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Internet Security Marketing: Buyer Beware

As security breaches increasingly make headlines, thousands of Internet security companies are chasing tens of billions of dollars in potential revenue. While we, the authors, are employees of Internet security companies and are happy for the opportunity to sell more products and services, we are alarmed at the kind of subversive untruths that vendor "spin doctors" are using to draw well-intentioned customers to their doors. Constructive criticism is sometimes necessarily harsh, and some might find the following just that, harsh. But we think it's important that organizations take a "buyers beware" approach to securing their business. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part I)

On April 9, 2015 ICANN took the unprecedented step of asking two national consumer protection agencies whether the .Sucks registry, one of the new gTLDs it has approved and which is currently in its sunrise registration period, has a business plan which violates any laws or regulations those agencies enforce. This is the equivalent of sending a message stating, "Dear Regulator: We have lit a fuse. Can you please tell us whether it is connected to a bomb?" more»

New gTLDs and Universal Acceptance

Universal Acceptance is the topic of the moment, explained in one simple sentence: in the new gTLD world, it means that various groups (the DNS, ICANN and a few others) are working hard to make new domain names better accepted by the existing technical Internet infrastructure. A video extracted from the "ICANN 52" meeting explains it in 50 slides but I suggest a pause on slide 17, because it shows where the issues are and what remains to be fixed to give the ultimate answer to that question. more»

Active and Passive Internet of Things

"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it." -Mark Weiser ...The Internet of Things is a step in this very direction. And like all things new and mysterious, it has its fair share of utopian and dystopian soothsayers; with an almost certain probability that neither of their deterministic predictions will completely come to fruition in the future. more»

Freedom of Expression Chilled by ICANN's Addition of Speech Restrictions in DNS

Freedom of expression on the Internet is at risk from ICANN's recent decision to prohibit anyone but one specific type of doctor from using the word within the .doctor new gTLD space. Last month, ICANN's New GTLD Program Committee decided that only "medical practitioners" would be allowed to register a domain in the .doctor name space. ICANN's decision to exclude numerous lawful users of the word, including a broad range of individuals who are in fact doctors, comes at a time when the world is watching ICANN to see if it can adequately protect Internet users' rights in the absence of US Government supervision. more»

From Connecting Computers to Connecting Stakeholders: Stanford Univ. Hosts NetMundial Initiative

1974, Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf checked in the Crown Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto, worked a couple of days and presented to the world the TCP/IP protocol. Stanford hosted one of the four computers connected on equal footing (ARPANET) in 1969... A framed document in the hotel lobby remembers the historic moment. On March 31, 2014 a crowd of about 30 people from all over the world checked in the same Crown Plaza hotel for the first working meeting of the new Coordination Council (CC) of the NetMundial Initiative (NMI). more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part II)

The first part of this article reviewed the actions taken by ICANN in response to a March 27th letter from the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) alleging that the pricing of Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) registered terms by the .Sucks registry were "predatory, exploitative and coercive" and requesting that ICANN halt the registry's rollout. This second part explores additional ramifications of ICANN's decision to request two national regulators to review the legality of the registry's operation. more»

Premium Generics, the Domain Industry's Luxury Goods

Categories. The mere mention of the word risks eliciting groans from any domain industry specialist. In the run up to the new gTLD program, this concept was oft discussed. It seemed obvious to most that TLDs were not a homogenous ensemble but instead, could exist in many different shapes and sizes. Except to ICANN staff. They systematically refused to entertain the notion of categories. Even when ICANN Board members suggested some kind of recognition for different TLD types should be hardwired into the program! more»

Registration Operations is More Than Just Registering Domain Names

Perceptions can be difficult to change. People see the world through the lens of their own experiences and desires, and new ideas can be difficult to assimilate. Such is the case with the registration ecosystem. Today's operational models exist because of decisions made over time, but the assumptions that were used to support those decisions can (and should) be continuously challenged to ensure that they are addressing today's realities. Are we ready to challenge assumptions? Can the operators of registration services do things differently? more»

New ".trademark" gTLD is Here

Few Brands have noticed it yet but a company has applied for a domain name extension which literally means ".trademark". The company is based in Hong-Kong and its name is "Huyi Global .商标 Domain Registry". The ".商标" is what we call an International Domain Name extension (IDN) and it means ".trademark" in Simplified Chinese. It is pronounced: "Shang Biao". more»

Is Upping the Minimum Wage Good for the Information Security Industry?

The movement for upping the minimum wage in the US is gathering momentum. Protests and placard waving are on the increase, and the quest for $15 per hour is well underway. There are plenty of arguments as to why such a hike in minimum wage is necessary, and what the consequences could be to those businesses dependent upon the cheapest hourly labor. But, for the information security industry, upping the minimum wage will likely yield only good news. more»

Starting a New Conversation on Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity debate can be highly confusing at times. There is perhaps an analogy to be made between "Cybersecurity" and "The Economy". We all want to fix the economy but making progress is not an easy task. As soon as you are beyond that statement you notice that there is a lot of nuance. Issues like trust, influence, actors, and affectivity all come to play when you want to fix the Economy. The cybersecurity discourse has similar features. more»

We Need a Focused, Cooperative Strategy for Marketing New gTLDs

This essay discusses recent findings on the difficulty of overcoming decision bias, and it argues that this factor, when combined with a diverse and fragmented demand for new gTLDs, makes a focused marketing strategy crucial to the success of the program. In addition, success requires cooperation among registries and resellers when it comes to sales and marketing. Impulse buying aside, a product's sales are driven by the product's utility... more»

DNS-Based DDoS: Diverse Options for Attackers

Denial of service attacks have been around since the Internet was commercialized and some of the largest attacks ever launched relied on DNS, making headlines. But every day a barrage of smaller DNS-based attacks take down targets and severely stress the DNS ecosystem. Although DNS servers are not usually the target of attacks they are often disrupted so attention from operation teams is required. There is no indication the problem is going away and attackers continue to innovate. more»

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