In the Media
5th March 2016. The Economist: We the networks: The organisation that runs the internet address book is about to declare independence. …Even some of ICANN’s harshest critics, such as Milton Mueller of the Georgia Institute of Technology, say the proposals are pretty good on balance—though he would like the citizenry to have more powers.
17 March, 2015. Syracuse New Times: Who Governs the Internet? Milton Mueller Says It’s an Ongoing Battle. It’s “an ongoing battle,” says Mueller, “between people who believe in a territorial governance and a global one.” Mueller is “very much on the global side, but we keep having the battle about it.”
09 September 2014 Electronic Frontier Foundation: Towards an Internet Nation? “Mueller’s thesis —not so far from [EFF founder] Barlow’s—is that we ought not to have to rely on such government-led bodies to lay down principles for the global Internet, but that the future lies in the Internet developing its own capacity for self-governance, through a loose network of bodies in which all stakeholders, whether public and private, participate on an equal footing. For some, the appeal of the IGF lies in its potential, currently unrealized, to act as a hub of such a network.
11 April 2014 Forbes: No, Russia Isn’t Going To Steal The Internet “Those who fear an ‘ITU takeover’ or, even less plausibly, a ‘Putin takeover’ or ‘Chinese takeover’ of the root are completely unable to provide plausible scenarios by which this could happen because of the end of the NTIA contract,” says Brenden Kuerbis of the Internet Governance Project (IGP)…How exactly does the absence of NTIA in the root zone modification loop suddenly make an intergovernmental treaty regulating ICANN more likely than it already is?”
18 March 2014 Wall Street Journal: U.S. Plan for Web Faces Credibility Issue “Professor Milton Mueller, a critic of government involvement in the Internet, said he welcomed the move, but remains concerned about ICANN accumulating too much influence through the process. ‘There is a danger, if we do this wrong and throw it all in ICANN’s hands, that they become an autonomous organization that really controls policy making and implementation of the root.’ Mr. Mueller said. ‘That makes them really hard to control.'”
4 March 2014 Washington Internet Daily: Private Sector Doubtful of Suggestion to Take IANA Function Outside of ICANN (subscription only)
4 Mar 2014 PRNewswire: Plan to End US Control of ICANN Submitted to Brazil Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance Researchers at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University have released an innovative proposal to resolve the 15-year controversy over the United States government’s special relationship to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The proposal, which involves removing root zone management functions from ICANN and creating an independent and neutral private sector consortium to take them over.
16 October 2013 NPR’s Morning Edition: Are We Moving To A World With More Online Surveillance? “Those who have closely followed the Internet, such as Milton Mueller of Syracuse University, say its free and open character is due largely to the absence of government control.’The reason the Internet worked, the reason it created this massive amount of innovation, is precisely because, for a brief period of about 10 years, it just completely overcame the telecommunications system of national boundaries,’ Mueller says. ‘It created a virtual space that was completely interconnected and globalized, and governments had to react to that after the fact.'”
11 October 2013 InfoWorld:’Core Internet institutions’ snub U.S. government Milton Mueller, writing for the Internet Governance Project, reported on this meeting with no small amount of sangfroid, describing the released statement as “an explicit rejection of the US Commerce Department’s unilateral oversight of ICANN,” he said…”In conversations with some of the participants of the Montevideo meeting,” Mueller added, “it became clear that they were thinking of new forms of multistakeholder oversight as a substitute for US oversight, although no detailed blueprint exists.”
18 July 2013 New York Times: Amazon Rejected as Domain Name After South American Objections “Milton Mueller, a professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, said there might have been an element of horse-trading. By yielding to a broader consensus on the advisory committee, Washington could have been seeking to shore up broader support for Icann, whose control over the Internet address system has long irked the governments of countries like Russia and China. ‘My hypothesis is that the U.S. government has been scared to death for some time that if G.A.C. doesn’t get enough of what it wants, governments will give up on the whole Icann regime,’ Mr. Mueller said.”
16 May 2013 Washington Internet Daily: Europe’s Regional Internet Registry Mulls a ‘No Need’ IPv4 Address Allocation Policy “‘There is a thriving and growing market for IPv4 number blocks.’ The market for such addresses consists of several areas, Kuerbis told us. There are transfers occurring within RIR processes and recorded by RIRs, but there’s also a ‘gray’ or parallel market taking place outside the RIRs which is perfectly legal, but ‘unofficial’ according to the regional registries, he said.”
16 December 2012 TechCrunch: Explainer: What Power The UN Actually Has Over The Internet. “The ITU has no enforcement powers,” explains Milton Mueller, Syracuse University Professor of Information Studies and author of Networks and States, “which is one of the reasons why the idea that the ITU can somehow take over the Internet is a pretty strange one. Because if the treaty does something that is fundamentally inimical to what the US or other countries want done with the Internet, then they would simply not ratify it.”
