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Blog Posts

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Klaus Stoll Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

Unintended Benefits of Trump's Twitter Tantrum

Anthony Rutkowski Four years ago, progressive intergovernmental organizations like the European Union became increasingly concerned about the proliferation of hate speech on social media. They adopted legal mechanisms for removing Twitter accounts like Donald Trump's. The provisions were directed at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In June of 2016, a "deconstruction" of these mechanisms was presented to one of the principal global industry standards bodies with a proposal to develop new protocols to rapidly remove such accounts. more

A New U.S. National Broadband Plan?

Doug Dawson United States Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass) introduced a bill that would require that the FCC create a new National Broadband Plan by July 2021. This plan would lay out the national goals needed for broadband going forward and also provide an update on how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted Internet access. I am not a big fan of the concept of a national plan for many reasons. more

The Costs of Trump's 5G Wall

Anthony Rutkowski Over the past three years, Trump and his followers around Washington have begun to erect the equivalent of his Southern Border Wall around the nation's information network infrastructure - especially for 5G. The tactics are similar - keep out foreign invaders who are virtually sneaking across the borders to steal the nation's information resources and controlling our internet things. The tactics and mantras are almost identical. more

CircleID Launches the First in a Series of Community Dialogues on COVID-19 and the Internet

Lori Schulman The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid migration of the world's workforce and consumer services to virtual spaces, has amplified the Internet governance and policy issues including infrastructure, access, exponential instances of fraud and abuse, global cooperation and data privacy, to name but a few. The need for practical, scalable and efficient solutions has risen dramatically. more

Who Owns Your Connected Device?

Doug Dawson It's been clear for years that IoT companies gather a large amount of data from customers. Everything from a smart thermometer to your new car gathers and reports data back to the cloud. California has tried to tackle customer data privacy through the California Consumer Privacy Act that went into effect on January 1. Web companies must provide California consumers the ability to opt-out from having their personal information sold to others. more

When It Comes to Domain Name Rights Protection, scapegoat.sucks

John Berard It is not surprising that the phase 1 review of domain name rights protection mechanisms is delayed, but it is a bit of a surprise that in responding to a question posed in 2020, business executives and their lawyers replied with answers first offered and rejected five years earlier. In that time before COVID-19, the launch of the Vox Populi Registry and its dotSucks domain names drew quite a lot of attention. more

Public and Private Infrastructure Investment Alternatives

Larry Press Eric Yuan, CEO of the Zoom teleconferencing service, stated that the average number of daily meeting recipients increased from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March 2020 in a webinar last month. I've been teaching 21 students using Zoom as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the audio and video are smooth, and switching between speakers is seamless. Offhand, I cannot think of any technology that has scaled so well so fast. more

Emerging Communications Technologies

Geoff Huston A "New IP" framework was proposed to the ITU last year. This framework envisages a resurgence of a network-centric view of communications architectures where network-managed control mechanisms moderate application behaviors. It's not the first time that we've seen proposals to rethink the underlying architecture of the Internet's technology (for example, there were the "Clean Slate" efforts in the US research community a decade or so ago) and it certainly won't be the last. more

Help Science Fight COVID-19

Tobias Sattler Many organizations and individuals are socially committed and voluntarily help the weak, the poor, and the sick. Others consider how they can contribute. Supporting organizations and individuals by starting an aid project, donating money, or providing human resources, can make a crucial difference. The corona crisis is a challenge for many, if not all. Scientists around the world are experimenting with cures and vaccines, and they need help. However, you don't have to be a virologist to help science fight COVID-19. more

Is Teleworking Here to Stay?

Doug Dawson Broadband networks are stretched thin today due to the large numbers of adults and students working from home. There are many stories on the web that indicate that a lot of employees are not going to be going back to the office when the pandemic is over. Here are two stories about a trend towards more teleworking from the dozens that a Google search uncovered. more

COVID Domain Registrations Surged in March

Ram Mohan The Internet and the domain name system (DNS) have become the mainstay of the new COVID sheltered world. Afilias looked at registrations in the unrestricted domain name space, with a special focus on the popular .INFO, .PRO, .MOBI and .IO domain name extensions. The data shows that the number of website and domain registrations related to COVID and Coronavirus in these extensions is flattening after a surge in March. more

China Will Remember the U.S. Huawei War for a Generation

Dave Burstein Only an idiot would believe that the U.S. is blocking TSMC manufacture of Huawei cell phone chips because of security fears. This is a commercial rivalry. The U.S. wants to put China's leading technology company out of business. We will fail, of course, at a price far higher than D.C. understands. The U.S. is ready for China's immediate countermeasures, even if Apple's stock price falls $hundreds of billions. But the long-run price will be devastating. more

Is the Lockdown Driving Domain Registrations?

