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 Thursday, August 25, 2005

Recommendation H.460.20 consented at the last Study Group 16 meeting solves the problem of how to provide location information in calls generated to/from H.323 systems. The Recommendation allows these systems – such as VoIP or videoconferencing – to convey information that could be a URL, an e-Mail, a postal code, or a mobile telephone number. This is much more than can be achieved with a traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) call.

Currently calls generated or terminated in H.323 systems do not carry - end-to-end – details of where that call is coming from. This information is needed by the public switched telephone network (PSTN) for emergency services, more accurate billing and for routing the call. Additionally it is useful, for instance, in applications such as telemarketing where calls can be routed according to their origin. 

Technically H.460.20 gives H.323 the ability to convey the location number present in ISUP – the system that determines the set-up, co-ordination and taking down of calls. Without this ability location information is lost at the interworking edge between the IP network and the PSTN. An additional benefit is that it simplifies interworking with the session initiation protocol (SIP).

Via the ITU-T Newslog.

Thursday, August 25, 2005 9:15:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 08, 2005

Lessons from broadband development in Canada, Japan, Korea and the United States by Rob FRIEDEN, Telecommunications Policy Volume 29, Issue 8, September 2005, Pages 595-613:

Broadband network development does not always track closely a nations overall wealth and economic strength. The International Telecommunication Union reported that in 2005 the five top nations for broadband network market penetration were: Korea, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada. The ITU ranked the United States sixteenth in broadband penetration.

Aside from the obvious geographical and demographic advantages accruing to small nations with large urban populations, broadband development thrives when it becomes a national priority. Both developed and developing nations have stimulated capital expenditures for infrastructure in ways United States public and private sector stakeholders have yet to embrace. Such investments have accrued ample dividends including the lowest broadband access costs in the world. For example, the ITU reports that in 2002 Japanese consumers paid $0.09 per 100 kilobits per second of broadband access compared to $3.53 in the United States.

Economic policies do not completely explain why some nations offer faster, better cheaper and more convenient broadband services while other nations do not. This paper will examine best practices in broadband network development with an eye toward determining the optimal mix of legislative, regulatory and investment initiatives. The paper will track development in Canada, Japan and Korea as these nations have achieved success despite significantly different geographical, political and marketplace conditions. The paper also notes the institutional and regulatory policies that have hampered broadband development in the United States.

The paper also will examine why incumbent local exchange and cable television operators recently have begun aggressively to pursue broadband market opportunities. The paper will analyze incumbents's rationales for limited capital investment in broadband with an eye toward determining the credibility of excuses based on regulatory risk and uncertainty. The paper concludes with suggestions how national governments might expedite broadband infrastructure development.

From ScienceDirect via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Monday, August 08, 2005 10:11:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 05, 2005

The Chairman's report (PDF) from the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held June 28 - July 1 2005 has been released.

The event was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted on 12 December 2003, at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and in preparation for the Tunis phase of WSIS, to be held from 16 to 18 November, 2005. The event website provides links to the final agenda, all background papers, presentations, electronic contributions, the Chairman’s Report and audio archives.

The four-day meeting was structured to consider and debate six broad themes in promoting international dialogue and cooperative measures among governments, the private sector and other stakeholders as well as promotion of a global culture of cybersecurity. These include information sharing of national and regional approaches, good practices and guidelines; developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities; technical standards and industry solutions; harmonizing national legal approaches and international legal coordination; privacy, data and consumer protection; and developing countries and cybersecurity.

The first day of the meeting focused on countering spam as follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam, held in July 2004.

Friday, August 05, 2005 12:38:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At a recent ITU cybersecurity event, Bruce Schneier, Founder and CTO, Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. gave a keynote speech entitled Negotiating for Security.

A Real Audio archive is available of Mr. Schneier's talk (speech starts 4 minutes from start of archive).

Mr. Schneier states that security is one of the fundamental building blocks of the information society as everything we now do with information requires some kind of security—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, may it be personal, corporate or government related. He said that to a very real extent the limits of the information society can be seen as the limits of security. In other words, if we cannot do it securely, we will not do it with computers and on the internet. Therefore, this means that security is a fundamental enabling technology of the global information society. Moreover, he noted that society as a whole is increasingly moving onto computers and networks and therefore things that had previously nothing to do with computers suddenly do: whether airplanes or the national power grid, these now have an important information security component to their secure functioning. This means that information security therefore has become our general security, which is almost everything. This fact explains our need for an increased focus on security and why the things we are trying to achieve here at this meeting are so important.

