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Comment on the Kleiman/Komaitis Proposal on Multiple IP Clearinghouses for the New gTLD Process

I recently learned about a meeting that took place between ICANN staff and Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) members Kathy Kleiman and Konstantinos Komaitis regarding the Implementation Recommendations Team (IRT) recommendations for the protection of intellectual property rights in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). My comment relates to the White Paper published by Ms. Kleiman and Mr. Komaitis with respect to the notion of having multiple Regional Trademark clearinghouses (TMCs). For the reasons stated in this comment, the KK Proposal fails a number of the benchmarking checklists used by the IRT in evaluating proposals. more»

DotEco Bids Heat Up - Catfight Anyone?

The new Top-Level Domain (TLD) process is occupying a lot of people in the domain name industry at present. While some people are obviously very much against the entire concept of new TLDs, there are plenty of people and organisations who support the project. But what happens when you have more than one organisation vying for the same namespace? ...Seemingly the competition between two rival bids for .eco (doteco) has been getting more than a little dirty in the past few weeks. more»

Google Voice Dispute Highlights an Opportunity for Mobile Network Operators

The recent row between Google, Apple and AT&T concerning the removal of Google Voice from the Apple iPhone store highlights the friction existing between network operators and so-called over the top (OTT) application providers. Most observers believe that AT&T initiated the blockade because Google Voice (which offers free or highly discounted calling rates) is a direct threat to AT&Ts call revenue (Google Voice users need only pay AT&T for access to the Internet). more»

Twitter, DDoS and the Motivations Behind the Attack

As we all know by now, last week, on Thursday, August 7, Twitter was hit with a denial-of-service attack that took it down for several hours. Other social networking sites like Facebook, LiveJournal, Youtube and Blogger were also hit. They managed to repel the attack although Facebook was not quite as successful as the other larger players. The theory floating about at the moment is that this was a politically oriented play designed to target one guy: a blogger. We are nearing the 1-year anniversary of a the Russian/Georgian 2008 war. There is a pro-Georgian blogger by the username of "Cyxymu" who had accounts on all of these services. more»

Realizing There's More to Life Than .COM, Europe and Asia Already Do

It's getting so hard to find a decent .COM domain name that a big weed patch of businesses has grown up hawking really terrible names for enormous prices -- and they're finding buyers. They're catering to people who are just trying to find something -- anything! -- that will work for their new web site. The problem is especially acute for those who are trying to start a business. more»

Analysis of the US Broadband Stimulus Package

In January 2009 the US Congress began considering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill 2009 aimed at kick-starting an economy in deep recession. The package, passed into law on 17 February, comprised $787 billion of mainly tax cuts, unemployment benefits and spending in education, health care, infrastructure and energy. Included in the fiscal stimulus package was a relatively modest $7.2 billion for broadband and wireless in unserved and underserved areas... more»

ICANN Culls Three More Domain Name Registrars

ICANN has announced that three more domain name registrars have lost their accreditation due to non-compliance with the RAA. The three registrars have been informed that their agreements with ICANN will not be renewed. South American Domains (NameFrog), Simply Named and Tahoe Domains have been sent letters by ICANN outlining the decision and the reasons for it. So what now? more»

Why Can't We Make the Internet Secure?

In a discussion about a recent denial of service attack against Twitter, someone asked, "Some class of suppliers must be making money off of the weaknesses. Anybody out there have a prescription for the cure?" Sure, but you're not going to like it. The Internet was originally a walled garden, where its operators knew who all the users were and could eject anyone who misbehaved... more»

An End to Spam Litigation Factories? (Gordon v. Virtumundo)

When CAN-SPAM was passed in 2003, it was fairly clear that Congress wasn't trying to enable broad private enforcement. Everyone knew that rabid anti-spammers would seize any new statutory right for a litigation frenzy... Although I personally think Congress would better served all of us by omitting all private enforcement rights in CAN-SPAM, unquestionably the private rights in CAN-SPAM are drafted narrowly to prevent their abuses. That hasn't stopped some zealous anti-spammers from testing the limits of CAN-SPAM's private enforcement remedies anyway. more»

Cutting Through the Twitter DDoS Hype

There are a lot of theories flying around about why Twitter and other social media services got knocked offline yesterday. I've heard rumors about it being linked to political tension between Georgia and Russia. Others blame Iran for the outages. I'm not a political commentator, therefore I cannot comment on anyone's political views -- but I have some logic and common sense, and I can draw some objective conclusions. more»

Keeping IT Industry Developments in Context

The announcement that Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt is standing down from the Apple board hardly came as a surprise. Google's Android is already powering smartphones that offer an open alternative to Apple's iPhone, while the recent announcement of plans for Chrome OS, an operating system that will directly challenge Mac OS, makes Google a direct competitor to Apple in its core market... more»

How Copyright Violators Are Removed from Search Engine Listings Based on DMCA

It may not be widely-known but the big 3 search engines -- Google, Yahoo! and Bing -- have established procedures for removing natural search results on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That's good news for brand owners: if consumers can't find infringing websites via the search engines, they're less likely to come across them at all... more»

When It Comes to gTLDs, Follow the Money (Part 2)

In my previous article I showed that ICANN expects to recover a lot of money from the first round of applications for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) -- $92.5 million, to be exact -- and that even that dramatic figure is probably substantially underestimated. For that reason, I argued that ICANN probably will recoup a windfall from the first round of gTLD applications and pointed out that ICANN's promise to consult with the Internet community before spending such a windfall is unsatisfactory because it has failed to say beforehand what surplus revenues might be spent for. more»

Trans-Sector Thinking Spreading to the Highest Levels in Government

Australia, New Zealand and the USA have taken international leadership in relation to their approaches to the infrastructure investment their countries are committed to in relation to the multi-billion dollar investment in national broadband and smart grid infrastructure. This is based on open networks, which will allow multiple access to infrastructure that can be used for e-health, smart grids, tele-education, as well as, of course, to telecoms, Internet and entertainment services. more»

Private Cyber Investigators

This post was prompted by questions I was asked to address when I participated in a panel discussion of cybersecurity. Here are the relevant questions: "Should we reconsider the notion that companies under attack are prohibited from investigating the attackers and trying to locate them? We allow private investigators to conduct some activities that usually only the police are allowed to do; should we accredit private cyber investigators?" ...The one I found more interesting is the second question: whether we should accredit private cyber investigators. more»

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