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The Three-Character Question at the Heart of Single-Character .COMs: W-H-Y?

In the matter relating to O.COM, I've focused on the fact that VeriSign has -- in correspondence to the organization that is counter-party to its .COM and transliterated .COM IDN Registry Agreements, in earnings calls with its investors and financial analysts, and in policy published on its website for every innocent and unsuspecting Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world to be duped by -- stated an unequivocal and unwavering commitment . more

How to Best Manage the Social Media

The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions -- just some of the potential attached to the internet. more

The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

Domain Name Variants Still Won't Work

ICANN has spent years trying to figure out what to do with domain name variants, strings that look different but mean the same thing, for some definition of "the same." They've been trying to deal with them in second level domains for a decade, and are now working on rules to allow variant top-level domains. Unfortunately, variants don't work. The problem isn't putting them in the DNS; it's that once they're in the DNS, they don't work anywhere else. more

Open Data Leads to Competition

In a previous post, I spoke of Amazon's use of customer and market data in restraint of trade, but they are not alone. For example, leaked internal documents show that plans to sell access to user data were discussed for years and received support from Facebook's most senior executives. For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because Amazon was spending money on advertising and partnered with them on the launch of the Fire smartphone. more

Domain Related Crime: The 4 Steps of Effective Investigations

There is no rest for the wicked. If you think that 2018 was the climax of cybercrime, wait until you see what happens in the next few years as cybercriminals are constantly learning new ways to strike. Take for instance domain-related attacks now coming in a variety of forms. There's domain hijacking which involves gaining of access to domains and making changes without owners' permission. You have typosquatting where phishing is often utilized to steal valuable information. more

Is Digital Democracy an Option – and What Is Involved in It?

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the internet Berners-Lee, the father of the internet, reiterated his suggestion for a radical change, which would improve the functionality of the internet for the benefit of society. He suggests a sort of refoundation of the web, creating a fresh set of rules, both legal and technical, to unite the world behind a process that can avoid some of the missteps of the past 30 years. While this most certainly would be an excellent development, I am rather pessimistic about a rapid implementation of such a radical change more

A Case for Regulating Social Media Platforms

There are some who see the regulation of social media platforms as an attack on the open internet and free speech and argue that the way to protect that is to let those platforms continue to self-regulate. While it is true that the open internet is the product of the same freedom to innovate that the platforms have sprung from, it is equally the product of the cooperative, multi-stakeholder organisations where common policy and norms are agreed. more

Start of Reiwa Period in Japan Affects Domain Name Industry

There was some buzz about the start of the "Reiwa Era" (令和時代) in Japan. New companies are using Reiwa as part of their names already, and it has implications for the Internet Domain Name industry as well. Here's what we found out... In Japan, the reign of each emperor has its own corresponding era. The current era, Heisei, began when Emperor Akihito ascended the throne on January 8, 1989. With Emperor Akihito set to abdicate the throne to his eldest son Naruhito on April 30, 2019, a new era is about to begin. more

Amazon's Orbiting Infrastructure

I have been following satellite Internet service since the 1990s, but I was surprised when I learned last week that Amazon had filed an application for a 3,236-satellite constellation of low-earth orbit Internet service satellites - Project Kuiper. I shouldn't have been surprised - Amazon was an infrastructure company from the start. In his first post-IPO letter to shareholders in 1997, Jeff Bezos pointed out that their distribution center capacity grew from 50,000 to 285,000 square feet and said their goal remained... more

Investigating Domain Name Crime: Challenges and Essential Techniques

Who would think that so much could go wrong with something as seemingly innocent as a domain name? As cybercrime continues to evolve, causing devastating reputational and financial losses to businesses and organizations, web addresses are used as a weapon -- and it's not always easy to notice their many faces. In this article, let's take a look at the domain name crime landscape, discuss the current challenges investigators and legitimate registrants face, and talk about some useful techniques. more

March 2019: Which New gTLDs Are Becoming Mainstream?

I went through the exciting exercise of checking all March 2019 new gTLD reports to extract which domain name extension shows an interesting learning curve (or something strange happening). This is what I noticed for the 20 categories of TLDs... In the list of new gTLDs for Politics, the first new gTLD to have been delegated from the ICANN new gTLD program - .GURU (63,000) - lost 2,000 registrations since January 2018 (not 2019). more

DNS Privacy at IETF 104

From time to time the IETF seriously grapples with its role with respect to technology relating to users' privacy. Should the IETF publish standard specifications of technologies that facilitate third-party eavesdropping on communications or should it refrain from working on such technologies? Should the IETF take further steps and publish standard specifications of technologies that directly impede various forms of third party eavesdropping on communications? more

US Government to ICANN - Move Quickly

David Redl has written to ICANN in relation to the ongoing work around whois and GDPR. The letter, which was shared with the GNSO Council last night, is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it offers the carrot in relation to what's been done so far, but then there's the not so veiled threat, which isn't a revelation by any means, of "domestic legislation." more

India's eCommerce Policy: NOT a 'Bollywood Drama' but an Adaptation of Script of Acts from Elsewhere

The draft e-commerce policy paper of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India raises valid observations concerning some of the imbalances, such as, on the excessive advantages gained by the "first movers" in the private sector, which implies advantages gained by the first -mover States on the Internet, on some of the prevailing gaps in the space and also on concerns about the abusive practices by a few e-commerce platforms and vendors. Most of these concerns are best addressed globally... more

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