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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

Email Address Forgery

In my roles as postmaster at CAUCE (the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) and abuse.net, I get a lot of baffled and outraged mail from people who have discovered that someone is sending out spam, often pornographic spam, with their return address on the From: line. "How can they do that? How do I make them stop?'' The short answers are "easily'' and "it's nearly impossible.'' more

Search Engine Optimization: Static IP vs. Dynamic IP Addresses

This is a hotly debated topic. Some Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs) claim that sites with a static IP address rank higher while other SEOs claim that shared hosting is just fine... that it would be stupid for search engines to penalize shared hosting since we are running out of IP addresses and so many sites are currently using name based hosting. ...I decided to run it through our statistical analysis engine to get the facts. Here is the methodology I used to answer this question. more

Data Reveals Domain Name Registrations Have Hit All-Time Highs

In a report released today, VeriSign has stated that more than 4.7 million new domain names registered during the first quarter of 2004 -- highest ever recorded in a three-month period. "The profile reveals that more than 63 million domain names have now been registered, approximately one for every 100 people living in the world today. This number is greater than at any time in the Internet's history, surpassing even the heights that were seen during the Internet "bubble." Moreover, data reveal that the current base of domain names is being utilized more actively than ever before, as measured by renewal rates, look-up rates, and the percentage of domain names tied to live sites." more

Does ICANN's New Proposed Budget Harm Competition?

Despite the stated commitment to meeting their obligations to the government, ICANN's proposed budget may potentially breach the MoU. Specifically, the MoU commits ICANN to "perform as an organization founded on the principles of competition..." However, an alliance of at least 50 Registrars claims that the new Registrar fee structure contained in the proposed budget would significantly harm competition.  more

Friction-Free Commerce, Spam-Free Future

I'm sitting here at the Inbox conference on e-mail, and listening to an encouraging, plays-nicely-with-other-children talk from Ryan Hamlin, GM of anti-spam technology and strategy at Microsoft. Over the past couple of months, with evidence abounding at this conference, a number of big industry players have been getting together to fight spam. Most significantly, Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL - plus a bunch of (other) ISPs are getting together behind a single standard for "Sender ID " - (actually, server authentication) name not yet determined... more

80% of Spam Originating from Home PCs

The majority of spam -- as much as 80 per cent of all unsolicited marketing messages sent -- now emanates from residential ISP networks and home user PCs. This is due to the proliferation of spam trojans, bits of surreptitious malware code embedded in residential subscriber PCs by worms and spyware programs. Worm attacks are growing in frequency because they provide a fast means of infecting a vast number of computers with spam trojans in a very short period of time. It's no surprise that many service providers report an upsurge in spam traffic immediately following a worm attack. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part III

"Competitive Bidding for new gTLDs" is the focus of part three of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...When new radio frequencies become available for commercial use, federal law requires that licenses be auctioned off to the highest qualified bidder. The FCC does a reasonably good job in designing and conducting spectrum auctions. They are often familiar in format, not much different than found for consumer goods on eBay. In other cases, such as with "Simultaneous Multiple-Round" or "combinatorial bidding," the auction design is fairly complex. Because of complexity in these cases, the FCC sponsors periodic conferences on auction theory and seminars on auction mechanics for potential bidders. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part II

"Comparisons with Telecommunications Policy" is the focus of part two of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...In the United States, an independent federal agency, under the direction of Congress, is charged with developing and implementing policies governing the major telecommunications industries. These include broadcast radio and television, wireline and wireless telephony, and video distribution via cable, wireless, and satellite. One might wonder why the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") does not likewise have jurisdiction, at least in the US, over perhaps the most significant telecommunications industry -- the Internet. more

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