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Exceedingly Close and Difficult UDRP Cases

Gerald M. Levine The ordinary run of cybersquatting cases is neither "exceedingly close nor difficult." Quote from Harvest Dispensaries, Cultivations & Production Facilities, LLC v. Rebecca Nickerson / Rock City Harvest, FA2004001892080 (Forum June 26, 2020) which is one of those rare cases in which the case was exceedingly close and difficult. For 90% of the docket (the percentage has been creeping up since 2016), even when Respondent appears (which it mostly does not), there is neither a defense nor merit to Respondent's contentions. more

Evolving the Internet Through COVID-19 and Beyond

Jari Arkko As we approach four months since the WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, and with lockdowns and other restrictions continuing in much of the world, it is worth reflecting on how the Internet has coped with the changes in its use, and on what lessons we can learn from these for the future of the network. The people and companies that build and operate the Internet are always planning for more growth in Internet traffic. more

Amazon Aerospace and Satellite Solutions: Integrating Satellites and Terrestrial Services

Larry Press Since its founding, Amazon has reinvested profit in building infrastructure. They began with retail sales and distribution infrastructure and later added Amazon Web Services (AWS), providing data center and hosting infrastructure. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also established Blue Origin, a company to provide satellite launch service and eventually to support space travel. Last year Amazon filed an application for a 3,236-satellite constellation of low-earth orbit Internet service satellites - Project Kuiper. more

Where Is Net Neutrality When We Need It?

Doug Dawson Just in the last two weeks, two stories in the United States hit the press that highlight behavior from ISPs that would have likely have violated the Net Neutrality rules that were killed by Ajit Pai's FCC. The big ISPs have been surprisingly quiet and have not loudly violated those rules, even though they are no longer in effect. The industry speculation is that the big ISPs are treading lightly because they don't want to trigger a regulatory overreaction should there be a change of party in the administration or Congress. more

Freedom of Expression Part 3: Child Pornography, Manga, Anime, Obscene Publication

Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro At the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council, we heard how 1 billion children in 2019 who were subjected to various forms of violence and the need for more action to protect children according to the Special Rapporteur. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child released Guidelines on the implementation of the international treaty that bans child pornography, proposing to expand its interpretation to include bans on drawings and stories that sexually depict minors. more

Freedom of Expression Part 2: Blocking, Filtering and Removing Online Content

Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro The Internet is a catalyst for what has revolutionised and transformed human societies in giving extraordinary access to information that has catapulted development and economic growth. It also comes with threats of exploitation by those who wish to do harm. In Part 1 of these series, we looked at how Twitter banned Graham Linehan for his tweet where we saw that to an extent, it was justifiable under Californian law but that a Judge in the Fiji courts would disagree with. more

Freedom of Expression Part 1: Hate Speech, Linehan, Trans as a Protected Class in California

Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro Graham Linehan was banned from Twitter last week. Graham Linehan is an Irish writer and creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Twitter closed Graham Linehan's account for tweeting "men aren't women though" which twitter perceived as "hate speech" and offensive to the Trans community. Context always shapes meaning, and so I thought it would be useful to explore how hate speech is interpreted in California and then to see how it is treated in Fiji. more

When is Similarity Confusing? Cybersquatting and Abusive Registration

Gerald M. Levine The case I'm reporting on today has garnered attention from a number of quarters. One commentator, Andrew Allemann tells us that "[he's] struggling with this UDRP decision" and Nat Cohen of Telepathy Inc. in a couple of Tweets and a private conversation is concerned that the holding could be a Trojan Horse by erasing the distinction between merely confusing and confusingly similar. The problem centers on the Panel's holding that everyfamily.org is confusingly similar to EVERYTOWN... more

Many Libraries Still Have Slow Broadband

Doug Dawson During the recent pandemic, many homes came face-to-face with the realization that their home broadband connection is inadequate. Many students trying to finish the school year and people trying to work from home found that their broadband connection would not allow them to connect and maintain connections to school and work servers. Even families who thought they had good broadband found they were unable to maintain multiple connections for these purposes. more