Friday, August 05, 2005 11:16:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the recent ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, Maria Cristina Bueti, Policy Analyst, Strategy and Policy Unit, ITU, presented a background paper entitled ITU Survey of Anti-Spam Laws and Authorities Worldwide. The survey was conducted in April 2005 and sent to ITU’s 189 Member States. The survey results, based on 58 responses received, showed that there are a number of countries that have already implemented anti-spam legislation. In some cases, countries use data protection laws or consumer protection laws to cope with spam issues. A number of countries do not have anti-spam legislation or any laws applicable to spam. A slide from her presentation is shown below.

Friday, August 05, 2005 10:58:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 04, 2005

From the Washington Post: To keep criminal hackers at bay, VeriSign, keeper of the master Internet address book, has been throwing mind-boggling amounts of money and computing firepower at security. VeriSign considers 2004 "the turning point" in the conflict because the bad guys exhibited such dramatic leaps in creativity, sophistication and focus.

 

Thursday, August 04, 2005 4:31:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Korean Ministry of Information and Communication announced yesterday it will adopt new measures in December to reduce the circulation of spam e-mail. The ministry's plan is designed to prevent the delivery of spam messages with fake sender information. Under the ministry's Sender Policy Framework, participating portal sites will share e-mail server information.

For the full article click here.

Thursday, August 04, 2005 1:35:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From the list of presentations (check for update):

Thursday, August 04, 2005 11:22:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Dan Kaminsky of DoxPara Research has posted the presentation Black OPs of TCP/IP 2005 (PowerPoint) which he made at Black Hat 2005 which includes his probes of the global Internet DNS infrastructure. The results demonstrate a number of weaknesses in the DNS. In particular, almost 10% of the DNS 2.5 million name servers are potentially subject to cache poisoning which permits hijacking network traffic. Also see the related article on CNET.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:02:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Net criminals 'customise' attacks: Criminal gangs have become more astute in phishing attacks. Net criminals and hackers are increasingly targeting their attacks at specific organisations, research shows. Worse hit, according to a worldwide survey by IBM, are government departments, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare. Of the 237 million security attacks in the first half of 2005, 137 million were aimed at these four areas. Spam is becoming less attractive as criminals focus on fraud, identity theft and extortion. This has meant a decrease in the ratio of spam to legitimate e-mail from 83% in January to 67% in June.

From BBC News, IBM press release - Global Business Security Index via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 8:07:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Alex Shipp, Senior Anti-Virus Technologist at MessageLabs comments:

 "The banking system in South American countries has a higher take-up of internet banking than the banking experience we're used to in the US or Europe. This makes online banks a prime target for the high-tech gangs operating in the region who can get rich quick by selectively targeting local economic interests."

For the full article click here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 5:18:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In a survey to test whether top e-tailers are allowing consumers to opt out of receiving promotional or marketing messages, the FTC has determined that 89 percent of the online merchants it tested are honoring requests to halt future mailings.

The study showed a high rate of compliance with the CAN-SPAM opt-out provisions. All of the e-tailers who sent e-mail to the FTC accounts provided clear notice of recipients’ right to opt out of receiving future mail and provided recipients with an opt-out mechanism. Eighty nine percent of the e-tailers honored all three of the opt-out requests made by FTC staff and 93 percent complied with opt-out requests for at least some accounts.

For the full report (PDF), click here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 10:17:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Phishing emails go formal - New method hides the true web address: Researchers have discovered a new method used by criminals to hide the location of phishing websites in email messages. The technique uses a form that sends the users to phishing websites after they have pushed a button. Traditionally phishers employ a link in the body of the email message, security watchdog, the SANS Internet Storm Centre has warned. Forms are commonly used by websites to allow users to send information back to the sites, for instance to enter user names and passwords for log ins. A phishing email tries to lure the recipient to a website that the message claims is from a trusted organisation like a bank or credit card company. The aim of the message is to steal confidential information such as login names and passwords.

From VNUnet, SANS Internet Storm Center - diary via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 10:11:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Australian Communications Industry Forum (ACIF) has announced it is bringing together a number of Australian industry leaders to advise on convergence issues.

The new ACIF Convergence Group will advise on the best way to tackle issues relating to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Next Generation Networks (NGN), content and other associated areas.

