Two presentations at the recent IETF meeting in California underscore the way the Internet’s architecture is being shaped increasingly by advertising-driven content distribution networks.
I’ve been forced to rethink my initially dismissive assessment of the ICANN board’s Nairobi resolution on the separation of domain name registries and registrars. As you may recall, I called the resolution “needlessly biased and poorly worded;” and while I recognized that it was “an attempt to clarify things,” I asserted that it “probably did the opposite.” Strange as it may seem, it is possible for both of those accusations to be true and for the resolution to be a stroke of political brilliance in moving toward the formation of a new policy regarding registry-registrar separation.
Geneva, March 15 and 16, 2010. The first meeting of the IPv6 group of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) turned into a protracted and tedious confrontation between one government – Syria – and the combined weight of all the incumbent Internet institutions, the European Telecom Numbering Organization, equipment vendors and the governments of North America and Europe (plus Australia). Defenders of the IP addressing status quo showed up in force…
The Internet Architecture Board issued a little-noticed statement February 12 that has the potential to revolutionize Internet governance – and not in a good way. The IAB is now claiming that the application of Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) to addressing and routing is “a prerequisite for improving the security of the global routing system.” What may get lost in all the technical mumbo-jumbo is that RPKI is a technology of control and identification. We need to think long and hard before embarking on a path that would lead to the global centralization of such authority in a single institution's hands.
The ICANN board issued a fairly large number of resolutions, at the conclusion of its Nairobi meeting. Give it an A for effort. But on substance? Give them an F. On the .xxx issue, the Board chose to ignore its independent review panel and refused to rectify what was officially determined to be unfair and discriminatory treatment. On the vertical integration issue, it issued a needlessly biased and poorly worded resolution that was an attempt to clarify things but probably did the opposite. There are other gems. We have done the painful work of reading them for you.
His behavior last fall during a dispute over the formation of the NCSG confirmed that Frank Fowlie, ICANN’s Ombudsman, is both unhelpful and biased. If the value-add of the Ombudsman’s office is unclear, the negatives are now very clear indeed. About a week ago the Ottawa Citizen published a story about Fowlie’s angry confrontation with a flight attendant after they failed to serve him a meal on a Paris – Montreal flight.
What makes the Air Canada incident important is the way it relates to Fowlie’s campaign for imposing standards of “civil discourse” on ICANN participants. Fowlie’s decision to pursue a dispute resolution process showed that he believed that his behavior, which was neither respectful nor civil according to the people on that airplane, was justifiable under the circumstances. Fowlie lost his temper – and a dispute – over bad airline service. We wonder if he now has a bit more sympathy for the sometimes intemperate language used by people in the ICANN community who think that fundamental rights of free expression or privacy or consumer interests are being lost. The stakes are a bit higher than a missed meal. Unfortunately, Fowlie’s speech at the Nairobi meeting shows that he seems to have learned nothing from this incident.
There is so much going on this week and next week in Internet governance and IGP is so involved that we barely have time to blog about it. Here is a quick summary and some links to more information; it includes tales of ITU and the RIRs, the Council of Europe, ICANN Nairobi, and Google-Italy.
The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) invites you to participate in its third scholarly workshop to be held in Montreal (QC), Canada, on 30-31 May 2010. This workshop is organized in cooperation with the Canadian Communication Association and Media@McGill, during the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) 2010 Congress week in Montreal. Building on the success of its first two editions, respectively in Paris, France in June 2008 and in Brussels, Belgium in May 2009, the purpose of this third GigaNet workshop is twofold.