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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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

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»

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and… (Part Six: Starting Dot)

Starting Dot ("SD") is a French new gTLD applicant which applied for five strings: .ARCHI, .BIO, .DESIGN, (which has been withdrawn) .IMMO and .SKI. It is the only French applicant to have applied for several open new gTLDs. Some French brands have applied too but as closed Top-Level Domains... While Starting Dot may be one of the smaller portfolio applicants, there is a considerable difference here in the way their projects are handled when compared to some of the larger applicants. 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»

Is Your Organization Prepared for a Cyberattack?

Infamous heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson once said "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." As any organization that has faced a cyber attack will tell you, it is a lot like getting punched in the face, and if you're not ready, you might get knocked out. You've likely read recent headlines of major retailers, financial institutions, and now even universities, being hit with data breaches. As some of them have learned the hard way, it's not a question of if your organization will be attacked; it's a question of when. more»

A Bad Year for Phishing

Here at the Anti-Phishing Working Group meeting in Hong Kong, we've just released the latest APWG Global Phishing Survey. Produced by myself and my research partner Rod Rasmussen of Internet Identity, it's an in-depth look at the global phishing problem in the second half of 2013. Overall, the picture isn't pretty. There were at least 115,565 unique phishing attacks worldwide during the period. This is one of the highest semi-annual totals we've observed since we began our studies in 2007. more»

The Rise and Rise of Broadband in China

While there are plenty of articles continuously updating us on the incredible social and economic developments that are taking place in China it is still sometimes good to stand still and have a look at some of these developments. It was 15 years ago that the Chinese Government - in its 5-year plan - stated that it wanted to connect all of its half million villages to the telecommunications network. At that point the plan simply called for narrowband telephone connections. more»

Netflix Has Buyer's Remorse Over Its Paid Peering Deal With Comcast

Soon after capitulating to Comcast's surcharge demand for improved treatment of its traffic, Netflix got better downstream delivery speeds. Apparently Comcast did not have to undertake a major bandwidth expansion program. Much to the immediate relief of Netflix, Comcast merely needed to allocate more ports for Netflix traffic. So with a reallocation of available bandwidth, Comcast solved Netflix's quality of service dilemma apparently without degrading service to anyone else, upstream or downstream. more»

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