ACIF’s chief executive officer, Anne Hurley, who chairs the new group, explained that the convergence of multiple technologies was blurring the boundaries of the various regulatory regimes and creating new challenges which the industry needed to address.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 9:46:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

John Levine, Chair, IRTF Antispam Research Group (ASRG) writes in his weblog that the anti-spam Sender Policy Framework (SPF) email authentication scheme is losing market mindshare.

In a recent talk at an ITU Cybersecurity Event, Mr. Levine gave a presentation entitled The Limits of Security Technology: Lessons from the Spam Wars. In his talk, he asked the audience to reflect carefully as to how technology fits in to the overall solution. He stressed that technology can be morally and politically neutral but we need to decide exactly what it is that we want. For example, an ultimate solution to spam could impact on issues such as anonymous speech, whether we wanted virtual or physical identities, or closed or open systems. These were all tradeoffs that needed to be considered.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 8:42:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

China mobile phone subscribers totals 363 million: China had 363.2 million mobile phone subscribers and 337.4 million fixed-line telephone subscribers as of the end of June, accounting for 28% and 26% of its current population, according to statistics published by China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII). For Internet-access services, China had 31.7 million broadband subscribers, of which 21.9 million (69.1%) used xDSL.

From DigiTimes via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 6:31:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 02, 2005
 Monday, August 01, 2005

Geoff Huston, APNIC, in the ISP Column for August 2005, has authored an article entitled Exploring Autonomous System Numbers. It examines Autonomous System (AS) Numbers and the role they play in Internet routing and discusses the near-term exhaustion of the unallocated pool of AS numbers in an expected 2010 timeframe. The article also discusses a necessary transition of increasing the AS number field size in the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) inter-domain route protocol (from 2 to 4 bytes as defined in this current draft).

Monday, August 01, 2005 2:31:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) has issued a consultation on its planned policy and regulatory approach to VoIP. See Consultazione pubblica concernente proposte di interventi regolamentari in merito alla fornitura di servizi VOIP. It includes a discussion of a distinct numbering block for VoIP as well as the imposition of requirements for emergency services.

Via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:32:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 29, 2005

New Zealand's Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe has tabled the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Bill, which will prevent the mass-marketing of emails and text messages to unsubscribed receivers. The Marketing Association's Chief Executive Keith Norris says while they support the bill, it won't change company practice, as they have had a permission-based code for five years.

Norris also says only 10% of spam originates in New Zealand and the bill is aimed at reinforcing international law.

Click here for the full article

Friday, July 29, 2005 9:49:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

"Just weeks after a Nigerian court convicted a woman in a massive e-mail scam case, the African nation will discuss spam and cybercrime solutions at a national seminar on economic crime. The four-day event, which begins Aug. 6, will take place at the Abuja headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, a government-sanctioned agency created in 2003 to "crack down on fraudsters," according to its Web site. Jonathan Rusch, the U.S. Department of Justice's special counsel for fraud prevention, is scheduled to speak on the last day of the conference about transnational "challenges in investigating and prosecuting telemarketing fraud, spamming and identity theft." A panel on cybercrime and national security is slated to follow his remarks."

Article accessed through fergie's blog.
Friday, July 29, 2005 9:34:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has released its 16th China Internet Survey Report last week. According to the report, through the end of June 2005, China had 103 million Internet users, up 18.4 percent year on year. The number increased by nine million from January. Broadband users increased 23.8 percent year on year to 53 million, according to CNNIC. The number of computers in China connected to the Internet hit 45.6 million, said the report, up 25.6 percent year on year.

Friday, July 29, 2005 11:10:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The final version of a paper commissioned by the ITU entitled A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: The Quest for a Model Law (PDF) has been released. The paper was authored by Derek E. Bambauer, John G. Palfrey, Jr., and David E. Abrams, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, for the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held in Geneva, 28 June - 1 July 2005.

Executive Summary

Spam presents a significant challenge to users, Internet service providers, states, and legal systems worldwide. The costs of spam are significant and growing, and the increasing volume of spam threatens to destroy the utility of electronic mail communications.

The Chairman’s Report from the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam in July 2004 emphasized the importance of a multi-faceted approach to solving the problem of spam and named legal governance as one of the necessary means. Our paper focuses on the potential nature of the legal regulation of spam, specifically the importance of harmonizing regulations in the form of a model spam law. We agree with the Chairman that the law is only one means towards this end and we urge regulators to incorporate other modes of control into their efforts, including technical methods, market-based means, and norm-based modalities.