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

John Levine A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group Leadership Handover

Tobias Sattler The ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) is one of several stakeholder groups within the ICANN community and is the representative body of ICANN accredited domain name registrars. It is a diverse and active group that works to ensure the interests of registrars and their customers are effectively advanced. The leadership team (ExCom) consists of five officers who manage the Registrar Stakeholder Group. more

Online Businesses to Benefit from Supreme Court "Booking.com" Ruling

Jeffrey Sass Today, in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, the Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that generic terms including .com domain names may be trademarked when consumers do not perceive the mark to signify the class of services, with heightened distinctiveness and recognition attributable to top-level domains that add meaning like .club, .guru, and .vip. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Gerald M. Levine Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more

Do Your Analytics Efforts Expose Your SQL Data Sources to Attacks?

Evan Morris Structured Query Language (SQL) continues to be quite relevant today. Many organizations still use SQL database systems, and it still ranks as the top in-demand language in tech job postings -- even in 2020. Companies are also increasing their analytics and business intelligence efforts, where SQL skills come in as quite handy. SQL queries allow you to pull key information from databases quickly. more

Virtual ICANN Meetings – YES, Please

Elisa Cooper In the early 2000s, when I began working in the domain name industry, I remember hearing from colleagues about these seemingly elusive ICANN meetings invariably hosted in some pretty incredible places, including Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Cape Town. I remember how some of my colleagues complained about being stuck in windowless conference rooms for hours on end, but secretly thinking that they were probably going to a few meetings, but then actually enjoying a fabulous vacation. more

News Briefs

Alphabet's Loon Goes Live With Its Commercial Internet Service in Kenya

Alphabet's Loon on Monday announced that its high-altitude balloons are now providing internet service in Kenya to subscribers of Telkom Kenya.  more

Trump Admin Ramping Up Attacks on GDPR – Says It Helps Cybercrime, Threatens Public Health

While the EU is boasting about the success of its flagship privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the U.S. administration is ramping up attacks on the system, saying it provides cover to cybercriminals and threatens public health. more

Japan Fueling China's Leap to 5G, but for How Long?

As the U.S. is making it tough for American companies to help China roll out super-fast cellular networks, Japan, a U.S. ally, is fueling China with parts needed to blanket the nation with 5G cellular service. more

FCC Doubts LEO Satellite Broadband Services Like SpaceX's Starlink Can Meet Latency Requirements

FCC has cast serious doubts about the capability of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite operators, such as SpaceX's Starlink, to provide low-latency broadband and thus their eligibility to bid. more

Department of Commerce to Allow US Companies Work With Chinese to Develop 5G and Other Standards

A new rule announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday enables American companies to contribute to standards-development activities in the telecommunications sector more fully. more

SpaceX Launches Another Batch of 60 Starlink Internet Satellites

SpaceX launched its eighth Starlink mission via the Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday, carrying 60 more satellites for its Internet satellite constellation, bringing the total in operation on orbit to 480. more

Verisign Extends COVID-19 Wholesale Restore Fee Waiver

Verisign today announced that the waiver of the wholesale restore fee for .com and .net domain names is extended until August 1, 2020 at 03:59:59 UTC. more

Trust Has Eroded Within the Cybercriminal Underground Causing a Switch to Ecommerce Platforms

New data released today indicates that trust has eroded among criminal interactions, causing a switch to ecommerce platforms and communication using Discord, which both increase user anonymization. more

ICANN Board Rejects the Proposed Sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital

In a decision made on Thursday, the ICANN Board said: "withholding consent of the transfer of PIR from the Internet Society (ISOC) to Ethos Capital is reasonable, and the right thing to do," based on various factors that the Board believes will create unacceptable uncertainty for the future of .ORG, the third-largest gTLD registry. more

China's Central Bank Allows Some Commercial Lenders to Start Running Trials of Its Digital Currency

