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How India's .IN Domain Rouses from its Slumber

India is one of the world's fastest growing economies, the global leader in outsourcing and the service computing, and home to over a billion people. But when I first met officials from the Indian government to discuss their plans for .IN, India had a total of just about 7,000 .IN registrations, fewer than most small countries have. ...(Compare to 100,000 names registered last month alone) This is one of the most rapid starts of any domain worldwide. In my conversations with senior officials of the Indian Government and the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) which manages the .IN Registry, they credited three key decisions that proved critical to the success of the domain's re-launch... more

Meeting Growing Demands of Domain Name Space

This post will explain why ICANN and the domain industry should foster and encourage the use of third-level domain name spaces to benefit the domain name industry and as a way to meet the growing demand for easy-to-remember URLs. ...The Internet was originally envisioned to be hierarchical in nature. The Domain Name System came into being out of a need for easy-to-remember network addresses. ...Although benefits have come out of the creation of the new TLDs, a simple, obvious, important, existing solution is largely being overlooked by the domain name industry... more

Why Restricted TLDs Should Not Be Gatecrashed

In recent weeks, thousands of what ICANN describes as "questionable" registrations have been activated... Let me illustrate: Mr. ICANN decides to hold a party. He has decided that he only wants to ask some of his professional friends to come, so they are asked to bring their party invites with them to prove they've been invited, because poor Mr. ICANN has had trouble before with people gatecrashing his parties. At a sunrise party he'd held a few years ago, all kinds of people had gatecrashed and no-one had asked to see their invites and it was dreadful. So Mr. ICANN hires a bouncer to stand guard at the front door of his house. The bouncer, Johnny Registry, assures Mr. ICANN that no-one will get in without an invite... more

.EU TLD Comes Closer Than Ever to Becoming a Reality

With much awaited fanfare, .EU is inching ever closer to becoming real! I am a bit reluctant to say it is actually here until the gates are actually open, but I can imagine that there are many who are grateful as I am that the process has gotten as far as it has. On March 23rd, 2005, ICANN announced that they had approved an agreement earlier that week with EURid to have .eu added to the root zone... more

Spirit of .Pro, Where Art Thou?

On March 2, EnCirca launched its ProForwarding leasing service for .pro domains. When we launched the service, we were sure that the ProForwarding service would appeal to a segment of the internet community not being served well by other extensions: self-employed professionals and other small businesses. Based on the response we've received, it appears we were right. It also caught the attention of ICANN and others, who accused us of "violating the spirit of .pro". Does .pro even have a spirit? And if it does, who gets to decide what it is? more

Whois Privacy vs. Anonymity

The Internet is often a lawless place. Everyone knows that there are many tricks and traps lurking on the Internet, just waiting to prey on unsuspecting and innocent users. Some of these traps will trash your computer while others will turn your PC into a zombie that will broadcast messages at the virus writer's command. ...The list of annoyances and downright criminal activities seem endless. ...To make the Internet a safer place both legislators and law enforcement are now focusing on the Internet. In the crossfire that's taking place there are many ideas that are being offered up. Some of them are good and some are not. One bad decision that was recently forced upon the Internet community (without hearings -- more on this later) was to eliminate private domain name registrations for .US domain names. ...It's important to understand the difference between privacy and anonymity. more

Shambles at the .Pro Registry

Registration of .Pro domains has descended into shambles as the Registry responsible for their administration has allowed a flood of domain registrations which appear to be in breach of the strict rules restricting who can register a .pro domain and the certified credentials required before any such domain can work. more

Protecting Brands from Phishers No Easy Task

Just in case you've been out of the country for the last 12 months, a new scourge is hitting the Internet and the world of email and it's called phishing. The Anti-Phishing Working Group defines phishing as identity theft "attacks using 'spoofed' e-mails and fraudulent Websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords..." According to various experts, the incidents of phishing are rising at an alarming rate: there were 13,000 unique phishing attacks in January alone - that's a 42 percent surge over the previous month. The real problem is that phishing works. more

IDN Parody on verisign.com

Guilllaume Rischard setup a parody on verisign.com using the IDN spoofing trick. He managed to get one registrar to register verisign.com with a cyrillic S (U+0405) (ie xn--veriign-mog.com :-) This actually started in #joiito a couple of weeks ago after the Eric published the spoofing attack paper. A joke was made that it would be funny if someone did it to verisign.com and so he did. I suppose I could rant why VeriSign should adopt the JET Guideline (or ICANN Guidelines) but this parody would send a louder message. more

Protecting the Internet: Certified Attachments and Reverse Firewalls?

In many respects the internet is going to hell in a hand basket. Spam, phishing, DNS poisoning, DDoS attacks, viruses, worms, and the like make the net a sick place. It is bad enough that bad folks are doing this. But it is worse that just about every user computer on the net offers a nice fertile place for such ill behavior to be secretly planted and operated as a zombie under the control of a distant and unknown zombie farmer. ...Some of us are coming to the converse point of view that the net is being endangered by the masses of ill-protected machines operated by users. more

What is 'Pharming' and Should You Be Worried?

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! ...or is it? What is this thing called "pharming"? Put simply, it's redirection of web traffic, so that the server you think you're talking to actually belongs to a criminal. For example: you think you're talking to www.examplebank.com because it says so in the browser's address bar, but actually you're connected to www.mafia-R-us.ru. This can happen in three main ways: 1. DNS Hijack: a social engineering attack on the Internet infrastructure... more

The Net-Net on Dot Net

ICANN has posted its suggested .net agreement [PDF]. The new draft puts the ICANN Board and the Names Council firmly in control of the registry's future, and represents a substantial change to the existing registry contracts. No one gave ICANN the power to do this, and it is strange that no approval by anyone -- including the US Dept of Commerce -- is being sought to make this happen. ICANN is taking the occasion of the .net rebid to restructure its entire relationship to the world. more

Innovation in DNS Business

One thing that amazed me about the ICANN community is the creativeness in finding new business models. I am not even talking about new technology like Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), the number of business models created from the vanilla DNS (actually just .com) are just mind boggling. ICANN was formed in 1999 and introduced the concept of registries and registrars model to the DNS business. With that, we witness the rise of register.com, an IPO darling in the dotcom days, in the early 2000s and subsequently overtaken by the ultra-cheap high-volume reseller model of GoDaddy. We also see new registries like .info and .biz and several others that didn't do so well. There are also after-market (aka ebay) for domain names like afternic and registry outsourcing, DNS hosting, Dynamic DNS etc. That's about what most outsiders know of DNS business models, mostly revolved around the registry-registrar-reseller model. But there are really more and I shall discuss two not-so-well-known but interesting models below. more

URLs: Ontologically Speaking

I was reading David Weinberger's reports on how the New York Times is planning on tackling its "link rot" problem where articles slip behind the pay-wall. Part of their solution appears to be to replace articles with their summaries. As usual, this got me thinking about telephony. Why don't phone calls and callers have URIs or URLs? ...Let's take addressing the endpoints first. Obviously, ENUM is one way of "Internetising" the phone number address space. more

Domain Owners Lose Privacy

As facts unfold, and the NTIA's decision to take away our privacy comes to light, it is interesting to see the NTIA struggling to explain its decision. Keep in mind that an "as yet to be identified" bureaucrat made this decision to take away your privacy, did it without notice, and without holding hearings. Those affected were not given an opportunity to explain how the loss of privacy would negatively affect them. Quite simply, this is NOT how our government is supposed to work. We should be outraged... more

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