22 July 2012 SFGate: Greatest threat to Internet: governments.Professor Milton Mueller revealed that the linkage of powerful information technology to free, open, global communications makes gigantic contributions to civilization and commerce. He also pointed out the source of the biggest threats to Internet freedom today.
22 June 2012 EFF: Global Telecom Governance Debated at European Parliament Workshop Professor Milton Mueller noted in the Internet Governance Project web site that as long as the ITU boundaries are kept within international telecommunication services, the worst consequences could be avoided.
21 June 2012 FierceGovernmentIT: Strickling praises multistakeholder Internet governance The connectivity cost-sharing proposal is “a continuation of long-running battles over the way the Internet has disrupted traditional telecom businesses and markets,” said Syracuse University Professor Milton Mueller in a June 9 blog post. That proposal reflects a “pining for the good old days of predictable settlements” on the part of telecommunication authorities (many of which are state-run), Mueller says, and should not be enshrined in the ITRs. But, even if approved, it’s unclear how a new charging arrangement could be implemented, he added.
The anti-cyber crime proposal is “typical of the vague, impossible-to-operationalize language that often populates international agreements,” Mueller also wrote.
20 June 2012 ArsTechnica: UN doesn’t want to take over Internet, does want to help telcos profit “The most important battleground in the WCIT is not censorship or security, but interconnection and the flows of funds among carriers attendant upon interconnection agreements,” wrote by Professor Milton Mueller, in the IGP web site. “If you want national regulatory authorities to have more collective control over ISPs generally, and American ISPs and Internet services specifically, you should support the WCIT effort.”
6 Jun 2012 TechNewsWorld: Leaked Proposals Set Stage for UN Squabble Over Internet Freedom “The ETNO proposal ‘is not a good idea’ because ‘we want Internet interconnection agreements to remain contractual and market-driven and not get into the morass of having them set by national or international regulators,’ the IGP’s Mueller said. In any event, the ITRs don’t have much clout in Internet governance because ‘the UN by itself has little enforcement power, other than what its member states do for it,’ Mueller pointed out.”
25 May 2011 NetworkWorld: What if IPv6 simply fails to catch on? IGP’s Milton Mueller “points out that network operators can’t switch to IPv6 today without cutting themselves off from the IPv4-based Internet. Instead, they have to run both IPv6 and IPv4 side-by-side in a dual-stack configuration or use NAT devices to bridge between the protocols. The awkwardness of this upgrade is why Mueller is not too optimistic about IPv6 deployment. Five years from now, the Internet could still be ‘95% IPv4,’ he says. ‘I think it’s possible, and I think it’s bad. I can’t think of anything better than having abundant address space in economic terms, but the migration strategy of dual-stack is a very strange thing.'”
11 May 2011 NetworkWorld: Does ARIN have the right to approve all IPv4 address sales? According to IGP’s Milton Mueller “IPv4 sales are ‘not cut and dried. The Nortel/Microsoft deal was the beginning of a process by which we will work this out.’ He added that ARIN’s “part in the Nortel/Microsoft deal was an improvisation, and it deviated from what they expected to happen … ARIN learned about this deal just the same way that you and I did … and then they scrambled to the bankruptcy court. Suddenly the sale agreement was amended and had all this stuff about ARIN in it.”
5 Mar 2011 Time.com: ICANN vs. the World Free expression reigns under the current regime for registering web addresses. But what if you sought to establish a new .gay TLD? “It is clear from conversations with government officials in a couple of conservative Arab countries that they object to .gay,” says IGP’s ICANN expert Milton Mueller.
13 Jan 2011 TechNewsWorld: Freedom of Online Speech in a Post-Wikileaks World “The furor surrounding Wikileaks has raised questions about the true limits of free speech in what is perhaps the most unregulated medium in the world. ‘Free speech online is under fire, but it has always been under fire to some degree,’ said Syracuse University’s Milton Mueller. ‘What’s new is that governments are developing new institutional mechanisms to control Internet expression.'”
2 Nov 2010 Help Net Security: The aftermath of the Bredolab botnet shutdown “As Internet Governance Project’s blogger Michel van Eeten notes, last week’s high-profile shutdown of the Bredolab botnet’s command and control servers by the Dutch Police is a perfect example of how such half-measures are not effective in the long run, since the number of remaining C&Cs is slowly rising again.”
2 Nov 2010 Computable: ‘Bredolab-botnet is nooit opgerold’: IGP’s Michel van Eeten comments on how Dutch police did not actually disabled the Bredolab botnet, but only a specific part of it: the command and control servers.
16 Sep 2010 Heisse: Politische Konsequenzen des sicheren Routings umstritten: IGP’s workshop at the 5th IGF in Vilnius drew attention and generated vigorous debate about the governance issues surrounding efforts to secure the Internet’s routing system using the resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI).
