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Not So Private Thoughts at IETF 105

At IETF 105, held in Montreal at the end of July, the Technical Plenary part of the meeting had two speakers on the topic of privacy in today's Internet, Associate Professor Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University and Professor Stephen Bellovin of Colombia University. They were both quite disturbing talks in their distinct ways, and I'd like to share my impressions of these two presentations and then consider what privacy means for me in today's Internet. more

Recalibrating the DoH Debate

At the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) it is time we accept the wide range of drivers behind (and implications of) standards and for stakeholders to start listening to each other. A protocol recently released by the IETF, DNS over HTTPS (DoH), is at the centre of an increasingly polarised debate. This is because DoH uses encryption in the name of security and privacy and re-locates DNS resolution to the application layer of the Internet. more

Latecomer Amazon Will Be a Formidable Satellite ISP Competitor

In spite of being a latecomer to the race to deploy a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) broadband Internet satellites, Amazon's Project Kuiper will be a formidable competitor. SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat already have test satellites in orbit, but Amazon has several strategic advantages. For a start, each of the LEO broadband competitors plans to end the digital divide by providing global connectivity to end-users and small organizations in underserved areas... more

Are You Ready for 10 Gbps?

Around the world, we're seeing some migration to 10 Gbps residential broadband. During the last year, the broadband providers in South Korea, Japan, and China began upgrading to the next-generation PON and are offering the blazingly fast broadband products to consumers. South Korea is leading the pack and expects to have the 10 Gbps speed to about 50% of subscribers by the end of 2022. more

A Mexican Standoff in Wonderland

Wikipedia defines a Mexican standoff as "a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any party to achieve victory. As a result, all participants need to maintain the strategic tension, which remains unresolved until some outside event makes it possible to resolve it." This would be an apt way to describe what may be possibly occurring presently between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its largest ratepayer, VeriSign. more

Facebook, Privacy, and Cryptography

There has long been pressure from governments to provide back doors in encryption systems. Of course, if the endpoints are insecure it doesn't matter much if the transmission is encrypted; indeed, a few years ago, I and some colleagues even suggested lawful hacking as an alternative. Crucially, we said that this should be done by taking advantage of existing security holes rather than be creating new ones. more

Cuba Claims New Regulations Expand Internet Access to Homes and Businesses, But Here's the Downside

New Cuban regulations regarding private WiFi networks went into effect yesterday, and the New York Times and others proclaimed that "Cuba expands Internet access to private homes and businesses." Yes, Cubans can legally import and install WiFi routers in their homes, small cafes, B&Bs, etc., but these regulations will make little difference in Internet access. more

We Need Public 5G Spectrum

Last October the FCC issued a Notice for Proposed Rulemaking that proposed expanding WiFi into the 6 GHz band of spectrum (5.925 to 7.125 GHz). WiFi has been a huge economic boon to the country, and the FCC recognizes that providing more free public spectrum is a vital piece of the spectrum puzzle. Entrepreneurs have found a myriad of inventive ways to use WiFi that go far beyond what carriers have provided with licensed spectrum. more

Terahertz WiFi

While labs across the world are busy figuring out how to implement the 5G standards, there are scientists already working in the higher frequency spectrum looking to achieve even faster speeds. The frequencies that are just now being explored are labeled as the terahertz range and are at 300 GHz and higher spectrum. This spectrum is the upper ranges of radio spectrum and lies just below ultraviolet light. more

In the 5G Era, at Least 20 Million U.S. Homes Will Rely on Wireless for Broadband

There now can be no doubt that fixed wireless, mostly 5G, will be a viable business in the right locations. Today's wireless has enormous capacity, enough to supply the broadband needs of a significant population. It's better than most DSL and a workable alternative to cable in many locations. Traffic demand is falling, with Cisco predicting the U.S. will fall to 31% growth in 2021. more

What's in Your DNS Query?

Privacy problems are an area of wide concern for individual users of the Internet -- but what about network operators? Geoff Huston wrote an article earlier this year concerning privacy in DNS and the various attempts to make DNS private on the part of the IETF -- the result can be summarized with this long, but entertaining, quote. more

Open Access for Apartment Buildings

San Francisco recently passed an interesting ordinance that requires that landlords of apartments and multi-tenant business buildings allow access to multiple ISPs to bring broadband. This ordinance raises all sorts of regulatory and legal questions. At the most recent FCC monthly meeting, the FCC jumped into the fray and voted on language that is intended to kill or weaken the ordinance. more

An Optimistic Update From Telesat

Emily Jackson interviewed Dan Goldberg, Telesat President and CEO, in a recent episode of the Down to Business podcast. The interview followed the announcement that the Canadian Government would contribute $85 million (all amounts are in Canadian dollars) to support research and development in support of Telesat's planned constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and another $600 million to subsidize Internet connectivity in rural Canada. more

FCC's Ignorant Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Bravado

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday released a Report and Order in the matter of its implementation of Ray Baum's Act Section 503 and international call spoofing. The FCC mostly did the right things in the R&O except in one rather extraordinary assertion of legal ignorance and bravado. It asserted unilaterally that it could exercise "extraterritorial jurisdiction that Congress expressly provided in section 503 of the Ray Baum's Act," and it furthermore knew of no "treaty obligation [contravened],...nor other legal barrier...and...are aware of none." more

Broadband and the Census: Why Decision to Go Online Is Probably Ten Years Premature

The US government is gearing up to begin the 2020 census which will be administered starting next April 20. For the first time, the census is going to rely heavily on people answering the census questions online. Live census takers will then follow-up with those that don't submit the online response. This seems like an odd decision since there are still many people who don't have home broadband. more

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