Vint Cerf at ICANN by Veni (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3KWko9

Vint Cerf at ICANN by Veni (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3KWko9

Internet Governance

Why the U.S. Government Isn’t Really Relinquishing its Power over Internet Governance

Earlier this month, the U.S. government surprised the Internet community by announcing that it plans to back away from its longstanding oversight of the Internet domain name system. The move comes more than 15 years after it first announced plans to transfer management of the so-called IANA function, which includes the power to add new domain name extensions (such as dot-xxx) and to alter administrative control over an existing domain name extension (for example, approving the transfer of the dot-ca domain in 2000 from the University of British Columbia to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority).

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the change is rightly viewed as a major development in the ongoing battle over Internet governance. Yet a closer look at the why the U.S. is embarking on the change and what the system might look like once the transition is complete, suggests that it is not relinquishing much power anytime soon. Rather, the U.S. has ensured that it will dictate the terms of any transfer and retain a “super-jurisdiction” for the foreseeable future.


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March 25, 2014 5 comments Columns

Why the U.S. Government Isn’t Really Relinquishing its Power over Internet Governance

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 22, 2014 as Why the U.S. Government Isn’t Really Relinquishing Power Over Internet Governance Earlier this month, the U.S. government surprised the Internet community by announcing that it plans to back away from its longstanding oversight of the Internet domain name system. The […]

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March 25, 2014 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

CIRA Commits One Million Dollars to Improving Canada’s Internet

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the dot-ca domain, has unveiled an exciting new initiative that will deliver a million dollars toward community projects, research, and other related activities (full disclosure: I am a member of the CIRA board and chair of the committee that will review […]

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February 6, 2014 5 comments News

Competition Bureau of Canada Investigating ICANN and New gTLDs

John Pecman, the Commissioner of Competition, yesterday advised that the Competition Bureau of Canada is reviewing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and its administration of the domain name system. In a follow-up email, I was told that the Bureau is investigating ICANN “since they are poised to […]

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December 6, 2013 1 comment Must Reads

The TPP IP Chapter Leaks: U.S. Wants New Regulations for Country-Code Domain Names

My series of posts on the leak of the Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter has highlighted Canada’s opposition to many U.S. proposals, U.S. demands for Internet provider liability that could lead to subscriber termination, content blocking, and ISP monitoring, copyright term extension, anti-counterfeiting provisions that are inconsistent with Bill […]

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November 19, 2013 6 comments News