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ICANN Cannot Expect the DPAs to Re-Design WHOIS, but Asking for a Reprieve Makes Sense

We are on the brink of the most serious threat to the open and public Internet for decades. ICANN, under pressure from domain name registrars and EU data protection authorities, has proposed an "interim" plan that will hide critical information in WHOIS. Security, threat intelligence, and anti-abuse professionals rely on WHOIS to track down bad guys and keep the Internet as safe and secure as possible. more

Facebook vs. Domain Names: Lessons from Cambridge Analytica

The current revelations about Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data illustrate an important drawback to using a Facebook account as your business' online presence: Facebook knows and sells your customers! Millions of companies - especially small companies and start-ups - rely on a Facebook account for their online presence. On the surface, it seems like a great idea... more

GDPR and WHOIS - Winners and Losers

I think we are all hoping that when ICANN meets with the DPAs (Digital Protection Authorities) a clear path forward will be illuminated. We are all hoping that the DPAs will provide definitive guidance regarding ICANN's interim model and that some special allowance will be made so that registrars and registries are provided with additional time to implement a GDPR-compliant WHOIS solution. more

Security, Standards, and IoT: Will Connected Devices Flourish Under Prescriptive Regimes?

Security for Internet-connected devices, the "Internet of Things" (IoT), is critically important. Now, more than ever, it is top of mind for device manufacturers, network operators, consumer advocates, lawmakers, and government regulators -- domestically and internationally. In the face of recent attacks, government authorities and consumer advocates have proposed legislation, frameworks, certifications, and labeling schemes. more

ICANN IPC & BC to Host Cross-Community Call on Accreditation/Access Model for Non-Public WHOIS Data

The ICANN Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) and Business Constituency (BC) will be hosting a community-wide discussion regarding the proposed accreditation and access model for non-public WHOIS data, which was first circulated to the community during ICANN 61. The discussion will take place via ICANN-supported remote participation and/or audio bridge this Friday, April 6, 2018, from 1400-1600 UTC. more

GDPR and WHOIS - We've Heard from the Article 29 Working Party, Now What?

Well, here we are on Friday the 13th and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than providing an update on GDPR, WHOIS and ICANN. There's lots to cover, so let's dive right in. As we have been talking about for a number of months now, the EU's new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) will become enforceable on May 25th. The ICANN community has been struggling with how GDPR will impact the WHOIS system. more

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember that the Nazis rounded up Jews, Roma, political dissidents, and other "undesirables" using the best data and technology of the day and sent them off to concentration camps. We don't normally deal with this type of political reality in ICANN, but now is the time to do so. In 1995, the recently formed European Union passed the EU Data Protection Directive. more

Leveraging Trademark Data to Drive Domain Name Strategy

For years, corporate domain name portfolio managers have struggled with determining whether or not their portfolios were the "right" size. Managers of mature domain name portfolios have often felt that their portfolios were bloated, containing domains that were no longer needed. Conversely, domain managers of newer portfolios have sometimes known that gaps existed. Regardless, the question remains -- just how many domains should a corporate portfolio contain? more

European Commission Killing Off Thousands of EU Domains Due to Brexit

After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK. Over the past year, the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy. more

Parsing Predatory and Parasitical from Innocent and Good Faith Domain Name Registrants

When the World Intellectual Property Organization began deliberating in 1998 and 1999 about creating an arbitral regime that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers transformed into the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy the curse words of choice were "predators" and "parasites" to describe cybersquatters. (In an early UDRP decision a Respondent who had also featured as a defendant in a trademark case asserted he had "just as much right to own the Domain Names [with typographic variations of the mark] as the person who owns the correct spelling of [the mark]" more

Is Blockchain Causing More Cybersecurity Attacks in the Financial Industry?

There's a lot of misunderstanding about blockchain. A recent study by HSBC, for example, found that 59 percent of customers around the world had never heard of it. Yet, while that alone is quite telling, it's probably more alarming to consider the fact that very same poll revealed that 80 percent of people who had hard of blockchain did not understand what it is. This level of confusion isn't confined to the general population either. more

Oblivious DNS: Plugging the Internet's Biggest Privacy Hole

The recent news that Mozilla and Cloudflare are deploying their own DNS recursive resolver has once again raised hopes that users will enjoy improved privacy, since they can send DNS traffic encrypted to Cloudflare, rather than to their ISP. In this post, we explain why this approach only moves your private data from the ISP to (yet another) third party. You might trust that third party more than your ISP, but you still have to trust them. In this post, we present an alternative design -- Oblivious DNS -- that prevents you from having to make that choice at all. more

Game Over for Public Whois? Article 29 Gives ICANN the Advice It Asked For

We've talked about the conflicts between our ICANN contract and privacy law in the past. Not once, not twice, but multiple times. We refused to sign the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with ICANN until we'd received a data retention waiver. That decision probably cost us money, but if we have to choose between operating legally or illegally our path is clear. more

The Fight Is on to Save Access to WHOIS: A Call to Action for Brand Owners

Late last week, ICANN published the guidance from the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) that we have been waiting for. Predictably, WP29 took a privacy maximalist approach to the question of how Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to WHOIS, a tool widely used by cybersecurity professionals, businesses, intellectual property owners, consumer protection agencies and others to facilitate a safer and more secure internet.  more

Today's Internet: More BRICS Than Westerners

Something over 55% of landline broadband users are in the "Global South," about 500M. The South is about 65% if you include "wireless-only" many of which are 4G LTE at ten megabits or more. The gap is widening rapidly and will increase by well over 70M in 2018. Six large developing countries are growing 5% or more in the last year, compared to only one in the developed world. China is adding ~30M more each year. Most developed countries are between 75% and 95% connected. That leaves little room for growth. more

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