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A Field Guide to Internet Governance in 2017

The global debate on Internet Governance has come a long way since 2005. In the 12 years following the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, governments have paid more attention than ever to policies that can promote economic development, security, and innovation. You may not have felt the progress, however; if it is hard to see a reduction in the confusion and "soup of forums" described on this site nearly six years ago, this is because as we have made progress, the scope of the issues addressed have increased to match. more»

Are Domain Names Contract of Services or Property Rights?

There are several perspectives from which one can give various answers to the question of 'what are domain names?'. Originally the domain name system started and continues to be a human-friendly way of addressing to a set of machines or specific machine connected to the Internet. Hence, from the technical perspective, a domain name is simply an address consisting of a combination of alphanumeric and symbols to communicate with a machine which also happens to be hosting certain services in form of data and information on it. more»

When a 'Response Fee' is Required in a URS Case

Although filing fees in domain name disputes are usually paid for by the trademark owner that files a complaint, the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) contains a little-noticed provision that, in large cases, requires the domain name registrant to pay a fee to defend itself. The so-called "Response Fee" is only required in URS cases that include 15 or more disputed domain names. more»

Who Would You Nominate for the Internet Hall of Fame? (Nominations Open Until March 15)

Who do you think deserves recognition in the Internet Hall of Fame? Do you know of someone who has played a key role in the Internet's development who should be recognized? (And is not already among the existing IHOF inductees?) If you know of someone who deserves the recognition, nominations are open until March 15, 2017. As outlined by Internet Society President & CEO Kathy Brown in a blog post today, the Internet Hall of Fame seeks to honor three types of inductee. more»

Swiss Sanctuary for "International Organization Refugees"

Over the past year as the impending doom of a potential Trump installation in the U.S. WhiteHouse pervaded the international organization community, my former chief-of-staff at the ITU found consolation in Swiss history. Now retired with his wife formerly with the World Health Organization in the mountains near the tranquil Canton Vaud municipality of Ch√Ęteau-d'Oex, he pointed his old friends to its heritage site. more»

Trump, Tides, and the US Tech Sector

When a tax is too high people avoid it, and when the political cost of supporting the US government becomes too high, foreign governments will avoid it too. Add to that cost America's new inclination to withdrawal, and consider the muddy tidal flat on which could soon list the hull of what used to be American technological primacy... When countries try to develop technology policies to compete with the United States, they often begin with rules over immigration. more»

Do-It-Yourself Rural Fiber

I doubt that any elementary school in the US has fiber to the premises, but, in 2013, an elementary school in rural Bhutan was connected to the Internet using optical fiber in the "last mile." They were able to connect the school because the cabling they used, metal-packed armored cable (M-PAC), which is modeled on undersea cables, does not have to be in a protective duct. It is 4mm in diameter, light and flexible, so it can be installed by supervised volunteers or unskilled workers.
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Kill the Spreadsheets! Automate VPN IP Assignments and Tracking over MPLS/VRF and vLAN

Advancements in virtual private networking have extended system capabilities for service providers. Providers can divide LANs into multiple discrete segments using either Virtual Local Area Networks (vLANs), leverage Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) or Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) to host Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that support service operations over multiple instances. more»

Must IETF, ICANN Stop Meeting in the U.S.?

With Trump's "extreme vetting" extending to Pakistan and others, nearly all U.S. institutions with a global reach will be cut off from some members. Internet Society Board Member Walid Al-Saqaf, from Yemen, can't attend the IETF meeting next month in Chicago. Board Member Alice Munyua from Kenya may also have to skip the event. "There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya," the British government reports. Kenyans likely will require extreme vetting. ICANN board member Kaveh Ranjbar, born in Iran, has also been appointed to the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee. more»

Nuking Silicon Valley

The new head of the U.S. Executive Branch took several actions this week that have profound collateral consequences for Silicon Valley as well as its scientific and technical communities. Presumably, he thought it was payback time for not supporting him. Perhaps he thought that producing automobiles domestically for non-Muslim U.S. citizens to drive around a walled nation is the way to future economic success. No matter, the effects of actions taken this week are the equivalent of nuking Silicon Valley. more»

The Cuban Home-Connectivity Trial Ends This Week, Rollout to Begin Next Week

The free home-connectivity trial in Old Havana will end this week. Two thousand homes were eligible for the trial and I was told, off the record, that 700 people have signed contracts to pay for the service. I am not certain, but my guess is that those two thousand homes are served by a single central office that has been upgraded to offer Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connectivity. more»

Critical Differences Of Public And Private Clouds

Private or public? Both cloud types offer benefits and both have enjoyed significant growth over the last few years. Yet, what's the best bet for your business: The virtually limitless resources of public cloud stacks, or the close-to-home control of private alternatives? Here's a look at some critical differences between public and private clouds... more»

One-Click Unsubscription

Unsubscribing from mailing lists is hard. How many times have you seen a message "please remove me from this list," followed by two or three more pointing out that the instructions are in the footer of every message, followed by three or four more asking people to not send their replies to the whole list (all sent to the whole list, of course,) perhaps with a final message by the list manager saying she's dealt with it? For marketing broadcast lists, it's even worse because there's no list to write to. more»

When to Consider 'Both Sides of the Dot' in a Domain Name Dispute

In the case, filed by Michelin, the panel found the domain name 'tyre.plus' confusingly similar to the trademark TYREPLUS. Specifically, the panel wrote: "If one ignores the 'dot' between the Second-Level Domain ('tyre') and the Top-Level Domain ('plus'), the mark and the Domain Name are identical..." It's an issue that's arising with increasing frequency -- just as I had predicted. more»

The International Telecommunication Union and the Trump Administration

The question is not uncommon these days for someone who has been the principal historian on the ITU over the past 40 years. The short answer is that the institution should do just fine. Indeed, the appearance of bizarre phenomena like Trump, enhance the value and trustworthiness of a stable, globally inclusive intergovernmental venue dealing with matters that by their nature require worldwide cooperation and is buttressed by one of the most highly regarded Secretary-Generals in its history. more»

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