The GovLab SCAN – Issue 3

Supporting the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation.

As part of the GovLab’s Living Labs on Smarter Governance project, this is our third weekly edition of SCAN – Selected Curation of Articles on Net-Governance. Feel free to share your suggestions with us at [email protected].

 This week’s highlights:

  • A free and open online forum about the future of Internet governance – 1Net – launched this week.
  • ICANN has launched a new Whois database beta to test the one-stop shop approach to opening registered domain name data to the public in an effort to improve data accuracy and increase transparency and accountability.
  • Internet connectivity is not just an issue in developing nations; many public schools in New York City have limited connectivity, restricting access to online learning tools.
  • News of NSA’s online surveillance continues to inspire discussions around the topic of how states can balance security and privacy while protecting human rights. With Brazil considering greater “data localization” and German telecom groups discussing a “national web,” many hope the upcoming ICANN 48 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina will provide some answers.


Harris, Frederick. “How Insider Domain Theft Can Bring Down ICANN.” CircleID. November 4, 2013.

  • Insider domain theft is an insidious problem that ICANN must address. Rather than evade compliance, Harris argues, ICANN should acknowledge that insider domain theft threatens to delegitimize it as an organization, and take action to address the issue.

ICANN Launches WHOIS Website Beta.” ICANN: News & Press. November 4, 2013.

  • Based on community recommendations, ICANN has launched a new beta “one-stop” WHOIS database aimed at improving transparency and accountability by offering an easy way for individuals to find existing Whois data about registered domain names, and offering users a means to report data accuracy issues.

Implementing the Extended Process Similarity Review Panel in the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process.” ICANN: News & Press. November 5, 2013.

  • ICANN released a new implementation plan for its internationalized country code top-level domain name “Fast Track” program. The plan discusses the “two-panel string similarity review process,” which will be used in reviewing applications for IDN ccTLDs.

Internet Governance

Bildt, Carl. “The Internet and the Rule of Law.” The New York Times. November 5, 2013.

  • Freedom of expression on the Internet is the new frontier for the battle for freedom in the world. Authoritarian governments are increasingly seeking to control their citizens’ behavior on the Internet. Here, Carl Bildt outlines the seven rules grounded in law that governments should abide by when surveilling their citizens.

Boadle, Anthony and Eseban Israel. “Brazil’s Local Internet Data Storage Plan Runs into Opposition.” Reuters. November 4, 2013.

  • Brazil’s new “Internet Constitution,” which proposes both net neutrality and data localization, raises alarm in Brazilian Congress despite President Dilma Rousseff’s support for the legislation as a safeguard against future NSA spying. Internet freedom advocates worry about the unintended consequences of data localization and question if the bill would be used as a “bargaining chip to persuade Rousseff’s government to drop its defense of net neutrality.”

Dimon, Laura. “This Is How Disconnected the World Is in the Internet Age.” PolicyMic. November 3, 2013.

  • A vast digital divide exists between countries like the United States and Ghana, but digital divides are equally present between communities within New York. Slow broadband connections plague many New York City public schools and students cannot access valuable online educational materials.

Farr, Christina. “Bill Gates: Internet Connectivity Doesn’t Mean Much If You’re Dying of Starvation.” VentureBeat. November 3, 2013.

  • Bill Gates champions Internet connectivity in the developing world, but noted in a recent interview that connectivity has little value when basic needs go unmet. Rather, Gates focuses his philanthropic efforts on disease prevention and public health, education, and climate change mitigation initiatives. He notes that in his view, “more technology and connectivity” may not be the only answer, noting his strategic approach to development around the world differs from that taken by large tech firms like Facebook and Google, where the goal is to increase Internet connectivity and hope that it will spur development.

Fisher, Max. “How anti-NSA Backlash Could Fracture the Internet Along National Borders.” The Washington Post. November 1, 2013.

  • Concerns over NSA snooping have German telecom groups discussing the construction of a national Web that would be less pervious to spying. Web schisms like this could mark the beginning of a new era of the Internet.

Reports & Stats

Kaliski, Burt. “Introduction: ICANN’s Alternative Path to Delegation (Part 1 of 4).” CircleID. November 6, 2013.

  • Verisign Labs conducted two studies earlier this year, the findings of which demonstrate that “changing the global DNS by delegating a new gTLD could introduce significant potential for name collisions with existing strings and raise cybersecurity and operational risks.”

Manyika, James, et al. “Open data: Unlocking Innovation and Performance with Liquid Information.” McKinsey Global Institute. October 2013.

  • This McKinsey report argues that open data is an opportunity. Open data can generate significant economic value by “giving rise to hundreds of entrepreneurial businesses and helping established companies to segment markets, define new products and services, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations.”

Morgan, Bronwen. “The Internet of Things Poses a Governance Issue, Say 99% of IT Professionals Worldwide.” Research. November 6, 2013.

  • A 2013 survey conducted with Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) members from 110 countries found that 99% of IT professionals worldwide feel that the “Internet of things poses ‘some type of governance issue.’”

Events & Initiatives

/1net. Accessed November 8, 2013.

  • 1net – a free and open online forum about the future of Internet governance – launched this week. 1Net calls for all to act as “collective stewards of the Internet, responsible for safeguarding the public trust into a single, free, and open Internet.” You can follow 1Net on Twitter

Brown, Deborah. “2013 Internet Governance Forum in Review.” Access. November 7, 2013.

  • A wrap-up from this year’s Internet Governance Forum, this piece notes that many discussions centered on online surveillance, which created an incentive for states to discuss balancing security while protecting human rights. Other main conversation topics included the Brazilian Internet Summit and supporting the multistakeholder framework for Internet governance decision-making.

Internet Society Briefing Panel @ IETF 88.“IPv6: What Does Success Look Like?” November 5, 2013.

  • The Internet Society Briefing Panel convened this week to discuss the growing deployment of IPv6 and to give a progress report in light of the headway made in  North America, Japan, Singapore, Peru, and among several European operators over the last year and a half.

Evolution of the Internet

Arora, Himanshu. “Internet Might Someday Lose Its Dependency on Servers, Rely on P2P Instead.” TechSpot. November 4, 2013.

  • Researchers at Cambridge University have developed a proof of concept for a server-free Internet architecture, designed to “meet the ever growing traffic requirements of web services and security concerns of Internet users.”

O’Dell, Jolie. “NASA Needs You to Bring the Internet to Deep Space. VentureBeat. November 2, 2013.

  • NASA, Harvard University and TopCoder are working together to learn how the Internet will work as we venture further into other planets’ orbits. The team is exploring Disruption Tolerant Networking, a new architecture accounting for things like “massive distances, interference from stars, low-power devices, [and] planetary rotation.” According to NASA space comms chief Badri Younes, recent experiments showed the “feasibility of using a new communications infrastructure to send commands to a surface robot from an orbiting spacecraft and receive images and data back from the robot.”

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