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Sender ID: A Tale of Open Standards and Corporate Greed? - Part I

A long long time ago when the Internet was still young and most people were still using clunky Apples, PCs and mainframes; two documents were published by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), part of the US Government's Department of Defense. They were called "RFC 821 - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol" and "RFC 822 - Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages" respectively. Written by the John Postel and Dave Crocker respectively, often referred to as some of the founding fathers of the Internet, they defined a simple text-based email system for the use of the fledging network then called the "ARPA Internet"... more

ICANN UDRP and Contract Disputes

When domain name conflicts between manufacturers and distributors rest on contractual disputes over the use of the trademark owners' marks, ICANN UDRP panels have frequently denied relief. See generally the cases cited and discussed in Western Holdings, LLC v. JPC Enterprise, LLC d/b/a Cutting Edge Fitness and d/b/a Strivectin SD Sales & Distribution, D2004-0426 (WIPO August 5, 2004) by Mark Partridge as sole panelist. The decision summarizes other ICANN UDRP decisions involving contractual disputes. For instance... more

VeriSign's Anti-Trust Claim Against ICANN Dismissed

ICANN confirmed today that Judge A. Howard Matz of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California has issued an order dismissing VeriSign, Inc.'s anti-trust claims against ICANN, with prejudice. In dismissing VeriSign's anti-trust claims, Judge Matz noted that VeriSign had failed in its first amended complaint to sufficiently allege an anti-trust claim. more

Why Mexico Lost Fight Over Mexico.com Domain Name

In a recent decision, a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) domain name arbitration panel dismissed a complaint filed by the Mexican Tourist Board (MTB) against Latin America Telecom (LAT) concerning the domain name "mexico.com." The panel went so far as to find that the complaint was brought in "bad faith" and made a finding of attempted "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" against the MTB. ...In its complaint, the MTB argued that LAT had registered the domain name in "bad faith" in order to sell it for a profit at a later date. more

What's Wrong With Spam Prosecutions

Spam these days is more than an annoyance -- it increasingly carries malware payloads that can do serious damage to your PC, steal your identity, or turn your PC into a zombie that carries out denial of service attacks. So anything that law enforcement can do to fight spam should be a good thing, right? Well, not quite, as I'll explain. more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part III

This is the final part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "You have been visiting WSIS as a member of the German delegation. Could you share some of your personal impressions with us? Did you primarily look at WSIS as an ICT circus for governmental officials and development experts or was there something, no matter how futile, at stake there?..." more

A Closer Look at the Katie.com Domain Name Controversy

Every time an individual logs on to the Internet a pornographer is able to copy the stream of digital bits created by the computer user's Internet connection. The data bits are used to compile a database of information about Internet user buying habits and sexual tastes. These pornographers use the information secretly collected from logged in computers to alter the category or type of pornographic images uploaded onto various websites. Pornographers, for example, know that as a result the pornography in Cyberspace is of an extremely disturbing sort when compared to porn found in "real-space." Internet users are primarily known fans of sexual images of incest, bestiality, and torture. Cyber porn -- as it is often called -- is bigger, badder, and more extreme.  more

Averting the Internet Meltdown

A call to action went out: a small, California-based organization called People for Internet Responsibility (PFIR) posted an announcement for an urgent conference - "Preventing the Internet Meltdown." The meltdown that PFIR envisioned was not an impending technical malfunction or enemy attack. Instead, conference organizers foresaw "risks of imminent disruption" to the Internet that would come from an unlikely sector: government officials and bureaucrats working on the unglamorous-sounding problems of Internet Governance. more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part II

This is the second part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "So much in the current debates over global governance seems to go back to the issue what place governments and individual nation states have within global governance. What has been your ICANN experience? Ideally, what would be the place of the state? Do you believe in a federal structure? Should, for instance, bigger countries, in terms of its population, have a great say?..." more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part I

This is the first part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "You recently published a paper (in German) called 'The Short Dream of Democracy on the Net.' Your conclusion is a rather sombering one. How would you describe the current situation related to ICANN? You state that nothing has been learned from the failed At-Large Membership experiment. Would you even go that far and see a backlash happening right now?..." more

Personal Names, Politics and Cybersquatting

Thinking about the www.kerryedwards.com auction reminds one of the uneasy relationship between personal names, politics and cybersquatting. When reporters learned that the domain name was taken by Kerry Edwards, the Indiana bail bondsman, at least some headlines were quick to brand Mr. Edwards' conduct as cybersquatting. The Chicago Sun-Times, for example, ran the headline "Kerry Edwards is the Name, Cybersquatting is the Game." Mr. Edwards, of course, had registered his own name as a domain name long before Kerry picked Edwards as a running mate. more

Domain Registry Models: Thin or Thick?

The domain registrars discussion -- despite the occasional bizarrity -- mostly demonstrates that there is no unanimity among registrars on this issue. So, what arguments can be made in favor of either model, from a registrant's point of view? The thick domain registry model -- under the assumption that registries are more diligent with registrant data than some registrars may be -- helps take care of escrow concerns... more

Spam and the Introduction Problem

IBM researcher Nathaniel Borenstein has commented that everyone agrees that spam is bad, and that's a huge impediment to doing anything about it. Having decided that spam is bad, it's tempting to divide the spam problem into smaller problems and try to solve the smaller problems, then put the solutions to the subproblems together and, voila, no more spam. That would be fine if the combined subproblems were truly equivalent to the spam problem, but that's rarely the case. more

KerryEdwards.com Buyers Get Second Chance

The widely publicized auction of the domain name KerryEdwards.com ended Saturday night, but the search for a new owner continues. According to Matt Bentley, CEO of Sedo.com, the domain name brokerage managing the sale, a key bidder withdrew at a late stage in the auction, leaving the domain up for grabs among the dozen or so parties who had expressed a serious interest in purchasing the domain. more

Interview with United Nations Head Secretariat of WGIG

Markus Kummer, Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance, is a career diplomat, who has served as eEnvoy of the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern since April 2002. His main tasks include foreign policy coordination in the area of information and communication technologies, in general, and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), in particular. He chaired the negotiating group that developed an agreed text on Internet governance for the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action in December 2003... Mr Kummer says: "The time-frame is very short indeed. And the task ahead of us is daunting." more

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