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European Data Protection Supervisor Smacks ICANN Over Privacy Issues With 2013 RAA

ICANN has been sent a letter by the European Data Protection Supervisor calling them out with respect to both data collection, retention and privacy within the context of the 2013 Registrar contract (RAA). The letter is the first instance of one, to my knowledge, which makes reference to the ECJ's recent ruling that rendered the data retention directive null and void. more»

Verisign's Preliminary Comments on ICANN's Name Collisions Phase One Report

Verisign posted preliminary public comments on the "Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions" Phase One Report released by ICANN earlier this month. JAS Global Advisors, authors of the report contracted by ICANN, have done solid work putting together a set of recommendations to address the name collisions problem, which is not an easy one, given the uncertainty for how installed systems actually interact with the global DNS. However, there is still much work to be done. I have outlined the four main observations... more»

A Bad Year for Phishing

Here at the Anti-Phishing Working Group meeting in Hong Kong, we've just released the latest APWG Global Phishing Survey. Produced by myself and my research partner Rod Rasmussen of Internet Identity, it's an in-depth look at the global phishing problem in the second half of 2013. Overall, the picture isn't pretty. There were at least 115,565 unique phishing attacks worldwide during the period. This is one of the highest semi-annual totals we've observed since we began our studies in 2007. more»

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and… (Part Six: Starting Dot)

Starting Dot ("SD") is a French new gTLD applicant which applied for five strings: .ARCHI, .BIO, .DESIGN, (which has been withdrawn) .IMMO and .SKI. It is the only French applicant to have applied for several open new gTLDs. Some French brands have applied too but as closed Top-Level Domains... While Starting Dot may be one of the smaller portfolio applicants, there is a considerable difference here in the way their projects are handled when compared to some of the larger applicants. more»

What the US Government Said About IANA in Singapore

Two weeks ago, the US government announced it would transition its role in the IANA functions to the global Internet community. It tasked ICANN with the job of arriving at a transition plan and noted that the current contract runs out in 18 months' time, 30 September 2015. This week, ICANN started that process at its meeting in Singapore. And on the ground were the two key US government officials behind the decision. more»

Proceedings of Name Collisions Workshop Available

Keynote speaker, and noted security industry commentator, Bruce Schneier (Co3 Systems ) set the tone for the two days with a discussion on how humans name things and the shortcomings of computers in doing the same. Names require context, he observed, and "computers are really bad at this" because "everything defaults to global." Referring to the potential that new gTLDs could conflict with internal names in installed systems, he commented, "It would be great if we could go back 20 years and say 'Don't do that'," but concluded that policymakers have to work with DNS the way it is today. more»

The Path Forward: Accountability Through the IANA Transition

It's clear that the US government is intent on dropping its legacy contractual role for the IANA functions. Whatever your views on the wisdom or timing of that decision, the challenge now is to ensure that the transition leaves ICANN in the best possible position to succeed. Arriving yesterday to the island nation of Singapore felt strangely appropriate. Over the past week I've been one of the lonely people in the ICANN community to express concern about the US government's decision. more»

Competition Is Sexy - Separation or Integration of the Domain Name Sales Channel?

Back in the early days of the public Internet, Network Solutions had a monopoly on .com, .org., and .net domain registrations and charged $100 per domain for a 2-year registration. Growing complaints about that predatory pricing was one of the factors that led to ICANN's creation. NetSol established an internal "firewall" in 1998 and its wholesale prices soon dropped to $6 per domain. VeriSign acquired NetSol for $21 billion in 2000, and then sold off the registrar side of the business to private equity in 2003. more»

Finishing What We Started: A Level Playing Field for New gTLDs

While the Internet governance debate devours headlines, it's almost easy to forget that ICANN is in the midst of the most audacious and important policy process it has ever undertaken. And while many new generic top-level domains are now live, the process of ensuring the best opportunity to fulfill their potential is not yet complete. We recently reached the milestone of 280,000 registrations in the Donuts gTLDs that are currently generally available. more»

Closed Generic TLDs - The Final Battle?

Over the past couple of years I've posted several times on the issue of "closed generics". In essence these are new TLD applications where the string is a "generic term" AND the applicant wanted to keep all domains in the registry for their own use. The baseline registry agreement with ICANN now contains language that resolves the issue, or at least it would appear to do so. more»