Spam uniquely challenges regulation because it easily transverses borders. The sender of a message, the server that transmits it, and the recipient who reads it may be located in three different states, all of which are under unique legal governance. If spam laws are not aligned in these states, enforcement will suffer because the very differences between spam laws may mean that a violation in one state is a permissible action in another. Moreover, spammers have an incentive to locate operations in places with less regulation, and the opportunity to states to create a domestic spam hosting market may engage them in a race to the bottom.

Harmonizing laws that regulate spam offers considerable benefits, insofar as a model law could assist in establishing a framework for cross-border enforcement collaboration. To those enforcing the regulation of spam, harmonization as a model law effort offers: clear guidelines, easy adoption, enhanced enforcement, stronger norms, fewer havens for spammers, and the increased sharing of best practices. If such regulators then agree that harmonization can aid legal regimes intent on curbing spam, they must initially address four critical tasks: defining prohibited content, setting default rules for contacting recipients, harmonizing existing laws, and enforcing such rules effectively. This legal approach must be concurrently matched by efforts that employ other modes of regulation, such as technical measures, user education, and market-based approaches.

Our analysis of existing spam legislation gathered by the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit evaluated these laws’ elements to determine whether they were commonly included or not, and whether provisions were uniformly implemented or varying when present. Our research documents seven instances in which extant laws strongly converge: a focus on commercial content, the mandatory disclosure of sender/advertiser/routing, bans on fraudulent or misleading content, bans on automated collection or generation of recipient addresses, the permission to contact recipients where there is an existing relationship, the requirement to allow recipients to refuse future messages, and a mix of graduated civil and criminal liability. Also documented are five key areas of disagreement which are vital to a harmonized spam law but which have evaded consensus thus far: a prior consent requirement for contacting recipients, a designated enforcer, label requirements for spam messages, the definition of spam (whether it is limited to e-mail communication, or includes other applications, such as SMS), and the jurisdictional reach of the system’s spam laws. Naturally, a harmonization effort must tackle and narrow these zones of divergence in order to succeed.

Spam laws, whether harmonized or not, are at best only part of the solution to the spam problem and must be developed in concert with technical, market, and norms-based tools if the scourge of spam is to be substantially reduced. Efforts to harmonize the legal regulation of spam can serve as one effective means to solving the unique challenges spam presents. A model spam law is possible to develop, despite the many differences among the world’s spam laws.

Friday, July 29, 2005 10:00:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Announced today on the WSIS web site is that the second Informal Consultation Meeting on Internet Governance (open to all stakeholders) will take place at the United Nations (Palais des Nations), Geneva, on 6 September 2005. Further details will be available in due time here.

Friday, July 29, 2005 9:44:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 28, 2005

Stakeholders, EU Member States, regional and local authorities have been invited to read the Digital Divide Report and express their views on policy measures needed to bring high-speed internet access to Europe’s under-served areas until Friday 16th September 2005. Herewith European Commission opened a public debate on closing the broadband gap in European Union.

The presented Digital Divide Report proposes two policy orientations:

• strengthening national broadband strategies as part of the Commission’s growth and jobs strategy and of the Commissioner Reding’s new i2010 Roadmap;

• improving the exchange of best practices, inter alia by gathering and sharing information on broadband deployment projects and tenders.

To join debate click here.

To read the "Digital Divide Forum Report: Broadband Access and Public Support in Under-served Areas" click here.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 6:00:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Presentations in a July 2005 ICANN GAC roundtable discussion:

  • Root Server Anycast System (root server operators) provides an update of DNS root-server anycast status (103-worldwide with more planned for 2005) and the statement that root server anycast deployment is a "tremendous success".
  • Assorted Slides (Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC) provides views on deploying DNSSEC on the root server system and the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) final report comments that the "Lack of formal relationship with root server operators" is a public policy issue relevant to Internet governance. It is stated that this is "wrong" and "not a way to solve the issues about who edits the [root] zone file."
Thursday, July 28, 2005 2:51:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Under a recent regulatory measure authorized by the European Commission, France Télécom will be required to provide, for a transitional period, market players with wholesale nationwide high-speed access to France’s telecoms network.

"This regulatory measure, proposed by the French national regulatory authority for electronic communications, ARCEP, was authorised today (27 July 2005) by the European Commission. The measure will apply until competing network operators have built a sufficiently wide backbone network and a large enough customer base to enable them to invest further in regional high-speed ('broadband') services, such as access to the web and services connecting subscribers’ premises to the network ('local loops']). The Commission asked ARCEP to review this market again within a year to fully take account of new market developments which could enhance competition in the wholesale nationwide broadband market in France."

