Com, Inc. "The domain name industry is the wild west of intellectual property because it remains unregulated. The online community has been up in arms over what they feel has been an opaque system that just begs for transparency. It is impossible to know whether you are bidding against someone that isn't working or affiliated with the company conducting the auction," said attorney Santiago A. Cueto. more

Video: Engineers in Washington Discuss How Pending US Regulations Could Impact the Internet

"What Will the Internet of the Future Look Like?," was the subject of a panel discussion held this week in Washington, DC, organized by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). The discussion was aimed at examining pending Internet regulations in the U.S. and their impact on packet discrimination, traffic shaping, network management, and carrier business models. The panel, moderated by Robert Atkinson, included: Richard Bennett; Dr. David Farber; Charles Jackson; and Jon Peha. more

FCC Votes Unanimously on Net Neutrality, McCain Introduces Bill to Block the Move

U.S. Senator John McCain has introduced a legislation that could block the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from developing open Internet regulation which the agency voted on unanimously on Thursday. "Today I'm pleased to introduce the Internet Freedom Act of 2009 that will keep the Internet free from government control and regulation," said McCain. "It will allow for continued innovation that will in turn create more high-paying jobs for the millions of Americans who are out of work or seeking new employment. Keeping businesses free from oppressive regulations is the best stimulus for the current economy." more

Google and Verizon Wireless Find Common Ground on Net Neutrality

In a joint statement released today by Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, and Lowell McAdam, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, the two companies have expressed their support for making existing 'net neutrality' principles enforceable. The joint statement was published as a blog post late Wednesday on both Google and Verizon policy blogs. more

Berkman Center Releases Broadband Study for FCC, Says Open Access Key to Competition, Performance

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University today announced the release of its 232-page study commissioned by the FCC examining global broadband deployment and usage. The draft of the study titled, "Next Generation Connectivity: A review of broadband Internet transitions and policy from around the world," has now been posted for public comment. more

Finland First Country to Make Broadband a Legal Right

Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications announced today that from July 2010, every person in the country will have a legal right to at least 1Mb of broadband connection. Finland is the first country to guarantee broadband access and has already initiated plans to increase the 1MB minimum to 100Mb by 2015. Communications Minister Suvi Linden says the universal service and Internet connection at the specified minimum speed will help improve the quality and availability of connections in sparsely populated areas. This will in turn contribute to maintenance of rural vitality, increase business opportunities and e-commerce. more

New Australian Law Could Turn ISPs Into Online Sheriffs

According to reports today, the Australian federal government made a drastic change to a bill that could potentially allow ISPs to police online traffic. Karen Dearne of the Australian IT reports: "Electronic Frontiers Australia spokesman Geordie Guy said it was unclear if the draft Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment Bill was an "attempt to sneak through" a wholesale expansion of intercepts of private emails and file-sharing or merely a badly drafted bill." more