Does ICANN violate Human Rights? The Council of Europe report

As we move toward the IANA transition, many observers are concerned about the relationship between an autonomous ICANN and Internet freedom. One proposal even went so far as to propose to replace NTIA oversight with an “Internet Freedom Panel” that could veto any ICANN decisions that threaten Internet freedom. That...

The NTIA’s New Policy of Appeasement

We've asserted before that the US government’s Internet governance policy has lost direction and become confused and self-contradictory. Yesterday the U.S. Commerce Department confirmed the diagnosis. In preparation for the upcoming ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa, the NTIA released a bizarre statement about top level domain applications involving geographic...

Council of Europe weighs in (finally) on ICANN and freedom of expression

At the Toronto ICANN meeting, the Council of Europe, which participates in the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) as an observer, released a report on the relationship between freedom of expression rights and new top level domain applications. The report emphasizes the link between freedom of expression, freedom of association and...

Human rights@ICANN: A civil society policy conference at ICANN Toronto

Public interest groups involved in ICANN will gather on Friday 12 October 2012 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The event, "ICANN & Internet Governance: Security & Freedom in a Connected World," is sponsored by the Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC), the voice of civil society in ICANN....

MacKinnon’s Consent of the Networked: A call for political innovation

The best summary of Rebecca MacKinnon’s book Consent of the Networked is its subtitle: “The worldwide struggle for Internet freedom.” This is a comprehensive, spirited, and rich journalistic account of the way the use of the Internet and its supply industries intersect with classic civil and political rights. Importantly, it...

In historic agreement, American ISPs agree to police their users for copyright interests

America's largest ISPs - AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon - have agreed to actively police their users on behalf of copyright owners. Their cartel-like agreement makes it impossible for most American Internet users to punish them by switching to less intrusive ISPs. The big five have agreed...

Try, try again: How the OECD High-Level Meeting replayed the fight over the EU Telecoms Package

Last week's refusal of civil society organizations to endorse the OECD's Principles for Internet Policy Making was powerful. It killed any pretense that the OECD's call for Internet intermediaries to “assist rights holders in enforcing their rights” has consensual support. But news coverage of that phenomenon has overlooked two other, equally important questions. First, why was this struggle even necessary? The very same battle was fought in Europe only a few years ago and the rights holders lost. Second, why didn't the business interest advisory committee (BIAC) and the Internet Technical Community Advisory Committee (ITAC) join civil society in its dissent?