[DNS] The Filter, No. 3.11

[DNS] The Filter, No. 3.11

From: David Goldstein <DGoldstein§comslaw.org.au>
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001 09:13:43 +1100
Hi all

There's some domain news in this edition of The Filter from the Berkman
Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Subscription info
is at the end for those who are interested.


                       No. 3.11 <--The Filter--> 02.06.01
        Your regular dose of public-interest Internet news and
                from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at
                              H a r v a r d  L a w  S c h o o l
           [1] In the News
           [2] Dispatches
           [3] Berkman News
           [4] Upcoming Events
           [5] Bookmarks
           [6] Quotable
           [7] Talk Back
           [8] Subscription Info
           [9] About us
           [10] Not a Copyright
                [1]  IN THE NEWS
 * Rock-ICANN-Hard Place: Mired in controversy since its inception in 
 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) this 
 faces a new challenge to its authority: a hearing before Congress to
 determine whether the organization's selection process for new generic
 top-level domain names is thwarting competition. The hearing,
 scheduled for February 8, is in large part the result of a Capitol Hill
 lobbying campaign by the businesses that, after paying ICANN $50,000
 apiece simply to propose new top-level domains, then lost their bids. 
 petitioning for the hearing was a coalition of public interest groups
 including the American Civil Liberties Union, which cited concerns that
 the selection process negatively impacts free speech on the Internet.
 ICANN worried? Not according to CEO Michael Roberts. "It's entirely
 legitimate for Congress to inquire," Roberts told the Washington Post.
 "We've been asked to testify at previous oversight hearings and we'd be
 pleased to do it again."
 ***EXTRA: In a recent Silicon Valley News interview, Roberts breaks
 into categories the groups criticizing ICANN: "One group basically is
 against a privatized ICANN because they feel it should have been done
 legislation. There's a second group--businesses that view the existence 
 ICANN as being something that will diminish their ability to
 exploit the Internet.[...] Then there's a third group--your standard
 variety Internet libertarians who object to any kind of an
 or institutional presence inside cyberspace."
 How might Roberts' assessment apply to the current controversy over
 top-level domain selection? Are the public interest concerns raised by 
 ACLU coalition valid? How would ICANN respond? Filter reporter Cedar
 Pruitt caught up last week with Karl Auerbach, North American
 representative for ICANN's At-Large membership, to ask his opinion on
 issue. Then, she persuaded Berkman Fellow Diane Cabell to play Devil's
 Advocate, asking her to respond to Auerbach's arguments by presenting
 opposing viewpoint. Follow the links below (also linked from
 to read what each had to say:
 * DoubleClick Double Take: Not long ago, "Doing a DoubleClick" was a
 common catch phrase in the Internet community for an embarrassing
 privacy debacle. An Internet advertising firm, DoubleClick raised the
 of privacy advocates last year when reports surfaced that the company
 planned to tie anonymous "clickstream" data with personally-identifying
 offline information such as names and addresses. Several class-action
 suits, inquiries from state attorneys general, and a Federal Trade
 Commission (FTC) investigation shortly ensued. In July, however, the
 endorsed the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), a consortium created 
 DoubleClick and its competitors to establish self-regulatory
 standards. Two weeks ago, the Commission took the matter a step further
 and abandoned the DoubleClick probe. "DoubleClick never used or
 consumers' PII [personally-identifying information] for purposes other
 than those disclosed in its privacy policy," writes the FTC in a letter
 closing the investigation. "Staff further notes the recent effort by
 [NAI] to establish an ethical code for online preference marketing, and
 your client's commitment to that code." (See
 So is DoubleClick in the free and clear? Not according to privacy 
 groups including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). "The
 [FTC] letter does not prohibit DoubleClick from merging online and 
 data at a later date," points out a recent EPIC e-newsletter. EPIC,
 last year lodged a complaint asking the FTC to investigate the company,
 has now filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Commission
 seeking all records pertaining to the DoubleClick investigation. "We
 raised a whole series of factual issues," says EPIC executive director
 Marc Rotenberg. "It looks to me like the FTC's staff just completely
 misses the point."
 * Taking It to the...States?: In the wake of news that the FTC had 
 the DoubleClick investigation, competitor 24/7 told The New York Times
 that, like DoubleClick, it was working on ways to preserve consumer
 anonymity--but would wait for cues from Capitol Hill before coming up 
 a concrete plan. "Given that there's still a lot of talk in Congress 
 legislation," said chief executive David Moore, "we'd like to have a
 clearer direction from this new Republican regime as to where this will
 go, before we make any decisions." Now, coming in tandem with the
 reintroduction by Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) of a bill to make tracking
 Internet users' online behavior without consent a crime, two George
 University School of Law professors have published a paper arguing in
 support of privacy legislation--but at the state rather than the
 level. "Federal law would perversely lock in a single regulatory 
 while Internet technology is still rapidly evolving," the paper says.
 "State law, by contrast, emerges from 51 laboratories (50 states, plus 
 District of Columbia) and therefore presents a more decentralized model
 that fits the evolving nature of the Internet." Will the paper's
