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Bit.ly Gets You Blocked

URL shorteners, like bit.ly, moby.to and tinyurl.com, do three things... Making URLs shorter was their original role, and it's why they're so common in media where the raw URL is visible to the recipient -- instant messaging, twitter and other microblogs, and in plain text email where the "real" URL won't fit on a single line. From the moment they were invented they've been used to trick people to click on links to pages they'd rather not visit... more

What's New In the Field of Cybersecurity Cooperation

The last few months have shown a number of signs that cooperation in cyberspace is not just necessary, but it is vital for the survival of the Internet as we know it. There is no need to provide links to all the articles and news stories that talk about the dangers of cyberattacks on the infrastructure in the USA or other countries - you can find plenty of them. ... What misses really in these stories is the answer to the question "So, what?" more

Outsourcing and Registry Operations Present Challenges to New TLD Applicants

After ICANN announced in Singapore approval of the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program, we heard many prospective applicants say they would start asking registry infrastructure providers to break down their costs into registration and resolution components. The last few TLD launches have shown that although you can achieve some respectable registration volumes for new TLDs, chances are it will take some time for content to be associated with the domain names, and hence, resolutions to pick up. more

Catching Spam Email with Project Honey Pot

Since its launch in October, 2004 Project Honey Pot has made some interesting progress in their war against spam email. The project is a distributed system used to identify spammers and spambots operating across the Internet. To put it simply, Project Honey Pot lays millions of traps around the Internet (66,393,293 as of this writing) baited with specific email addresses that are configured to forward received emails to the Project Honey Pot system. Since these are not email addresses used by real individuals virtually every email received is positively identified as spam. more

New gTLDs: Floodgates for Spammers?

Ever since I heard of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), I wondered whether they would be prone to abuse. For example, Microsoft might want to register www.microsoft.microsoft, or Sony might want to register www.sony. But isn't this opening up the floodgates for spammers to register their own domains and squat on them? Why couldn't a spammer register www.cit.ibank? They could then send phishing messages and fool people into clicking very legitimate looking domains. But I don't think this will be a problem. more

ICANN Voting to Pull the Weeds is Good - Pulling Them is Even Better

At the ICANN Public Forum in Singapore yesterday, I likened the ICANN to a community garden: fertile, colorful and above all, worthwhile, but not without a few troublesome weeds. Today's Board vote to adopt the recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT) is a vote to pull those weeds. As good as voting for this weed-pulling exercise is, completing it will be even better. more

Internet's New "Big Bang" Creates Chance to Put Down Roots

The Internet has done as much as the jet engine to shrink the distance between where we are and where we want to go. Even the propeller-type connectivity of dial-up was a giant leap forward. But as much as the technology has allowed us to go with ease to any place we choose - to learn, to be heard, to promote - equally powerful is the platform's ability to help us gather. The phenomena of social media services like LinkedIn and Facebook are present day proof of this human urge. more

Beyond Limitations and What Good It Would Do to ICANN to Operate from Abundance

The ICANN community is conservative. A considerable number of dedicated ICANN volunteers from various constituencies believe that ICANN should follow the unusual logic of limiting its revenues to the levels of its CURRENT estimates of expenditure. The Board, acting on the advise of the ICANN community brought down the ICANN transaction fee per domain name from 25 cents to 16 cents and in the case of numbers, for various reasons the Address Registry fees that it collects from the Regional Internet Registries have been historically kept at a negligibly low level. more

ATRT and the Dog That Didn't Bark

A favorite Sherlock Holmes story has the detective unraveling the mystery of a murdered horse trainer and the theft of a prized thoroughbred by concentrating on the fact that a dog didn't bark in the night when the horse was stolen. This silence implied for Holmes that it was no stranger who entered the stall. From this he deduced that it was the trainer himself who had removed the horse to fix a race for his profit and that the horse had killed the trainer when he tried to cripple it. ICANN 41 has been afflicted by a similarly curious silence. more

The New gTLD Chess Game

On June 20th, the ICANN board voted to move ahead with the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) program, intended to add hundreds, if not thousands of new names to the DNS root. Now what? Not even the most enthusiastic ICANN supporters think that any new TLDs will be added before the end of 2012, but there are other things going on that greatly complicate the outlook. more

Aged Security Flaw Renews Open/Closed-Source Debate

The recent announcement of a 13-year old security flaw found in an Open Source security library has renewed the debate between open source and closed source software. The library, crypt_blowfish, allows for fast two-way password encryption. The flaw introduces the potential for passwords to be easily compromised and affects PHP and a number of Linux distributions that include the crypt_blowfish library. more

The Internet Community Says Thank You to ICANN for New TLDs

After more than six years of consultation and negotiation regarding the New Top-Level Domain Program, the ICANN Board this week approved the program to the pleasure of many within the Internet community. For this, we say thank you to ICANN on a job well done! The New Top-Level Domain (TLD) Program has been controversial at times and has fuelled many passionate debates within the Internet community. more

Comparative Broadband Speeds - US Loses Again

Recently Google Labs added the Ookla Speedtest data set to their wonderful Public Data Explorer so I just had to try it out. These are not bogus statistics. These graphs show the average of all the millions of actual speedtests run in the respective countries over the past 4 months. more

Searching Under Lampposts with DKIM

Email is a complex service and email abuse adds confusing deceptions. Worse, like postal mail and even telephone service, Internet mail is inherently open, flexible and even anonymous, making things much easier for abusers. Bad actors hide their true identity and their true purpose. Most other communication tools for users also are also quite open, and problems with email are being replicated elsewhere, such as instant messaging and social media. more

Measuring World IPv6 Day - First Impressions

The RIPE NCC took active measurements of World IPv6 Day participants before, during and after World IPv6 Day (in cooperation with CAIDA). We selected 53 participants and performed periodical A and AAAA DNS lookups and HTTP fetches from 40 servers worldwide. For HTTP, we fetched data over IPv4 and IPv6. These provide important control points... more

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