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The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

Why You Must Learn to Love DNSSEC

It's been nearly two months since the high profile BGP hijack attack against MyEtherwallet, where crypto thieves used BGP leaks to hijack MEW's name servers, which were on Amazon's Route53, and inserted their own fake name servers which directed victims to their own fake wallet site, thereby draining some people's wallets. It generated a lot of discussion at the time... What isn't fully appreciated is that attack has, in fact, changed the game somewhat... more

Simulation of OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's Proposed Global Broadband Constellations

Inigo del Portillo and his colleagues at MIT have run a simulation comparing OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's proposed low-Earth orbit Internet service constellations. The models are based on the initial FCC filings by the companies and demand and data-rate estimates by the authors. I will mention subsequent amendments to the filings below later in the post. more

French Acquire the .Best New gTLD - Interview with the New Owner

This is an interview with Cyril Fremont, the first French entrepreneur to have acquired a new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD). We long waited for innovation in the new gTLD industry and reading between the lines of this interview, one will understand that the reason behind this acquisition is "not" to sell domain names - the way registries do it in 2018. If ".Best" domains remain open to all here, this registry is planning to create innovative projects that will be launched in the near future with some possibly big surprises. more

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency Channels Considered by European Interests to Bypass U.S. Sanctions

Bitcoin's unreal hype has obscured that it is mostly used to facilitate drug deals, ransomware, tax evasion, and even the occasional murder for hire. After the 60% price drop, demand for bitcoin mining gear has fallen so much TSMC has to lower sales estimates for 2018... Now, Austrian Ambassador in Tehran Stefan Scholz has suggested it could be a powerful boost to the European intent to bypass the U.S. economic blockade. That could provide demand for $billions of bitcoins. more

Should Domain Names be Considered 'Contracts for Service' or 'Property Rights'?

The legal status of domain names is one of the most hotly debated topics with regards to evolving property rights and how they should be applied to technological and intellectual property 'innovations' in cyberspace. At present, there are two opposing factions on this topic: On one hand, there are those who maintain that domain names should be considered as contracts for services, which originate from the contractual agreement between the registrant and the registrar. more

Understanding 5G: A Basic Primer

The initial, essential step toward understanding 5G is to perform an intellectual body purge of the endless disgorging of cluelessness and disinformation that emerges from the Washington White House and radiates out around that city and then to the outside world that it infects. The institutes, pundits, self-professed experts, summits, and even the U.S. press all pretty much feed out of the same trough of 5G political slop that gets passed around as incantations of ignorance, spin, and K-street lobbying. more

WHOIS Users Facing Serious Challenges Caused by Post-GDPR Fragmentation

On May 25, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, meaning that European data protection authorities (DPAs) can begin enforcing the regulation against non-compliant parties. In preparation, the ICANN Board passed a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data - essentially a temporary policy amendment to its registrar and registry contracts to facilitate GDPR compliance while also preserving certain aspects of the WHOIS system of domain name registration data. more

The Hidden Perils of Filing a Baseless UDRP Complaint

When properly used, the UDRP enables trademark owners to take control of abusive domain names. Yet sometimes the UDRP itself is misused by trademark owners to try to seize desirable domain names to which they have no legal entitlement. Is there a downside to misusing the UDRP to attempt a domain name hijacking? Unscrupulous companies at times misuse the UDRP by improperly invoking its power to compel a transfer of ownership in order to seize inherently valuable, non-infringing domain names that the companies desire for their own use. more

Verisign's Attempt to Increase its Fees Still Unjustified Despite Diversionary Tactic

Shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)'s recent announcement allowing Verisign to pursue increased .com registry fees, Verisign published a blog post questioning the business practices of registrars and domain name investors. The ICA, on behalf of its registrar and domain name investor members, had previously spoken out against a .com fee increase, as did others in the domain industry. more

SpaceX's Starlink Internet Service Will Target End Users on Day One

Starting with Teledesic in 1990, would-be Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations have been justified to the FCC, other regulators, and the public as a means of closing the digital divide. Teledesic's goal was "providing affordable access to advanced network connections to all those parts of the world that will never get such advanced capabilities through existing technologies." Today's low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite companies make the same claim, but Telesat, OneWeb and Leosat seem to be targeting commercial markets first. more

What Happens If Two Applications for a New gTLD Are a City and a Family Name?

When applying for a new gTLD, what happens if two applications for the same extension are a city and a family name? Which one wins? Let's imagine that a person whose family name is "Marseille" applied for the .MARSEILLE new gTLD in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program. What if there was a .MARSEILLE new gTLD too but as the name of the French city? more

What Is the Most Secure VPN Protocol?

VPN products vary greatly in convenience, efficiency, and security. If security is a serious concern, an organization needs to pay close attention to the protocols a service supports. Some widely used protocols have significant weaknesses, while others offer state-of-the-art security. The best of the lot today include OpenVPN and IKEv2. What's called a VPN protocol is actually a collection of protocols. There are several functions which every VPN has to manage. more

GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros. One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when... more

How Much Could Businesses and Consumers Save if .com Price Cap Benefits Were Passed On to Consumers?

Recently, a blogger whose website features posts and ads from domain speculators wondered what the cost of registering a .com domain name would be if somebody else ran the .com registry. But this blog post asks the more relevant question: "How much could businesses and consumers save if the benefit of .com price caps were passed along to consumers?" Now is a good time to focus on this question, since Verisign and the US Department of Commerce just amended their Cooperative Agreement to allow limited, regulated .com price increases. more