Censorship / Recently Commented

What is Anti-Spam?

There's a lot of argument as to which "anti-spam" techniques are legitimately so called. In this article, I'd like to consider what constitutes an anti-spam technique in an ideal sense, then consider the various practiced approaches to spam mitigation in that light, drawing conclusions as to how we should frame the "anti-spam" discussion. ...For the purposes of this discussion, let "spam" refer to "unsolicited bulk email". Not everyone agrees on this definition, but it's by far the most widely accepted, and without a working definition we won't be able to define "anti-spam"... more»

Just Another 'Black Box'? First Thoughts on Twitter's Trust and Safety Council

On Tuesday, Twitter announced the creation of the Trust and Safety Council, a body comprising 40 organisations and individuals from civil society and academia, tasked with "ensur[ing] that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter". The move is clearly a response to specific criticism of Twitter and its perceived inadequacies in dealing with hate speech -- a theme so popular and well-trodden that it recently spawned a parody account. more»

Officially Compromised Privacy

The essence of information privacy is control over disclosure. Whoever is responsible for the information is supposed to be able to decide who sees it. If a society values privacy, it needs to ensure that there are reasonable protections possible against disclosure to those not authorized by the information's owner. In the online world, an essential technical component for this assurance is encryption. If the encryption that is deployed permits disclosure to those who were not authorized by the information's owner, there should be serious concern about the degree of privacy that is meaningfully possible. more»

Governments Shouldn't Play Games with the Internet

Governments often use small players as pawns in their global games of chess. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework, turning Internet businesses into expendable pawns in a government game. But for the past fifteen years, Safe Harbor allowed data flows across the Atlantic -- fostering innovation and incredible economic development. more»

Russia Attempts Large Scale Experiment to Isolate Country from Global Internet

In a large scale experiments, Russia has attempted to test the feasibility of cutting the country off the World Wide Web, according to reports. "The tests, which come amid mounting concern about a Kremlin campaign to clamp down on internet freedoms, have been described by experts as preparations for an information blackout in the event of a domestic political crisis." more»

The EFF and Hanlon's Razor

The EFF has just posted a shallower than usual deeplink alleging an "email encryption downgrade attack" by ISPs intent on eavesdropping on their customers. They, along with VPN provider Golden Frog, have additionally complained to the FCC reporting this. Here, they've just noticed something that's common across several hotel / airport wifi networks... more»

Rape in the DNS

It took three years for ICANN to issue a breach notice to BizCn over the invalid WHOIS record behind RAPETUBE[DOT]ORG. Throughout the history of this absurd case ICANN staff would repeatedly insist the record had been validated and the registrar was compliant, regardless of extensive evidence proving otherwise. Despite a letter sent to ICANN's CEO and an investigation by the Washington Post, the Rape Tube stayed online. more»

Playing the Long Game at the Internet Governance Poker Table

Poker players say if you can't spot the fish within your first 15 minutes at the table, you're the fish. With that in mind, I'm tempted to ask ICANN President Fadi Chehade who's the fish in the high-stakes game of global Internet governance we're now playing. In 2013, ICANN dramatically changed its course in the global Internet governance debate. For a decade ICANN largely stayed out of the game, allowing stakeholders to defend the multi-stakeholder model where private sector and civil society are on equal footing with governments. But in 2013 ICANN went on the offensive... more»

On Mandated Content Blocking in the Domain Name System

COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act) is a legislative bill introduced in the United States Senate during 2010 that has been the topic of considerable debate. After my name was mentioned during some testimony before a Senate committee last year I dug into the details and I am alarmed. I wrote recently about interactions between DNS blocking and Secure DNS and in this article I will expand on the reasons why COICA as proposed last year should not be pursued further in any similar form. more»

Google's Project Shield May Actually Be A Double-Edged Sword

Google has received a lot of press regarding their Project Shield announcement at the Google Ideas Summit. The effort is being applauded as a milestone in social consciousness. While on the surface the endeavor appears admirable, the long-term impact of the service may manifest more than Google had hoped for. Project Shield is an invite-only service that combines Google's DDoS mitigation technology and Page Speed service... more»

Nobody Has Proposed a Sustainable Model for Internet Governance Yet

The idea that the US would maintain a strategic position in the Internet was always a pipe dream. Allowing the US to pick the DNS contractors is one thing, allowing the US the power to arbitrarily shut countries off the net is quite another. And that is what deployment of DNSSEC and the rPKI under the current models would do. The idea that some US congressman would promote a bill to force ICANN to drop Cuba, Palestine or the enemy of the moment off the Internet is really not far fetched. The US government was just shut down for over two weeks in a bizarre act of political theater. more»

New Law in Russia Lets Authorities Take Down Certain Sites Without Trial

A law that aims to protect children from harmful internet content by allowing the government to take sites offline has taken effect in Russia. The authorities are now able to blacklist and force offline certain websites without a trial. The law was approved by both houses of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin in July. more»

Google Dumps Illicit Pharmacy Advertisements

Garth Bruen writes: Within the next few weeks Google plans to update its pharmacy policy which will restrict pharmacy advertisements. Once in effect, the updated policy will only allow VIPPS and CIPA certified pharmacies to advertise. Additionally these pharmacies can only target ads within their country. more»

Saudi Arabia Objects to Certain Proposed New gTLD Strings Such as .Gay and .Wine

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has objected to a number of proposed new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) including .porn, .sexy, .wine, .bar and .bible, according to records of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). "Many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion. The creation of a gTLD string which promotes homosexuality will be offensive to these societies and cultures," says Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission. more»

My Comment on Forbes - Why Is the UN Trying to Take over the Internet

Forbes just published this article that's being shared all over my facebook friends feed. I left a comment on the article that I've copied and pasted here, as it is just about long enough to qualify as a CircleID post by itself... The problem is that peering isn't always settlement free -- and even if it is, if and only if there's an equitable amount of traffic exchanged between two ISPs. And then there's transit, where you pay another network to carry your packets for you. more»