Monday, February 28, 2011

[RFC] Request for Comments on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration

ACTION: Notice of Inquiry.

SUMMARY: The United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) remains committed to preserving a stable and secure Internet Domain Name System (DNS). Critical to the DNS is the continued performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions. The IANA functions have historically included: (1) The coordination of the assignment of technical Internet protocol parameters; (2) the administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management; (3) the allocation of Internet numbering resources; and (4) other services related to the management of the .ARPA and INT top-level domains. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) currently performs the IANA functions, on behalf of the United States Government, through a contract with NTIA. Given the September 30, 2011 expiration of this contract, NTIA is seeking public comment to enhance the performance of the IANA functions in the development and award of a new IANA functions contract.

DATES: Comments are due on or before March 31, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by mail to Fiona M. Alexander, Associate Administrator, Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230. Paper submissions should include a three and one-half inch computer diskette in HTML, ASCII, Word or WordPerfect format (please specify version). Diskettes should be labeled with the name and organizational affiliation of the filer, and the name of the word processing program used to create the document. Alternatively, comments may be submitted electronically to Comments provided via electronic mail should also be submitted in one or more of the formats specified above. Comments will be posted to NTIA’s Web site at

. . . . .

Friday, February 25, 2011

2.25 :: GPS Dead Zones :: This is Just the Twitching :: 40,000 Does :: Blocking :: Whining ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"A popular government, without popular information, or the mean of
acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps
both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean
to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which
knowledge gives."—James Madison

USTelecom Urges FCC to Create New Low-Income Broadband Adoption Plan, USTelecom
The Federal Communications Commission should design a program that can
accurately evaluate a range of approaches for encouraging broadband
adoption among low-income households, USTelecom said in comments filed
with the commission Feb. 23.
More Info:

New 4G network could cause widespread GPS dead zones, PHYORG
If a plan to build new 4G mobile phone base stations in the US goes
ahead, engineers say GPS satellite navigation systems will be
seriously jammed and huge areas of the country will become GPS dead
More Info:

Fast 4G or super accurate GPS – Pick one, you can't have both, intomobile
We all salivate when we hear that networks are rolling out super fast
4G networks – I'm still holding out upgrading my Verizon phone until I
can get one with 4G LTE like the Droid Bionic – but could these 4G
networks be hurting the accuracy of the GPS chips in the smartphones?
A new report suggests that at least one new 4G network may have to
deal with GPS dead zones
More Info:

North Carolina Votes Today To Cripple Community Broadband - AT&T And
Company Try Once Again To Speed Bill Through, dslreports
As we've been discussing, incumbent ISPs in North Carolina (AT&T, Time
Warner Cable and CenturyLink) have tried repeatedly to get lawmakers
to pass laws banning and/or crippling community efforts to wire
themselves with fiber -- despite the fact nobody else will. Such bans
were passed in more than a dozen states before public scrutiny over
the practice slowed such lobbying efforts.
More Info:

Net Neutrality Is Dead. This Is Just The Twitching - We're Now
Fighting Over Rules That Don't Do Anything Anyway, dslreports
CNET takes a look at the various ways Republicans are trying to kill
the FCC's new neutrality rules, from a joint "Resolution of
Disapproval" aimed at nullifying FCC rule-making, to an amendment
tucked into a spending bill last week designed to eliminate FCC
funding for rule enforcement. It has been interesting to see many
Republican (and some Democrat) lawmakers
More Info:

Net Neutrality Drama Continues – And What About (President) Obama?, TLF
Following up on my Congressional testimony last week, I've written two
articles on how the House and Senate are moving forward with plans to
undo the FCC's December 23,2010 "Open Internet" order, aka net
neutrality. For my inaugural post for Forbes, I write about the
experience of being a witness before the House Judiciary
Committee'sSubcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the
Internet, and provide some background on how the FCC found
More Info:

Middle East Internet Scorecard (February 12 – 20), Arbor Network
The success of the Tunisian and Egyptian protest movements inspired
demonstrations throughout the Middle East last week, including
large-scale social media coordinated protests in Libya, Iran, Bahrain,
Algeria, Jordan and Yemen. In several of countries, governments
responded to the calls for reform with arrests and violent suppression
of public demonstrations. Increasingly, several Middle Eastern
governments also may be disrupting phone and Internet communication to
contain the spread of unrest
More Info:

Faster Forward: Libya shutdown raises questions about, security
of foreign domains, WAPO
A secondary story has come out of the events in Libya, affecting users
in a way few people have ever thought about. The top-level domain .ly,
used by the popular URL-shortening site and others, is the TLD
of Libya. As Libya has intermittently shut down its Internet access in
a curfew-like ...
More Info:

Pakistan: Facebook And Fundamentalism, Global Voices
Feisal Naqvi at Monsoon Frog writes how Fundamentalism is faring at
the age of Facebook
More Info:

Once Again, As The MPAA Whines About 'Piracy,' It Had Record Results
At The Box Office, Techdirt
There were reports late last year that the box office take for the
movie industry was finally set to decline after years of records. It
appeared that there just weren't that many big blockbuster hits last
year, that many thought really hurt the industry. However, now that
the numbers are out, it appears that, once again, the box office take
has set a new record. And yet the MPAA still claims that its number
one priority is "fighting piracy"? Why?
More Info:

Over 40,000 Does Dismissed In Copyright Troll Cases, EFF
These have been some eventful weeks in the world of copyright
trolling. Thousands of unnamed "John Does" in P2P file sharing
lawsuits filed in California, Washington DC, Texas, and West Virginia
have been severed, effectively dismissing over 40,000 defendants. The
plaintiffs in these cases must now re-file against almost all of the
Does individually rather than suing
More Info:

Do Not Track FTC Comment: What It Means, How to Enforce It, and More,
Center for Internet and Society
Last Friday we submitted a comment to the FTC articulating our vision
for Do Not Track. We expanded on a number of views already expressed
on this blog: Do Not Track is about much more than behavioral
advertising, an HTTP header is the right implementation, and Do Not
Track is no threat to ad-supported businesses. Here are the new
highlights. (For a fuller exposition of each, please see our comment.)
More Info:

