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ICANN 51 Focus: Making ICANN Directly Accountable to the Broader Internet Community

ICANN 51 taking place in Los Angeles this week may not have its customary evening Gala, but it opened with rousing remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in the first-ever ICANN appearance of the head of the Cabinet agency from which it was born and which has exercised continuous oversight of its key IANA functions. The themes of the growing importance of Internet Governance and the U.S. government's steadfast commitment to defense of the multistakeholder model, as well as the connection between maintenance of an open Internet and fostering free speech and economic growth, were key elements of Secretary Pritzker's address. more»

If Compliance Were an Olympic Sport

It probably won't raise any eyebrows to know that for practically every penetration tester, security researcher, or would-be hacker I know, nothing is more likely to make their eyes glaze over and send them to sleep faster than a discussion on Governance, Risk, and Compliance (i.e. GRC); yet the dreaded "C-word" (Compliance) is a core tenet of modern enterprise security practice. more»

Some Thoughts on the ICANN EWG Recommended Registration Directory Service (RDS)

It has been my distinct pleasure to serve on ICANN's Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG). We put in many long months and what seemed like countless hours of research, discussion, meetings, and deliberations on how to tackle a clean-slate approach to gTLD directory services, popularly known as "WHOIS". In our Final Report, the Expert Working Group (EWG) recommended a Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace today's WHOIS, providing a next-generation system to better meet the needs of the evolving global Internet with greater accuracy, privacy, and accountability. more»

The Velocity of Change at SCTE

Engineering wise, how's the industry doing? With that question in mind, hundreds descended on Denver for this year's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo. That question begs to be answered. Really, can we still separate the engineering 'cool' stuff from the business chic? By that, I mean the business requirements from subscribers who demand communication and entertainment when they want it, where they want it, and on whatever device they want it delivered to. more»

ICANN GNSO Review - Final Week for Input from Community

As the Chair of the 2014 Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Review Working Party, I have the privilege of working with 19 dedicated and passionate individuals who represent the diversity of the GNSO community. We've held numerous meetings and provided extensive input and feedback on key aspects of the GNSO Review in the short time that our group has been assembled to act as a liaison between the GNSO, the Independent Examiner (Westlake Governance Limited), and the ICANN Board Structural Improvements Committee. more»

Where Is Cyberspace?

In my first CircleID post, I compared the cyberspace to a farmland, which has to be cultivated and developed. I ended by asking: Where is cyberspace? I have asked this same question from many people, many of whom are internet experts. They all said the cyberspace is in the computers, networks, or servers, or the Internet itself. I agree with these cyberspace ideas. In addition, my opinion is a bit different. more»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

Privacy and Security - Five Objectives

It has been a very busy period in the domain of computer security. With "shellshock", "heartbleed" and NTP monlink adding to the background of open DNS resolvers, port 445 viral nasties, SYN attacks and other forms of vulnerability exploits, it's getting very hard to see the forest for the trees. We are spending large amounts of resources in reacting to various vulnerabilities and attempting to mitigate individual network attacks, but are we making overall progress? What activities would constitute "progress" anyway? more»

The Online World Is Not Flat: The Need for Geo gTLDs

This post outlines location factors that make the online world not as flat as some have claimed. I then outline the impact of these factors on the demand for new gTLDs. Domain names can signal geography by means of country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) and new generic TLDs (gTLDs). Location is back in the spotlight for reasons laid out by Professor David R. Bell of the Wharton School in his recent book. more»

Web Encryption - It's Not Just for E-Commerce, Anymore

Last week, I re-tweeted Cloudflare's announcement that they are providing universal SSL for their customers. I believe the announcement is a valuable one for the state of the open Internet for a couple of reasons: First, there is the obvious -- they are doubling the number of websites on the Internet that support encrypted connections. And, hopefully, that will prompt even more sites/hosting providers/CDNs to get serious about supporting encryption, too. Web encryption -- it's not just for e-commerce, anymore. more»

Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II

At the NANOG meeting in Baltimore this week I listened to a presentation by Patrick Gilmore on "The Open Internet Debate: Section 706 vs Title II." It's true that this is a title that would normally induce a comatose reaction from any audience, but don't let the title put you off. Behind this is an impassioned debate about the nature of the retail Internet for the United States, and, I suspect, a debate about the Internet itself and the nature of the industry that provides it. more»

5 Common Misconceptions New Registries Have About Domain Revenue

It is wonderful to see the floodgates open and see so many new gTLDs launch -- 417 delegated as of October 4th. As registry senior management's focus switches to operational matters post launch, it is now time to consider how the new registries will deal with revenue recognition and its impact on financial reporting. This is primarily the CFO's responsibility, but senior management must be mindful that improper domain revenue accounting will lead to corporate reputational damage. more»

Beyond NETmundial: Initiative or Inertia?

The April NETmundial meeting was a seminal event in the history of Internet Governance. Fears that the meeting might fail to reach consensus were not realized. Instead, the participants achieved a high degree of harmony -- the "Spirit of NETmundial" -- that resulted in issuance of a consensus Statement that, while lacking in precise detail, was effused with positive energy. Since that meeting there has been considerable discussion within the Internet Governance (IG) community as to what lessons have been learned from NETmundial, and how its work might best be carried into the future. more»

New gTLDs' Sales Force a Bottleneck?

A number of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have not fared well, as reflected in the dismal domain registrations. Most often we're told the problem is that end users don't know about the gTLDs, or that they don't understand or fully believe in the gTLDs' benefits, or that they demand a tremendous amount of benefits before giving up the familiar for something new (so-called .com-stickiness). My point: Behind all these explanations there may be another, the lack of decent sales force strategies. more»

How Big Is That Network?

It's often observed that the Internet was a direct outcome of the progressive liberalization of national telecommunications markets in the late twentieth century. This allowed the entry of a wave of Internet entrepreneurs into various national telecommunications markets that were historically dominated by incumbent telephone monopolies. The resultant transformation of telecommunications over the past two decades is as much a testament to the transformational power of open markets as it is to the prodigious ability of the Internet's technology base to service the ever increasing demands being made of it. more»

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