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How DANE Strengthens Security for TLS, S/SMIME and Other Applications

The Domain Name System (DNS) offers ways to significantly strengthen the security of Internet applications via a new protocol called the DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE). One problem it helps to solve is how to easily find keys for end users and systems in a secure and scalable manner. It can also help to address well-known vulnerabilities in the public Certification Authority (CA) model. Applications today need to trust a large number of global CAs. more»

Verisign Should Clear Up the Paid "Analysts" Controversy

In recent days it was revealed that analyst Zeus Kerravala, who had written a dozen-some articles, over many years, for Network World promoting Verisign's pro-.COM point of view and disparaging new top-level domains as a bad idea, was in fact a paid Verisign consultant. None of that was disclosed when Mr. Kerravala wrote these articles from January 2013 through October 2015. more»

The TPP and the DNS

On November 5, 2015 the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the official text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That text consists of 30 separate Chapters totaling more than 2,000 pages, and is accompanied by four additional Annexes and dozens of Related Instruments. Only those who negotiated it are likely to have a detailed understanding of all its provisions, and even that probably overstates reality. more»

Zero Rating, a Poisoned Chalice for the Developing World

A very Interesting meeting The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) with an ambitious theme of connecting the worlds next billion people to the Internet took place in early November 2015 in a beautiful resort city of João Pessoa in Brazil under the auspice of the United Nations. Few citizens of the world paid attention to it yet the repercussions of the policy issues discussed affect us all. more»

Did We Build the 'Right' Internet? (An Interview with Prof Andrew Russell)

The longer I have been in the tech industry, the more I have come to appreciate the hidden complexity and subtlety of its past. A book that caught my attention is 'Open Standards and the Digital Age' by Prof Andrew Russell of Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. This important work shines a fresh light on the process that resulted in today's Internet. For me, it places the standard 'triumphant' narrative of the rise of TCP/IP into a more nuanced context. more»


Internet public policy -- and the technical ecosystem -- is at a crossroads and the choice of CEO that ICANN's board makes now is probably the most important such choice it has ever made. Since I work in Internet policy across the Geneva institutions where more than 50% of all international Internet-related policy meetings take place, and have worked at ICANN in senior positions in the past, I thought I would suggest some qualities the next CEO should have. more»

Time to Look Past 'Net Neutrality'. Let's Start a Fresh Post-Neutrality Debate…

Yesterday, as many of you heard, the European Parliament voted to reject the 'net neutrality' fundamentalist amendments to the already flawed proposals they had helped to create. That's the good news. The bad news is that the law that we now have is merely ludicrous, rather than insane. Furthermore, it doesn't properly protect end users, hold ISP feet to the service delivery fire, or truly encourage broadband ecosystem innovation. more»

Help CrypTech (and Me) Make the Internet More Secure

Are you ready to help me make the Internet more secure? Here's your chance to join me in a project to create an open-source hardware device to protect email, files and other data from hackers and government spies. The CrypTech Project was founded in late 2013 after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the US and other governments were exploiting weak cryptography and loose standards to gain access to citizens' email, documents, and other files. more»

Connecting the Next Billion. Is It Possible? (An African Perspective)

This year, the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group which provide assistance in the preparations for Global IGF meetings called for Intersessional work (activities that are pursued in the months between annual IGFs with the aim of helping the IGF produce more tangible outputs that can become robust resources). Previously, the IGF has used best Practice Forums and Dynamic coalitions to bring out key issues that affect the world as it relates to the Internet. This year's Intersessional activity is centred on "Policy Option for connecting the Next Billion". more»

Why Telecoms Regulators Must Ignore 'Lawgeneers'

My attention was drawn recently to the article Europe Is About to Adopt Bad Net Neutrality Rules. Here's How to Fix Them by Barbara van Schewick from Stanford Law School. Much as I would like to spend my morning doing other work, I can see imminent harm that these (and many similar) proposals cause to the public. As a responsible professional and native European, I would like to summarise why it is imperative for EU regulators to ignore these siren calls (if they want to retain their legitimacy). more»

The Growing Telco Complexity Crisis

The telecoms industry is facing a systemic problem of high operational complexity and excessive cost. We take a look at the root causes, and how to tackle them. Every telco in the world wants to both increase the quality of their customer experience, and also save money by lowering opex and deferring capex. A pervasive industry barrier to achieving this is one of complexity, which exists at many levels. more»

The Incredible Value of Passive DNS Data

If a scholar was to look back upon the history of the Internet in 50 years' time, they'd likely be able to construct an evolutionary timeline based upon threats and countermeasures relatively easily. Having transitioned through the ages of malware, phishing, and APT's, and the countermeasures of firewalls, anti-spam, and intrusion detection, I'm guessing those future historians would refer to the current evolutionary period as that of "mega breaches" (from a threat perspective) and "data feeds". more»

Governments Shouldn't Play Games with the Internet

Governments often use small players as pawns in their global games of chess. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework, turning Internet businesses into expendable pawns in a government game. But for the past fifteen years, Safe Harbor allowed data flows across the Atlantic -- fostering innovation and incredible economic development. more»

IGF 2015: Running in Place

The Internet Governance Forum, held this year in the Brazilian beach resort town of João Pessoa, completed its 10th annual meeting Friday November 13. The IGF Secretariat claims that nearly 5,000 people attended. Moreover, it looks as if its existence will be continued for another 10 years when the UN meets in New York later this year. Vint Cerf declared it "the best IGF ever" in the closing open microphone session. But how good is "best?" more»

Zero-Rating vs. The Internet

Reading about the EU Neutrality vote, I'm reminded of the challenge faced by traditional telecommunications regulators in understanding the very concept of the Internet. To put it bluntly zero-rate is a policy framed in terms of Minitel and setting the price based on what phone number is dialed and not at all about the Internet where the value is determined by relationships entirely outside of a network. more»

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