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Where is Metadata Anyway?

I can't help but think that the situation in this rather old joke applies very precisely to the current Australian efforts to compel network operators, through some contemplated regulatory instrument, to record and retain network-collected data about their customers' online activities. What I'd like to examine here the emerging picture that while networks, and network operators, make convenient targets for such surveillance efforts, the reality of today's IP network's are far more complex, and Internet networks are increasingly ignorant about what their customers do. more»

How to Translate a Gov't IPv6 Mandate Into an Action Plan: Guidance for National IPv6 Task Forces

Last year, I gave a short talk at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Forum in (Abuja, Nigeria) on this topic and I thought I'd offer more details here. Let's say an African government has realised that IPv4 address exhaustion imposes limits its country's ICT development. Initial investigations indicate that deploying IPv6 is the only sustainable solution. Governments are however not very skilled in the bottom-up approach that is popular in the Internet world. more»

Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control

After a long await, ICANN's senior management finally released its plan for "Enhancing Accountability" at the private California corporation that makes global Internet domain name policy. Unfortunately, the accountability deficit crisis created by ICANN's longstanding policy of purely "self-policing" with no meaningful external accountability mechanisms will not be solved by this weak plan for more self-policing. more»

Top 10 Tips for Building a TLD Affiliate Network Using Social Media

It makes the strategist in my heart sing when I see that most of the new gTLDs labeled generic are in fact words that speak to a specific niche. Most are even so specific that the average person, a friend sitting next to you at a dinner party, your parents, can understand how a space online dedicated to that word might be a reasonable option for that audience and the names they chose online. And then inevitably you are forced to trot along the path of 'what about .com??!' with said dinner party guest. more»

Is racing.com a Half-Million Dollar Mistake for Racing Victoria?

What's a domain name? What business function do they serve? Can a domain name generate ROI? I imagine these were the questions the Board of Racing Victoria asked before signing off on the purchase of racing.com to support a Victorian racing industry joint initiative to establish a digital media and content platform similar to that of the AFL. more»

iPhone 6 VoLTE Will Disrupt the Mobile Industry

As far back as 2011 we predicted that Apple would eventually enter the voice market. We indicated at that time that it was just a matter of time -- in the end it took another three years... While it didn't happen at Christmas that year the company is now ready and will use the VoLTE service to enter this market, which will make it possible to replace Telstra with any other mobile operator around the world... he telcos are not ready for this. While they should be seen as the leaders in the voice call market they are too preoccupied with protecting their traditional business and it is companies like Apple and Samsung who are now leading the charge. more»

African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) Streaming Live This Week From Dakar, Senegal

The 5th African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) gets underway today, August 26, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal, with a packed agenda full of sessions focused on the future of peering and interconnection in Africa. There are sessions targeted at Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), infrastructure providers, content creators and policy makers and regulators. The event goes through Thursday, August 28, 2014. more»

The Coding of Online Brand Protection

Moore's law postulates that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double every two years. That law has given us smartphones and other devices with astonishingly diverse capabilities at ever lower costs. However, while it does not encompass online brand infringement, many trademark managers feel that their task is likewise expanding at exponential speed and imposing escalating costs. Potential cybersquatting based in the more than one thousand new generic top level domains is only one new source of anxiety. While the jury is still out on the level of harmful cybersquatting and the efficacy of the new Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs, that ICANN program is hardly the only challenge. more»

Radical Shift of Power Proposed at ICANN Putting Govts in Primary Decision Making Role

ICANN has proposed a major change to its bylaws that would require the organization to adopt all policy "advice" issued by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) unless 2/3 of ICANN's non-conflicted board members vote to oppose the adoption of that governmental rule. This draconian proposal to change ICANN's bylaws would fundamentally transform ICANN away from being a "bottom-up" and "private-sector-led" organization and into a governmental regulatory agency... more»

DNSSEC Adoption - A Status Report (Part One)

Where is the domain industry with the adoption of DNSSEC? After a burst of well publicized activity from 2009-2011 -- .org, .com, .net, and .gov adopting DNSSEC, roots signed, other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) signed -- the pace of adoption appears to have slowed in recent years. As many CircleID readers know, DNSSEC requires multiple steps in the chain of trust to be in place to improve online security. more»

Watch the 2014 Internet Governance Forum (#IGF2014) Live All This Week from Istanbul

The Ninth Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Meeting is taking place all this week, September 2-5, 2014, in Istanbul, Turkey and live video streams are available for all the sessions... I watched the opening session live stream today from my home office in New Hampshire, USA, and the quality was excellent. There was also a live text transcription. more»

ICANN Community Issues Unprecedented Letter Questioning ICANN's Proposed Accountability Process

In another unpredicted development the entire community of ICANN stakeholders has sent a joint letter to CEO Fadi Chehade and the ICANN Board that strongly questions the "Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance - Process and Next Steps" document published by ICANN staff on August 14th over widespread community objections. Signatories to the August 26th letter include the GNSO Council and all of the GNSO's stakeholder groups and constituencies, the Country Code Name Supporting Organization, the At-Large Advisory Committee, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee - and, most surprisingly, the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

Sailing Backwards: WSIS 10+ Avoids Entering Uncharted Territory

Early August 2014 the UN General Assembly agreed on the procedures how to review the results of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) from 2005. According to the draft resolution, the WSIS 10+ event will be a high level intergovernmental meeting in New York in December 2015. This meeting will adopt an "intergovernmental agreed outcome document"... The outcome document will be negotiated by governments in an "intergovernmental negotiation process". Non-governmental stakeholders from the private sector, civil society and technical community will be invited for "informal interactive consultation" in a parallel process. Wait a minute? What are "informal interactive consultations" in a parallel process? more»

A New Way to Value Registry Business

There's a new site on the web - nTLDstats.com - that has a ton of valuable information about the new gTLD program. It shows numbers of registrations by registry, registrar, registry service provides - all the "Rs" in the domain name industry. It has quickly become the place where people go to measure how the industry, and the competitors in it, are doing. There's only one problem - not all domain registrations are created equal. more»

Wireless Broadband vs Fixed Broadband - The Story Continues

This never-ending story is used by opportunistic telcos and their lobbyists to confuse the issue in order to gain regulatory or political advantage. The debate is now raging again in the USA. In an attempt to talk down their monopolistic position in the market the three telcos - and this time in particular, Comcast - are claiming that real competition does in fact exist in the American broadband market, citing competition from the mobile 4G LTE services as an example. more»

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