 resonate with lawmakers? Its authors, Larry Ribstein and Bruce
 are hopeful but realistic. "We have had a hard time convincing the
 we really want to convince," says Ribstein.
 * DMCA Comes Under "Friendly" Fire: No fewer than eight separate
 coalitions filed "friend of the court" briefs last week in the case of
 Universal v. Reimerdes, kicking off the latest round of the fight over
 posting or linking to DeCSS--software code that decrypts the data on
 commercial DVDs. The amicus briefs--submitted by diverse constituencies
 including law professors, computer scientists, journalists and
 cryptographers--support an appeal filed a week earlier by the
 Frontier Foundation on behalf of the defendant, 2600 Magazine. Amici 
 that the district court opinion, and the Digital Millennium Copyright
 upon which it relies, represent an unwarranted expansion of copyright
 the expense of free speech, fair use of copyrighted works, journalistic
 reporting, and scientific research. Collectively, they urge the Second
 Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the injunction and narrow the
 anticircumvention provision.
 To read more about the case or join a discussion of the critical issues 
 stake, follow the link below to the Berkman Center's moderated 
                [2]  DISPATCHES
 ICANN heads to Capitol Hill this month for a hearing to determine
 the nonprofit corporation's process for choosing for new generic 
 domain names is thwarting competition--or threatening free speech on
 Internet. Is expanding the top-level domain space a "damned if you, 
 if you don't" proposition? How valid is the criticism being leveled at
 Last week, Filter reporter Cedar Pruitt asked Karl Auerbach,
 self-described ICANN critic and the North American representative for
 At-Large membership, for his take on the issue. Then, she persuaded
 Berkman Fellow Diane Cabell to play Devil's Advocate, asking her to
 respond to Auerbach's arguments by presenting the opposing viewpoint.
 Follow the links below to find out what each had to say:
               [3]  BERKMAN NEWS
 * Berkman Center Welcomes New Fellow: This week the Berkman Center
 welcomes Dan Markel, a 2001 Berkman Fellow. Markel will be a resident
 the Berkman Center, writing on issues (surprise!) related to
 intellectual property and criminal law. Raised in Toronto, Markel 
 his A.B. from Harvard, where he studied government. He then spent a
 as a Dorot-Harvard Fellow in Jerusalem, where he studied philosophy and
 worked as a legislative aide for M.K. Naomi Chazan. After completing an
 M.Phil. in Cambridge, England, he returned to Harvard for his J.D. A
 former editor of the Harvard Law Review and Olin Fellow at Harvard Law
 School, Markel has written extensively on the philosophy of punishment
 well as on intellectual property. These and other works-in-progress
 soon be available via the Berkman Center website. Markel can be reached 
 * New Online Series in the Wings: The Berkman Center will shortly
 its 2001 program of interactive online lectures and discussions. The
 program will explore the most pressing cyberlaw issues currently being
 debated by lawmakers in the United States and other countries:
 and content control, discovery in digital-age litigation, and legal
 aspects of doing business online. Stay tuned to The Filter for further
 details, including dates for registration and participation.
               [4]  UPCOMING EVENTS
 * 02/13/01, Cambridge, MA--"World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies"
 (Harvard Book Store)
 * 02/17/01, San Diego, CA--"Enhancing Access to the Justice System 
 Technology" (ABA)
 * 03/06/01-03/09/01, Cambridge, MA--"Computers, Freedom & Privacy 2001"
 * 03/10/01-03/13/01, Melbourne, Australia--"ICANN Meetings"
                [5]  BOOKMARKS
 * Justice Talking.com
 Online home of "Justice Talking Live!," a two-hour weekly radio talk
 examining in depth the controversial constitutional issues before the
 nation's courts. Enables listeners to submit questions and comments via
 the Internet.
 * Jurist--The Legal Education Network
 Award-winning legal education portal created by the University of
 Pittsburgh School of Law.
                 [6]  QUOTABLE
 "Now we've got to tell them, 'Look. If you want to get to the summit,
 you've got to take risks. If you fail, you've got to try again.' And
 failure is no disgrace in this new age of new technology. It's being
 tested all over the world."
 --Lee Kuan Yew, senior minister of Singapore, getting real at this
 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
 "...underneath that flashy entertainment stuff is the hope that [the
 Internet] will become an infrastructure of ordering pizzas, and selling
 stocks, and doing eBay auctions [...]. And there's reason to think that
 that's the case. On the other hand, my guess is that the window into
 kind of commerce, the business transactions, will be a window that
 an awful lot like television."
 --Jonathan Zittrain, faculty co-director of the Berkman Center, getting
 real at last year's World Economic Forum.
 "We are heading towards a time when it will no longer be tolerable to 
 'Those used to be your civil liberties, but now it's digital.'"
 --Eben Moglen, Columbia University law professor and counsel to the
 Software Foundation.
                [7]  TALK BACK
 Comments? Questions? Opinions? Submissions? Send a letter to the editor 
                [8]  SUBSCRIPTION INFO
 You are receiving this email because someone (perhaps you) requested
 your name be added to our mailing list. Follow this link to unsubscribe
 from the list:
                [9]  ABOUT US
 Read The Filter online at
 Who we are:
                [10]  NOT A COPYRIGHT
 A publication of the Berkman Center for Internet &
 Society at Harvard Law School <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu>
 You may--and please do--forward or copy this newsletter to friends and
 [cc] <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cc/cc.html>
Received on Wed Feb 07 2001 - 06:15:03 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Sat Sep 09 2017 - 22:00:04 UTC