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Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 1: Foundations

One could think that the authors of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) -- adopted in 1948 -- had the Internet in mind when they declared in Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." All human beings are entitled to certain rights, and it makes no difference if they choose to exercise them in a town square or an Internet chatroom. more

The Ghosts of Deletions Future – December 2018 Versus December 2019

In the absence of data on renewals and deletions which are yet to happen, it can be enlightening to compare the domain names from the zone files of a year ago to the domain names in the current zones. The first group is the legacy gTLDs. The "Retained" domain names are those still in the December 2019 zone files. The "Deleted" domain names are those which are no longer in the current zones. Some of the retained domain names may have been reregistered, but these are not renewals charts. more

Unpacking the Framework to Address DNS Abuse

As the Internet has grown, so too have the abuses that go along with one of the world's most transformative technologies. For all of the positives the Internet brings, negatives like phishing, malware and child exploitation are a reality online. As of December 9, 2019, 48 registrars and registries have signed onto the "Framework to Address Abuse." This initiative was launched last month by a number of domain name registries and registrars, just prior to the ICANN meeting in Montreal. more

Encryption, Our Last Line of Defense

Encryption is fundamental to our daily life. Practically everything we do online makes use of encryption is some form. Access to our financial transactions, health records, government services, and exchanged private messages are all protected by strong encryption. Encryption is the process of changing the information in such a way as to make it unreadable by anyone except for those possessing special knowledge (usually referred to as a "key"), which allows them to change the information back to its original, readable form. more

Fake Apps Are a Real Problem

In the short ten years that they've been around, mobile apps have grown to become a staple of modern digital life. With more than five million apps currently available for download in the major app stores, and with over 2,000 new apps being uploaded every day, mobile apps are big business. Fifty-eight percent of shoppers consistently browse e-commerce apps and 49% of all website traffic now comes directly from mobile app users. All this browsing directly translates into spending. more

Our Digital Illiteracy

Pew Research Center recently surveyed 4,272 adults and tested their knowledge of basic computer topics. The results showed that there was a lack of general knowledge about a few of the terms that are important for how people use the Internet. For example, the survey showed that only 30% of survey takers knew that website starting with https:// means that the information provided over that site is encrypted. Only 28% of respondents understood the concept of two-factor authentication... more

Fadi's .ORG Fracasso

The stakeholder community needs to get with the program and assert itself now – if it still can. The recent attempts by the Internet Society (ISOC) to wrap itself in the halo of Jon Postel's "original intent" for .org is specious and laughable. As I've previously published, Postel also didn't like how big the top-level domains were getting and suggested, in 1993, that top-level domains should be capped at 10,000 names and that further zone growth should happen at the second- and third-levels (similar to how the UK has .uk and then .com.uk, for example). more

The Early History of Usenet, Part VII: Usenet Growth and B-News

For quite a while, it looked like my prediction – one to two articles per day – was overly optimistic. By summer, there were only four new sites: Reed College, University of Oklahoma (at least, I think that that's what uucp node uok is), vax135, another Bell Labs machine – and, cruciallyy, U.C. Berkeley, which had a uucp connection to Bell Labs Research and was on the ARPANET. more

What to Make of the Inaugural NetThing 2019

The last Australian Internet Governance Forum (auIGF) was held in October 2016 before the annual event was cancelled as part of an auDA review. Three years on and the auIGF replacement – NetThing – was held in Sydney on 28 October 2019, though I was surprised to see that this Australian Internet event no longer had an associated .au domain name, instead choosing to go with NetThing.info. more

IGF2019 Observation: Compare Chancellor Merkel's Digital Sovereignty with Chinese and U.S. Version

The 2019 UN IGF is right now being held in Berlin and entering the last day. There has been a wide range of exciting discussions. It is a huge step forward that this year's IGF has been able to bring a plethora of topics together under a framework of thinking after the efforts done by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres' High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (The Age of Digital Interdependence) and by German scholars' engagement with all the stakeholders... more

The .ORG Sale Is a Radical Departure That Puts the Internet at Risk

It can be hard to take a side. Especially when you are with a big organization. I know, I used to work for the United Nations and ICANN. Neutrality is a huge part of that work. Your role is not to take a stand; it's to create the space for other people to take stands. To create and protect a neutral platform. That's what we all thought the Internet Society (ISOC) was doing for us by running .ORG. more

Why I Voted to Sell .ORG

Hi, I'm Richard. I've been around the Internet for a while. I work for Cisco now, and used to lead security for Firefox. I've published a few RFCs and served on the Internet Engineering Steering Group (the board of the IETF). I was a co-founder of Let's Encrypt and I currently serve on its board. I care about the Internet, and I care about nonprofits. more

Why Colombia Is About to Make a Colossal Mistake With .CO

Ten years ago, the most effective branding exercise the internet registry market has ever seen began. And to celebrate the anniversary, its owner is going to strangle it. At the ICANN meeting in Montreal this month, the Government of Colombia booked a meeting room, prepared a Powerpoint presentation and invited representatives of the world's largest registry operators to attend. Once there, they were offered a rare and valuable opportunity: to take over running of the .co registry. more

The Early History of Usenet, Part VI: The Public Announcement

Our goal was to announce Usenet at the January, 1980 Usenix meeting. In those days, Usenix met at universities; it was a small, comaparatively informal organization, and didn't require hotel meeting rooms and the like. (I don't know just when Usenix started being a formal academic-style conference; I do know that it was no later than 1984, since I was on the program committee that year for what would later be called the Annual Technical Conference.) more

Starlink Making a Space Grab

SpaceNews recently reported that Elon Musk and his low-orbit space venture Starlink have filed with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to launch an additional 30,000 broadband satellites in addition to the 11,927 now in the planning stages. This looks like a land grab and Musk is hoping to grab valuable orbital satellite paths to keep them away from competitors. more

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