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ICANN Rejects Dot XXX Top-Level Domain Name Agreement

Faced with opposition from conservative groups and some pornography Web sites, the Internet's key oversight agency voted Wednesday to reject a proposal to create a red-light district on the Internet.

The decision from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers reverses its preliminary approval last June to create a ".xxx" domain name for voluntary use by the adult entertainment industry. Paul Twomey, ICANN'S chief executive, said the decision largely came down to whether by creating an "xxx" domain ICANN might be put in a position of having to enforce all of the world's laws governing pornography.

He said board members were aware of the controversy but "the heart of the decision today was not driven by a political consideration." more»

Dot XXX: Will Someone Intervene at the Last Minute?

The matter, which could be voted on as early as today by the organization that governs domain names, has triggered a rancorous global debate involving freedom-of-speech advocates, child-protection groups, adult-content providers, foreign governments and conservative Christian groups.

Mr. Lawley's proposal also raises thorny issues for the U.S. government, which funded the creation of the Internet and has long played a behind-the-scenes role in running it. As the Internet grows as a place of business and a forum for exchanging ideas, some have argued that it shouldn't be dominated by any one country. more»

Domain Names as Premium Web Real Estate on the Rise

"It's a long-term investment, like owning a home," says Lawrence Fischer, vice president of business development at SmartName.com, a company that owns and manages thousands of domain names, including Stockquotes.com. "But if a major brokerage firm came along with a big offer, I would be willing to listen."

Plenty have been willing to pay. Sales of 5,851 domain names generated $29 million in 2005, compared with the sale of 3,813 names for $15 million in 2004, market researcher Zetetic says. Venture-capital firms, too, are betting on domains. Last year, Highland Capital Partners plunked down more than $20 million on YesDirect, a holding company with 600,000 domain names. YesDirect is developing content for websites using the names, says Bob Davis, a managing general partner at Highland. more»

Smaller Cable Companies Take Aim at Network Neutrality

Young, wealthy Internet companies like Google shouldn't expect to get "special favors" from network operators that have sunk billions of dollars into fiber investments, the head of a smaller cable company said Monday...

"I think what the phone industry's saying and what we're saying is we've made an investment, and I don't think the government should be coming and telling us how we can work that infrastructure, simple as that," Commisso said during a panel discussion about issues faced by companies like his, adding, "Why don't they go and tell the oil companies what they should charge for their damn gas?" more»

Security Professionals at Major Financial Institutions Shunning VoIP

Internet telephony is still not mature enough a platform to support business communications, according to senior security professionals.

In a debate at the Infosecurity conference in London last Wednesday, an audience of security and IT pros voted that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) wasn't able to support mission critical communications at the moment. Banking security professionals argued that the expense of implementing current VoIP solutions coupled with the risk of security holes and network downtime did not make IP telephony an attractive business proposition. more»

Internet Out of IPv4 Addresses by 2012, the Consultancy Says

The growing popularity of smartphones, IPTV and other gadgets connecting to the Internet is eating up real estate on the net, and soon techies can expect cyberspace to run out of room, according to a Frost & Sullivan analyst briefing Thursday.

Experts say today's Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) also limits services of multimedia content and data communication, including mobile IP, P2P and video calls. With new mobile IPv6, telecommunication providers can easily roll out custom services from movies to ring tones to television. more»

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Yahoo for Typosquatting

A class-action lawsuit [PDF] filed Monday against Yahoo! Inc. and group of unnamed third-parties accuses the company of engaging in "syndication fraud" against advertisers who pay Yahoo to display their ads on search results and on the Web pages of partner Web sites. The suit claims that Yahoo displayed these advertisers' online ads via spyware and adware products and on so-called "typosquatter" Web sites that capitalize on misspellings of popular trademarks or company names.

Potentially more explosive is the plaintiff's claim that Yahoo regularly uses its relationship with adware and typosquatting sites to gin up extra revenue around earnings time, alleging that the company is conspiring to boost revenue by partnering with some of the Internet's seamier characters. more»

Net Neutrality Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

After failing last week to add a provision to a telecommunications reform bill, four Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday introduced a free-standing bill aimed at preventing broadband carriers from discriminating against competing Web content or services.

