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Thoughts on the Toys "R" Us Acquisition of Toys.com

Using the purchase by Toys "R" Us of Toys.com as an example, I outline the problems that come with using the popular ascending auction design and point out some of the potential strategic uses and signals of the domain name acquisition. Toys “R” Us paid $5.1 million in February 2009 for Toys.com. It outbid five others, including National A-1 Advertising and Frank Schilling... more»

A "G12" to Oversee ICANN? Not Likely

Viviane Redding, the Information Society and Media Commissioner for the EC posted a video blog this week noting that the JPA between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce ends this September. In it she proposes that ICANN be overseen by a "G-12 for Internet Governance" with 12 geographically balanced government representatives from around the world. That's such a non-starter that I'm baffled that she would even propose it... more»

Crime vs. Cybercrime: Is the Law Adequate?

In 2001, I published an article on "virtual crime." It analyzed the extent to which we needed to create a new vocabulary -- and a new law -- of "cybercrimes." The article consequently focused on whether there is a difference between "crime" and "cybercrime." It's been a long time, and cybercrime has come a long way, since I wrote that article. I thought I'd use this post to look at what I said then and see how it's held up, i.e., see if we have any additional perspective on the relationship between crime and cybercrime... more»

Why US Broadband Service Continues to Stagnate - Some Simple Numbers to Drive the Point Home

I've been fascinated by the recent announcement that Australia is spending $31 billion USD to upgrade its broadband. With all the excitement and fuss over the broadband stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it may seem strange to be claiming that the $7.2 billion is a pitifully small amount -- but let me bring this home for you... more»

Cyber Security and the White House, Part 2 - Cyberwarfare

This is a follow-up to my previous post on Cybersecurity and the White House. It illustrates an actual cyberwarfare attack against Estonia in 2007 and how it can be a legitimate national security issue. Estonia is one of the most wired countries in eastern Europe. In spite of its status of being a former Soviet republic, it relies on the internet for a substantial portion of everyday life -- communications, financial transactions, news, shopping and restaurant reservations all use the Internet. Indeed, in 2000, the Estonian government declared Internet access a basic human right... more»

Cyber Security and the White House

A few months ago, an article appeared on arstechnica.com asking the question "Should cybersecurity be managed from the White House?" During the recent presidential elections in the United States and the federal elections in Canada, the two major players in both parties had differing views that crossed borders. In the US, the McCain campaign tended to favor free market solutions to the problem of cybersecurity, and the Conservatives in Canada took a similar position... more»

Another Attack, Another Reason for the Urgency of DNSSEC Adoption

News broke this week about an attack in Puerto Rico that caused the local websites of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Coca-Cola, PayPal, Nike, Dell and Nokia to be redirected for a few hours to a phony website. The website was all black except for a taunting message from the computer hacker responsible for the attack... more»

".Pol", a ".Com" for Political Candidates

In the coming months, ICANN will ambitiously expand the number of top-level domains (TLDs). ICANN could add ".movie" and ".paris", among others, to the existing ranks of ".com", ".org", ".gov", and ".edu". Here's another they should consider: a new ".pol" TLD that is reserved exclusively for political candidates and entities. A ".pol" TLD is needed to alleviate problems linked to a now-common phenomenon called political cybersquatting... more»

IPv6… Canada About to Score?

USA-Canada World Championship hockey games never fail to elicit great excitement. In the IPv6 adoption world league however, the US seems to have a convincing lead over their northern neighbour but the game is not over yet, here come the Canucks. Internet evolution, and IPv6 in particular, were the major themes at the ISACC (ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada) Plenary meeting in Ottawa mid April... more»

Blame Yourself, Not ICANN

Domain name owners have traditionally complained that ICANN does not listen to us, and there is indeed plenty of evidence demonstrating the group’s obliviousness to community input. Nevertheless, as domain owners, we need to begin giving ourselves a share of blame too. It’s time to reflect on our failures so we can come up with an actionable solution... more»

Per Capita, Netherlands Is the World's ccTLD Leader

The Netherlands, a country with just 16 million people, accounts for more than 3 million ccTLDs. That's an impressive ratio of people to domains -- one ccTLD per 5.3 people -- and it the highest ratio of any country with more than five million residents. Germany comes in a close second, with a ratio of roughly one ccTLD per 6.5 people... more»

Working With ICANN's IRT and Not Against is in Order

ICANN realized during the Mexico City public meeting that its draft proposals for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) did not take sufficient account of the trademark problems that might arise if the new top level domains become havens for cybersquatters. ICANN sensibly asked the trademark and brand owners to propose rules and procedures that might address these problems... more»

In Support of ICANN's New Trademark Protection Rules (Mostly)

Yesterday, I sent ICANN my comments about the draft recommendations from ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT), which has been tasked with coming up with a trademark protection scheme for new top-level domains. For the most part, I think they did an excellent job... more»

ICANN IRT Report Open for Comment With Short Timeframe?

The Intellectual Property Constituency's draft report on trademark issues is now available for comment. The draft report was put together behind closed doors, which would appear to go against the normal policy development process at ICANN, which is quite worrying. Its contents, however, are even more disturbing... more»

Domain Name Registries Must Do More to Protect Highly-Trafficked Domains

With the recent attacks against high-profile New Zealand domain names including Coca-Cola.co.nz and F-Secure.co.nz, fingers are naturally pointing to Domainz, the registrar of record for these domains, as the party responsible for this lapse in security. While domain name registrars certainly need to ensure the security and stability of their systems, domain name registries must also step up and take responsibility for mitigating risks posed by hackers... more»

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