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Retrograde Inversion of Telecommunications Policy

Going backwards upside down. That's what we're doing with telecommunications policy in the U.S. The Comcast affair should prompt a re-examination of many decisions the FCC, Congress, and the courts have made over the last few years. When the FCC reports on its reactions to Comcast's activities, the right response will be "You're asking the wrong question." "What is reasonable network management" isn't the question we should be asking... more»

If It Spams Like a Duck…

We've been wondering what e360 hoped to gain with their recent lawsuits against Spamhaus and others. If they were trying to clarify the right of ISPs to protect their users from spam, then they've certainly done a good job -- especially in this particular case. If it wasn't clear before, Judge Zagel's explanation should satisfy even the most pedantic of filtering opponents: "ISPs acting in good faith to protect their customers are not liable for blocking messages that some spammer claims are not spam..." more»

Comcast 1, E360 0

The judge in E360 vs. Comcast filed his order yesterday (read previous postings here and here), and to put it mildly, he agreed with Comcast. It starts: "Plaintiff e360Insight, LLC is a marketer. It refers to itself as an Internet marketing company. Some, perhaps even a majority of people in this country, would call it a spammer." ...and from E360's viewpoint, goes downhill from there. more»

Overloading the Internet? Recent Media Reports Based on Dangerous Misinformation

The London Times article (and a similar one in the Guardian) are based on dangerous misinformation. The net isn't slowing down, and nearly no technical experts believe major "overload" problems likely on the backhaul, core, or decent local loop... Net traffic per user, as documented by Odlyzko and Cisco, has been growing at about 35-40% the last five years, and that growth rate is flat and possibly down the last two years. The net has been able to handle the increase without price increases, much less overload, because the primary and rate limiting equipment (switches, routers, WDM, etc.) have simultaneously been going down at a similar 35-40%. Moore's Law is bringing costs down and capacity up at a remarkable rate. more»

NY Times Grossly Misreads WEF Report

Today's New York Times includes an article by John Markoff entitled "Study Gives High Marks to US Internet." But either John Markoff is fuzzy about exactly what the Internet is or he didn't actually read the report. His title is way off base. He did interview a few people who are quoted in the latter part of the article, so there is some information in the article. But he's done a major disservice for the many who read only the title or perhaps first paragraph... more»

Call for "ISP Point of Contact" Database for Neutrality "Event" Concerns

When I initiated NNSquad (Network Neutrality Squad), one of my primary concerns was that many seemingly reportable "events" that can occur on the Internet -- and that might seem on their face to be network neutrality "violations" -- might actually be caused by innocent technical issues related to ISP operations, testing anomalies, or misinterpretation of test or otherwise observed data. Analysis of these situations -- which may invoke security and privacy concerns -- can be quite complex, and without a reasonably complete picture of events can also be considerably problematic... more»

Managing Internet as a Shared Resource: Reasonable Technical Constraints?

The internet is a shared resource. Different access providers begin mixing traffic at different places, but sooner or later, my internet gets mixed into yours. The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) application to the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) seems to acknowledge this shared nature with its reference (at paragraph 50 of its application) to the description of the Gateway Access Service its members resell, a description complete with a graphic of a cloud -- a sign that the resource is being shared... more»

Goo Goo Goggles: 700MHz Spectrum Auction and the U.S. Taxpayers

Scott Cleland claims the open access rules on 700MHz spectrum triggered by Google's bid fleeced the US taxpayer by $7bn. I don't buy it, even as a signed-up fully-paid network neutrality opponent. Firstly, the numbers ignore economics. If the C block was encumbered, that would raise the prices of the A and B blocks. So you need to take a much smaller differential as to the cost of the encumbrance. more»

Whose Network Is It?

A reader sent me a link last week to a piece that doesn't speak highly of net neutrality. Clyde Wayne Crews wrote an article called "Dumb Pipes, a Dumb Idea: Net Neutrality as 21st Century Socialism" that calls for legislators to reject "nut" neutrality. "Elevating the principle of mandatory net neutrality above the principle of investor ownership and wealth creation in pipes and spectrum deflects market forces away from the infrastructure development that we need..." Did anyone else see a touch of irony in a letter to the editor... more»

Sender Address Verification: Still a Bad Idea

A lot of spam uses fake return addresses. So back around 2000 it occurred to someone that if there were a way to validate the return addresses in mail, they could reject the stuff with bad return addresses. A straightforward way to do that is a callout, doing a partial mail transaction to see if the putative sender's mail server accepts mail to that address. This approach was popular for a few years, but due to its combination of ineffectiveness and abusiveness, it's now used only by small mail systems whose managers don't know any better. What's wrong with it? more»

Cisco Speaks at FOSE on IPv6 Enterprise Architecture Transition

"The world is flattening," says Dave Rubal at the FOSE Conference and Exhibition this week in Washington, DC. "The race for IT dominance is on, and it is coming west." Mr. Rubal, Cisco's Worldwide Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Task Force Lead, spoke of the tremendous race in IT dominance that is occurring, stating that the "mainstay technologies at the Beijing Olympics will be IPv6-powered." IPv6 is in line to replace version 4, but Rubal hinted that China and other Far East countries may be adopting the new version faster than the United States... more»

Are Domain Name Registrars Ready for IPv6?

Now that ICANN has added IPv6 name servers for the root zone, and that many registries have enabled IPv6 on their DNS servers, I thought it would have been easy to update the DNS records pointing to my domain to mention a IPv6-only DNS server. This way, we could have native name resolution end-to-end in IPv6. We are not there yet, it seems. more»

New Publication on Updating the Anti-Cybersquatting Regime and Ad-Based Cybersquatting

Sealing the cracks: a proposal to update the anti-cybersquatting regime to combat advertising-based cybersquatting is the title of an article by Christopher Varas in the April issue of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice. In this article, the author labels "modern cybersquatting" the monetization of domain names through PPC advertisements, and says that brand owners lack effective tools to combat this practice... more»

Domain Name Price Jump: Moore's Law or Parkinson's Laws?

As expected, VeriSign raised the price of domain names, effective in October. New prices wholesale prices (to the registrar) for .com domain names are going from $6.42 to $6.86, while .net will increase from $3.85 to $4.23. This news came a few days ago in a letter to registrars. (Hint to consumers: renew your domains now.) ...So, basically, many if not most of VeriSign's registry costs have been falling at an exponential rate. Hard disk storage, computing performance, bandwidth, RAM storage... yet the cost is going up. How is this justified? more»

An Open Letter to Yahoo!'s Postmaster

In June 2004, Yahoo! and a number of other companies got together to announce the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance or ASTA. While it appears to have been largely silent since then, ASTA did at least publish an initial set of best practices the widespread adoption of which could possibly have had some impact on spam... The majority of these are clearly aimed at ISPs and end users, but some are either generally or specifically relevant to email providers such as Yahoo!, Google or Microsoft... The problem: Since February this year, we have been receiving a significant quantity of spam emails from Yahoo!'s servers. In addition to their transport via the Yahoo! network, all originate from email addresses in yahoo.com, yahoo.co.uk and one or two other Yahoo! domains. Every such message bears a Yahoo! DomainKeys signature... more»

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