IGP Partner Milton Mueller, a scholar known for his work on global Internet governance and professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University, has internationalized his academic post and strengthened ties to the Internet industry by accepting a chair at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The three-year research position was created by the Dutch Internet service provider XS4ALL, and will be located in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) section.
ICANN's GNSO Council stumbled and bumbled its way to a nonresolution of the Whois privacy controversy today (Wednesday, All Hallows Eve). On the surface, nothing changed. Despite ICANN's inertia, however, the “status quo” Whois is gradually being eroded by a combination of market forces, which allow registrants to buy a modicum of privacy protection from registrars, and the ongoing threat of legal assaults on Whois from outside the United States. A growing number of ccTLDs and gTLDs can be expected to force ICANN to adjust its Whois requirements to the data protection laws of other countries, the most current example being the TELNIC case. This means that the status quo equilibrium left in place by ICANN's inability to act is tilting slowly in favor of privacy. At the same time, law enforcement and takedown measures are taking new directions, pioneered by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, that also work outside the ICANN process.
Researchers at IGP have prepared a comprehensive timeline of the Whois service and the controversy over Whois and privacy, with links to relevant documents. The timeline was prepared by Dr. Milton Mueller and doctoral student Mawaki Chango as part of their draft paper for the annual Telecommunication Policy Research Conference at the end of September. Comments or suggested additions of important missing elements to the timeline are welcomed; use the reply function on the blog
The report of the Whois Working Group was published today. The Working Group could not achieve agreement on how to reconcile privacy and data protection rights with the interests of intellectual property holders and law enforcement agencies. So the Working Group Chair redefined the meaning of “agreement.” See the full story.