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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»

Why .CHAT Could Be All That .TEL Wanted to Be and More

Almost everyone that has been working in the domain name industry for a while has a story about .TEL. It was introduced in 2005 and went live in 2009 with a flurry of publicity. It was a grand concept aiming to revolutionize the way in which people keep in touch. Unlike traditional domain names, the purpose of a .TEL domain name is to help manage and exchange contact information about people and corporate entities. more»

Getting gTLDs Into the Marketing Mix

For those of us in the domain space, the hype and fanfare in the years leading up to new gTLDs was loud and pervasive. As early as 2010 or 2011, we saw news of their impending launch propagating through marketing and advertising publications, and even popping up on occasion in mainstream press. Yet somewhere along the way (perhaps in the confusion over procedure, dates and deadlines that seemed to plague the process), we seem to have lost the attention of a group vital to the implementation of the new extensions -- marketers. more»

New gTLD Fees Threaten the Diversity of the Name Space

The great promise of the new gTLD programme is not that it will spawn dozens of .COM clones, but rather that it will lead to the creation of a global constellation of unique names embraced by specific interest groups. As an ICANN community, our challenge now is to ensure that the policy framework we've created to manage new gTLDs advances that vision by not penalising the very sorts of domains that the programme was designed to encourage. more»

Cigarette Smuggling and Cyber Security: Low-Tech Crimes Fund High-Tech Threats

You may not connect the cheap cigarettes sold under the counter (or out of a trunk, bodega or by a street vendor) with the mysterious charges on your credit card that you don't remember making or the cash that has, somehow, just disappeared from your bank account. You also may not connect that website selling cheap cigarettes made in second and third world countries with Shellshock or whatever the fashionably scary cyber-threat of the day is when you're reading this. more»

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