8 Apr 2010 CircleID: Cyber-Spin: How the Internet Gets Framed as Dangerous: Milton Mueller argues a recent “survey provides an unusually clear illustration of how cyber-security discourse has become willfully detached from facts. There is an organized industrial and political imperative to drill into our heads the idea that the Internet is dangerous and its threats are spiraling out of control…”
1 Mar 2010 PCWorld: ICANN Head Visiting China After ‘dot-China’ Request: “Chinese government crackdowns “are coming from higher levels and CNNIC is as much an object of tighter regulations as, say, Google or the content providers,” said Milton Mueller…”
22 Feb 2010 CircleID: Will Stonewalling on .xxx Be Beckstrom’s First Big Mistake?: “In a blog post on the .xxx defeat, ICANN’s Rod Beckstrom simply can’t bring himself to restate the basic conclusions of the decision…a distinguished independent review panel ruled unambiguously that ICANN approved the .xxx TLD as meeting its sponsorship, business and financial criteria in the RFP and then withdrew that approval in an unfair and discriminatory manner due to political pressure.”
19 Jan 2010 CircleID: ICANN’s Weak Accountability Remains a Problem: “ICANN’s lack of accountability was a leading concern expressed by several major organizations in response to DOC’s April 2009 notice of inquiry regarding the expiration of the JPA. As the Internet Governance Project stated, ‘external accountability is still the main problem with ICANN.'”
15 Dec 2009 California Lawyer: Trouble in Cyberspace: IGP’s Milton Mueller applauded the “step away from unilateral U.S. oversight,” but found that ICANN’s new commitments still lacked globally applicable rules of operation, and failed to indicate any concern for freedom of expression.
5 Oct 2009 COMMSDAY: Lynch on Monday: The end of US control of the ‘Net: Dr Milton Mueller is critical of the review processes that form an integral part of the new arrangements between ICANN and the US Government.
2 Oct 2009 The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Eases Grip Over Web Body : New agreement between the US government and ICANN grants the non-profit body more flexibility in terms of not reporting to the US government in future, instead ICANN will now set-up review panels, Dr Milton Mueller comments “”It’s appointing panels really to review itself.”
2 Oct 2009 PCWorld: New ICANN Agreement Runs Into Criticism: Brenden Kuerbis questions the independence of the review panels that would be formed as per the new US Government-ICANN deal. He says “They’re selected by the very people responsible for what ICANN does. They’re likely to produce the politics that already exist within ICANN.”
1 Oct 2009 Information Week: US Agreement With ICANN Leaves Much Undone: Dr Milton Mueller says that the US Department of Commerce still retains fundamental, high-level control over the domain name space, despite the latest agreement with ICANN.
1 Oct 2009 Marketplace: A new era for domain name endings : Dr Milton Mueller comments on ICANN’s decision of creating more domain name endings, he says”ICANN’s decision was kind of thrown into the U.S. political system, where large businesses with brands to protect objected strongly.”
1 Oct 2009 IP Watch: Global Oversight For Internet; US Role In Core Infrastructure Unchanged : Dr Milton Mueller says that despite the recent deal between ICANN and the US government, the latter still controls the DNS root zone file.
11 Jun 2009: Internet Evolution: Group Proposes International Alternative to ICANN : The IGP calls for replacing the Commerce Department’s JPA with ICANN with an international formal agreement providing global shared accountability for stable, coordinated governance of the Internet..
9 Jun 2009: Business Wire: Internet Governance Project Calls For U.S.-Led International Agreement On ICANN : The IGP states that the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between the Commerce Department and ICANN contributes to the latter’s failings.
30 March 2009 IP-Watch: Is WIPO A Cybersquatter? (subscription required) The academic Internet Governance Project reports that the World Intellectual Property Organization – a key arbitration body for global internet domain disputes – appears to have registered a domain name using a name trademarked by someone else three years earlier.
28 April 2008 Washington Internet Daily: Public Interest Registry Seeks to be First gTLD to Offer DNS Attacks Protection (subscription required) Kuerbis comments on PIR’s proposal to secure the .org zone.
25 January 2008 Times Online UK: The Web Weans Itself Off the US Dr. Milton Mueller on ICANN, “Compared with other international organisations ICANN is very transparent, but at times it still feels a bit more like a private club, with not enough checks and balances. This new ‘no confidence vote’ procedure is definitely the direction they need to move in.”
14 January 2008 Trouw: Privacy is een politieke keuze (Privacy is a political choice) (In Dutch) New Delft University of Technology XS4ALL Chair Milton Mueller is interviewed about the poltical-economy of privacy.
14 November 2007 Heisse Online: IGF: Politische und technische Probleme bei DNSSEC(In German) Major technical and political difficulties DNSSEC dominated by the intense debate on the opportunities and risks of securing the DNS at the second Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio de Janeiro.
