The Narrative: Lots of stuff happening!

September 30, 2022 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is having its Plenipotentiary meeting in Bucharest. These four-year events are always redolent with claims that Russia and China will somehow use the ITU to “take over the internet” (despite the fact that the ITU has no power over...

The Narrative: The Ethereum Merge; Vietnam’s Data Localization

September 15, 2022 What’s so great about The Merge? Ethereum finally upgraded its Proof of Work architecture to Proof of Stake, thus completing what was commonly being called "the merge." Up until September 15, 2022, there were two chains running in parallel on the Ethereum network: 1) the Mainnet used...

ICANN’s Accountability and Transparency: A Retrospective on the IANA Transition

Editors note: On the 5 year anniversary of the IANA transition, a group of people began collaborating on this report. It is being released in conjunction with ICANN 75 in Kuala Lumpur Keith Drazek, Verisign Jordan Carter, auDA Wolfgang Kleinwachter, Aarhus University, EuSSIG Milton Mueller, Georgia Institute of Technology Thomas...

Apple and YMTC: Another “national security” risk?

Recently, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) decried that Apple is considering adding Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp (YMTC), a Chinese state-owned manufacturer specializing in flash memory, to its supplier list for iOS-based devices.  Today, bipartisan support exists to blacklist YMTC, threatening to bar Apple from contracting them...

The Narrative: US Psyops caught by US platforms; Paper trails vs E2EE; Another cloud over TikTok

September 1, 2022 Impartiality in Content Moderation (!) Post-2016 hysteria about “information warfare” - which should be labeled foreign influence operations (IO) - created serious concerns that U.S.-based social media platforms would collaborate with the U.S. government to censor foreign information sources that contradicted our state’s foreign policy narratives. Because...

The End of Bottom-Up: The UN IGF’s “Leadership Panel”

Are you ready to be led? The United Nations Secretary General has appointed 12 people to its controversial “leadership panel.” The group is composed of prominent people, each with loads of honorary titles, fellowships and well-placed positions within business and government. What’s missing almost entirely from this group, however, is...

The Narrative: US in a digital currency race? India withdraws privacy bill; Apple hijacked by Russia?

August 15, 2022 How Not to “Compete with China” In the United States, “competing with China” has become the go-to way to frame domestic policy agendas. The problem is that nearly all of these policies are bad ones (see, for example, the CHIPS Act), that imitate Chinese state capitalism instead...