Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

The FCC Cyber Trust Label Gambit: Part II

Sixty years ago, Paul Baran and Sharla Boehm at The RAND Corporation released a seminal paper that would fundamentally reshape the cyber world forever more. Their paper, simply known as Memorandum RM -- 1303, described how specialized computers could be used to route digital communications among a distributed universe of other computers. It set the stage for a flood of endless developments that resulted in the interconnected world of everything, everywhere, all the time. more

It’s the Latency, FCC

Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 orders the FCC to "encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans." On October 25, The FCC issued a notice of inquiry (NOI) into how well we are doing and invited comments. The NOI points out that COVID and the concomitant increase in the use of interactive applications has "made it clear that broadband is no longer a luxury... more

A Digital Protocol From Kyoto and a Cyber Message From Hamburg: IGF and ICANN Are Well Prepared for the Future

On October 12, 2023, the 18th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ended in Kyoto. It was, with more than 9000 registered participants, the largest IGF since its inception in 2006. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida opened the five-day meeting. The tangible output included 89 "IGF Messages from Kyoto," four substantial reports with recommendations from IGF Policy Networks (PN) for Artificial Intelligence... more

In Search of an Agenda for a New Netmundial

With the strong possibility of a new Netmundial-style event being organized under the stewardship of CGI.br in 2024, the Internet governance community ought to reflect upon the benefits that this could bring to all stakeholders. In a scenario of uncertainty over the several processes affecting the future of the global network, there is value in taking another look at the original event's collaborative outcomes document, which summarized much of what was then understood to be core principles of Internet governance. more

ICANN Turning 25 - It’s the People that Make a Difference

Ali's invitation to post reflections on the past 25 years of ICANN is very welcome. No doubt, some will write about major shifts in how ICANN is governed, for example, the end of United States government oversight. While others will write about changes to the industry that ICANN has catalyzed, for example, the 2012 round of new gTLDs and the upcoming next application process. more

Biden’s National Cybersecurity Strategy Suggests Increased Website Security, Customer Protection

Phishing attacks have been rising over the past couple of years. Reports show that there was a 345 percent increase in phishing attacks between 2020 and 2021. In 2022, the number of advanced phishing attacks rose by 356 percent. Behind these alarming numbers, however, is an even uglier picture of digital fraud: a difficult-to-quantify prevalence of fake or spoof websites. more

The Standards Paywalls Fall: Everyone Benefits

Yesterday -- in a unanimous decision of the US Federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (CADC) in ASTM v. Public.Resource.Org --- some of the worst standards paywalls came tumbling down. The court definitively determined that where governmental authorities incorporate private organisation technical standards into law by reference, non-commercial dissemination of those standards "constitutes fair use and cannot support liability for copyright infringement." more

Opinion: IP Leasing Should Become a Market Standard

The Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for the Asia-Pacific region (APNIC) recently held its 55th meeting in conjunction with APRICOT, from 20 February to 2 March 2023, in Manila, USA. One of the critical discussions at the conference was centered on the APNIC policy that does not accept IP leasing and has a questionable understanding of its necessity. According to the APNIC policy manual, which was referenced during the meeting, APNIC allocates and assigns resources based on need, and 'leasing is not allowed' nor does it form a basis for further need. more

What ICANN’s Strong Stance on the UN’s Global Digital Compact Says About Current Internet Governance

On 21 August 2023, ICANN org. made its position in relation to the current state of the UN's Global Digital Compact (GDC) clear in a blog post by Sally Costerton (ICANN CEO), John Curran (ARIN), and Paul Wilson (APNIC), entitled "The Global Digital Compact: A Top-down Attempt to Minimize the Role of The Technical Community." The publication strongly criticizes the GDC's attempt at folding the technical community into the civil society umbrella under a "tripartite" approach also involving the private sector and governments, as proposed by the Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology, Amandeep Gill. more

The Times Stand Still: Internet Shutdowns, the Irony of the Multistakeholder Process and Realpolitik

Governments worldwide increasingly resort to shutting down the Internet as a political tool to control information and silence dissent. This alarming trend is not limited to developing nations grappling with civil unrest or political transition. Indeed, it is gaining traction in developed nations, suggesting a global phenomenon transcending geographical boundaries and socio-economic development levels. more

A Netmundial+10 Could Help Redefine Pathways for Internet Governance in the Global South

The original Netmundial was a unique Internet governance event that took place in 2014 and set out to map new avenues for global cooperation around the theme, uniting diverse stakeholders to discuss the future of IG in a broad manner. It was initially convened by the Brazilian government and ICANN as an answer to the Snowden revelations of global Internet espionage performed by various nations (primarily the USA), in part due to these two actors being directly affected by the implications of the revelations. more

The EU AI Act: A Critical Assessment

The proposed new European Union (EU) Artificial Intelligence Act has been extolled in the media as a bold action by a major legislative body against the perceived dangers of emerging new computer technology. The action presently consists of an initial proposal for a Regulation with annexes from 2021, plus recent Amendments adopted on 14 June. This regulatory behemoth exists entwined among a multitude of other recent EU major regulations... more

NIST as a Cyber Threat Actor

On 24 May, NIST published recommendations that are a key component of the U.S. cybersecurity ecosystem -- known as vulnerability disclosure guidelines. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) is an agency of the Department of Commerce whose mission includes "developing cybersecurity standards, guidelines, best practices, and other resources to meet the needs of U.S. industry, federal agencies and the broader public." more

AI Has No Time for “Human” Rights

Popular media have recently reported a White House initiative asserting companies' "moral obligation" to limit the risks of AI products. True enough, but the issues are far broader. At the core of the debate around AI -- will it save us or destroy us? -- are questions of values. Can we tell AI how to behave safely for humans, even if in the future it has a "mind of its own"? It is often said that AI algorithms should be "aligned with human values." more

Internet Governance Outlook 2023: Will “Digital Coop-Frontation” Become the “New Normal”?

In 2022, the Internet world was shaken by big contradictions. On the one hand, efforts to constitute a stable and secure framework for a safe cyberspace made substantial progress. The UN got a new Tech Envoy. The UN-based Internet Governance Forum (IGF) got a "Leadership Panel." The UN negotiations on cybersecurity and cybercrime produced constructive interim results. more