1 November 2007 Associated Press: Whois Studies Approved, Privacy Deferred “We seem to be closing off the development process at the same time we’re opening the box to the same old debates that have been going on for seven years,” complained Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor on the committee. “The whole world is watching now. … They’re expecting ICANN to do something about this.”
30 October 2007 Washington Post: No Clear on Consensus on Openness of ‘Whois’ Domain Name Database Milton Mueller believes ICANN is likely to punt on the Whois issue by voting for more studies.
30 October 2007 IP Watch: IP Community Critical Of Proposals On ICANN Agenda Milton Mueller comments against an announcement of ICANN staff that the Whois exemption procedure was dependent upon input from the Government Advisory Committee.
12 October 2007 Washington Post: A Script for Every Surfer
9 July 2007 EContent Magazine: IGP Proposal Highlights Global Nature of Digital Security Concerning DNSSEC, Kuerbis says that “it’s too risky for a single organization to sign the root and too inefficient if the root is not signed. That is why authority for signing the root needs to be decentralized and distributed to nongovernmental organizations. The internet’s DNS is a global facility; policy concerning it requires broad participation, especially when it comes to matters as important as security.”
1 July 2007 PC World: ICANN’s Next Challenge: Find a New Leader Mueller credits Vint Cerf with giving ICANN stability and cohesiveness to the board, but faults him for “a very conservative and limiting approach to ICANN policies.”
19 May 2007 O’Reilly Radar: DNS root servers and DNSSEC examined A 17-page paper on DNSSEC and the DNS root servers, released Thursday by the Internet Governance Project, is well worth a read. Its main subject is a proposal for distributing the responsibility for signing the keys for the root servers, but it touches on many other interesting considerations.
18 May 2007 ACM TechNews: Academic Group Releases Plan to Share Power Over Internet Root Zone Keys According to IGP spokesperson Brenden Kuerbis, their DNSSEC proposal “increases the resilience of the system, eliminates the threat of political interference in Internet administration, and diffuses liability among the entities involved.”
16 May 2007 International Herald Tribune: Positions on Icann, the Internet addressing agency, are open Milton Mueller calls the ICANN nominating process “deliberately non-transparent,” and favors a return to public elections.
2 April 2007 IP Watch: Rights and Content Issues May Complicate Internet Domain Name Expansion Mueller warns that the gtld proposal presented by the ICANN-GNSO would “create a political process of censorship.”
3 November 2006 InternetNews: Microsoft And The China Question Fred Tipson, of Microsoft, was in Athens, Greece, as part of the Internet Governance Project and part of a panel called “Freedom of Expression and Internet blocking and filtering.”
2 November 2006 BBC News: How to make the web go worldwide Professor Milton Mueller, of the Internet Governance Project, said the key to closing the infrastructure gap was the mobilisation of “local capital”
2 November 2006 UN Press Release PI/1750: INTERNET SHOULD BE “ACCESSIBLE, USABLE AND SAFE”, INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM TOLD IGP sponsored workshop on DNS and root zone file management is among highlights of the successful IGF, opens further discussion concerning the “elephant in the room.”
31 October 2006 IP Watch: Online Content Among Many Issues At Internet Governance Forum Milton Mueller comments on the purpose and process of the ongoing Internet Governance Forum.
5 October 2006 InfoWorld: Tension envelops U.S. oversight of ICANN following extension Milton Mueller comments on the role the U.S. government plays in the problem of ICANN’s accountability and process.
4 October 2006 National Journal’s Technology Daily: Global Community Reacts To ICANN Deal (subscription required) IGP criticizes the newly released JPA, calling it a “cosmetic response” meant to strengthen public perception that ICANN is relatively independent when it is not.
1 September 2006 bridges Magazine: From Unilateralism to Multi-stakeholder – a Change of Paradigm in Internet Governance? The Austrian Office of Science & Technology cites IGP’s work extensively as it examines the question of who should govern the internet and finds it to be more disputed today than ever.
3 April 2006 Wall Street Journal: Technology Report – Recommended Reading(subscription required) Hans Klein comments on a selection of what he considers among the best books and online resources about Internet governance.
16 November 2005 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – The battle over the internet
16 November 2005 KPFK, Pacifica Radio – Internet Governance Discussed at World Summit
15 November 2005 OpenDemocracy.net – Why the WSIS? Democracy and cyberspace
14 November 2005 BBC.co.uk – The US role in running the net
4 November 2005 eWeek.com – Academics Take Sides in ICANN Tug of War
3 November 2005 ITworld.com – Group suggests a ‘denationalization’ of ICANN
3 November 2005 NetworkWorld.com – Group suggests a ‘denationalization’ of ICANN
2 November 2005 Heisse Online – Forscher fordern “ent-nationalisierte” ICANN