Category Archives: ICANN and Governance

The WeChat and TikTok Bans Show the U.S. No Longer Stands for Internet Freedom

In 2014, the United States began the process of relinquishing the last vestiges of its stewardship over the internet, starting a transition of full control to an international nonprofit, ICANN. It was a big deal—you may remember Sen. Ted Cruz warning about “the significant, irreparable damage this proposed internet giveaway could wreak not only on our nation but on free speech across the world.” At the time, I thought the ICANN transition was a mistake. Now, I suspect I was wrong.

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As ICANN’s Virtual Meetings Evolve, YouTube Livestream Added For ICANN69

With ICANN, like many other organisations, forced to move their meetings into the virtual space, there has been a lot of learning about what works, and doesn’t. About what people want. And don’t. So for ICANN69 there was a demand from the community for YouTube streaming, to which ICANN has acquiesced for a limited number of sessions. There have also been protections added to prevent malicious disruptions that have occurred in previous virtual meetings.

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Russia Is Trying Something New to Isolate Its Internet From the Rest of the World

Another component of internet-browsing is about to become criminal in Russia.

On Sept. 21, Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Media (Minkomsvyaz) released a draft law that would criminalize the use of internet protocols that, in its words, encrypt a website name. The specific protocols the law is targeting are a jargony alphabet soup: TLS 1.3, ESNI, DNS over HTTPS (DoH), and DNS over TLS (DoT). But they’re important encryption techniques that are already, to varying degrees, deployed online, including in Russia.

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Can the Digital Economy Survive in a Splinternet?

On September 18, the US administration announced that it would ban new downloads of the TikTok and WeChat apps. Then, on September 19, the plan was halted when President Donald Trump gave tentative approval to a deal that involved the creation of a new, US-headquartered entity called TikTok Global. As part of the new deal, Oracle and Walmart would own a combined 20 percent of the newly created entity; the remaining 80 percent would be owned by ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company.

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European Commission Updating 20-Year-Old Digital Services Act, Impacting Cloud and Hosting Providers, TLD Registries and Registrars

As part of the European Digital Strategy, the European Commission announced in June a Digital Services Act package to strengthen the Single Market for digital services and foster innovation and competitiveness of the European online environment. The revised package will “impact network operators, cloud and hosting providers, top-level domain registries and registrars”, among others.

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InternetNZ’s NetHui 2020 Going Virtual

In tune with meetings and conferences around the world, InternetNZ’s annual NetHui is going virtual, a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though New Zealand has been less affected than most other countries. Safety first.

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IANA Naming Function Review Team Community Webinar

Monday, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Naming Function Review Team (IFRT) has announced that it is in the final stages of completing its Initial Report. The IFRT will be holding a webinar for the community regarding one of their proposed recommendations that would require an amendment to the IANA Naming Functions Contract between ICANN and its affiliate Public Technical Identifiers (PTI). This amendment may be of particular interest to country code top-level domain (ccTLD) and generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry operators.

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Two Dozen Turing Award Laureates Including Vint Cerf Endorse Joe Biden

Two dozen Turing Award laureates including Father of the Internet, and former ICANN Chair from 2000 to 2007, Vint Cerf have endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President of the United States and Senator Kamala Harris for Vice President. As the letter notes, it’s the first time Turing Award Laureates have endorsed a candidate.

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Naela Sarras Appointed ICANN Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement in North America

ICANN announced Thursday Naela Sarras has been appointed Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement, North America. She is based in Los Angeles and reports to Sally Costerton, Senior Vice President of Global Stakeholder Engagement.

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