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...

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...

ICANN suppresses a privacy advocate’s dissent

ICANN's Expert Working Group (EWG) on Whois and privacy, which published its final report today, has unfortunately continued a long tradition of failing to find consensus between privacy advocates and business interests. The business interests see coerced publication of domain name registration data as an invaluable aid to brand protection...

Do the NSA revelations have anything to do with Internet governance?

Editors note: This blog post is based on a talk given at the New America Foundation December 5, 2013. Thanks to Tim Maurer and Kevin Bankston for hosting the talk The evolution of Internet governance has been characterized by a tension between the Internet’s organically evolved governance institutions and nation-states....

Get Real(ist): Don’t confuse NSA regulation with Internet regulation

In her UN General Assembly speech denouncing NSA surveillance, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said: Information and communications technologies cannot be the new battlefield between States. Time is ripe to create the conditions to prevent cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war, through espionage, sabotage, and attacks against systems...

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....

European privacy authorities object to ICANN Whois proposals

In response to a letter from ICANN's Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) to data protection authorities concerning overreaching requests of law enforcement agencies in ICANN's ongoing Registrar Accreditation Agreement negotiations, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has written the ICANN Board. Their comments focused on two new requirements proposed by...

Iran, Israel and DPI: The misdirection of resistance to surveillance technology Part 2

A new article by Bloomberg exposes the presence of bandwidth optimization equipment in the network of an Iranian Internet Service Provider. The equipment comes from an Israeli company, Allot Communications. This is treated as a perfect example of how governments need to crack down on the sale of threatening technology to dictatorships by Western companies. But when the actual facts of the case come out, you will find that it proves the opposite.

Technology as symbol: Is resistance to surveillance technology being misdirected?

Activists and investigative journalists are highlighting the linkage between modern surveillance technologies and repressive governments. The emerging narrative around surveillance technology provides the perfect frame for public activism. You have a clear bad guy – a Gadhafi, an Assad, the Iranian theocrats, the Chinese Communist Party. You have a symbolic token, a technology, which links the bad guys and their bad actions to reachable actors – the corporate vendors – who are part of our own society and jurisdiction. You can then campaign on a simple moral impulse – the reachable actors must not be allowed to aid, abet or profit from the violence and political injustice of the bad guys. This in turn leads to what seems like a simple and effective policy response – to sever the link between reachable actors and the bad guys by somehow banning or regulating the transfer of this technology on a global basis. This blog post offers a critique of this budding movement, turning a critical eye upon a righteous cause.