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SiteFinder vs. Engineers: Our Mistake Is Ignorance

We, as the Internet engineering community, have made a great mistake. Actually, it wasn't even one large mistake, but a series of small ones. Engineers are busy people, and most of us work under the constraints of the organizational entities we serve (be it ISPs, non-internet corporates, or even non-profits). Few of us have time for politics; even fewer have the desire and motivation for politics, and those of us who do try usually end up facing a brick wall of stubbornness, lack of understanding of the underlying technical issues, or just a deaf ear. more

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part II

This is the second part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part discusses the congressional concerns regarding ICANN's governance of the Internet. "Since 1999 Congress has repeatedly expressed serious concerns regarding ICANN's governance of the internet. Congress has substantial responsibility for overseeing the key aspects of internet governance. Among its specific responsibilities, Congress has the duty to oversee implementation of the Department of Commerce's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and contract with ICANN." more

Using Whois to Enforce Law?

Before starting I'd like to remind you that there are two distinct Whois systems -- the one for IP address delegations and one for DNS registrations. I believe that the former is a useful system in which there are clear utility values that outweigh the privacy costs, and in which the person whose privacy is exposed has made a knowing choice. I do not believe that these arguments apply to the latter, the DNS, form of Whois. more

Report on TLD Preference by Country

Which domain extensions do people prefer? How do these preferences vary by country? This article reports the results of a poll of domain extension preference by country of residence conducted from May through October, 2003 by Domain Name Journal and the DomainState forum. Approximately 133 people from 34 different countries participated. This poll has limitations that we will discuss, but it does measure the extension preferences of domain registrants and developers in a manner that has not been done elsewhere and it produces some interesting results. more

Privacy Alert: Watch Out For FOISA

This morning, at 10 am in 2141 Rayburn, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property is holding a hearing on "Internet Domain Name Fraud -- New Criminal and Civil Enforcement Tools." At that hearing, the Subcommittee will be considering a new Whois bill creating new penalties for people who provide false data when registering a domain name. We need to raise our collective eyebrows at this bill (which was suddenly dropped the evening before this hearing). The title of the bill is the "Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act." (FOISA) more

The Small, But Limitless World of .kids.us

Erica Wass is the editor and contributing author of the recently published book, "Addressing the World: National Identity and Internet Country Code Domains", (Rowman & Littlefield, October 2003). This book is an edited collection of original essays by domain name administrators, academics, journalists and lawyers that examine the connections between various cultures and the use and regulation of their country code domain names. This is the second part of a three-part series. "Congress and the President of the United States believed so much in the idea that the Internet needed a "safe zone" for children that they passed a law designating such a space. One year after its passage I sought to examine the development of the .kids.us name space. I found an initiative that has yet to live up to its potential, but has a limitless, albeit difficult future ahead." more

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part I

The first part of a multi-part series report by ICANNfocus. This part discusses the history of the data quality act. "The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) has determined that ICANN is subject to the Data Quality Act. Specifically, because ICANN carries out the technical management of the internet, including the IANA function and the implementation of new top level domains, under agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, ICANN's information disseminations are "sponsored" by the Department and thus subject to the Act." more

Paul Vixie on Fort N.O.C.'s

I wish to correct several misstatements made by Brock Meeks in his article, "Fort N.O.C.'s", published January 20. I am speaking as an operator of the "F" root name server which was mentioned several times in this story. ..."A" root is not special in any way. Our "F" root server receives updates from an unrelated server called SRS which is operated under contract from the US Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These updates are received by all 13 root name servers, with "A" root a peer of the other 12, having no special capability or importance. If any one of these 13 servers (including "A" root) were temporarily unavailable due to a failure or disaster, there would be no noticeable impact on the Internet as a whole. more

ISC Changes Name to Internet Systems Consortium

Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), formerly Internet Software Consortium, has changed its name to better reflect the new direction of the organization. The renamed company has expanded the mission of the original ISC to include more focus on Global DNS operations. In addition to developing and maintaining production quality Open Source software, such as BIND and DHCP, ISC will now enhance the stability of the global DNS through reliable F-root nameserver operations and ongoing operation of a DNS crisis coordination center, ISC's OARC for DNS; and further protocol development efforts, particularly in the areas of DNS evolution and facilitating the transition to IPv6. more

New Instance of DNS Root Server Makes Internet History

For the first time in Internet history the number of instances of DNS root servers outside the United States has overtaken the number within. The balance was tipped by the recent launch in Frankfurt of an anycast instance of the RIPE NCC operated K-root server. The K-root server is one of the 13 DNS root servers that resolve lookups for domain names all over the world and form a critical part of the global Internet infrastructure. The K-root server has been operated by the RIPE NCC since 1997 when the first server was installed at the London Internet Exchange (LINX) in London, UK. more

ICC Paper on Clearing Up Confusion Over Internet Governance

I just wanted to call people's attention to this International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) paper on Internet governance. I don't endorse it; haven't actually read it yet, but their say will play a big role and should be widely known: "Coming barely a month after the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, and prepared by ICC's Commmission on E-Business, IT and Telecoms, the paper divides the issue of Internet governance into three main components - technical engineering, coordination of the names and numbers system and public policy matters." more

ICANN Subject to the Data Quality Act

CRE notified Dr. Twomey, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN, of the applicability of the Data Quality Act to ICANN in a detailed letter of October 29th. CRE asked ICANN for a meeting to discuss the issue of the applicability of the Data Quality Act to ICANN since CRE received no communication in response to the letter. In mid-December ICANN agreed to a January 23rd meeting with CRE. Notwithstanding CRE's trip to ICANN's headquarters in California for the scheduled meeting, the organization refused at the last moment to meet with CRE. CRE now knows how Dr. Twomey felt when he was expelled from an ICANN-related planning meeting in Geneva. more

ALAC on WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Actions

The At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) has released this statement about the results of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). It is circulated for public comment, in view of subsequent statements to be released in the next months. At the World Summit on the Information Society held on December 10 to 12 in Geneva, the member states of the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action that include specific language on the issue of "Internet Governance". ICANN's At Large Advisory Committee welcomes the fact that these statements clearly recognize the role of civil society as a full participant in the international management of the Internet, and bring attention to the need for a deep involvement of individual users into its governance. more

Lights Going Out on the Internet? Not Just Yet

In his article titled, "End of Life Announcement", John Walker (author of the Speak Freely application) makes a few arguments about Network Address Translation (NAT) that are simply not true: "There are powerful forces, including government, large media organisations, and music publishers who think this situation is just fine. In essence, every time a user--they love the word "consumer"--goes behind a NAT box, a site which was formerly a peer to their own sites goes dark, no longer accessible to others on the Internet, while their privileged sites remain. The lights are going out all over the Internet. ...It is irresponsible to encourage people to buy into a technology which will soon cease to work." more

Security by Obscurity?

Ah yes, 'Security by obscurity': "Many people believe that 'security through obscurity' is flawed because... secrets are hard to keep." I'm glad the guys guarding the A Root Servers are up on the latest security trends. Of course, you could hide the A Root Servers at the heart of the Minotaur's maze, but they're still going to be "right over there" in cyberspace, at 198.41.0.29 more

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