US cybercrime complaints fell 10% in 2010, cw
The U.S. agency that tracks complaints of criminal activity on the
Internet reported Thursday that fewer people complained about Internet
fraud in 2010 than in the previous year.
More Info:

FTC asks court to shut down text spammer, CW
The FTC has asked a judge to shut down an alleged text-messaging spam
operation that sent out 85 text messages per minute at its peak.
More Info:

Filtering at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Berkman Center
Monday, pro-union site announced that it was being
blocked on the guest wireless at the Wisconsin Capitol Building.
More Info:

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2.23 :: Souring Relationships w Web Designers :: Libya :: Deeeewwwwww Process????? :: Kill Switch ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress;
but I repeat myself. – Mark Twain

The Grand Slam of Wrong, AT&T
So, yesterday afternoon, Level 3 filed a three-page, single spaced
letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski explaining to him that he didn't
really mean that the Comcast/Level 3 dispute is not covered by the
FCC's recently announced net neutrality rules and the press got it
More Info:

RCN Sorry About Your House Exploding But Wants Their Money - Allentown
Family Gets Press To Step In And Help, dslreports
Now RCN is taking heat for similar behavior in Allentown, demanding
$170 for burned cable boxes lost by a family whose block exploded due
to a gas line break. Despite several attempts, the local support rep
stuck to a script and wouldn't budge, so the family got the press (and
the Mayor) involved. As with many other stories of this kind, once the
press got involved
More Info:

US Air Force raises concerns over LightSquared's LTE network messing
with GPS, Engadget
Following a navigation system's instructions without driving into a
ravine is hard enough as it is -- can you even imagine how hard it'd
be if you kept losing GPS reception every time you drove within range
of an LTE tower? There have been a few anecdotal concerns raised over
the last several weeks thatLightSquared's proposed LTE network
More Info:

The National Broadband Map, FCC
The National Broadband Map is an unprecedented project created by
NTIA, in collaboration with the FCC, and in partnership with each
state, territory and the District of Columbia. We created the map at
the direction of Congress, which recognized that economic
opportunities are driven by access to 21st Century infrastructure.
More Info:

Florida Court Fixes Erroneous 47 USC 230 Ruling--Giordano v. Romeo,
Tech & Marketing Law
Giordano v. Romeo, 09-68539 CA 25 (Fla. Cir. Ct. Feb. 18, 2011) I
previously blogged about this...
More Info:

Congress zeroes in on FCC's Net neutrality rules, CNET
Recent hearings on the FCC's controversial Net neutrality rules has
led to considerable Congressional action aimed at undoing them.
Whether these efforts succeed, the new Congress is clearly showing
itself to be deeply partisan.
More Info:

House passes defunding of Net neutrality rules, CW
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment to its
annual government funding bill that would prohibit the Federal
Communications Commission from using any funds to implement the Net
neutrality rules it approved last year.
More Info:

Republicans Move To Gut FCC Neutrality Funds - Because Killing Open
Internet Rules...Protects An Open Internet?, dslreports
On the heels of a rather redundant and unproductive hearing this week
on network neutrality that covered little new ground, The House of
Representatives voted on Thursday to add a new amendment to the House
spending bill that would prohibit the FCC from using funds to
implement their new network neutrality rules. To actually become law
the proposal would need to
More Info:

Pt II: EFF Evaluates the FCC's Net Neutrality Rules in its "Report and
Order", EFF
In Part I of this post, we looked at the FCC's stated basis for its
authority to regulate the Internet in its Report and Order, issued in
late December 2010.
More Info:

In Which We Learn Whether a Sour Relationship Constitutes a Breach of
Contract or a Violation of the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protect
Act, Cybertelecom
Let's pretend the unimaginable: an individual who has hired a
contractor and the contractor come to a dispute. Anyone who has had
their house remodeled knows the pain of this predicament. In order to
resolve the conflict, usually (a) the individual withholds final
payment until satisfactory delivery or (b) the contractor withholds
delivery until satisfactory payment. Regardless of the good or
More Info:

The potential impact on Middle East enterprises that are not IPv6
ready is immense, IPv6 Act Now
When the Internet was created in the 1970s, no-one would have imagined
just how ubiquitous its use would be. Today, nearly every man, woman
and child 'connects' on a daily basis and even humble domestic devices
such as refrigerators and cookers can be connected to the Internet to
aid daily life. In 2010, Gartner1 predicted that 1.6 billion
smartphones alone will
More Info:

Ukraine could be seriously hit by switch to new Internet address
system - Kyiv Post, Kyiv Post
The forthcoming global switch to a new system of Internet address
assignment, the so-called IPv6 (Internet protocol version 6) threatens
to cause Ukrainian Internet providers serious problems, the Director
of the Ukrainian Traffic Exchange Network UA-IX, Serhiy Polischuk,
More Info:

Comcast to Participate in World IPv6 Day, COMCAST
Comcast recently announced plans to participate in World IPv6 Day
which is being organized by the Internet Society (ISOC). World IPv6
Day and the preparations leading up to the same are important to
further the deployment of IPv6. Comcast is looking forward to
participating in World IPv6 Day and will leverage ongoing trials to
further test the company's IPv6-enabled infrastructure
More Info:

FTC looking into Apple's in-app purchasing policy, CNET
The FTC chairman is reportedly looking at how in-app purchases in
kids' apps can cause parents to have to pay huge sums. The agency will
review how Apple is marketing these apps.
More Info:

FTC Eyes Apple In-App Purchases By Children, Gigaom
The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Apple's in-app purchase
system because of concerns about children buying virtual goods and
currency without realizing the actual cost. On Tuesday, FTC Chairman
Jon Leibowitz responded to a call for action by the FTC from Rep. Ed
Markey (D-Mass.), who raised the issue after seeing a report in the
Washington Post about children racking up charges in iOS apps.
More Info:

