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5G (and Telecom) vs. The Internet

5G sounds like the successor to 4G cellular telephony, and indeed that is the intent. While the progression from 2G to 3G, to 4G and now 5G seems simple, the story is more nuanced. At CES last month I had a chance to learn more about 5G (not to be confused with the 5Ghz WiFi) as well as another standard, ATSC 3.0 which is supposed to be the next standard for broadcast TV. more»

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more»

ICANN 58 Copenhagen: What to Expect

I don't know much about Copenhagen, except that Princess Mary of Denmark is really 'our' Princess Mary from Tasmania, Australia. The other thing I know is that it will be really cold. In terms of the ICANN meeting, there continues to be an element of dismay over the scheduling for this meeting, most notably reflected in a letter to ICANN's CEO from the GNSO Commercial Stakeholder Group. While it's good to get these issues on the table ... community should take ownership... more»

Ask Not What ICANN Can Do for You, But What You Can Do for ICANN

In recent weeks, you may have seen several articles asking that "ICANN", the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, move more expeditiously to open up the next application window for new gTLDs. As one commenter wrote "Ask a Board member or ICANN staff when they expect the next application window to open, and they will inevitably suggest 2020 -- another three years away. more»

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more»

WikiLeaks' Vault 7: CIA Gives a Free Lesson in Personal Cyber Security

WikiLeaks' newly released Vault 7 trove is a tantalizing study in how one of the world's premiere intelligence agencies hacks devices. Analysts and experts have signaled that this leak appears authentic based on some clues in the content. But while it may ultimately be comparable in size to the Snowden or Manning leaks, it lacks the "wow" factor that made those landmark whistleblowing cases so important. What lessons are to be learned from the leaks, and how should we apply them to our personal digital lives? more»

When Two Trademarks Aren't Confusingly Similar to One Trademark

As I've written before, domain name disputes involving multiple trademarks sometimes raise interesting issues, including whether a panel can order a domain name transferred to one entity without consent of the other. While panels typically have found ways to resolve this issue, one particularly troubling fact pattern arises when a panel denies a complaint simply because a disputed domain name contains trademarks owned by two different entities. more»

So Long, Farewell: The Worst DDoS Attacks of 2016

The year 2016 will go down in infamy for a number of reasons. It was the year an armed militia occupied an Oregon wildlife refuge, Britain voted to Brexit, an overarching event that will simply be referred to as The Election occurred, and Justin Bieber made reluctant beliebers out of all of us. 2016 was also the worst year on record for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by a margin that can only be considered massive. more»

And the Wait Continues for .Corp, .Home and .Mail Applicants

On 6 March 2017, ICANN's GDD finally responded to an applicant letter written on 14 August 2016 to the ICANN Board. This was not a response from the ICANN Board to the letter from 2016 but a response from ICANN staff. The content of this letter can best be described as a Null Response. It reminded the applicants that the Board had put the names on hold and was still thinking about what to do. more»

Draft 0.5 of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook

We all remember the nightmare of following the multiple versions of the "AGB" from the ICANN new gTLD program, and the time it took to get to the final version, which then took to allowing applicants to submit their new gTLD application, and which then took them to wait for their application to proceed... Welcome to version 0.5 of the next Applicant Guidebook. more»

Blockchain of Things Goes Global at ITU-T Dubai Meeting

Today, one of the world's largest Internet companies, Alibaba, together with a compelling array of other providers, vendors, and government bodies for the first time called for a visionary multilateral technical and operational "framework for a Blockchain of Things." The exceptionally thorough and comprehensive 23-page document, SG20-C.008, was submitted into the upcoming ITU-T SG20 Internet of Things (IoT) Study Group meeting at Dubai, 13j23 March -- the first group gathering in the organization's new 2017-2020 study period. more»

Agriculture At High-Speed: Project Updates on Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide

When farms are connected to the Internet, we all benefit. Agriculture that gains real-time information about plants, soil, atmosphere, and irrigation, dubbed "precision agriculture", can save farmers 20-30% of their water consumption while increasing productivity by 20-70%, according to Valley Vision. The San Francisco-Bay Area Internet Society Chapter is pleased to announce that we have started phase one of our collaborative project, "Bridging California's Rural/Urban Digital Divide with Mobile Broadband"... more»

Digital Geneva Convention: Multilateral Treaty, Multistakeholder Implementation

Microsoft's call for a Digital Geneva Convention, outlined in Smith's blog post, has attracted the attention of the digital policy community. Only two years ago, it would have been unthinkable for an Internet company to invite governments to adopt a digital convention. Microsoft has crossed this Rubicon in global digital politics by proposing a Digital Geneva Convention which should 'commit governments to avoiding cyber-attacks that target the private sector or critical infrastructure or the use of hacking to steal intellectual property'. more»

The Internet as Weapon

One of the most striking and enduring dichotomies in the conceptualization of electronic communication networks is summed up in the phrase "the Internet as weapon." With each passing day, it seems that the strident divergence plays in the press -- the latest being Tim's lament about his "web" vision being somehow perverted. The irony is that the three challenges he identified would have been better met if he had instead pursued a career at the Little Theatre of Geneva and let SGML proceed to be implemented on OSI internets rather than refactoring it as HTML to run on DARPA internets. more»

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