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AFRINIC Partners With ICANN on AFRICA DNS Business Exchange Programme

A series of internships have been set up to facilitate capacity building for registrars and registries in Africa to boost the African domain name business. Launched by ICANN in partnership with AFRINIC, the first phase of the DNS Business Exchange Programme involved interns selected from ICANN accredited registrars. more»

Cuba to Provide Public Wifi for the First Time

According to various sources, Cuba is launching its first public wireless service in the city of Santiago de Cuba. However, at the reported cost of $4.50 an hour, it will be far too expensive for most Cubans with average salary of $20 a month. Last year, 3.4 percent of homes in Cuba had Internet access -- one of the world's lowest rates, according to international technology authorities. more»

ICANN Reviews Domain Name Registrars

ICANN already has taken steps to decertify RegisterFly.com, whose troubles it said resulted in many customers unable to renew names before they expired or to transfer them to rival registration companies.

ICANN said broader changes may be needed to prevent similar troubles in the future. Paul Levins, the agency's vice president for corporate affairs, said Monday that the existing rules were written when there was little competition among registrars, while there are about 860 today. more»

US Official: Delaying New gTLD Program Could Lead to Other Countries Seeking Control of the Internet

Calls for the U.S. government to halt plans for the expansion of new gTLDs are shortsighted because they could lead to other countries attempting to exert control over ICANN, a U.S. government official said Wednesday. ICANN's plan to begin accepting applications for new gTLDs at 7 p.m. Wednesday EST should move forward, even though there are major concerns about the gTLD plan, said Lawrence Strickling, administrator at the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). more»

VeriSign's Chief Hits Back at .com Critics

VeriSign's chief executive Stratton Sclavos has urged ICANN to quickly approve a deal that would allow the company to raise the price of .com domains, saying those who oppose it are acting out of "narrow economic interests".

The demand, in a letter published yesterday [PDF], came as opposition mounted to the proposal. Those criticizing the deal now include a former ICANN chief executive, and ICANN's At Large Advisory Committee, which represents end users. more»

Japan's Bullet Trains to Get Internet Access this Week

Passengers on some shinkansen bullet trains will be able to access the Internet via wireless local area networks being launched separately by four major telecommunications firms, including NTT DoCoMo Inc. High-speed data transmissions of up to 2 megabits per second will be possible even when the trains are running at full speed and through tunnels. Mobile stations on the trains will send and receive signals with cables placed along the railroad lines, and these mobile stations will serve as access points for the wireless networks. more»

ICANN Needs to Tighten Director-Conflict Policies, Says CEO

ICANN needs to strengthen conflict-of-interest policies for its board of directors, said Rod Beckstrom, CEO, in his opening remarks during the organizations 43rd public meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. "It is time to further tighten up the rules that have allowed perceived conflicts to exist within our board. ... ICANN must place commercial and financial interests in their appropriate context," said Beckstrom, who plans to step down in July. "How can it do this if all top leadership is from the very domain name industry it is supposed to coordinate independently?" more»

DNS Troubles at the U.S. National Security Agency

DNS server problems at the U.S. National Security Agency have knocked the secretive intelligence agency site offline for several hours. Reports suggest various possible reasons including an internal routing problem of some sort on their side or errors in firewall or ACL [access control list] policy. Other possibilities are speculated to be a technical glitch or a hacking incident. The NSA is responsible for analysis of foreign communications, but it is also charged with helping protect the U.S. government against cyber attacks -- the outage is an embarrassment for the agency. more»

Internet a Global Revolution So Long as You Use Western Alphabets

The internet is a global revolution in communication - as long as you use letters from the western alphabet. ...According to Kaled Fattal, "People say the net works, but it only works for those communities whose native language is Latin-based. The rest of the world is totally isolated." Fattal speaks perfect English but as chairman and chief executive of the Multilingual Internet Names Consortium (MINC), and an Arab, he knows that the majority of the world's population does not. more»

No Way Out of Australian ISP Filters

Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet content filtering scheme, and will only have the option to be placed on a weaker blacklist. Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material. "Illegal is illegal and if there is infrastructure in place to block it, then it will be required to be blocked -- end of story." more»

DHS Asks Citizens to Practice Good "Cyber Hygiene"

Kicking off the sixth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has urged computer users to practice good "cyber hygiene". The campaign was given a boost Wednesday when the Senate passed resolution 285 to support its goal to make U.S. citizens more aware of how to secure the internet. DHS has also announced that is has been given new authority to recruit and hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity professionals across the department to fill roles such as: cyber risk and strategic analysis; cyber incident response; vulnerability detection and assessment; intelligence and investigation; and network and systems engineering. more»

Working Group Gets Cold Shoulder in Talks to Formally Appoint Internet Community Within ICANN

Kieren McCarthy reporting in the Register: "The process to bring greater accountability to domain-name overseer ICANN descended into farce last week when the organization's board tried to skewer plans to force it to answer to the internet community while simultaneously claiming it supported the idea. more»

FCC Takes First Step to Boost National Broadband

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission took the first step in the effort to create a national broadband strategy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act charged the FCC with creating a plan to give all Americans access to broadband. The FCC began the effort, which will include a series of hearings and meetings, on Wednesday by asking for public comment. The FCC must present the plan to lawmakers by Feb. 17, 2010. This commission has never, I believe, received a more serious charge than the one to spearhead development of a national broadband plan," FCC Chairman Michael Copps said in a statement Wednesday... more»

ICANN Faces Questions on Accountability and Outside Takeover

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held a meeting today in Washington, D.C. discussing concerns over the organizations takeover by governments and other outside entities as well as the need for further accountability to Internet users. ICANN's current oversight agreement with the U.S. government comes to an end in a year and there are no plans to sign a new agreement according to ICANN officials. However in the past few years, representatives of other countries have called for an international organization to oversee the 10-year-old ICANN. In order to steer clear of outside takeovers, ICANN proposes remaining in the U.S. where it can take advantage of the countries relatively strong antitrust and competitive laws. more»

AT&T Following Steps of Cable Companies, Considers Tiered Broadband Pricing

AT&T, United States' largest Internet provider, is considering charging extra for customers who download large amounts of data. Cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Rogers have already taken steps to gauge their customers Internet usage. "A form of usage-based pricing for those customers who have abnormally high usage patterns is inevitable," said AT&T's spokesman Michael Coe. more»

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