China's central bank is a step closer to becoming the world's first major monetary authority to issue its own digital tender. The People's Bank of China will conduct internal tests for the central bank's digital currency (CBDC) across four cities (Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong'An and Chengdu), according to a statement issued by the bank on Friday. more

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

ICANN has delayed the decision for the sale of the .ORG registry, pushing the issue off for another month following a last minute letter from California's attorney. more

Google Reports 18 Million Daily COVID-19 Related Malware, Phishing Emails Per Day

During the last week, Google says it has been seeing 18 million malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 daily. This, the company reported today, "is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages." more

Zoom Faces Class-Action Lawsuit, Accused of Overstating Its Privacy Standards

The video-conferencing company Zoom is facing a class-action suit filed on Tuesday accusing it of overstating its privacy standards and failing to disclose that its service was not end-to-end encrypted. more

GoDaddy Acquires Neustar's Domain Name Registry Business

Neustar, Inc. today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with GoDaddy Inc. to sell its domain name registry business. This transaction enables Neustar to focus on its Marketing, Risk, Communications, and Security businesses said Neustar President and Chief Executive Officer, Charlie Gottdiener. more

Vint Cerf Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Internet pioneer and vice president of research at Google, Vint Cerf, said in a tweet this morning that he has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). more

FCC Grants ISPs Temporary Access to Wireless Spectrum to Help Handle Demand During Pandemic

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau today granted temporary spectrum access to 33 wireless Internet service providers serving 330 counties in the U.S. to help them serve rural communities facing an increase in broadband needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

Over 360 Security Experts Around the World From Group to Combat COVID-19 Hackers, Protect Hospitals

An international group of more than 360 cyber threat intelligence researchers from over 40 countries have joined forces to help the medical sector amid the COVID-19 crisis. more

BT Removes Broadband Caps, Offers Unlimited Data to Customers Amid COVID-19 Crisis

British telecommunications giant BT Group, which also owns the UK's biggest mobile services provider EE, has annouced it is removing all caps on its customers' home broadband plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. more

EU Commissioner Calls on Streaming Services to Switch Streaming Videos From HD to Standard Mode

European Union Internet Market Commissioner Thierry Breton called on streaming services on Thursday, urging them to switch video quality from high definition to standard mode in order to reduce increasing strain on bandwidth during COVID-19 pandemic. Following a phone call with the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, Commissioner Breton, said: "Europe and the whole world are facing an unprecedented situation. more

Public Interest Registry, ICANN Agree to Extend Deadline on Review of Proposed Acquisition of .ORG

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Public Interest Registry (PIR) today announced that they have mutually agreed to extend ICANN's time to review PIR's submissions to April 20th. more

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Industry Updates

Hundreds of Election-Related Domain Names Seen as 2020 U.S. Elections Nears

WhoisXML API Even as the world continues to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, essential events just can't be delayed. The U.S. presidential elections will continue to take place on 3 November 2020. more

Upward Trend Seen in "All Lives Matter," "BLM," and "Protest" Domain Registrations

WhoisXML API George Floyd passing away while being arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparked several Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests worldwide. The protests started on 26 May, a day after Floyd's death, spanning states and even countries within a few days. more

Punycode Phishing: Internationalized Domain Names Remain a Threat in 2020

WhoisXML API Back in 2018, investigative journalist Brian Krebs warned against the nuances of internationalized domain names (IDNs). These domains, which contain non-Latin characters but appear to do so, can be used to create visual confusions that can become particularly handy in executing credible punycode phishing campaigns. more

Domain Security Report – Forbes Global 2000 Companies

CSC Companies have invested in security solutions at an exponential rate to protect themselves from the continually evolving cybersecurity threats, yet they remain vulnerable. Company domain names, domain name systems (DNS), and digital certificates are being attacked or compromised with increasing frequency, sophistication, and severity. more

