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10 Reasons Why Involving Government in Spam Control is a Bad Idea

1. Many jurisdictions already have laws which cover abuse of computer systems and networks -- and spam is of course abuse. These laws are only sporadically enforced, however, usually when a sufficiently visible/powerful entity is the aggrieved party. Adding more laws (a) is redundant and (b) does not increase enforcement. 2. Laws are only enforced as law enforcement has resources available. Spam/abuse is not a high priority unless a sufficiently visible/powerful entity makes it so, and those cases are rare. more

ICANN Meets in Kuala Lumpur

Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released the following announcement today for its upcoming meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: ICANN, the international organisation responsible for managing and coordinating the Internet's Domain Name System is meeting in Kuala Lumpur 19-24 July, amidst reports that Internet usage in Asia is growing at an increasing pace, and that ICANN's model of public-private partnership is succeeding. more

The Site Finder Report: Dr. Stephen Crocker, Chair of the Committee

As an advisory committee, our focus is to give ICANN and the community our best advice regarding security and stability issues for the domain name system and the addressing system. We are not a standards, regulatory, judicial or enforcement body; those functions belong elsewhere. As we all know, VeriSign is in the process of suing ICANN on a number of matters, including ICANN's response to their registry change last September. Although VeriSign now contends that a number of us on the committee are "Site Finder co-conspirators" the next steps are really up to the ICANN board, the ICANN staff and the many members of the technical and operating community who run the domain name system. I'll be happy to interact with the members of the community here on CircleID as time permits. more

Registrant Freedom Day

After almost four years, ICANN has announced that they have adopted a new domain name transfer policy that make it much easier for domain name registrants to do business with the ICANN accredited Registrar of their choosing. Highlights from this new policy include; streamlined definition of responsibilities as it relates to the management of the domain name. Under the new policy, only the Administrative Contact or Registrant can authorize a domain name transfer to a new service provider... more

Report from UN Spam Meeting in Geneva

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), held an ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam from 7 to 9 July 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was focused around various topics including: Scope of the problem, Technical solutions, Consumer protection and awareness, Legislation and enforcement, and International cooperation. The following is a report by William J. Drake, Senior Associate International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva. more

Auditing ICANN: An Essential Element for an Alternative ICANN Budget Proposal

A coalition of over 50 domain Registrars from around the world have recommended an alternative to ICANN's proposed 2004-2005 budget. The alternative proposal from the ICANNBudget.org Registrars would cap Registrar contributions at $11 million per year for the next three years. Although this proposal represents a significant expansion beyond ICANN's 2003-2004 budget of $8.6 million budget, it is still slim compared with ICANN's own $15.8 million budget proposal. Of potentially greater importance, the alternative budget differs significantly from ICANN's proposal in the structure of the Registrar fees. more

Comments to ICANN's Whois TF3

My general impression of the Task Force 3 (TF3) output was that it was a prettified way of accusing the community of internet users as being cheats and liars and demanding that the costs of trademark enforcement be offloaded from the trademark owners onto the backs of domain name registrants and the DNS registration industry. (It is amazing how often the trademark industry forgets that the purpose of trademarks is to protect the consumer's right and ability to identify goods and services and to distinguish such goods and services from one another.. The trademark industry forgets that trademarks are intended to benefit the customer, not the seller, and that any benefit to the seller is merely incidental.) more

Explaining China's IPv9

Recently, the news that China is adopting IPv9 is making rounds on the Internet. While some of them write off as an April Fool's joke (in July?) like RFC 1606, other wonders if there are more than meets its eyes. But most of them wonders what is this IPv9 and how does it actually works. And some of the English translated article are so badly done that it is impossible to get any useful technical information except that 'It is developed and supported by Chinese government!' more

An Interview with the Lead Developer of SPF - Part II

CircleID recently interviewed Meng Weng Wong, the lead developer of Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and founder of Pobox.com. As one of the leading anti spam authentication schemes, SPF is used by companies such as AOL, Earthlink, SAP and supported by anti spam companies such as Sophos, Symantec, Brightmail, IronPort, Ciphertrust, MailArmory, MailFrontier, Roaring Penguin Software, and Communigate Pro. Last month, Microsoft announced its agreement to merge Caller ID, its own proposed anti spam authentication scheme, with SPF -- the joint standard is called 'Sender ID'. In this two-part interview, Meng Wong explains how SPF got started, where it is today and what could be expected in the future of email. more

An Interview with the Lead Developer of SPF - Part I

CircleID recently interviewed Meng Weng Wong, the lead developer of Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and founder of Pobox.com. As one of the leading anti spam authentication schemes, SPF is used by companies such as AOL, Earthlink, SAP and supported by anti spam companies such as Sophos, Symantec, Brightmail, IronPort, Ciphertrust, MailArmory, MailFrontier, Roaring Penguin Software, and Communigate Pro. Last month, Microsoft announced its agreement to merge Caller ID, its own proposed anti spam authentication scheme, with SPF -- the joint standard is called 'Sender ID'. In this two-part interview, Meng Wong explains how SPF got started, where it is today and what could be expected in the future of email. more

DNS WHOIS: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

As the Internet has grown and matured, it has become obvious to everyone involved that the DNS Whois system, as it currently exists, is not a sustainable way to share contact information for resolving network problems. ICANN, in an attempt to save DNS Whois, has plunged head long into the process of developing new policies aimed at fixing it. While I respect all of the hard work that has gone into this process, the results thus far have only made it clearer that this system faces intractable problems. more

Internet Meltdown?

Is the internet on the verge of a meltdown? A non-profit organization, People For Internet Responsibility (PFIR), is concerned that there is the risk of "imminent disruption, degradation, unfair manipulation, and other negative impacts on critical Internet services..." PFIR believes that the "red flag" warning signs of a potential meltdown include "attempts to manipulate key network infrastructures such as the domain name system; lawsuits over Internet regulatory issues... ever-increasing spam, virus, and related problems..." more

Domain Name Proxy Service Not Inherently Evil

In the recent court decision of CyBerCorp Holding v. Allman case, although the registrant of the domain name 'cybertraderlive.com' did lose the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) case and was found to have acted in bad faith (having been a former customer of complainant), the decision is noteworthy as it finds that registrant's use of proxy service to keep contact information private, in and of itself is not evidence of bad faith... more

Phone Always Busy? Must be DDoS on VoIP Network

Amidst the fascinating news from the SCO saga, preparing for SANS London and contributing to the Unix timeline project at Grokline my eyes caught a piece of rather distressing news on the BBC. It appears that BT (British Telecom) intends to move its current phone network to an IP-based network by 2009 thereby sending the circuit-switched technology off to the attic. The real question is: can we guarantee the same level of reliability on VoIP as we had on circuit-switched telephony when the stated aim is to carry both voice and data traffic down the same cables (or fibres more likely)? more

Recent WHOIS Report Overlooking Fundamental Issue?

Each Task Force recently published a report posted on ICANN's website on recommendations for modifications or improvements to WHOIS. The Task Force recommendations include proposals ranging from a recommendation to notify those who may be included in the database of the possible uses of WHOIS data to one that recommends ICANN offer the Internet community "tiered access" to serve as a vague mechanism to balance privacy against the needs of public access. Too many of the recommendations seem to be framed by those who view Internet users with hostility, such as the recommendation to punish domain name users when a domain name is cancelled or suspended for "false contact data," by canceling all other registrations with identical contact data. more

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