Featured Blogs


Another Day, Another Two Million Dollars

ICANN just published the results of the auction for .HOTELS and .HOTEIS. The high bidder (I'm not sure "winner" really applies here) was Booking.com, who will use .HOTELS. The $2.2M they paid, along with the prior results, notably the $25 million Google paid for .APP, brings the total in ICANN's auction pot to about $60.5 million. There's a few more auctions scheduled for CAM, PHONE, and SHOP/SHOPPING, along with yet to be scheduled auctions for DOCTOR, INC, LLP, and LLC. more»

Did We Build the 'Right' Internet? (An Interview with Prof Andrew Russell)

The longer I have been in the tech industry, the more I have come to appreciate the hidden complexity and subtlety of its past. A book that caught my attention is 'Open Standards and the Digital Age' by Prof Andrew Russell of Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. This important work shines a fresh light on the process that resulted in today's Internet. For me, it places the standard 'triumphant' narrative of the rise of TCP/IP into a more nuanced context. more»

Exploiting Video Console Chat for Cybecrime or Terrorism

A couple of days ago there was a lot of interest in how terrorists may have been using chat features of popular video console platforms (e.g. PS4, XBox One) to secretly communicate and plan their attacks. Several journalists on tight deadlines reached out to me for insight in to threat. Here are some technical snippets on the topic that may be useful for future reference. more»

IGF 2015: Running in Place

The Internet Governance Forum, held this year in the Brazilian beach resort town of João Pessoa, completed its 10th annual meeting Friday November 13. The IGF Secretariat claims that nearly 5,000 people attended. Moreover, it looks as if its existence will be continued for another 10 years when the UN meets in New York later this year. Vint Cerf declared it "the best IGF ever" in the closing open microphone session. But how good is "best?" more»

Looking Beyond IGF 2015 to WSIS+10

IGF 2015 in João Pessoa, Brazil will be seen as a milestone for the global Internet community. After 10 years of intense work, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has earned the right to celebrate its success and prepare itself for the future. As we come out of the meeting, we are urging all who want to be heard at this important moment in the evolution of the Internet to join over 110 organizations and individuals who have already signed on to a message to the UN General Assembly that will 1) help safeguard the IGF for the future; 2) preserve the multistakeholder model of governance; and 3) help keep us focused on the work at hand. more»

Telecoms Infrastructure As a Service

More than a decade ago we predicted that the telecoms industry would be transformed, driven by its own innovations and technological developments. As a result we indicated that in many situations the telecommunications infrastructure would be offered as a service by hardware providers. We also predicted that this would open the way for a better sharing of the infrastructure. more»

Measuring Digital Rights for the Attainment of Internet Universality

Measuring the information society in order to achieve development goals is a challenge and a necessity to ascertain progress made in terms of ICT sector development and socio-economic growth. Many intergovernmental, governments, non-profit and private organisations have sought to tackle the challenge through setting targets, defining indicators, and applying research methods to measure progress. Nevertheless, ambitious goals and targets relate mostly to the achievement of physical connectivity to ICT... more»

Connecting the Next Billion. Is It Possible? (An African Perspective)

This year, the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group which provide assistance in the preparations for Global IGF meetings called for Intersessional work (activities that are pursued in the months between annual IGFs with the aim of helping the IGF produce more tangible outputs that can become robust resources). Previously, the IGF has used best Practice Forums and Dynamic coalitions to bring out key issues that affect the world as it relates to the Internet. This year's Intersessional activity is centred on "Policy Option for connecting the Next Billion". more»

The TPP and the DNS

On November 5, 2015 the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the official text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That text consists of 30 separate Chapters totaling more than 2,000 pages, and is accompanied by four additional Annexes and dozens of Related Instruments. Only those who negotiated it are likely to have a detailed understanding of all its provisions, and even that probably overstates reality. more»

The Incredible Value of Passive DNS Data

If a scholar was to look back upon the history of the Internet in 50 years' time, they'd likely be able to construct an evolutionary timeline based upon threats and countermeasures relatively easily. Having transitioned through the ages of malware, phishing, and APT's, and the countermeasures of firewalls, anti-spam, and intrusion detection, I'm guessing those future historians would refer to the current evolutionary period as that of "mega breaches" (from a threat perspective) and "data feeds". more»

How to Tame Network Complexity

In a previous article, I discussed how telecoms is facing a growing complexity crisis. To resolve this crisis, a new approach is required. Here I explore how that complexity can be tamed... 'Invariants' are things that are meant to be 'true' and stay true over time. Some invariants are imposed upon us by the universe... Others are imposed by people. As engineers, we aim to establish these abstract 'truths' about the system. more»

Verisign Should Clear Up the Paid "Analysts" Controversy

In recent days it was revealed that analyst Zeus Kerravala, who had written a dozen-some articles, over many years, for Network World promoting Verisign's pro-.COM point of view and disparaging new top-level domains as a bad idea, was in fact a paid Verisign consultant. None of that was disclosed when Mr. Kerravala wrote these articles from January 2013 through October 2015. more»

The Growing Telco Complexity Crisis

The telecoms industry is facing a systemic problem of high operational complexity and excessive cost. We take a look at the root causes, and how to tackle them. Every telco in the world wants to both increase the quality of their customer experience, and also save money by lowering opex and deferring capex. A pervasive industry barrier to achieving this is one of complexity, which exists at many levels. more»

Zero-Rating vs. The Internet

Reading about the EU Neutrality vote, I'm reminded of the challenge faced by traditional telecommunications regulators in understanding the very concept of the Internet. To put it bluntly zero-rate is a policy framed in terms of Minitel and setting the price based on what phone number is dialed and not at all about the Internet where the value is determined by relationships entirely outside of a network. more»

Help CrypTech (and Me) Make the Internet More Secure

Are you ready to help me make the Internet more secure? Here's your chance to join me in a project to create an open-source hardware device to protect email, files and other data from hackers and government spies. The CrypTech Project was founded in late 2013 after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the US and other governments were exploiting weak cryptography and loose standards to gain access to citizens' email, documents, and other files. more»

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