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Cloud Computing Can Make You More Secure

The number one concern cited for avoiding cloud computing is security. And there is a reason for that. Cloud providers have demonstrated some spectacular failures in the past, including Amazon's near total shutdown of an entire region, Dropbox's authentication snafu, and innumerous cloud providers that go belly-up. However, in the long run, cloud computing is destined to become more secure than in-house IT. I will briefly describe two dynamics in the industry that point in that direction, with substantiating evidence. more»

What the US Government Said About IANA in Singapore

Two weeks ago, the US government announced it would transition its role in the IANA functions to the global Internet community. It tasked ICANN with the job of arriving at a transition plan and noted that the current contract runs out in 18 months' time, 30 September 2015. This week, ICANN started that process at its meeting in Singapore. And on the ground were the two key US government officials behind the decision. more»

IANA: The World Loses if the Technical Industry Checks Out

On Friday, 14 March 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intention to transition the IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community. As expected, the announcement has sent adrenaline coursing through the veins of Internet governance experts and government policy people the world over. I'd argue, however, that it is an important point for the Internet's technical experts to sit up and take notice, as well: the fact that you are probably saying "what problem does this solve?" is a testimony to how much works well today, and we want to make sure it continues to work well in any future arrangements. more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. more»

Registration Numbers Not the Only Success Measure for New TLDs

Like many, I've been watching the rollout of the first 150+ new Top-Level Domains (TLD) with interest. Since the delegation of شبكة. back in October, we've seen all sorts of TLDs launched -- from brands like .monash to generics like .build. There has been intense scrutiny within our industry on the zone file registration numbers of these delegated TLDs to measure whether or not they are successful. To be fair, this is not a surprise. We've been conditioned by past generic TLD launches to focus on registration numbers. more»

Internet Governance: What Does It Mean, Anyway?

Ask anyone involved in Internet policy what "Internet Governance" means and you're likely to get a different answer, despite the fact that a decade ago, after torturous negotiations, the international community agreed on a working definition for the term (if a vague one). The lack of clarity has resulted in a policy space that appears to cover more and more subjects, with less and less agreement the more it spreads. In discussions recently on the /1net email list, I've seen proposals for an 'Internet Governance Roadmap' that includes delivering e-health initiatives, solving mass surveillance, and adopting new measures for taxation of Internet commerce - to name just a few. more»

Internet Governance Back in the Limelight

In my special role as adviser to the UN Broadband Commission I reported extensively in 2013 on the WCIT-12 conference in Dubai. Unfortunately the world disagreed on a way forward in relation to internet governance. However, despite all the grandstanding of the USA and its western allies, simply ignoring it and saying "there is no room for governments to be involved in internet governance" - will not make the issue go away. more»

Yahoo Addresses a Security Problem by Breaking Every Mailing List in the World

DMARC is what one might call an emerging e-mail security scheme. It's emerging pretty fast, since many of the largest mail systems in the world have already implemented it, including Gmail, Hotmail/MSN/Outlook, Comcast, and Yahoo. DMARC lets a domain owner make assertions about mail that has their domain in the address on the 'From:' line. It lets the owner assert that mail will have a DKIM signature with the same domain, or an envelope return (bounce) address in the same domain that will pass SPF validation. more»

Finishing What We Started: A Level Playing Field for New gTLDs

While the Internet governance debate devours headlines, it's almost easy to forget that ICANN is in the midst of the most audacious and important policy process it has ever undertaken. And while many new generic top-level domains are now live, the process of ensuring the best opportunity to fulfill their potential is not yet complete. We recently reached the milestone of 280,000 registrations in the Donuts gTLDs that are currently generally available. more»

The Path Forward: Accountability Through the IANA Transition

It's clear that the US government is intent on dropping its legacy contractual role for the IANA functions. Whatever your views on the wisdom or timing of that decision, the challenge now is to ensure that the transition leaves ICANN in the best possible position to succeed. Arriving yesterday to the island nation of Singapore felt strangely appropriate. Over the past week I've been one of the lonely people in the ICANN community to express concern about the US government's decision. more»

Interconnection Disputes Are Network Neutrality Issues (of Netflix, Comcast, and the FCC)

A lot of people have been talking about the "interconnection" deal between Comcast and Netflix and whether that deal is related to network neutrality. (It is.) This question comes partly because the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order (also known as the network neutrality order) was recently struck down. So network neutrality lands back at the FCC, with a new Open Internet proceeding, at the same time Netflix starts working so poorly on Comcast that Netflix had to cut a special deal with Comcast. more»

Competition Is Sexy - Separation or Integration of the Domain Name Sales Channel?

Back in the early days of the public Internet, Network Solutions had a monopoly on .com, .org., and .net domain registrations and charged $100 per domain for a 2-year registration. Growing complaints about that predatory pricing was one of the factors that led to ICANN's creation. NetSol established an internal "firewall" in 1998 and its wholesale prices soon dropped to $6 per domain. VeriSign acquired NetSol for $21 billion in 2000, and then sold off the registrar side of the business to private equity in 2003. more»

Questions and No Answers to US Oversight transition, ICANN's Role and Future of Internet Governance

Traditionally, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Domain Name System (DNS)... ICANN has also evolved in its structures to use the 'Multistakeholder Model' in the dissemination of some of its functions and this has seen the creation of working groups and constituencies. more»

Black Helicopters for the DNS: What Happens In 2025?

When Steve delBianco from NetChoice testified (April 2, 2014) in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the US House of Representatives on "Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet", he proposed a stresstest for new mechanisms which could substitute the role of the NTIA in overseeing the IANA contract with ICANN. Stresstests are good. It is good for cars, it is good for banks and it is good for new mechanisms... more»

Open Source Software Is the Worst Kind Except for All of the Others

Heartbleed, for anyone who doesn't read the papers, is a serious bug in the popular OpenSSL security library. Its effects are particularly bad, because OpenSSL is so popular, used to implement the secure bit of https: secure web sites on many of the most popular web servers such as apache, nginx, and lighttpd. A few people have suggested that the problem is that OpenSSL is open source, and code this important should be left to trained professionals. They're wrong. more»

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