Year in Review: Normalization of demand for transnational Internet governance

Following the successful completion of the IANA transition in late 2016, those practicing Internet governance had big shoes to fill in 2017. Looking back, there was no similar watershed event defining Internet governance this year. But that doesn't mean there weren't important developments and stories. Whether looking broadly at issues...

What “jurisdiction” does ICANN belong to?

How far can ICANN go to escape the nation-state? ICANN 60 (held in Abu Dhabi October 28 – Nov 3rd) made important progress on what has become known as “the jurisdiction issue.” ICANN is taking steps to reduce or eliminate the effect that U.S. sanctions against foreign governments would have...

Civil Society and Digital Free Trade: A Response

On October 6th a letter was circulated to the negotiators preparing for the World Trade Organization’s 11th Ministerial meeting (MC11), which will be held December 10-13, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The letter purports to speak for all of “global civil society,” and singles out for attack the prospect of...

PuntCAT under fire: Internet vs political identities

Spain is undergoing a traumatic crackdown on freedom of expression, as part of a larger political convulsion over the Catalan province’s attempt to hold a binding referendum on independence. As one resident tweeted: Webs R closed or blocked. Media are summoned not 2 "inform" about referendum. Anybody expressing support [for...

Smearing Section 230: A counterattack

Recently, the Internet Association, a trade group for online service providers, introduced a praiseworthy idea into the NAFTA re-negotiation. It asked for the revised trade agreement to include a principle that online platform providers should be immunized from liability for the content that some of their users post. As the...

Brazilian Internet Steering Committee under threat?

The turmoil in Brazil's politics has now touched on the Internet governance situation. For many years, Brazil's Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil (CGI.BR), known in English as the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, has been touted globally as the model of enlightened multi-stakeholder governance at the national level. Members of...

Amazon win sets good precedent

In a victory for fairness and rule-based Internet governance, an independent review panel (IRP) has decided that ICANN was wrong to deny retailing giant Amazon, Inc. the top level domain AMAZON. Key elements of the decision were unanimous, particularly the conclusion that the Board “cannot accept GAC consensus advice as...

How ICANN is manipulating its GDPR discussions

As this blog post shows, ICANN's management is now thinking about how to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They'd better be. Everyone knows ICANN’s Whois policies, which require registries and registrars to provide indiscriminate public access to personal data about domain name registrants, violate European privacy laws. In...