Internet Freedom And U.S. State Department, NPR
Host Michele Norris speaks with Alec Ross, a senior adviser for
innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They discuss
Internet freedom and why it's a top priority for the State Department.
More Info:

Libya's Internet hit with severe disruptions, CNET
Libya's network traffic has fallen by up to 80 percent, with YouTube
being especially hard hit, as the country appears to follow Egypt's
recent example.
More Info:

As violence escalates, Libya cuts off the Internet, CW
With violence escalating, Libya is pulling the plug on its Internet connection.
More Info:

Libya Internet Shut Down, Huff
Reports emerged late Friday that Libya appears to have shut down its
Internet due to widespread protests, less than a month after Egypt did
the same.
More Info:

Link by Link: Egyptians Were Unplugged, and Uncowed, NYT
The Internet blackout in Egypt illustrated the need for an independent
community of technical experts to protect Egyptians' connection to the
More Info:

Libyan Disconnect, Renesys
Renesys confirms that the 13 globally routed Libyan network prefixes
were withdrawn at 23:18 GMT (Friday night, 1:18am Saturday local
time), and Libya is off the Internet. One Libyan route originated by
Telecom Italia
More Info:

DHS Domain Seizures Get Ridiculous, COICA Returns - DHS ICE office
'Accidentally' Shuts Down 84,000 Websites, dslreports
This week the Department Of Homeland Security's ICE office began
seizing additional domain names in their copyright, counterfeit goods
and child porn initiative that we've been covering for several weeks.
The effort has been a rather Keystone-cops-esque affair and rife with
serious problems, most notably including the seizure of legitimate
foreign business domainsthat weren't engaged in illegal activity. This
week things were taken to an entirely new level with the news that the
More Info:

DHS Admits They Accidentally Took 84,000 Sites Offline - Though They
Don't Explain Why, Or Why They Ignore Due Process, dslreports
Techdirt directs our attention to the fact that the Department Of
Homeland Security has finally admitted to accidentally taking 84,000
websites offline after previously refusing to talk about the error
whatsoever. The rather-large governmental goof occurred recently when
the DHS ICE department shuttered the domain of free DNS provider as part of the DHS's
More Info:

Wildman analyzes the economic impact of innovation in media
distribution at M{2e} event, Annenberg
"The system we have now is irrelevant to the media of the future,"
Michigan State University professor Steven S. Wildman said as he
argued that economic forces are eliminating Hollywood's ability to
control the distribution of content.
More Info:

Amazon streams free movies to Prime members, CNET
The online retailer will comp Prime members video-streaming access to
5,000 movies. This is just one of the ways Amazon can challenge
More Info:

Amazon Debuts Free Video Streaming For Prime Members, Huff
The Internet video market is heating up: Amazon has just announced
that it will be offering a new Prime Instant Video service that will
allow Amazon Prime members to stream movies for free.
More Info:

Amazon aims at Netflix, rolls out streaming video, Globe and Mail
Online retailer offers streaming service to U.S. premium customers at no cost
More Info:

Why Google Stopped Collecting Last 4-Digits of Kids' Social Security
Numbers, Huff
As Huffington Post blogger Bob Bowdon reported on Monday, Google was
asking parents to provide the last four digits of their children's
social security number on the entry form for its annual
"Doodle-4-Google" contest. The form also called for the child's full
name, date and place of birth and grade level. Bowdon commented that
"children's social security numbers shouldn't be required for an art
More Info:

Amid unrest, a hard new look at online anonymity, CNET
One nonprofit is urging Facebook to let activists operate anonymously
on the social network, saying they're put at risk by policy that only
real identities may be used.
More Info:

Internet 'kill switch' bill gets a makeover, CNET
Senate "cyberemergency" bill returns, with critics saying tweaks still
don't safeguard civil liberties and could lead to Internet takeover.
More Info:

Feds Appeal Warrantless-Wiretap Defeat, Wired
The Obama administration is appealing the first -- and likely only --
lawsuit that produced a ruling against the secret National Security
Agency warrantless surveillance program, adopted after the 2001 terror
More Info:

Feds seek new ways to bypass encryption, CNET
The Secret Service reports that gleaning Web passwords can help it
crack encrypted files and hard drives, while the Justice Department
says suspects can't be forced to divulge passphrases.
More Info:

Patriot Act Extension Lands on Obama's Desk, Wired
The House forwarded legislation to the president Thursday to extend
three controversial Patriot Act spy measures through May. They were
set to expire at month's end.
More Info:

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Which We Learn Whether a Sour Relationship Constitutes a Breach of Contract or a Violation of the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protect Act

Let's pretend the unimaginable: an individual who has hired a contractor and the contractor come to a dispute. Anyone who has had their house remodeled knows the pain of this predicament. In order to resolve the conflict, usually (a) the individual withholds final payment until satisfactory delivery or (b) the contractor withholds delivery until satisfactory payment. Regardless of the good or service to be procured, this is how contract disputes typically devolve and get resolved.

Now let's say the contractor is a wed designer. We'll name him Dan. And the individual is Paul, who owns that incredibly valuable mark ACME. Paul asks Dan to design a website. Dan does so, registered the domain name Not wanting to be inconsistent with cultural norms, Paul and Dan have a dispute, a falling out if you will.

Question: If Dan seeks resolution of the dispute by offering to turn over the design and the domain name to Paul in return for Paul paying off his bill, has Dan violated the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protect Act? No, really; that's a serious question.

For purposes of our hypothetical, let's make no judgment on the contract dispute but assume the following: Dan is not warehousing domains, Dan's registration of the domain included accurate information, Dan does not use the domain for his own site and does not attempt to divert traffic to some other site. In this hypothetical, Dan's use of Paul's trademark is pursuant to a contract (a licensing agreement) and that contract is in dispute. Is that cybersquatting?

