Network Solutions pre-emptively takes down website Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders

The website of Geert Wilders' upcoming film has been taken down by registrar Network Solutions, while they are “investigating whether the site’s content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy.” That message has been up for about five days now. One wonders how long it takes to investigate six words and a single picture.
Rather than deciding whether Network Solutions acted appropriately, the more interesting question is: Why did Network Solutions suspend Wilders’ website, given that it, so far, has not hosted offensive content and given that they do not suspend websites that are clearly more offensive? Why are they seemingly volunteering to take on the enormous task of policing the huge number of websites that are registered through them?

Judge Says We Can't Look Inside US .XXX deliberations

It's “Sunshine Week” in Washington, a week devoted to “open government,” but the light came a few days late for ICM Registry and Stuart Lawley, proponents of the .xxx top level domain for adult content. A US court dismissed ICM Registry's litigation to pry more information out of the US government about the pressure it put on ICANN to reject ICM's application to operate the .xxx top level domain. The court decision favoring darkness is posted here.

Global Service Provider Identity (SPID): Licensing the Internet?

A briefing last month to House and Senate members and staff of the Homeland Security Committee by VeriSign’s Vice President for Regulatory Affairs and Standards, the recent chair of the NRC’s Committee on Improving Cybersecurity Research in the US, and a former Chief Scientist of the FCC, raises some interesting questions and concerns about governance, competition policy, and civil liberties. In the joint presentation on international and domestic defenses against cyber attacks and supporting documents, VeriSign’s Tony Rutkowski argued that, “the widespread deployment of wireless platforms, Internet Protocol networks, and application-based services – combined with a government switch from common carrier to information services regulation by imposing only minimal public network service mandates – has produced some significant “cybersecurity” vulnerabilities.” According to Rutkowski, the absence of a built-in trust mechanism across the many providers that make up the communications network infrastructure worldwide is the core problem. In light of this, he said Congress should require the FCC, FTC and other agencies to institute a universal identity through a global Trusted Service Provider or SPID (Service Profile IDentifier) system.

New Anti-phishing law: A Snowe job?

Three U.S. Senators, led by Maine Republican Olympia Snowe, have proposed a new, harsh law allegedly to combat phishing, the Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008. But since the Senators obviously pandered to major trademark holders during its drafting, the law does little more than attempt to expand the powers...

Council of Europe Works to Criminalize Political Expression

The Council of Europe is pushing to extend the Cybercrime Convention to impose criminal sanctions on what it considers to be unacceptable forms of political or religious expression. The Cybercrime Convention was originally negotiated to respond to transnational problems such as theft of data, breaking into computers, computer-based financial fraud and the like. But now the Council is engaged in bulk unsolicited emails to promote the idea that web site content that is insulting or xenophobic is a cybercrime of the same order.