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The further we move into discussions about the implementation of national broadband networks the more issues crop up that need to be discussed in this context. One topic that is currently getting a great deal of attention is the need (or not) for an RF video layer to be deployed over the fibre network. Both business and technical elements are involved in this, but let's start with some of the business elements... more»

White Spaces Could Be the Broadcasters Best Hope

For years, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) fought the White Spaces Coalition and others interested in making US "TV white spaces" available for broadband, Wi-Fi or indeed, any new purpose. When the FCC voted 5-0 to permit license exempt use of TV White Spaces, the industry brought suit in Federal court. And they did this, despite rules in the FCC's decision that are so restrictive that, for now, white spaces devices are doomed to commercial failure. more»

China Tightens Internet Control in the Name of Fighting Porn, Piracy, and Cybercrime

As the year draws to a close, China's blocking of overseas websites - including Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of other websites including my blog - is more extensive and technically more sophisticated than ever. Controls over domestic content have also been tightening. People who work for Chinese Internet companies continue to complain that they remain under heavy pressure... more»

Cyber Terrorism Is a Real Threat, and for the First Time Both Russia and the US Acknowledge It

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Internet security giant Kaspersky Lab said last week that "terrorists could build a botnet that could bring down the entire Internet structure". Mr. Kaspersky ended his speech with the statement that "a global cyber police force, and global cooperation between law enforcement agencies and governments is needed". This goes very much in accordance with some of the conclusions in the Cyberspace Policy Review more»

The Real Face of Cyberwar?

Anyone who reads the papers sees stories -- or hype -- about cyberwarfare. Can it happen? Has it already happened, in Estonia or Georgia? There has even been a Rand Corporation study on cyberwarfare and cyberdeterrence. I wonder, though, if real cyberwarfare might be more subtle -- perhaps a "cyber cold war"? more»

Online Drug Traffic and Registrar Policy

Last month I published an article called "What's Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic" which explained how the many of the troublesome online crime issues are related to the online sale of narcotics and dodgy pharmaceuticals. Since this article was published we have witnessed one of the largest international law enforcement efforts against online drug traffic (Operation Pangea II)... more»

.google Before Christmas

I'm a real fan of the Google Masterplan since its publication in 2005. After the introduction of its own global DNS I thought it might be a good idea to have a second look on the G-Masterplan. What I found is astonishing and shows the steps to .google. more»

Email Service Providers and the Coming Changes

Yesterday I talked about how I'm hearing warnings of a coming paradigm shift in the email industry. While these changes will affect all senders, Email Service Providers (ESPs) in particular are going to need to change how they interact with both ISPs and their customers. Currently, ESPs are able to act as "routine conveyers." The traffic going across their network is generated by their customers and the ESP only handles technical issues. more»

It's Safe to Be a Dog on the Internet Again: Lori Drew Prosecution Terminated

"On the Internet, no one knows whether you're a dog." Of course, if you are a dog, and you are fibbing about it, according to the US Attorneys Office out in California you're a felon and should be sent to the dog pound. Fortunately, there's a new dog in town who seems to be howling a different tune. Bad facts make for bad law. The unfortunate alleged facts of this case involved fibbing about actual identities, playing with a young girl's emotions, and the girl's eventual suicide. more»

ISPs Are Speaking, Is Anyone Listening?

Lately I've been seeing and hearing a lot of quiet warning noises coming from ISPs and spam filtering companies about sender behaviour. I believe they're forecasting changes in how ISPs treat commercial email and what new issues senders are going to have to negotiate. The short version is that commercial mail is a mixed bag. more»

Personalized Search Opacity

Google announced Friday that it would now be "personalizing" all searches, not just those for signed-in users. If your browser has a Google cookie, unless you've explicitly opted out, your search results will be customized based on search history. Danny Sullivan, at Search Engine Land, wonders why more people aren't paying attention. more»

Unlimited VoIP Offers Starting to Appear in Africa

VoIP has been banned across most of Africa for a long time, feared by the state-owned telcos as a way for alternative service providers to bypass them with international calls, eroding a very lucrative part of their business. At profit margins of several thousand percent in some cases, it is not surprising that unlicensed operators have sprung up all over the continent, risking huge fines, confiscation of their equipment and even jail terms. more»

Privacy Getting a Reboot

Anyone old enough to remember when cross-border data flows were limited to what could be put in a DHL box in New York and sent directly to Milan for the next day? Or when MIPS were so costly and centralized that batch processing was the norm? The world has changed, but the rules governing data protection and privacy haven't (much). Today technology allows and users demand that data flow without the drag of political boundaries or national borders, yet we still want assurances that our information will be protected and respected.  more»

Just Make It Stop

In a recent discussion among mail system managers, we learned that one of the large spam filter providers now has an option to reject all mail from ESPs (e-mail service providers, outsourced bulk mailers) regardless of opt-in, opt-out, spam complaints, or anything else, just block it all. Some of the ESPs wondered what would drive people to do that... more»

Google Launch of DNS Service and OpenDNS Reply

Earlier today Google announced the launch of their new DNS service. They're pushing it as part of their "better experience" and "speed" drive that Matt Cutts and Co have been harping on about for the last while. OpenDNS, however, has been offering a similar service for quite some time... So it was quite interesting to read OpenDNS' response to the Google service. more»

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