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Policy Beyond the Potholes

I cringe whenever I hear the arguments that we can't have community owned infrastructure for connectivity because local governments can't fix potholes. I wouldn't mind it so much if that argument wasn't used to shut off further discussion. We should be asking why we are denied the "dumb-pipes" that provide vital infrastructure and why we allow phone (and TV) companies to horde vital infrastructure. Instead we accept the "pothole" argument as a reason we can't be trusted to communicate on our own. more»

Do You Care About Your Privacy?

ICANN is currently going through a complicated process in order to introduce more Top-Level Domains (TLDs). While the launch of new TLDs is something that a lot of people will welcome it is not without its issues. One of the areas that has been receiving quite a bit of attention is in relation to intellectual property rights. So what has this got to do with privacy? more»

The Right to Internet Access

President Sarkozy of France recently managed to get his 'Création et Internet' law passed by the National Assembly, and if all goes well in the Senate then French internet users will soon find their activities being supervised by HADOPI, the grandly named 'Haute Autorité pour la Diffusion des Œuvres et la Protection des Droits sur Internet.' The rights it is concerned with are not those of ordinary net users but of copyright owners, and especially the large entertainment companies that have lobbied so hard and so successfully for the power to force internet service providers to terminate the accounts of those accused of downloading unlicensed copies of music, films and software... more»

How a Resilient Society Defends Cyberspace

Seventy-five years ago today, on May 29th, 1934, Egyptian private radio stations fell silent, as the government shut them down in favor of a state monopoly on broadcast communication. Egyptian radio "hackers" (as we would style them today) had, over the course of about fifteen years, developed a burgeoning network of unofficial radio stations... It couldn't last. After two days of official radio silence, on May 31st, official state-sponsored radio stations (run by the Marconi company under special contract) began transmitting a clean slate of government-sanctioned programming, and the brief era of grass-roots Egyptian radio was over... more»

Contributory Cybersquatting and the Impending Demise of Domain Name Proxy Services?

This case involves an alleged domain name theft. Solid Host is a web host and initial owner of the domain name solidhost.com, which it registered through eNom in 2004. Solid Host claims that in 2008, a security breach at eNom allowed an unknown interloper (Doe) to steal the domain name and move the registration to NameCheap. Doe also acquired NameCheap's "WhoisGuard" service, a domain name proxy service that masked Doe's contact information in the Whois database. Solid Host contacted Doe and sought the domain name; Doe asked for $12,000, and Solid Host took a pass... more»

IPv6 and LTE, the Not So Long Term Evolution?

The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T saw wireless networks about to drown under a deluge of data. To see YouTube content uploaded form an iPhone or Slingbox rerouting a favourite television program to your smart phone gives mobile network operators the shivers. Skype over 3G in the meantime gives sleepless nights, not because of surging megabyte floods but due to nightmares of considerable voice and roaming revenues washing away. Not easy to plan and engineer "managed transitions" under those circumstances. more»

Will ICANN Drop Its Biggest Revolutionary New Idea? Five Reasons

ICANN, the Internet Authority is up against the wall, and here are the top five reasons for which it may simply drop its greatest revolutionary idea of offering a brand new type of a designer domain name to fit the next generation of widely expanded Internet and cyber realities of tomorrow. This new proposed platform will surely revolutionize the marketing and branding for big and small businesses around the world, offering highly affordable tools for global reach than ever before but the strong opposition would like to kill this idea. more»

New Top-Level Domains Emerging

With all the buzz surrounding new Top-Level Domain (nTLDs) at the last ICANN meeting in Mexico, I am sure many of you have already encountered or read information regarding the latest applications. For those who haven't been staying abreast of the latest, here is a quick review... There are two different general types of TLDs -- gTLDs and ccTLDs. ICANN is now opening the possibility of adding further TLD extensions, which can virtually be anything... more»

Virtual Extortion?

Maybe you saw this story: A Chinese man (whose name is not given) has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for extorting "virtual items and currency" from a "fellow Internet café user." The currency was worth 100,000 yuan or $14,700. The man who's sentenced to three years and the three friends who helped him also "extorted virtual equipment for online games" from their victim. The friends only seem to have been given a fine; the primary extortionist got both a fine and a jail time. The virtual currency was QQ coins... As I'm sure all of us know, there's a thriving market in virtual goods and currency... more»

Crawford Likes Aussie Utility Network

Susan Crawford, special assistant to the president for science, technology and innovation policy and a member of the National Economic Council, is reported to be favorably inclined towards a U.S. network much like Australia's recently announced $33B broadband plan. Of course, the U.S. is some 15 times bigger than Australia, and that'd make the price tag closer to $500B by straight multiplication. But the U.S. would get a fiber network done right... more»

Valuing Trademarks in Domain Names

My new essay, "Valuing Trademarks in Domain Names," outlines the various approaches to valuing trademarks, pointing out the approaches’ different strengths and weaknesses, with emphasis on domain names. Using court cases, the essay points out that there is no one right way to value intangible assets but there are wrong ways. more»

Interop Las Vegas 2009 IPv6 Survey

We've heard on this site and many other trade journals that the IPv4 address space is running out (and a unique proposal about simulating outages) and that dire consequences occur if we do not act. Last week in Las Vegas, the Interop show took place. An unofficial count of 14,000 technology buyers and enthusiasts attended. While much lower than its record (over 100,000 strong), the show is still the biggest technology show which features a major presence by virtually every networking vendor. ...we decided to walk the Interop Expo and ask the IPv6 support question to see if the mainstream corporate and enterprise space agrees with the need to think beyond IPv4. more»

10,000 Domain Names Pre-Ordered Daily for Likely New Top-Level Domains

Last month Pool.com and Quintaris started a joint project to let consumers pre-order – without cost – domain names in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) for which ICANN will likely get an application. Latest stats released from the group is showing strong demand -- about 10,000 per day in the first month of the program... more»

Thoughts on IPv6 Security, Take Two

A few months ago, I made a post about IPv6 security. I've caught some flak for saying that IPv6 isn't a security issue. I still stand by this position. This is not to say that you should ignore security considerations when deploying IPv6. All I claim is that deploying IPv6 in and of itself does not make an organization any more or less secure. This point was made by Dr. Joe St. Sauver, of the University of Oregon... more»

Why DNS Is Broken, Part 2: DoS Target

Before we get into what DNSSEC is and the benefits of it, let's talk about some of the other potential pitfalls of DNS. One of the most significant issues we have to deal with are denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. While DoS attacks are not specific to DNS we have seen DNS be a frequent target of these attacks. more»

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