The Spam Wars and Internet Governance. Again.

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks for the shout-out to my 2000 article on ICANN. (The URL is actually .)

    The major obstacle to the imposition of public-law values on transnational bodies is that someone has to play the role of enforcer, and none of the international bodies that might play that role are both trusted and competent. That leaves national bodies. States are jealous of each other, and don’t want to give that role to a ‘peer’, especially if the state taking on the role is a hegemon or hegemon wannabe.

    I used to say, only quarter-jokingly, that we should put the Canadians in charge of ICANN, but that won’t happen either.

  2. Thanks for the reply, Michael. I fixed the link.

    I agree that neither the ITU nor the UN have the institutional capacity or experience to handle the governance problems here, but I’m not so sure the US or ICANN has a monopoly on trust any more than those international bodies, although I think ICANN is doing a lot to allay anxieties. (Canada is a whole other can of worms.)

    Also, I wonder what you make of this post about ICANN’s answer to the recent Spamhaus spat: Spamhaus and StopHaus joining together to review complaints? That certainly would go far towards legitimizing the complaint process. The acronym makes me think its an April Fools joke.

  3. Jim says:

    As with all other seeming calls for more law, I would ask that current law be enforced vigorously before adding more laws.

    When it comes to spam, the simple fact is that the current technological solutions work, while the law (Can Spam) doesn’t even begin to work BECAUSE IT ISN’T ENFORCED!!!!!!

    And before I step off my soap box, I want to know exactly where and when, and by what authority our government, on any level – Federal, State, Local – can pick and choose the laws they enforce. Can Spam – negligible enforcement. Do Not Call – always too litle too late. They needs to stop fining “Rachel,” and instead put her in jail. Penalties should be too stiff to be considered just a cost of doing business.

  4. Jim says:

    Spamhaus and Stophaus joining together to review complaints? Ridiculous! Stophaus is backed by criminals. It has no business being a part of any solution to the problem with spam let alone being involved in the much larger picture involving general Internet governance.

  5. Olivier, I think John Levine is just having some April Fools fun there.