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The EFF and Hanlon's Razor

The EFF has just posted a shallower than usual deeplink alleging an "email encryption downgrade attack" by ISPs intent on eavesdropping on their customers. They, along with VPN provider Golden Frog, have additionally complained to the FCC reporting this. Here, they've just noticed something that's common across several hotel / airport wifi networks... more»

Domain Name Abuse Is a 4 Letter Word

There has been a lot of back and forth recently in the ICANN world on what constitutes domain abuse; how it should be identified and reported AND how it should be addressed. On one side of the camp, we have people advocating for taking down a domain that has any hint of misbehaviour about it, and on the other side we have those that still feel Registries and Registrars have no responsibility towards a clean domain space. (Although that side of the camp is in steady decline and moving toward the middle ground). more»

If It Doesn't Exist, It Can't Be Abused

A number of outlets have reported that the U.S. Post Service was hacked, apparently by the Chinese government. The big question, of course, is why. It probably isn't for ordinary criminal reasons: The intrusion was carried out by "a sophisticated actor that appears not to be interested in identity theft or credit card fraud," USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said. ... But no customer credit card information from post offices or online purchases at usps.com was breached, they said. more»

GTLDs Valuation Components That You Must Not Overlook

This post outlines the valuation pitfalls that need to be avoided when competing for the acquisition of a new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD). The most widely used financial tools to determine the economic viability of a capital investment project, such as bidding for a new gTLD, are the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and the Net Present Value (NPV), which measures the expected additional value a project would create if undertaken. more»

Accountability Group Charter Sets the Bar Too Low

In mid-August ICANN staff attempted to impose their own proposal for the process that will determine what overall new ICANN accountability measures should accompany the proposed IANA functions transition -- and thereby replace the restraining and corrective oversight role that the U.S. has played through periodic reevaluation of ICANN performance in conjunction with re-awarding of the IANA contract. In united reaction against that attempt, the ICANN community sent an unprecedented joint letter to CEO Fadi Chehade and the ICANN Board... more»

Secure Unowned Hierarchical Anycast Root Name Service - And an Apologia

In Internet Draft draft-lee-dnsop-scalingroot-00.txt, I described with my coauthors a method of distributing the task of providing DNS Root Name Service both globally and universally. In this article I will explain the sense of the proposal in a voice meant to be understood by a policy-making audience who may in many cases be less technically adept than the IETF DNSOP Working Group for whom the scalingroot-00 draft was crafted. I will also apologize for a controversial observation concerning the addition of new root name servers... more»

Customer Confusion over New(ish) gTLDs Targeting Financial Services

For the last decade and a bit, banking customers have been relentlessly targeted by professional phishers with a never-ending barrage of deceitful emails, malicious websites and unstoppable crimeware -- each campaign seeking to relieve the victim of their online banking credentials and funds. In the battle for the high-ground, many client-side and server-side security technologies have been invented and consequently circumvented over the years. Now we're about to enter a new era of mitigation attempts... more»

New MANRS Initiative Aims to Improve Security of Internet Routing

How can we work together to improve the security and resilience of the global routing system? That is the question posed by the "Routing Resilience Manifesto" site with the suggested answer launched today of the "Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) document, to which a number of network operators have already signed on as participants, including: Comcast, Level 3, NTT, RUNNet, ClaraNet, SURFnet, SpaceNet, KPN and CERNET. more»

Scaremongering from Spy Agents

In an article for the Financial Times, Mr Hannigan -- the chief of the British spy agency GCHQ said: "I understand why they [US technology companies] have an uneasy relationship with governments. They aspire to be neutral conduits of data and to sit outside or above politics." "But increasingly their services not only host the material of violent extremism or child exploitation, but are the routes for the facilitation of crime and terrorism."... more»

ICANN 51: Los Angeles - Getting Ready for a Big 2015

Earlier this month, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its 51st public meeting in Los Angeles. Once again, MarkMonitor joined stakeholders from across the globe to discuss issues ranging from government control over the Internet, to key lessons learned thus far from the new gTLD rollout. This coming year promises to be a big one for ICANN, and for the business and brand community as a result. more»

How to Improve WHOIS Data Accuracy

A major concern about the present WHOIS is the level of data inaccuracy. The Expert Working Group (EWG) on Registration Directory Service (RDS), of which I had the pleasure of being a member, spent considerable time figuring out how to improve WHOIS data accuracy. The EWG in its final report proposed a new system, the RDS, which we believe will significantly address the flaws in the current WHOIS, including the data inaccuracy challenge. more»

Internet Governance After Busan: Playing the Long Game

As you might imagine, I've been following the ITU's Plenipotentiary Conference very closely. It was built up to be the great showdown of our time -- the pro-'free and open' Internet in one corner (comprised for the most part of developed and democratic nations), in the other corner a contingent of totalitarian regimes bent on a fractured, censored Internet -- a near battle royale for control of one of the greatest communications tool the world has ever seen. more»

Can Mobile Operators Afford a Mobile-Only Strategy?

With 4G rollouts in many developed mobile markets reaching completion, it might be time to check the balance of the state of the mobile industry. Looking at campaigns around the world it is clear that what you see are 'me too' strategies. The advertising campaigns and the marketing hyperbole around them might suggest that a particular operator has now done something unique or very special, but if one looks beyond the advertising blurb it is clear that the campaign is nothing new and/or that what is on offer can be very easily matched by their competitors in the market. more»

The ITU Plenipotentiary: Member States Decrease Financial Contributions

The ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference wraps up at the end of the week. The more than 2000 people present in Busan Korea from 171 countries -- overwhelmingly government bureaucrats -- have been busily polishing nearly a hundred resolutions on everything that ails them. The good news is that some sanity seems to have prevailed and most of the really extreme provisions apparently disappeared during the ensuing dialogue. One of the reasons for the change of heart is the realization that the ITU emperor's budget for clothes is disappearing. more»

Europe and Data Protection: We Need a Real Debate - Exactly What We Don't Have Now

Europe is at the forefront of the global debate about data protection and privacy. Unfortunately that debate is characterised more by hyberbole and scaremongering than real discussion. Europeans deserve better -- and so does the world, who rightly see Europe as a leader on this subject. The new Commission has a chance to truly lead in partnership with governments, like Brazil, that agree with us. more»

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