Patrick Myles Businesses across Europe face a new and challenging situation not seen in generations. A mass lockdown of society due to the coronavirus pandemic with thousands of businesses having been forced to send employees home. The societal impact is broad and deep; however, for ccTLD registries, beyond changes to how staff work, other business effects so far seem minimal. One aspect of registry business may, however, be changing. more

A Cautionary Tale of Reputation Damage: Striking the Right Balance With Brand Protection

David Barnett In early March 2020, a well-known European fashion brand found themselves on the receiving end of a protest campaign on social media. The background to the case was the fact that, in 2019, the brand had launched a cease and desist (C&D) action against a small, U.K.-based company in response to their use of similar product names and sale of associated clothing merchandise. more

News Briefs

Verisign Extends COVID-19 Wholesale Restore Fee Waiver

Verisign today announced that the waiver of the wholesale restore fee for .com and .net domain names is extended until August 1, 2020 at 03:59:59 UTC. more

Trust Has Eroded Within the Cybercriminal Underground Causing a Switch to Ecommerce Platforms

New data released today indicates that trust has eroded among criminal interactions, causing a switch to ecommerce platforms and communication using Discord, which both increase user anonymization. more

ICANN Board Rejects the Proposed Sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital

In a decision made on Thursday, the ICANN Board said: "withholding consent of the transfer of PIR from the Internet Society (ISOC) to Ethos Capital is reasonable, and the right thing to do," based on various factors that the Board believes will create unacceptable uncertainty for the future of .ORG, the third-largest gTLD registry. more

China's Central Bank Allows Some Commercial Lenders to Start Running Trials of Its Digital Currency

China's central bank is a step closer to becoming the world's first major monetary authority to issue its own digital tender. The People's Bank of China will conduct internal tests for the central bank's digital currency (CBDC) across four cities (Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong'An and Chengdu), according to a statement issued by the bank on Friday. more

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

ICANN has delayed the decision for the sale of the .ORG registry, pushing the issue off for another month following a last minute letter from California's attorney. more

Google Reports 18 Million Daily COVID-19 Related Malware, Phishing Emails Per Day

During the last week, Google says it has been seeing 18 million malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 daily. This, the company reported today, "is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages." more

Zoom Faces Class-Action Lawsuit, Accused of Overstating Its Privacy Standards

The video-conferencing company Zoom is facing a class-action suit filed on Tuesday accusing it of overstating its privacy standards and failing to disclose that its service was not end-to-end encrypted. more

GoDaddy Acquires Neustar's Domain Name Registry Business

Neustar, Inc. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with GoDaddy Inc. to sell its domain name registry business. This transaction enables Neustar to focus on its Marketing, Risk, Communications, and Security businesses said Neustar President and Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Gottdiener. more

Vint Cerf Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Internet pioneer and vice president of research at Google, Vint Cerf, said in a tweet this morning that he has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). more

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless Internet service providers serving 330 counties in the U.S. to help them serve rural communities facing an increase in broadband needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

Over 360 Security Experts Around the World From Group to Combat COVID-19 Hackers, Protect Hospitals

An international group of more than 360 cyber threat intelligence researchers from over 40 countries have joined forces to help the medical sector amid the COVID-19 crisis. more

BT Removes Broadband Caps, Offers Unlimited Data to Customers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

British telecommunications giant BT Group, which also owns the UK's biggest mobile services provider EE, has annouced it is removing all caps on its customers' home broadband plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

EU Commissioner Calls on Streaming Services to Switch Streaming Videos From HD to Standard Mode

European Union Internet Market Commissioner Thierry Breton called on streaming services on Thursday, urging them to switch video quality from high definition to standard mode in order to reduce increasing strain on bandwidth during COVID-19 pandemic. Following a phone call with the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, Commissioner Breton, said: "Europe and the whole world are facing an unprecedented situation. more

Public Interest Registry, ICANN Agree to Extend Deadline on Review of Proposed Acquisition of .ORG

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Public Interest Registry (PIR) today announced that they have mutually agreed to extend ICANN's time to review PIR's submissions to April 20th. more

U.S. Health Agency Suffers From Cyberattack, COVID-19 Disruptions by Foreign Actors Suspected

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is reported to have suffered from cyberattacks on its computer system believed, by those familiar with the incident, to be a disruption and disinformation campaign aimed at undermining the response to the coronavirus pandemic. more

Broadband Companies Take Connectivity Pledge Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Broadband and telephone service providers of all sizes in the US have signed on to a "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" aimed at maintaining connectivity for citizens amid disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. more

Over 50 Domain Operators in China Ask ICANN for Immediate Fee Waivers Due to Impact from Coronavirus

Over 50 domain name registries and registrars in China have sent a joint letter to ICANN requesting immediate consideration to remove the 2020 fees. more

FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed fines against the country's four largest wireless carriers for apparently selling access to their customers' location information without taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to that information. more

Firefox Starts the Roll Out of DNS Over HTTPS (DoH) by Default for US-Based Users

According to the company, the rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm that no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled. more

ICANN to Hold First-Ever Remote Public Meeting

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that its ICANN67 Public Meeting, which was to be held in Cancún, Mexico, will now be held via remote participation-only. This decision was made as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, considered a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. more

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Industry Updates

IP Geolocation Intelligence: An Aid Against Location-Based Threats?

