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Patching is Hard

There are many news reports of a ransomware worm. Much of the National Health Service in the UK has been hit; so has FedEx. The patch for the flaw exploited by this malware has been out for a while, but many companies haven't installed it. Naturally, this has prompted a lot of victim-blaming: they should have patched their systems. Yes, they should have, but many didn't. Why not? Because patching is very hard and very risk, and the more complex your systems are, the harder and riskier it is. more»

Telecoms Competition on a Downhill Slide in America

That is what happens when you base your telecommunications policies on the wrong foundations. The problems with the telecommunications industry in America go back to 1996 when the FCC decided that broadband in America should be classified as internet (being content) and that therefore it would not fall under the normal telecommunication regulations. Suddenly what are known as telecommunications common carriers in other parts of the world became ISPs in the USA. How odd is that? more»

Trying to Predict Miguel Diaz-Canel's Internet Policy

I recently gave a short talk that concluded with some speculation on the attitude of Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is expected to replace Raúl Castro next year, toward the Internet. I searched online and came up with three clues -- two talks he has given and one act. In May 2013, Diaz-Canel gave a speech at an educator's conference in which he anticipated today's preoccupation with fake news. He acknowledged the futility of trying to control information. more»

Would You Like Your Private Information to be Available on a VHS or Betamax Tape?

When I was a young child growing up in the late 1980s, my parents were lucky enough to be able to afford to have both a VHS-tape video-recorder in the living room and a Betamax tape recorder in their bedroom. This effectively meant that to me, the great video format wars weren't a decade-defining clash of technologies, but rather they consisted mainly of answering the question "in which room can I watch my favorite cartoons?". more»

In Response to Offensive Destruction of Attack Assets

It is certainly true that DDoS and hacking are on the rise; there have been a number of critical hacks in the last few years, including apparent attempts to alter the outcome of elections. The reaction has been a rising tide of fear, and an ever increasing desire to "do something." The something that seems to be emerging is, however, not necessarily the best possible "something." Specifically, governments are now talking about attempting to "wipe out" the equipment used in attacks. more»

Digital Identity and Branding: The Five Most Common Mistakes in Naming

The U.S. is a total hotbed for Startups. Over the course of the last year, venture capital firms invested $69.11 billion in U.S. startups. Now is an exciting time where there is more ingenuity and entrepreneurial efforts than ever before. And of course every entrepreneur's dream is to have a successful idea and "make it". However, a startup's name and its associated digital identity are often not as thought out as they should be. more»

IoT Devices Will Never Be Secure - Enter the Programmable Networks

Harvard Business Review just ran an interesting article on the information security aspects of Internet of Things (IoT). Based on the storyline, the smart city initiatives are doomed to fail unless the security of the IoT devices and the systems will be improved. While security of the digital society is obviously a key concern, I am not entirely convinced that relying on the security of individual devices and systems is the best course of action. more»

The Role of FttH in the Development of 5G

As the roll out of FttH remains a slow process, it is no wonder that more and more people are looking towards mobile as a potential alternative. Obviously, mobile communication has improved over recent years in providing excellent access to broadband; and it has also become more affordable. At the same time, there is the fabulous hype about 5G, and the PR and media machines of the vendors involved make you believe that this will become a real competitor to the slow moving FttH developments. more»

How Should I Present .Brand Domains in Advertising? (Part 2)

Part 2: How do I choose the right option for my brand? In my previous article, I discussed the question of how to represent .brand domains in advertising. As you can imagine, it's a balancing act -- stimulating awareness of the domain, creating the desired customer behavior of the future using .brands, whilst ensuring that we are considerate to the fact that .brands are yet to hit mainstream awareness. Sounds simple right? more»

Call for Participation - DNSSEC Workshop at ICANN 59 in Johannesburg

Do you have ideas about DNSSEC or DANE that you would like to share with the wider community? Have you created a new tool or service? Have you found a way to use DNSSEC to secure some other service? Do you have new statistics about the growth or usage of DNSSEC, DANE or other related technology? If so, and if you will be in Johannesburg, South Africa, for ICANN 59 in June 2017 (or can get there), please consider submitting a proposal to speak at the ICANN 59 DNSSEC Workshop! more»

Why Don't We Have Peak and Off-Peak Pricing for Broadband?

I saw a poster on the London Underground yesterday, and as is often the case it got me thinking about the parallels with telecoms. The poster explains the peak and off-peak fare structure for tube travel. The purpose of this pricing system is to manage the relationship between supply and demand in a system that is capacity constrained. Over short and medium timescales the supply is essentially fixed, and demand can oversaturate that supply. more»

First Two-Day School on Internet Governance in Afghanistan

On Wednesday April 26, 2017, Afghanistan had its first two-day long school on Internet Governance. The event was organized by a home grown civil society by the name of National IT Professionals Association of Afghanistan (NITPAA). Afghanistan School on Internet Governance (AfSIG) is a new initiative by a group of volunteers at NITPAA, who worked tirelessly for months to put up an event that comprised of speakers from multiple organizations and multiple stakeholders across the country. more»

A Lesson from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Domain Name Disputes

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been making news as the result of controversial changes brought about under the new Trump administration -- including the planned removal of "several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information" -- the EPA also has generated some (lesser-known) domain name news: The agency won a decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) for the domain name noattacks.org. more»

Jakarta Declaration Calls on Governments to Recognize Legitimacy of Encryption

Today in Indonesia, media leaders gathered at UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day event issued the "Jakarta Declaration" calling on governments of the world to recognize the importance of a free and independent media in creating "peaceful, just and inclusive societies". The declaration calls on governments to take steps to support the freedom of the press, and, in the midst of the many actions was this statement: Recognise the legitimacy of the use of encryption and anonymisation technologies more»

Brand Control: The Next Stage for Digital

Social and Digital Marketing are two of the fastest growing, and arguably the most important, pieces of branding today. According to eMarketer, 2017 digital marketing expenditures will account for 38.4% of total ad spending and are projected to be almost 45% by 2020. This is double what they were just a few years ago and growth doesn't seem to be slowing down. more»

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