Interestingly enough, two courts considered this very case recently and came out with opposing conclusions. The 9th Circuit concluded that Dan had a "bad faith intent to profit" from the domain name, while Northern District Court in Illinois concluded that this is a contract dispute case and dismissed the ACPA claim. Let's review.

In Airoom, LLC v. Demi & Cooper, Inc., ND Ill Jan. 5, 2011, the District Court concluded that what we have here is a failure to communicate – and not a trademark dispute. Paul asked Dan to design a website, along with acquiring a domain name. Dan did so. "The parties' relationship soured." Dan asked to be paid; the bill went unpaid; Dan turned off the website. Eventually Dan turned control over the website over to Paul. Paul sued claiming a violation of the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

"Not so fast," said the court. Recloaking a contractual dispute as a trademark dispute doesn’t cut it. The principle of law here is known as the Artful Pleading Doctrine.

First, you have to understand: this case was brought before a federal court. The federal court can have jurisdiction if (a) the parties are from different states (diversity jurisdiction) or (b) a federal statute is involved. In this case, both Paul and Dan were from Illinois. Thus, the only way a federal court could have jurisdiction is if it involved a federal law, in this case a trademark dispute; a mundane contract dispute would belong in the state court.

Analyzing the dispute between the parties, the Court noted that the only reason Dan was using the trademark in the first place was pursuant to the contract between the parties. Paul had hired Dan to create a website, thereby licensing the mark to Dan in order to complete the work. In this case, there is no dispute over whether the trademark is valid, nor is this a case where Defendant

out of nowhere, decided to misappropriate Plaintiffs' trademarks. Rather, there was an ongoing relationship between the parties . . . based on a contract. The court found that the trademark claim was entirely derivative of the contract claim given that but for the dispute relating to the contract between the parties, there would not be allegations of trademark violations.

What we have here, concluded the court, is a contract dispute. The court refused to recast it as a trademark dispute, dismissed the ACPA claim, and dismissed the case for lack of federal jurisdiction.

On almost the same fact pattern, the 9th Circuit went the other way. In DSPT International, Inc. v. Lucky Nahum (9th Cir. Oct. 27, 2010), Paul asked Dan to set up an online presence for his clothing store. Unfortunately, the friendship between Paul and Dan "soured." The contract between the parties expired on August 31, 2005 and was not renewed. About a month later, Dan took down Paul's website, and uploaded a page that referred questions to himself. Dan stated that he had done so "in order to get Paul to pay him funds that were due to him.” Paul asked for the website to be delivered to him, and Dan refused. The record shows that Paul spent $31K rebuilding the website and that it returned online after several months.

So far, so good; this sounds pretty much like the Airoom case, down to the exact same word to describe the relationship status: "soured." There are probably a few more things you should know. According to the record, the reason Dan did not renew his contract with Paul is that Dan went to work for Paul's competitor. In August of 2005, Paul paid for Dan to come to an industry conference in Las Vegas; at that conference "Dan spent time in a competitor’s booth, and arranged employment with that competitor." After that conference and the expiration of the contract, Dan took down Paul's website. Paul's website had been very profitable and Paul, according to the Court, and lost a great deal of revenue while the site was down. In the end of the day, the 9th Circuit affirmed a jury award of $152,000 damages for Dan's violation of the ACPA. Finally, the court noted that Dan's claim that he was owed money was "meritless."

The 9th Circuit did not consider the Artful Pleading Doctrine. Instead, the 9th Circuit applied the factors of bad faith from the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and focused in on factor 6, bad faith intent to profit, and concluded that Dan was unjustly using Paul's mark with an intent to profit. Even though Dan's use of the mark originates through a contractual relationship and Dan never used the mark to sell goods or services, the use of the mark with the attempt to force Paul to pay a disputed debt constituted "bad faith intent to profit."

Factor VI may fairly be read to mean that it is bad faith to hold a domain name for ransom, where the holder uses it to get money from the owner of the trademark rather than to sell goods. The jury had evidence that Dan was using the “” domain name as leverage to get Paul to pay him the disputed commissions, not for the bona fide sale of clothes. Though there was no direct evidence of an explicit offer to sell the domain to Paul for a specified amount, the jury could infer the intent to give back the site to Paul only if Paul paid Dan the disputed commissions.

The “intent to profit,” as factor VI shows, means simply the intent to get money or other valuable consideration. “Profit” does not require that Dan receive more than he is owed on his disputed claim. Rather, “[p]rofit includes an attempt to procure an advantageous gain or return.” Thus, it does not matter that, as the jury concluded, Dan’s claim for unpaid commissions was meritless, because he could not hold the domain name for ransom even if he had been owed commissions.

Read that last sentence again. The 9th Circuit says, even where a web designer has a rightful claim against a trademark owner to get paid, offering to transfer the domain name in exchange for payment of that debt (having both parties fulfill their obligations under the contract) constitutes a violation of the ACPA!

That's amazing. I could go on about the other things I find wrong with this decision (Congress directs the courts to balance 9 elements; the 9th Circuit here finds a violation of the ACPA based solely on one element – and so on). But to suggest that a profession cannot, in good faith, negotiate a resolution of a contractual dispute through the delivery of the goods and services in exchange for compensation – makes me think I might want to move my web design business to Illinois.

The ACPA is a tricky thing. From the outset, we have observed that the ACPA can be a booby trap for parties who, in good faith, attempt to negotiate disputes. Domain name disputes can arise even where there is no bad faith and no cybersquatting. Parties can negotiate resolutions, and recognizing that the party that gives up a domain name must incur expenses (such as redoing letter head, business cards, business relations – you know, all the things the 9th Circuit noted that Paul had to pay for when Paul had to rebuild its website), can agree on some fair compensation. But they second Dan the domain name holder does that, a court could conclude, "aha, a bad faith intent to profit!" And, poof, no one can negotiate any disputes for fear of being found in violations of the ACPA!