The bill, sponsored by Representatives Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Jay Inslee of Washington state, Anna Eshoo of California and Rick Boucher of Virginia, would create a net neutrality law banning phone and cable companies from charging Web sites for faster data transmission, or blocking their online competitors' content and services. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.  more»

Leading Domain Name Registrar Purchased by Demand Media, Expanding on Advertising Opportunities

eNom, one of the largest Internet domain name registrars, announced that it has been acquired by Demand Media, Inc., a new company headed by former MySpace.com chairman, and former CEO of Intermix Media, Richard Rosenblatt. Los Angeles-based Demand Media will broaden eNom's offerings by developing proprietary content tools and technologies, as well as new online advertising opportunities for eNom's clients.

The purchase of eNom was briefly mentioned yesterday in the Wall Street Journal prior to this formal announcement.  more»

WSJ on Domain Name Portfolio Development by Large Investors

The web site www.flashgames.com has no staff, spends no money on marketing and despite its name, offers no games. All it offers is a list of links to other game sites. Yet it earns revenue of more than $150,000 a year selling online ads...

These sites' ability to make lots of money for little investment is now attracting attention from big players. A group of investors led by former MySpace.com chairman Richard Rosenblatt is expected to announce today that it has raised $120 million from investors to build a new company, Demand Media Inc., centered on generic domain names like these. The venture has already acquired 150,000 domain names -- including flashgames.com -- and plans to aggressively acquire more. But, conscious of the limitations of these bare-bones sites, it plans to add some low-cost content in hopes of making the business even stronger. more»

Web's Million-Dollar Domain Name Typo in Controversy

Google Inc., which runs the largest ad network on the Internet, is making millions of dollars a year by filling otherwise unused Web sites with ads. In many instances, these ad-filled pages appear when users mistype an Internet address, such as "BistBuy.com."

This new form of advertising is turning into a booming business that some say is cluttering the Internet and could be violating trademark rules. It also has sparked a speculative frenzy of investment in domain names, pushing the value of some beyond the $1 million mark. more»

VoIP Used in New Phishing Scam

Small businesses and consumers aren't the only ones enjoying the cost savings of switching to VoIP. According to messaging-security company Cloudmark, phishers have begun using the technology to steal personal and financial information over the phone.

Earlier this month, Cloudmark trapped an email phishing attack in its security filters that appeared to come from a small bank in a big city and directed recipients to verify their account information by dialing the included number. (The Cloudmark user who received the email and alerted the company knew it was a phishing scam, because he's not a customer at this bank.)  more»

Internet Domain Names as Ubiqutous as Social Security Numbers

Jim Croce's famous song "I got A Name" may one day need to be changed to "I got A Domain" if current Internet growth rates remain the same. Today there over 70 million registered Internet domain names across the globe, according to Dotster, Inc., a leading provider of Internet domain name and hosting services...

"While more and more businesses are taking advantage of the innovation and power offered by the Internet by registering domains, an equal number of individual users are registering for domain names as well. In fact, with the Internet becoming such a ubiquitous part of everyday life and commerce, one can imagine a day when every individual and every corporation will have a domain name just as they do a social security number or corporate tax ID," says Kevin Kilroy, Chairman, Dotster, Inc. more»

Net Neutrality Provision Rejected

Internet companies and consumer groups calling for a new U.S. law that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or degrading some connections lost a major battle this week when a U.S. House of Representatives committee voted down such a provision.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, during debate on a telecommunications reform bill, rejected an amendment that would write so-called net neutrality provisions into U.S. law. Backers of a net neutrality law want Congress to prohibit U.S. broadband providers from blocking or slowing their customers' connections to Web sites or services that compete with services offered by the providers. more»

Bugs Found in DNS Software, Not Considered High-Risk

A number of flaws in the software that is used to administer the Internet's DNS (domain name system) has been discovered by researchers at Finland's University of Oulu.

The vulnerabilities could be exploited to "cause a variety of outcomes," including crashing the DNS server or possibly providing attackers with a way to run unauthorized software, according to an advisory posted Wednesday by the U.K.'s National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Center. more»

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