"The measures proposed by the French telecom regulator ARCEP aims at "opening up competition to supply wholesale broadband in the French market. It includes products of the 'Option 5 nationale'-type already supplied by France Télécom to alternative network operators and ISPs. This product enables competing market players to provide retail services directly to end-users. It complements the two other types of wholesale broadband access regulation, namely unbundling of local loops and regional bitstream products, which were previously assessed by the Commission."

"France Télécom’s market shares, its capacity to supply the whole range of broadband products at both wholesale and retail level, its size and its control of the local infrastructure, led ARCEP to conclude that France Télécom is dominant on the wholesale nation-wide broadband access market. ARCEP considers that competition in this market will be facilitated if France Telecom is obliged, inter alia, to ensure internal accounting transparency between its wholesale 'network' branch and its retail 'ISP' entity as the recent reintegration of Wanadoo into France Telecom may have potential consequences on retail competition."

See EC press release here.

Click here for further information.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 12:11:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Internet Governance Project, an interdisciplinary consortium of academics with scholarly and practical expertise in international governance, Internet policy, and information and communication technology, has published a concept paper entitled The Future US Role in Internet Governance: 7 Points in Response to the U.S. Commerce Dept.’s “Statement of Principles”.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:26:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to this article relating to a recent event at Supercomm, while carriers and manufacturers aggressively press for the convergence of infrastructures, applications and services over next-generation network (NGN) technologies on a worldwide basis, there are many policy issues in regulation, public safety and security the United States and other national/international bodies are addressing on NGN implementations.

The various next-gen activities and challenges among U.S. and global policy makers were explored and outlined during a number of exhibit-booth lecture sessions sponsored by ATIS - a technical planning-and-standards- development organization with more than 350 participating companies - at the recent Supercomm exposition in Chicago.

Anthony M. Rutkowski, vice president for regulatory affairs and standards at VeriSign, said the Internet-inspired NGN terminology began to take greater shape within the telecom community during the 2000-04 timeframe, and it has come to "represent an omnibus array of activities and products emerging from a constellation of standards, regulatory and professional bodies worldwide," with significant NGN-related activities oriented around a real need facing providers and regulators worldwide.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:03:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The US-based Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telephony have collaborated on a special 16-page supplement exploring and explaining the critical elements of their Next Generation Network standardization efforts.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 8:40:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From Business Communications Review: IMS 101: What You Need To Know Now.

"Out of the wireless standards consortium called 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) comes a slow-growing and complicated collection of carrier network functions and processes that collectively are referred to as IMS, which stands for the IP (or Internet) Multimedia Subsystem. The IMS standards promise an operator-friendly environment for real-time, packet-based calls and services that not only will preserve traditional carrier controls over user signaling and usage-based billing, but also will generate new revenue via deep packet inspection of protocols, URI and content. IMS was conceived for the evolution of cellular telephony networks, but the benefits of user signaling and billing controls have attracted the endorsement and involvement of wireline network operators and standards makers, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the U.S.-based Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the UN-sponsored International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In the U.S., cable multiple systems operators (MSOs) are also showing interest in IMS as part of the recent CableLabs PacketCable initiative, and network operators recently approached the WiMAX Forum's Network Working Group, asking that IMS be included in its forthcoming reference architecture."

From Ewan Sutherlands weblog.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 7:32:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Apples and Oranges: Problems in the Analysis of Comparative Regulatory Governance by Martin MINOGUE

Interest in regulation as a mode of governance is now a central feature of the literature on regulation in developed economies. Extending this area of study to developing and transitional economies gives rise to problems in comparative analysis which are explored in this paper. Four categories of problem are considered:

  • The problem of contested concepts, arising in part from the intervention in the traditionally economic literature of disciplines such as law and political science
  • The problem of scope, which remains ambiguous because of the difficulty of separating out regulation from the normal range of state activities
  • The problem of comparisons, in which cross-sectoral or cross-national studies display familiar weaknesses
  • The problem of measurement, where quantitative studies too often rely on weak data and untested assumptions, and qualitative studies are rarely in evidence

The paper emphasises the crucial significance of legal, political and administrative structures in determining the design, implementation and outcomes of regulatory reforms, and brings into sharp focus the analytical problems set out above in relation to the application of this approach to regulation in developing countries, in particular in relation to the notion of ‘independent’ regulation.

From Centre on Regulation and Competition and http://3wan.net/v-web/b2/index.php?p=6101&c=1

Thursday, July 28, 2005 7:06:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |