Internet Governance

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Lessons from Egypt: We Need to Protect Our Connected Minds

We need to protect the power that allows us to connect our collective intelligence, as described a few weeks ago in my blog on connected minds. I argued that in order to address some of our global challenges we have to start looking at a radically new way to address them. The events in Egypt brought home the fact that if it comes to the crunch any government can disconnect us simply by bringing the Internet and other communications systems down at will... more»

ICA Tells DOC of Concerns Over USG and GAC "Scorecards"

The ICA has just dispatched a letter to Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling in advance of the talks scheduled in Brussels on February 29-March 1 between ICANN's Board and its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Our letter expresses strong concerns that the positions being advocated by the U.S. government and the GAC regarding the proposed Final Applicant Guidebook (AG) for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) would be detrimental to ICANN's multi-stakeholder policy process and would undermine the rights of legitimate registrants at new gTLDs. more»

US Facing a Human Capital Crisis in Cybersecurity, Says CSIS

A new study has been released by Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th President that looks into cybersecurity manpower challenges in the United States. The report titled, "A Human Capital Crisis in Cybersecurity," is produced by CSIS - a bipartisan public and foreign policy think tank in Washington. more»

Trademark Protection Dust-Up Obscures the Potential Value in New gTLDs

As a member of ICANN's Business Constituency I have heard first-hand the perfectly appropriate criticisms from trademark holders of ICANN's roll-out of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). But while it may be OK for branded companies to wish they didn't have to deal with the matter, the dust that has been kicked up has obscured real value in the program. more»

ICANN Terminates EstDomains, Seeks Bulk Transfer of Customers

In follow up to reports on ICANN's termination of notorious domain name registrar, EstDomains due to fraudulent activities, the Internet oversight agency is now preparing to transfer domain names of its customers to other registrars... However the question asked by experts is whether any other registrar would have an interest in inheriting EstDomains questionable domain names. more»

Scrutinize ICANN's Thousand New-TLDs Limit

I am skeptical about how ICANN has arrived at a technical limit of a thousand new TLDs per year. The ICANN study driving this number must be made public so that our industry's risk management experts can size up the finding. Why am I skeptical? more»

Good is Better than Perfect in ICANN Accountability

In the next few months, ICANN will have a concrete opportunity to improve its accountability and transparency by enacting the recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT). Those recommendations may not be perfect, but if the history of the ICANN process is any indication, we can't afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the very good. more»

FBI Official Calls for Secure, Alternate Internet to Protect Critical Utility, Financial Systems

Shawn Henry, FBI's executive assistant director says computer networks that control power plants and financial systems will never be secure enough, so government and corporate leaders should consider developing a new, highly secure alternative Internet, according to an AP report. "We can't tech our way out of the cyberthreat. The challenge with the Internet is you don't know who's launching the attack." A key step, he said, would be to develop networks where anonymity is not an option and only known and trusted employees have access. more»

The Facts about Vertical Integration?

In a far less dramatic event, the ICANN Board will soon decide the question of vertical integration between domain name registries and registrars in the new Top-Level Domain (newTLD) round. But Adams' statement continues to ring true today and the question the ICANN Board must ask itself is: "what facts do we have before us to justify a change in policy." After 2+ years of intense community discussion on this topic, the answer is clearly -- very few. more»

Beyond Domains: What Did We Really Learn in 2009?

The beginning of every year is a time for introspection, an appraisal of the year that was, and planning for the year to come. It is also a time to follow tradition and to recap the biggest news of the year. But by now, I am guessing that we have all read our fair share about the people and events who have impacted the last 12 months... if we take a larger vantage point (than our own relatively small domain name industry), these lessons from 2009 -- in my view -- could teach us all and most importantly, really shape the year ahead. more»

Islamic TLDs and the Challenge of Good Governance

As governments ask themselves whether they should not be the only ones in charge, and everyone else is more determined than ever to stay involved, Internet governance is now a front-page topic. But away from the theoretical debates about which model is best, one real-life situation may end up looking strangely like a vindication of the multi-stakeholder model by governmental organisations. The situation in question is that of Islam and Halal. Two applications that look like they are caught in a kind of new gTLD program groundhog day. more»

Neustar Analysis Shows ICANN Study Overstates Risk of Harmful Domain-Name Collision

As we blogged about recently, Neustar is committed to ensuring that the domain name system is secure and stable and has been operating top-level domains (TLDs) for over a decade. Tuesday, Neustar submitted comments to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in response to ICANN's proposal to delay the launch of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). ICANN's decision to delay the launch is based on a study it commissioned that measured the potential frequency of domain-name collision. more»

WikiLeaks and Stuxnet - Smart Grid Wakeup Calls

The past couple of weeks have been pretty seminal for anyone concerned about the state of Internet security and the bigger picture as to how much we could - do - and should - trust the Web. These two strange words - WikiLeaks and Stuxnet - have suddenly entered our lexicon and there is a lot to be concerned about in the world of smart grid. more»

Is WCIT Failure the Start of a Digital Cold War?

This was never part of the plan. Going into the Dubai World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) two weeks ago, there was optimism aplenty. After weeks of online and media campaigning, proponents of a free Internet had managed to scare everyone into thinking that WCIT was tantamount to digital Armageddon. This had the effect of defusing the conference before it even started, or so it seemed... more»

Geist on the Bodog.com Seizure Case

Reporting further on the recent Bodog.com domain name seizure case based on gambling charges, Michael Geist writes: "In the Bodog.com case, U.S. officials targeted a site with limited connections to the country as the site had licensed out the bodog.com domain name in 2006 and stopped accepting U.S. bettors late last year. The legal issues surrounding its operations will be played out in court, but the manner in which the bodog.com name was seized could have a lasting impact on Internet governance." more»

Industry Updates

DotConnectAfrica on "CONNECTing the Dots: Options for Future Action" at UNESCO, Paris

IBCA Presentation to ICANN GAC on Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs

Season's Greetings - 2014 End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

Domain Name .Africa Faces Hurdles - Q&A with Sophia Bekele

Afilias Director Wins ICANN's 2014 Leadership Award

DotConnectAfrica Contributes at the 9th IGF in Istanbul, Turkey

Video Interviews from ICANN 50 in London

ICANN London Recap Webinar

DotConnectAfrica Delegates Attend the Kenya Internet Governance Forum

Sophia Bekele Weighs in on Obama's August US-Africa Leader Summit at the NYF Africa

DotConnectAfrica's Expert Selected to Attend the Hague Institute of Global Justice

DotConnectAfrica Delegates Attend the KHRC Internet & Human Rights Breakfast Roundtable in Nairobi

Internet Business Council for Africa Participates at the EU-Africa 2014 Business Forum, Brussels

DotConnectAfrica Statement Regarding NTIA's Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Function

Afilias Joins Internet Technical Leaders in Welcoming IANA Globalization Progress