Many courts have declared "hogwash," recognizing that settling disputes is preferable to litigation, and negotiations don’t constitute cybersquatting. The 9th Circuit's places web designers in the precarious position when they enter contractual disputes; according to the 9th Circuit, the ACPA doesn’t require the designer to get paid for the designers work, but it does require that the designer to deliver the work to the trademark owner regardless of payment. That's stupid.

In the 9th Circuit case, Dan reportedly breached his contract and thus could apparently be liable for damages under a breach of contract cause of action. But recloaking a contract dispute into a trademark dispute just so Paul can more easily get the damages Paul desires distorts the law and puts a profession in unnecessary jeopardy. This is not why the ACPA was passed; this is not what the ACPA covers; there was no registration and warehousing of domain names for the purpose of extracting extortion from trademark owners. This is a case that seeks to slap a litigant that court does not like and thus puts at risk a profession.

Let's see what today's lesson is: "Wheel of Morality, turn, turn, turn - Tell us what lesson we should learn." [Whirl, Click, Click, Clock]: The Bard Saith: "Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2.16 :: No Conflict Exists :: Tweeting Teens :: Internet Freedom (Except Wikileaks) :: Would Shakespeare Have Survived :: Is Writing Worth It? ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"Whenever a great army is formed, hunger and evil follow."--Book Of Tao

FCC: Bandwidth expansion must not interfere with GPS, AOPA
A communications network operator whose plan to expand its use of the
radio spectrum triggered concerns about interference with GPS signals
must not proceed until it assures GPS users and regulators that no
conflict exists.
More Info:

Garmin Says 4G System A Threat To GPS - AVweb, AVWEB
Garmin is standing by its position that a proposal to build a network
of 40,000 broadband transmission towers around the U.S. could severely
disrupt GPS service.As we reported last week, LightSquared has
received conditional FCC approval to install the massive system to
carry 4G signals, the conditions being that it restrict its signals to
their assigned frequencies on the L Band 1 (1525 MHz—1559 MHz) and
test existing GPS devices to see what kind of interference the
More Info:

FCC Fines Broadband Operator for Causing Interference to TDWR
Operations; Readies Rulemaking Proceeding, WISPA
Aviation safety remains a critical enforcement issue for the Federal
Communications Commission, as we highlighted in a recent blog post.
Late last week, Utah Broadband found out the hard way as the FCC
assessed the company a $25,000 fine for violating rules [...]
More Info:

Tweeting teens can handle public life, apophenia
The Press Complaints Commission in the UK has now ruled that there is
no "reasonable expectation" of privacy on Twitter. With this decision
and the fact that teenagers are flocking to Twitter in
More Info:

Rep. Walden moves to block FCC funding on net neutrality, wapo
A day before a House hearing on net neutrality with all five Federal
Communications Commission members, key Republican lawmakers Tuesday
introduced a legislative amendment to take away funding that would
enable the agency to carry out its rules.
More Info:

Comcast, Time Warner join IPv6 test program, CNET
Comcast and Time Warner Cable will link their services to the
next-generation Internet this June to help test the new technology.
More Info:

Clinton warns governments that limiting Internet will backfire, WAPO
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned governments from
China to Syria on Tuesday that blocking the Internet would ultimately
backfire, damaging their economies and creating pent-up demands that
would boil over in demonstrations like those that have swept the
Middle East and North Africa.
More Info:

Clinton Demands Net Freedom Abroad as U.S. Restrictions Loom, Wired
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says in a major policy
address that the internet should be free. To the backdrop are
government action and congressional proposals to the contrary.
More Info:

Questions for Secretary Clinton concerning "Internet freedom", Berkman Center
Berkman Center faculty associate Matthew Hindman provoked an energetic
email exchange among members of the extended Berkman community today,
in anticipation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "Internet
Freedom" speech (transcript, #NetFreedom). Matt had asked for
suggestions of a question to ask Secretary Clinton:
More Info:

Clinton: We Love Net Freedom, Unless It Involves WikiLeaks, Gigaom
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech today at George
Washington University about Internet freedom, an updated version of
the address she gave a year ago calling for more openness and an end
to foreign governments repressing their citizens through the 'Net. As
it was then, Clinton's speech was a heart-warming defence of the open
Internet and the need for
More Info:

Secretary Clinton Unveils New Funding for Activism Technology,
Rhetorical Refresh in Internet Freedom Speech, EFF
Earlier today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a
speech about Internet freedom titled, "Internet Rights and Wrongs:
Choices and Challenges In A Networked World." In her remarks, Clinton
built on prior statements about the U.S. Government's commitment to a
free and open Internet, responding in part to the uprisings in the
Middle East and Cablegate— major, ongoing international developments
adding to the swell of debate about the parameters of Internet freedom
More Info:

Egypt Government Found 'Off' Switch For Internet, Huff
Epitaphs for the Mubarak government all note that the mobilizing power
of the Internet was one of the Egyptian opposition's most potent
weapons. But quickly lost in the swirl of revolution was the
government's ferocious counterattack, a dark achievement that many had
thought impossible in the age of global connectedness. In a span of
minutes just after midnight
More Info:

Russia: Blogger Pays for Badmouthing Putin Online, Global Voices
Debates on the extend of freedom of expression online are almost as
old as the Internet. But rapid development of RuNet in recent years
has only stared testing the limits of what one can say online. The
army of bloggers and their enthusiastic efforts to defend the online
freedom paint an optimistic picture of the blogosphere's future.
More Info:

Would Shakespeare Have Survived Today's Copyright Laws?, Techdirt
Last year, when author Scott Turow (whose books I actually liked very
much) took over as head of the Authors Guild, we noted that his
obsession with "piracy" was misplaced, and probably not in the best
interests of the authors he represented. We also posted a compelling
response to Turow. Rather than take the time to understand the
arguments and the data on this
More Info:

Feds Seize 18 More Domains in Piracy Crackdown, Wired
The U.S. government seized 18 more internet domains Monday, bringing
to at least 119 the number of seizures following the June commencement
of the so-called "Operation in Our Sites" anti-piracy program.
More Info:

Public Citizen & EFF File For Sanctions Against Anti-P2P Lawyer Evan
Stone, Techdirt
Remember Evan Stone? The anti-P2P lawyer (not the porn actor), who has
been filing a ton of mass infringement lawsuits on behalf of porn
companies. Like all of these lawsuits, the real intent is to frighten
people into paying up prior to any trial. It's using the judicial
system as a business model. In one of the lawsuits Stone filed for
Mick Haig Productions, the judge wisely
More Info:

US government defends tactics in WikiLeaks probe, Globe and Mail
Investigators seek access to Twitter accounts in leaks probe
More Info:

WikiLeaks, free speech and Twitter come together in Va. court case, WApo
An odd confluence of important issues came together in a federal
courtroom in Alexandria on Tuesday: the criminal investigation of
WikiLeaks, free speech and social networking.
More Info:

Is Writing Online Without Pay Worth It?, NPR
Many websites and social media forums have been valued at astronomical
sums. Last week, AOL agreed to buy The Huffington Post for $315
million. The sale will undoubtedly make some people rich. But most of
the value was created by writers working for free.
More Info:

Bits: Google Asks Users to Weigh In on Content Farms, NYT
Users of Google's Chrome browser can block sites from search results,
and Google will use that information to adjust its algorithm.
More Info:

Google unveils anti-content farm Chrome tool, CNET
As expected, Google plans to ask the public for help in identifying
sites pumping out huge volumes of low-quality content, otherwise known
as content farms.
More Info:

Court confirms: IP addresses aren't people (and P2P lawyers know it),
Ars Technica
Wrapping up the last of the United Kingdom's notorious copyright
infringement"pay up" letter cases, a UK patent and copyright judge has
had a major revelation. Just because some lawyer cites an Internet
Protocol (IP) address where illegal file sharing may have taken place,
that doesn't mean that the subscriber living there
More Info:

Op-Ed: A Civil Perspective on Cybersecurity, Wired
With cybersecurity issues mounting, some observers are pounding out a
persistent and mounting drumbeat of war, calling for preparing the
battlefield, even saying that the United States is already fully into
a "cyberwar," that it is, in fact, losing. We disagree. Cyberspace is
not a war zone.
More Info:

Cyber war exaggerated says expert, BBC
A leading security expert claims the threat of cyber war is
exaggerated but says technology should be seen as a weapon
More Info:

Homeland Security Department Seeks Boost in Cybersecurity Funding,
$936 Million for Fiscal 2012, Circleid
Aliya Sternstein reporting in Nextgov: "The Homeland Security
Department has requested an unprecedented $936 million in funding for
fiscal 2012 to grow the federal cybersecurity workforce and enhance
network protections. President Obama's budget would grant DHS, which
last year assumed responsibility for governmentwide cyber operations,
a $100 million
More Info:

Senate Extends Patriot Act Spy Bill, Wired
The Senate voted late Tuesday to extend through May three
controversial Patriot Act spy measures that were set to expire at
month's end.
More Info:

House Extends Key Patriot Act Provisions, Wired
The House voted Monday to extend to December three expiring provisions
of the Patriot Act spy legislation.
More Info:

U.S. Policy to Address Internet Freedom, NYT
The State Department will finance programs to help Internet users
around the world limit surveillance.
More Info:

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Net Neutrality Hearing on C Span Has Started

The Net Neutrality Hearing is available thru C Span

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2.11 :: Hey Everyone :: Proverbial Football :: Master Egyptian Switch :: Dont Hold Your Breath :: The FCC is SERIOUS ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular. - Adlai Ewing Stevenson

FCC Chairman: Broadband Buildout Key to Job Growth, USTelecom
If the United States does not invest in the build-out of its high
speed broadband infrastructure it will have smaller job creation, said
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Wednesday morning at The Atlantic's
Digital Town Hall: Jobs and The Economy of the Future.
More Info:

Clearing the Regulatory Path to 100% Broadband, AT&T
In case you weren't able to attend last Friday's Free State Foundation
event, you missed AT&T's Jim Cicconi talk about what the FCC needs to
focus on now that we've moved on (right?!) from the "exhaustive and
exhausting" net neutrality debate that took up the majority of the
Commission's time and energy for the past two years.
More Info:

FCC Chairman Genachowski 'Out of Touch' with Broadband Reality, Free Press
On Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius
Genachowski delivered a speech to the Broadband Acceleration
Conference touting the value of broadband and the need for continued
investment in its infrastructure. He promised to cut the "red tape"
that stands as "a significant obstacle to broadband deployment."
More Info:

What To Expect From The National Broadband Map., PK
Hey everyone, remember the National Broadband Map? As part of the
Broadband Stimulus in the American Recover and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA), Congress let the National Telecommunications Information
Administration (NTIA) use a chunk of money to fund a national
broadband map that they had ordered NTIA to create in 2008 as part of
the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA). Congress ordered NTIA to
More Info:

Here We Go Again - FCC and the Proverbial Football, IP Convergence
In what is becoming a biennial ritual, the FCC is once again taking up
the issue of inter-carrier compensation. On Tuesday, the FCC adopted
a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM", see press release here and
NPRM here ) that will ostensibly reform the antiquated, dysfunctional,
byzantine system of payments that exist between carriers for the
exchange of traffic. This time, the FCC is SERIOUS. You can tell
More Info:

Republicans question broadband stimulus program, CW
House Republicans want a second look at spending on broadband stimulus projects.
More Info:

FTC Offers Tips on Wise Use of Wi-Fi Networks, FTC
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency,
today released tips to help people protect their personal information
while they use public wireless networks – Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee
shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public
More Info:

Obama pushes for national 4G-speed wireless, CNET
President offers details on plan for 4G-speed wireless connections in
rural areas, but plan to spend over $18 billion hits resistance from
Republican deficit hawks
More Info:

Obama goal: 98% of U.S. covered by 4G broadband, CW
President Obama details a plan to cover 98% of the U.S. with 4G mobile service.
More Info:

Net Neutrality Update: Coming soon - OMB Review!, CommLawBlog
The Commission's Open Internet (a/k/a Net Neutrality) initiative has
taken a tangible step forward with the announcement that the FCC is
getting ready to ship two "information collection" aspects of the
rules over to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its
review. But don't hold your breath – it'll take at least a couple of
months to get there.
More Info:

Under the microscope: what the end of IPv4 means for marketers, IPv6 Act Now
What: Last week the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, operated by
the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, handed out
[pdf] the final pool of addresses available under Internet Protocol
version 4, or IPv4 in a public ceremony. They were assigned to
Regional Internet Registries, which are expected to distribute the
remaining addresses.
More Info:

Report: Egypt Turned Off Net With a Switch, Not Phone Calls, Wired
The Egyptian government shut down most of its country's internet not
by phoning ISPs one at a time, but by simply throwing a switch in a
crucial data center in Cairo.
More Info:

Turns Out Egypt Did Have An Internet Kill Switch, Techdirt
After Egypt shut off internet access a few weeks back, most of the
analysis of how it was done suggested in basically involved calling
all of the country's ISPs and ordering them to shut down access. Yet,
a new report claims it really was more of a "kill switch" scenario, in
that the majority of the shut-off came from flipping a single switch
in the Ramses exchange -- a key data center in Cairo. That didn't stop
everything, so the rest was accomplished with a few phone calls -- but
it was that switch flip that did most of the work.
More Info:

Introducing Livestand from Yahoo! — A Personalized Digital Newsstand
for Tablets and Mobile Phones, Yahoo
No description
More Info:

PIC Opposes TSA's Secret Evidence in Body Scanner Case, EPIC
EPIC has opposed an effort by the Transportation Security
Administration to provide secret evidence to the court in EPIC's
challenge to the the airport body scanner program. The TSA claimed
that it can withhold documents that it has designated "Sensitive
Security Information" and scientific studies because they are
"copyrighted materials." EPIC responded that the TSA failed to
establish that the documents are Sensitive
More Info:

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

2.9 :: Get Lost :: Trojan Horse :: Ripping Off the Band-Aid :: Dan "Streisand Effect" Snyder :: Unchecked Surveillance Power :: AOLHUFF ::

CyberTelecom News
Federal Internet Law and Policy
"Every legislative limitation upon utterance, however valid, may in a
particular case serve as an inroad upon the freedom of speech which
the Constitution protects."—Supreme Court Justice Stanley F. Reed

EDITORIAL: Obama to America: Get lost, Wash Times
In the past decade, millions have come to depend on the seeming magic
of the global positioning system (GPS) to guide them to their
destination. The navigational gadgets in cars, cell phones and other
hand-held devices can even be a lifesaver. Now the system may be
undermined by a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision last
month to allow a well-connected company to exploit a slice of the
airwaves in a way that potentially blocks GPS signals.
More Info:

NTIA concerned LightSquared service could cause interference -
FierceWireless, Fiercewireless
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration told
the FCC that federal agencies are worried that LightSquared's proposed
wholesale LTE network raises "significant interference concerns" that
the FCC should investigate before the network launches.
More Info:

An Order Of Satellite Phone Service, Please - Hold The Satellite, CommLawBlog
FCC OKs terrestrial cell-type service using satellite spectrum
More Info:

FTC names net neutrality expert Tim Wu senior adviser, WAPO
Tim Wu, a law professor and author best known for coining the term
"net neutrality," will join the Federal Trade Commission as a senior
More Info:

EFF: FCC Will Likely Lose This Neutrality Case Too - FCC Could Have
Tackled Competition Instead, dslreports
You'll recall the FCC could have reclassified broadband ISPs as common
carriers, thereby establishing specific authority over broadband
operators. Or they could have focused on the lack of sector
competition. Instead, for fear of upsetting companies like AT&T, the
agency imposed fairly thin neutrality rules that don't cover a large
number of things (including wireless) and may not be enforceable
anyway. According to a post over at the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, the organization is also coming out against the FCC's new
rules, and the FCC's effort to
More Info:

FCC Net Neutrality Is Regulatory 'Trojan Horse,' EFF Says, Wired
The Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality decision opens
the FCC to "boundless authority to regulate the internet for whatever
it sees fit," the Electronic Frontier Foundation warns.
More Info:

Part I: FCC "Ancillary" Authority to Regulate the Internet? Don't
Count on It, EFF
The FCC published its long-awaited final Report and Order on net
neutrality at the end of December (more on that in part 2 of this
post), but the debate is far from over. Republican members of Congress
have loudly voiced their displeasure with the attempt to regulate
internet activity; they've already filed a bill putting internet
regulatory authority solely in the hands of Congress. Democratic
members have filed their own bill establishing clear regulatory
authority in the FCC, and they generally complain that the regulations
don't go far enough.
More Info:

U.S. seeks veto powers over new domain names, CNET
Obama administration wants the power for it and other governments to
veto future top-level domain names, raising questions about free
expression and the role of states in shaping the Internet.
More Info:

nternet Protocol Version 6 (Ipv6): Nist Guidelines Help Organizations
Manage The Secure Deployment Of The New Network Protocol, NIST
More Info:

Why The Internet Is Running Out Of Addresses, NPR
It's been called the I-Pocalyspe. Some headlines have been equally
ominous: Internet Officially Runs Out of Addresses; The End of the
Internet As We Know It; The Web's Well Goes Dry. To decipher these
headlines, host Melissa Block speaks to Stephen Shankland, a senior
writer for
More Info:

IPv6 marks the next chapter in the history of the Internet, Google
In the same way your phone is associated with a unique number, your
computer is assigned a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address when you
connect to the Internet. The current protocol, IPv4, allows for
approximately 4 billion unique addresses—and that number is about to
run out.
More Info:

IPv6: Ripping off the Band-Aid, Part 1, Global Crossing
May of 1995 was a true watershed moment for the Internet. The
Internet was declared a 100% commercially viable entity when the NSF
funded backbone (ANS, aka the NSFnet) stopped providing free transit
and the major ISP's established settlement-free peering across the
NAP's and MAE's. It was expected to be a painful day with vast
portions of the Internet having no connectivity to each other and
things being, in general,
More Info:

Google exec freed from Egyptian custody, CW
Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released from government custody
in Egypt today and has already tweeted about his freedom.
More Info:

U.S. Has Secret Tools to Force Internet on Dictators, Wired
When Hosni Mubarak shut down Egypt's internet and cellphone
communications, it seemed that all U.S. officials could do was ask him
politely to change his mind. But the U.S. military does have a second
set of options, if it ever wanted to force connectivity on a country
against its ruler's wishes.
More Info:

Conflating DPI with Egypt to exploit a crisis, Digital Society
It's ironic that Timm Karr of Free Press is blasting american
companies for supposedly assisting the Egyptian government to shut
down the Internet. It was less than a year ago that Free Press was
asking the FCC to regulate "hate speech" on the Internet which sounds
nice until we consider the fact that the government would have the
power to determine what constitutes indecent speech. Karr is now
blasting a company called Narus for selling Deep Packet Inspection
(DPI) technology to the Egyptian government to shut down the
More Info:

The economic impact of shutting down Internet and mobile phone
services in Egypt, OECD
The Egyptian government has taken great steps in the past years to
develop and promote the use and uptake of technologies. But the
current shutdown of Internet and communications services for five days
will have a pronounced economic impact.,3699,en_2649_37441_1_1_1_1_37441,00.html?rssChId=37441#47056659
More Info:

Homeland Security Begins Seizing Domains Again - Including One For A
Completely Legal Spanish Company, dslreports
Late last year the Department Of Homeland Security seized roughly
eighty domains, including at least one search engine, under a broad
new copyright protection push that is on shaky (at best) legal
grounds. DHS continued those domain seizures last week, including a
significant portion of domains for streaming websites like -- clearly as part of an effort to crack down on
illegal sports streams ahead of
More Info:

Momentum of Online Content Growing Rapidly, USTelecom
With today's announcement of AOL buying the Huffington Post for $315
million, and last week's announcement of an iPad-only newspaper called
"The Daily" launched by Rupert Murdoch, one can see a dramatic sea
change in the way we will be viewing "print' content in the near
More Info:

Redskins Owner Sues Local Paper Over Satirical Listing Of
Grievances... Making Sure More People Read It, Techdirt
We've talked about the ridiculous management of the Washington
Redskins a few times before. This is the football team that took the
extraordinary step of suing a bunch of fans who, due to the economic
crisis, were unable to pay for season tickets they had ordered. While
most other teams simply take back the tickets and find other buyers,
the Redskins sued over 100 such fans (probably ex-fans now). The team
More Info:

AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million, Lost Remote
When AOL says it was investing in content, it wasn't kidding. Spending
$50 million rolling out Patch. Then another $30 million or so to buy
TechCrunch. And then the bombshell announcement after the Super Bowl:
AOL is buying the social media-friendly news site Huffington Post for
$315 million.
More Info:

Dan Snyder is butthurt, SLAPP suit ensues, Irony meter pegged, Citizen's Media
Washington Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, seems to have awfully thin skin
for a guy who owns a sports team named after a racial insult.
More Info:

Netflix rises as studios' DVD money plunges, CNET
The studios' home-entertainment units see bleak holiday quarters at a
time when Netflix is seeing big growth. What message are consumers
sending Hollywood?
More Info:

SP 800-144 DRAFT Guidelines on Security and Privacy in Public Cloud
Computing, NIST
NIST requests comments and suggested changes to both draft documents.
Please submit the comments on the SP drafts to and no later than
February 28, 2011.
More Info:

Sens. Schumer, Nelson propose bill to protect airport body scan images, CW
Two U.S. Senators today proposed a law that would prohibit the
distribution or photographing of body images created by TSA scanners
in airports.
More Info:

Senate Amendment Could End "Digital Strip Searches", EPIC
Senator Udall (D-NM) has introduced a Senate Amendment 51 that would
require the Transportation Security Administration to install
"Automatic Target Recognition" software in all body scanners by
January 1, 2012. The technology creates a "generic image" of airline
passengers instead of the "peep show" images now produced by TSA
devices and viewed by TSA officials. The TSA recently announced that
it will begin testing
More Info:

Should anyone have a 'kill switch' for the Internet?, OJR
The recent events in Egypt remind journalists not only of the physical
peril inherent in covering conflict, but the evolving danger that
journalists' reporting can be kept from reaching the public at all.
More Info:

House Fails to Extend Patriot Act Spy Powers, Wired
The House failed to extend three key expiring provisions of the
Patriot Act on Tuesday, elements granting the government broad and
nearly unchecked surveillance power on its own public.
More Info:

NARUC Commends FCC for Moving Forward on USF Reform, NARUC
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued
the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission
issued its proposal on universal service/intercarrier compensation:
More Info:

From voice to broadband: FCC redirects its $8.7B in phone bill fees,
Ars Technica
Can the Federal Communications Commission save a huge government
program that overpays carriers to provide old school phone service,
overtaxes subscribers to subsidize it, discourages modernization, and
doesn't even offer broadband to the low income and rural consumers it
purports to serve?
More Info:

First Step Reforming FCC's Universal Service Fund? An Honest
Evaluation of the Goals and Trade offs., TOSF
The problem of reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) without
Congressional direction means working without clear guidance on what
the FCC should, institutionally, hope to achieve. "Broadband!" Is the
usual answer from reform proponents. "Basic broadband for everyone!
And eliminate…
More Info:

How The FCC Killed VoIP, Internet Statistics
Many people in the U.S. use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone
service today. But I contend that the FCC has killed the technology.
How can I make this assertion? After all, there are over 20 million
VoIP subscribers in the U.S.
More Info:

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