WhoisXML API Cybercrime is borderless. Just like marketing teams use location-based targeting to create a deeper connection with customers through content personalization, cybercriminals adjust their attacks to exploit their victims' fears. more

Verisign Q1 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 366.8 Million Domains in Q1 of 2020

Verisign Verisign today released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which shows that the first quarter of 2020 closed with 366.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of 4.5 million domain name registrations, or 1.2 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Domain name registrations have grown by 14.9 million, or 4.2 percent, year over year. more

Two-Month Extension of Wholesale Restore Fee Waiver

Verisign Two months ago we implemented a number of measures to respond to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. These measures were designed to support the communities we serve and in which we are located, while maintaining our focus on providing secure, stable and resilient critical internet infrastructure. more

Newly Registered Domains List Show Recent Registrations Continue to Pose Cybersecurity Risks

WhoisXML API Analysts and researchers have advised to be wary of newly registered domains (NRDs) for several years. Back in 2019, it was even suggested that 70% of new domain registrations are malicious. We keep identifying many suspicious newly registered domains in our Newly Registered & Just Expired Domains database even today, many of which are related to current world events such as the spread of COVID-19. more

How to Avoid Phishing Campaigns Targeting CARES Act Recipients

WhoisXML API Amid the spread of COVID-19, the world continues to suffer dire health and economic consequences. To help, national governments have released funds to support companies and laid-off employees. more

Newly Registered Domains Database Shows Threat Actors Exploit the Need for N95 Masks amid the Pandem

WhoisXML API As the coronavirus infection toll continues to rise, many countries are scrambling to get their hands on medical-grade N95 face masks. A commodity that once only served a purpose in specialized sectors such as healthcare has become a premium product demanded by the public. more

Domain and IP Intelligence Checks Following the Launch of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

WhoisXML API COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise. No one thought a virus could inflict so much damage to the global economy, but it has. As thousands of businesses closed shop and millions of employees lost their jobs, governments and international organizations alike sought to provide financial assistance to the severely affected. more

Under the Hood of 3M- and 3M Mask-Themed Recently Registered Domains

WhoisXML API The rapid spread of COVID-19 had people scrambling to protect themselves. Among different means of protection, besides imposed community quarantines and social-distancing measures, it has been widely recommended to purchase reliable surgical masks and respirators. Mass demand for such products quickly led to a shortage in different parts of the world. more

Domain Intelligence Shows Cybercriminals May Abuse Video-Conferencing Services' Brand Names

WhoisXML API As a huge chunk of the world's population is staying at home because of social distancing measures, video-conferencing businesses saw an opportunity to expand their freemium offers. more

Even for Available Domain Names, There Is No Leaving WHOIS History to Chance

WhoisXML API A lot of thinking and energy often goes into finding the "best" Internet domain name for a new brand, product, or service. So, isn't it wonderful when the perfect match turns out to be available right away for purchase with any big registrar? more

How Cyber Threat Intelligence Feeds Can Support MSSPs

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) Organizations that don't have a dedicated pool of cybersecurity experts often hire managed security service providers (MSSPs) to help them ward off attempts and attacks. Yet in today's ever-dangerous cyber threat landscape, even the best service providers may fall for cybercriminals' traps. more

Digital Asset Security: Back to Basics

CSC Everyone is aware of the current worldwide cyber attacks and data breaches hitting major brands from every direction, but not everyone knows how to defend their brand against them. It may seem hopeless and, at times, impossible, but it's not. more

Addressing Business Email Compromise in the Time of Coronavirus with Email Validation

WhoisXML API Cybercriminals know no boundaries. While the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, threat actors continue to attack businesses that may already be suffering from operational setbacks. more

New MailYourBallot.vote Site Supports Vote-By-Mail Amid COVID Concerns

Afilias Monolith Registry, the registry operator for the dotVOTE web address today announces the launch of MailYourBallot.vote, a fast, easy to use central location to find the latest information about how to vote by mail in YOUR state. more

Radix Temporarily Waives Off Domain Restoration Fee

Radix In an effort to reduce customer burden on domain-related spending during current market conditions, we are supporting a temporary waiver on the Restore Fee for all Radix TLDs. This waiver is in effect from Tuesday, April 14th, 2020. more

Brand Monitor and Typosquatting Data Feed: Two Assets to Support Spear-Phishing Prevention

WhoisXML API Spear-phishing email attacks pose a significant challenge to most organizations. A successful attempt can cost a company an average of US$1.6 million per incident. more

Combating COVID-19 Cybercrime – What Internet Infrastructure Providers Like Afilias Are Doing

Afilias The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has been fertile ground for scams and misinformation. Social platforms have been in the news for their efforts to protect users from such problems. What are Internet infrastructure providers like Afilias doing to keep spammers, phishers and other criminals from preying on Internet users? more

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