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Security and Fort N.O.C.'s

In an article by MSNBC called "Fort N.O.C.'s" [Network Operating Center] Brock N. Meeks reports: "The unassuming building that houses the "A" root sits in a cluster of three others; the architecture looks as if it were lifted directly from a free clip art library. No signs or markers give a hint that the Internet's most precious computer is inside humming happily away in a hermetically sealed room. This building complex could be any of a 100,000 mini office parks littering middle class America." ...It is hardly the "most precious computer"!!!  more

ITU Workshop on Internet Governance

The World Summit on the Information Society will hold its first workshop on internet governance in late February, it has emerged. ...The WSIS, backed by the UN and its International Telecommunications Union, said this week that it will hold the workshop February 26 and 27 at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. more

ALAC on New Domain Registry Services

This is a preliminary input for the current policy-development process on "new registry services" that was prepared by ALAC members; Jonathan Weinberg has provided input and comments in response to earlier drafts. The ALAC is currently soliciting comments on this text. Comments can be submitted either to CircleID (see comment section), or to the ALAC's public comment address at forum@alac.icann.org. ..."In the present document, we will focus on substantive criteria to be used by ICANN in evaluating requests to review proposed changes to the architecture or operation of a gTLD registry. We are, however, not stating any opinion about the kinds of requests that ICANN currently has the authority (or obligation) to consider." more

Why NAT Isn't As Bad As You Thought

Please do sit down. Should the shock cause you to suddenly lose consciousness, I hereby disclaim all responsibility for any subsequent loss or injury. I'm about to defend the anthrax of the Internet: NAT. Network Address Translation is a hack to enable private IP addresses on one side of a router (inside your network) to talk to public IP addresses on the other side (on the Internet, outside your network). It really doesn't matter how it works. The consequence is that unless the router is specifically configured, outsiders can't get in uninvited. So those on the inside can't, by default, act as servers of any service to the outside world. more

TLD Operators: Cleaning Up Lame Delegations

ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SECSAC) recently released some recommendations regarding the DNS infrastructure, specifying among other things, that sub-zone delegation be kept up-to-date. ...The SECSAC report doesn't mention, but I believe is trying to address, is the alarming fact that nearly 10% of the name servers listed in the root zone are lame, either they aren't authoritative for the zones they are supposed to be, or they are unreachable much of the time.
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Report on Distribution Analysis of Internationalized Domain Names

In December 2003, the testing phase of Multilingual domains also known as Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), went live with the addition of over 350,000 multilingual domains to the .com and .net registries. As of 1st January 2004, the .com registry contained 300,409 IDN's, whereas the .net registry had 79,630 IDN's, representing around 1.25% of the total .com and .net domains. WebHosting.Info has analyzed these 380,039 IDN domains that are now live, and provided a detailed insight on trends and patterns across these domains. more

Future of Internet Navigation and DNS: The NAS Study

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has been studying the issue of Internet navigation and the DNS. The study was undertaken at the request of Congress to "provide analysis and advice for consideration by agencies of the U.S. Government, interested international institutions, and other stakeholders." In addition to examining technological issues, the study is also considering "relevant legal, economic, political, and social issues...because technologies related to the DNS and Internet navigation do not operate in isolation, but must be deployed within a complex and challenging national and international context."  more

The Debate Continues: Geist Replies to CENTR Response

While this may be better suited as a comment to the CENTR posting, I thought that its length might warrant a separate submission. Many thanks to CircleID for hosting this interesting discussion. Below is the full text of a comment I forwarded to CENTR earlier today in reply to its commentary on my recent study on national governments and ccTLDs. ...I should also preface my remarks by noting that I speak for myself -- not the ITU (see below), nor CIRA, (a CENTR member ) on which I serve on the board of directors, nor the Public Interest Registry, which manages the dot-org domain and on which I serve on the Global Advisory Council. more

CENTR Replies to ITU Study on ccTLD Governance

The Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR) announced today their response to Professor Michael Geist's draft survey report "Government and country-code top level Domains: A global survey", which was conducted on behalf of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in December 2003. "In the last decade the general trend has been to de-regulate markets in the Communications Industry, which continues to stimulate economic growth and innovation, and it seems perverse that this ITU supported report is seeking to go against the proven successful trend," said Paul Kane, chairman of CENTR. more

URLs, IP Numbers, and Speech

There's a great fight going on right now in Philadelphia...The case is about a Pennsylvania statute [PDF] that mandates that Pennsylvania ISPs remove access to sites that the AG believes contain child pornography. Now, child pornography is abhorrent and any ISP will cooperate in taking down such sites that it is hosting. But the problem is that in complying with the statute with respect to sites the ISPs don't themselves host, ISPs are (rationally) using either IP blocking ("null routing") or "domain poisoning" techniques, both of which (particularly the IP number blocking) result in rendering inaccessible millions of perfectly legal sites. more

Misunderstanding ICANN

Harvard Law School's distinguished Berkman Center for Internet & Society has published a preliminary study, "Public Participation In ICANN." ...The problem with the preliminary study is that it fundamentally misunderstands the role of ICANN in Internet governance. Specifically, ICANN's duty is not and should not be to simply carry out the will of the "Internet user community." Instead, ICANN's duty is to carry out the responsibilities the organization agreed to in its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and contract with the Department of Commerce. This does not mean that ICANN should exclude stakeholder views. more

Letting DNS Loose

RFID tags, UPC codes, International characters in email addresses and host names, and a variety of other identifiers could all go into DNS, and folks have occasionally proposed doing just that. Its really just a question of figuring out how to use the DNS -- its ready to carry arbitrary identifiers. And by the way, this isn't a new idea, see RFC 1101 for proof, although even earlier I designed the DNS in the early 1980s to allow it to be so, but it seemed too far fetched to document for a while. ...I was in Geneva for a WSIS meeting of CTOs, and was surprised that the various organizations (ITU, ICANN, ISOC) haven't figured out that they need each other to make this technology work, rather than asserting ownership. more

What the Net Did Next

During this slow and long lull of domain name policy and ICANN related news stories, I thought it would be a good time to bring an article by BBC News Online technology correspondent Mark Ward to the attention of the CircleID community. In it, ICANN Chairman of the Board Vint Cerf reflects on the history of the Internet and his involvement as somewhat of a "midwife," rather than the "father" title he doesn't like. He also looks to the future and identifies two key, fundamental changes that will shape the next stage of the Internet. As he puts it, they are VoIP and ENUM. more

WSIS: What Is It 'Really' All About?

Until a few weeks ago, almost everyone in the Internet governance circus seemed to ignore the very existence of WSIS. After it popped up on international newspapers, however, things have been changing; and suddenly, I have started noticing plenty of negative reactions, on the lines of "we don't need WSIS, we don't need the UN, we don't need governments, we don't need internationalization - just go away from our network". However, I often find that these reactions are based on fundamental misunderstandings of the issues at stake; so please let me offer a different perspective. more

A Psychoanalysis of Corporate Domain Names and Branding - Part II

Naming for today's global e-commerce is very fragmented and every corporation is trying to cope with little or no guidance at all. When a name fails to deliver a clear and distinct message no amount of bizarre branding ideas will ever save it. Now to check on the health of a name here are some key reasons and if not corrected, a name will endlessly shout and eventually die. more

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