Topic - Privacy

16 January 2013

16 January 2013

In May 2012, the Whois Review Team delivered its final report to the ICANN board with a real sense of achievement.

As the system for providing details about who is in charge of any given Internet domain name, the Whois is critical to the proper functioning the domain name system. As such, it is one of four issues highlighted for independent review under ICANN’s deal with the US Government, the Affirmation of Commitments.

Every three years, a cross-community team has to look at the extent to which ICANN’s Whois policy and implementation are effective, meet the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promote consumer trust.

Despite being an apparently inoffensive directory of contact details, Whois has proved one of the most intractable and divisive issues within the ICANN community for more than a decade. The reason why is due to the different interests rolled up within Whois, and how these interact with ICANN’s power dynamics.

26 July 2012
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What is the WCIT?

The World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT-12) is an international meeting hosted by the ITU. It'll review the ITRs and will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 3 to 14 December 2012.

Ok, that's too many acronyms. From the top: what's the ITU?

The ITU is the UN agency looking after information and communication technologies (ICTs). It's an inter-governmental body with 193 country members and more than 750 private-sector companies, organizations and academic institutions members/associates of its three sectors (Radiocommunication, Telecommunication Standardization, and Telecommunication Development). You can find lists of these member states, sector members and associates here.

The ITU is not to be confused with the ITU Secretariat. The former makes the decisions in a "bottom-up" process, the latter facilitates the process.

Ok great. So what are the ITRs?

26 July 2012

A treaty meeting in December is pitching powerful forces against one another. The good news is that with fear comes opportunity.

Click for larger version. Cartoon: Patrick Taylor.

When representatives of the world's governments sit down in Dubai this December to discuss how to update global telecommunication regulations, they will, in one way or another, be deciding the future of the Internet's evolution for the next decade.

That's not something that has been missed by the country that continues to dominate the Internet's development, the United States, nor by the emerging powers of Brazil, India, China and Russia, who will use the WCIT conference as an opportunity to challenge the way the Internet is currently governed.

21 June 2012

Keynote Speech by Lawrence E. Strickling Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information U.S. Chamber of Commerce Telecommunications and E-Commerce Committee

Read it on the NTIA website.

Washington, D.C.

June 15, 2012

I am pleased to be invited to address today’s meeting of the Telecommunications and E-Commerce Committee at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Today is a particularly timely opportunity to address the multistakeholder process of policymaking for the Internet as it has been a busy spring for developments in this area.

5 June 2012
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The seventh annual IGF meeting will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 6-9 November 2012. The proposed theme is Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development.

The focus is broadly similar to those of previous years, which have looked at Internet governance and development. Last year's meeting in Nairobi centred on "Internet as a Catalyst for Change: Access, Development, Freedoms and Innovation."

What will the meeting cover?
The deadline for submitting workshops has passed and confirmed sessions are available on the IGF website. There are also a number of "pending" sessions awaiting further information from organisers before being confirmed or rejected - we will update this article as more workshops are accepted. The confirmed sessions follow specific themes and are as follows:

Access and Diversity

Key issues: native languages, women and the Internet, inclusion and public access.

1 June 2012
.Nxt provides a full information service covering the Internet policy and governance fields. While some content is freely provided, much of the information is available only to subscribers. There are a number of different membership options, listed in full below.

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29 May 2012
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Companies want it, privacy advocates don't, the US government has different approach

Efforts to self-regulate privacy failed 10 years ago. Will the new plans succeed?

The issue of self-regulation has been a key theme of a recent comment period hosted by the US Department of Commerce over the proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights (read our comprehensive summary).

On the one side are the companies that make millions from a largely unregulated market, the case for a self-regulatory regime being made by a host of industry bodies (CompTIA, CTIA, DAA, DMA, IAB, NARC, NetChoice, SIIA, TIA) as well as a few large companies (AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon). And on the other side a wealth of consumer and civil liberties groups who advocate for legislation and highlight the weaknesses in a self-regulatory model (ACLU, APF, CDD, Consumer Action, EPIC, ITIF, WPF).

29 May 2012

Privacy in the online era means big changes in all our thinking

"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people," Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg told an audience in January 2010. "That social norm is just something that has evolved over time."

Zuckerberg's comment came hot on the heels of another from Google's then CEO Eric Schmidt: "If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know," he said in response to privacy concerns over the information his company possesses, "maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place."

29 May 2012
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The lowdown on plans for a pan-European privacy law

What's happening?

In January, the European Commission (which sets regulations for its 27 member states) announced that it was overhauling its data protection legislation. The Commission wants to replace the EU's 1995 Data Protection Directive (on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data) with a new law that will be enforceable across 27 countries that make up the EU (the proposed legislation in full [pdf]).

What's wrong with the Directive?

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