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Is Upping the Minimum Wage Good for the Information Security Industry?

The movement for upping the minimum wage in the US is gathering momentum. Protests and placard waving are on the increase, and the quest for $15 per hour is well underway. There are plenty of arguments as to why such a hike in minimum wage is necessary, and what the consequences could be to those businesses dependent upon the cheapest hourly labor. But, for the information security industry, upping the minimum wage will likely yield only good news. more»

New ".trademark" gTLD is Here

Few Brands have noticed it yet but a company has applied for a domain name extension which literally means ".trademark". The company is based in Hong-Kong and its name is "Huyi Global .商标 Domain Registry". The ".商标" is what we call an International Domain Name extension (IDN) and it means ".trademark" in Simplified Chinese. It is pronounced: "Shang Biao". more»

Starting a New Conversation on Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity debate can be highly confusing at times. There is perhaps an analogy to be made between "Cybersecurity" and "The Economy". We all want to fix the economy but making progress is not an easy task. As soon as you are beyond that statement you notice that there is a lot of nuance. Issues like trust, influence, actors, and affectivity all come to play when you want to fix the Economy. The cybersecurity discourse has similar features. more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part II)

The first part of this article reviewed the actions taken by ICANN in response to a March 27th letter from the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) alleging that the pricing of Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) registered terms by the .Sucks registry were "predatory, exploitative and coercive" and requesting that ICANN halt the registry's rollout. This second part explores additional ramifications of ICANN's decision to request two national regulators to review the legality of the registry's operation. more»

DNS-Based DDoS: Diverse Options for Attackers

Denial of service attacks have been around since the Internet was commercialized and some of the largest attacks ever launched relied on DNS, making headlines. But every day a barrage of smaller DNS-based attacks take down targets and severely stress the DNS ecosystem. Although DNS servers are not usually the target of attacks they are often disrupted so attention from operation teams is required. There is no indication the problem is going away and attackers continue to innovate. more»

Framing New gTLDs' Marketing Message

In an earlier essay, I outlined a focused, cooperative marketing strategy that would be a first step for marketing new gTLDs. After that first initiative, gTLD registries' marketing strategy must focus on the complementarities between .com, and new neutral (such as .global and .web) and branding and labeling gTLDs. The legacy domains and the newcomers can work together nicely. If we don't realize this, all Internet users will lose out. more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part I)

On April 9, 2015 ICANN took the unprecedented step of asking two national consumer protection agencies whether the .Sucks registry, one of the new gTLDs it has approved and which is currently in its sunrise registration period, has a business plan which violates any laws or regulations those agencies enforce. This is the equivalent of sending a message stating, "Dear Regulator: We have lit a fuse. Can you please tell us whether it is connected to a bomb?" more»

3 Steps for Managing ICANN Registry Compliance

If you are like the majority of Registry Operators we have spoken to, you may now be thinking that compliance with your new gTLD Registry Agreement is much more difficult than first envisaged -- especially if you are one of the lucky operators which have been chosen for ICANN's latest round of registry audits! You may also be surprised at the number of questions and requests that you need to respond to. more»

How Much Money Is There in Complaining?

Although I don't have a lot of sympathy for the trademark lawyers' argument that trademark holders need to register .sucks domains cheaply before anyone else can, there is one point at the end of their letter that's worth a look. The registry contract for .sucks, between Vox Populi and ICANN, has this sentence that appears (as far as I know) in no other registry contract, in the section on Registry-Level fees. more»

The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing New gTLDs

When ICANN announced the nTLD program, thousands of applicants threw their hats in the ring. It seemed pretty straight forward; the existing TLDs were running out of short meaningful options, all that was needed was to create newer options that would be more relevant for specific sets of customers. Years later, the process is well underway; hundreds of nTLDs have hit the market, yet less than 10% of those that have gone live seem to have found success. more»

Ferocious FttH Competition in China

Most of the discussions, analyses and comments regarding the strategic issues in telecommunication are still focussed on the mature markets in Europe and North America, where there are well-established policies and regulations with institutions that have been in existence for many decades. Occasionally one hears claims that we are reverting back to old telecoms policies and regulations, as, for example, was the case with the FCC proposal for its Title II legislation. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»

Cyptech Needs You!

In August of last year I wrote in a blog about the importance of cryptech to wide-scale trust in the Internet. For those who don't know about it, http://cryptech.is is a project aiming to design and deploy an openly developed, trustable Hardware Security Module (HSM) which can act both as a keystore (holding your secrets and keeping them private) and as a signing engine. more»

Back from RightsCon Manila: Trading Freedoms for Security?

In Asia -- a region that at various points in its recent history has been a hotbed for civil unrest, secessionist movements and political instability -- the line between national security and public interest can be difficult to draw. A session organised by the Internet Society at the recently held RightsCon Southeast Asia in Manila shed some light on the perceived trade-offs between national security objectives and digital rights, in particular freedom of expression and privacy. more»

We Need a Focused, Cooperative Strategy for Marketing New gTLDs

This essay discusses recent findings on the difficulty of overcoming decision bias, and it argues that this factor, when combined with a diverse and fragmented demand for new gTLDs, makes a focused marketing strategy crucial to the success of the program. In addition, success requires cooperation among registries and resellers when it comes to sales and marketing. Impulse buying aside, a product's sales are driven by the product's utility... more»

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