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The IETF's *Other* Diversity Challenge: An Update

Last June I wrote an article titled "The IETF's Other Diversity Challenge" where I discussed the positive steps the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is taking to increase the diversity of its participants and raised a potentially overlooked demographic: Network Operators. That essay was a problem statement of sorts, and I was long ago taught that you should only raise problems that you have a solution for, or are at least willing to help solve. more

Lessons Behind the Microsoft 3322.org Takedown

The Microsoft action against 3322.org, a Chinese company, started with the news that computers were infected during the production phase. Stepping away from the controversy surrounding the approach, there are important lessons that cyber security officials and upper management, deciding on the level of and budget for cyber security in organisations should learn and take into account. I'm writing this contribution from a premise: China uses the fact that most IT devices are built in China to its advantage. Allow me to start with an account from personal memory to set the stage. more

Are We at the Dawn of a New Cold War?

Over the past say six months there are trends and events on and around the Internet that made me come up with this bizarre sounding question. Still it may actually make sense if we look at some facts. I'll be honest up front. This is a contribution that is not totally thought over and more a compilation of ideas and impressions gathered over the past weeks and months. Still, it could well serve as the beginning of a discussion on giving the recent events a place. There's nothing better than a provocative question in that case! Let's start here. more

Rewiring Internet Governance: Step One Is About ICANN (Part 1)

It is time for some straight talk about governance. The word "governance" used here means authority. It does not merely mean rules, or coercion, or any other weasel-worded definitions that deflect our attention from the art of good governance as distinct from self-serving opportunism and illusory power sharing. Politics, as Theodore Lowi reminded us, is ultimately about "who gets what". Quibbling with endless essays about who rules the root is useful, but not demonstrative. more

TPP IP Chapter Leaks Reveal New U.S. Proposed Regulations for Country-Code Domain Names

The leaked Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter has revealed a number of U.S. proposals including U.S. demands for Internet provider liability that could lead to subscriber termination, content blocking, and ISP monitoring, copyright term extension and anti-counterfeiting provisions. This post discusses Article QQ.C.12 on domain names. more

A Case for Further DNS Registrar Industry Self-Regulation

In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting. Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point... more

Internet Infrastructure: Stability at the Core, Innovation at the Edge (Part 2 of 5)

For nearly all communications on today's Internet, domain names play a crucial role in providing stable navigation anchors for accessing information in a predictable and safe manner, irrespective of where you're located or the type of device or network connection you're using. Over the past 15 years hundreds of millions of domain names have been added to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), and well over two billion (that's Billion!) new users, some ~34 percent of the global population, have become connected. more

The ICANN Quilombo

Argentines use the word "quilombo" to describe "a real mess", which is what I feared was awaiting us at the outset of ICANN's meeting in Buenos Aires this week. Since then, ICANN President Fadi Chehade has done a good job cleaning-up the internal process quilombo he and the board created. But ICANN's leadership has left the ICANN community struggling to answer deep and ongoing questions about the future of the Internet and the multistakeholder model. more

Decision Day for ICANN: The End of the Beginning, or the Beginning of the End?

I've just arrived in Singapore, where ICANN's board will almost surely vote to launch an unprecedented expansion plan for generic top-level domains (gTLDs). As the new gTLDs start lighting-up over the next two years, we'll look back on this week as the "end of the beginning" since it ended several years of planning for the actual expansion. After the vote the real work begins: evaluating applications, implementing new mechanisms, and contract compliance on a scale far greater than ICANN has ever seen. more

Independent Objector (IO) Launches Objection on New Applied-for gTLDs

Independent Objector (IO) has lodged objections on 24 new Applied-for gTLD (name scripts) before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on 12th March 2013. IO has exercised his important role and functionality in favor of Public interests on the grounds of Limited Public Interest and Community. New gTLD name scripts .Med, .Health, .Hospital, .Amazon, .Indians are included in the list of objections filed. more

We're Almost There… IANA Stewardship Transition

Since Friday, I have been listening to and, yes, talking to many in Dublin who are engaged in the multistakeholder effort to transition the IANA functions. Our goal is an orderly transition that both reaffirms the strength of the global multistakeholder model while protecting and preserving the coordinated, well-functioning administration of the unique identifiers that are the core of the technical genius of the Internet. more

Zero-Rating and the Creation of Digital Castes

During the last Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, a day was devoted to Net Neutrality with three panels devoted to the subject. The first was exactly about Zero-Rating: Net Neutrality, Zero-Rating & Development: What's the Data? the second was Network Neutrality: a Roadmap for Infrastructure Enhancement and last, the main session Network Neutrality: Towards a Common Understanding of a Complex Issue and Zero-rating was discussed on all three panels. more

ICANN to Face Major Transition as Vint Cerf Steps Down

Since its inception in 1998, the controversial Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has withstood violent political turbulence and survived volatile technical controversies. owever, in a few months, the non-profit ICANN may face one of its toughest challenges ever when its long-time board Chairman Vint Cerf -- widely known as one of the fathers of the Internet -- steps down. more

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary. more

Red Tape Set to Snuff Out Online Identity of Wales

Wales, a small Celtic country that has proudly withstood the depredations of Anglo-Saxons, Normans, and tourists, which has given the world everything from an enduring mythology to the world's longest single-world domain name, has been informed that they will not be allowed to proceed with .CYM (short for the Welsh name for Wales, Cymru) because that three-letter code is already claimed by the Cayman Islands. more