WhoisXML API Detects Hundreds of Microsoft-Inspired Typo Domains

WhoisXML API Microsoft is among the top technology companies globally and so is in critical need of brand protection. The company name already figured in many phishing campaigns, including Microsoft Office 365 that has been abused several times in business email compromise (BEC) scams. more

Typosquatting Data Feed Can Enhance Lloyds Bank's Typosquatting Protection

WhoisXML API Typosquatting are among the cybersecurity threats that deserve a closer look in the financial sector. In fact, the early detection of typosquatting domains can help financial institutions maneuver away from cyber risks that could cause much damage. But to what extent is this the case? more

60+ PayPal Potential Typosquatting Domains Detected in the Beginning of June

WhoisXML API PayPal is still one of the most imitated brands on the Internet. From 1-8 June 2020, the Typosquatting Data Feed detected a total of 64 PayPal lookalike domains. more

Typosquatting Domains Every AppleID Owner Should Avoid

WhoisXML API On 29 April 2020, IBM X-Force warned users of an AppleID typosquatting campaign specifically targeting members of the media sector. We sought to dig deeper into these threats and find other relevant domains and IP addresses that users, regardless of industry, may need to steer clear of. more

Shopping and the Pandemic: Increased Reliance on Mobile Apps 

Appdetex Savvy retailers who expanded their offerings to include e-commerce app options have reaped the benefits of this forethought during the coronavirus outbreak. As the pandemic has driven more shoppers to buy online, retailers who offer e-commerce apps have seen dramatic increases in the number of sales, even as traditional shopping has dropped off precipitously. more

Typosquatting Protection: A Look into Instagram-Themed Domain Names

WhoisXML API On Instagram's Help Center, there are sections solely dedicated to Intellectual Property. The social media giant also provided avenues for reporting account impersonation and trademark violations. more

Investigating Typo Domains Beyond Credit Suisse's Spying Scandal

WhoisXML API In 2019, Credit Suisse was hit by a spying scandal that quickly spiraled into several things - a public confrontation, a resignation, and a death. Iqbal Khan, the bank's former head of wealth management, confronted a private investigator on the streets on 17 September after noticing that someone was following him. more

IP Geolocation Intelligence: An Aid Against Location-Based Threats?

WhoisXML API Cybercrime is borderless. Just like marketing teams use location-based targeting to create a deeper connection with customers through content personalization, cybercriminals adjust their attacks to exploit their victims' fears. more

Verisign Q1 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 366.8 Million Domains in Q1 of 2020

Verisign Verisign today released the latest issue of the Domain Name Industry Brief, which shows that the first quarter of 2020 closed with 366.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of 4.5 million domain name registrations, or 1.2 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Domain name registrations have grown by 14.9 million, or 4.2 percent, year over year. more

Two-Month Extension of Wholesale Restore Fee Waiver

Verisign Two months ago we implemented a number of measures to respond to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. These measures were designed to support the communities we serve and in which we are located, while maintaining our focus on providing secure, stable and resilient critical internet infrastructure. more

Newly Registered Domains List Show Recent Registrations Continue to Pose Cybersecurity Risks

WhoisXML API Analysts and researchers have advised to be wary of newly registered domains (NRDs) for several years. Back in 2019, it was even suggested that 70% of new domain registrations are malicious. We keep identifying many suspicious newly registered domains in our Newly Registered & Just Expired Domains database even today, many of which are related to current world events such as the spread of COVID-19. more

How to Avoid Phishing Campaigns Targeting CARES Act Recipients

WhoisXML API Amid the spread of COVID-19, the world continues to suffer dire health and economic consequences. To help, national governments have released funds to support companies and laid-off employees. more

Newly Registered Domains Database Shows Threat Actors Exploit the Need for N95 Masks amid the Pandem

WhoisXML API As the coronavirus infection toll continues to rise, many countries are scrambling to get their hands on medical-grade N95 face masks. A commodity that once only served a purpose in specialized sectors such as healthcare has become a premium product demanded by the public. more

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