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: 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 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...

The Narrative: TikTok Again; Data Localization Fail; Europe Finds Regulatory Nirvana; Digital Advertising Competition

China Hawks Revive Trump’s Tiktok Gambit FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is trying very hard to revive former President Donald Trump’s TikTok ban. Even as the House January 6 Committee explores the details of a real threat to national security created by the very man who appointed Carr to the FCC...

The Narrative, June 15: ICANN 74 inches forward, First-party sets upset

Tracking, privacy and platform competition Can a platform offer zero-price services that simultaneously preserve user privacy and business relationships across websites/applications? This is a puzzle the major platforms are trying to solve. There are legitimate concerns on all sides with users wanting subsidized services without creepy tracking, and businesses wanting...

The Narrative: Who shall we trust: Aadhar, Chinese money…or the State of Texas?

June 1, 2022 Trust in Aadhar deteriorates India’s long-running experiment with digital identity is still controversial. On May 27, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued a notification asking people to not share photocopies of their Aadhaar card as it could be “misused”. Yes, 13 years after Aadhaar was...

Would Forced Interop for Messaging be Pro-Competitive?

For the past year, IGP research has been exploring the interaction of competition policy and cybersecurity/privacy concerns, particularly as it pertains to the large platforms. We have shown how privacy and security have become product differentiators in the digital economy. As large platforms such as Apple and Google compete by...

The Narrative: The DMA and encryption; Telegram and “misinformation”

March 28, 2022 The EC Digital Markets Act’s Misguided Moves The European Union’s Digital Markets Act is repeating all the mistakes made by telecom regulators 30-40 years ago in their attempt to promote competition by mandating interconnection and interoperability. They have decided to require certain forms of technical compatibility with...

The Narrative: Anti-Section 230 bill advances; ICANN’s judicial branch

February 22, 2022 EARN IT Act moves forward  The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a new version of the highly controversial Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARN IT Act).  First introduced in March 2020, EARN IT Act pares back the immunity protections under Section 230 of...