/ Featured Blogs

Foggy Bottom's New Cyberspace Bureau "Lines of Effort": Dumb and Dumber

The release of the Tillerson letter to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs describes the State Department's new "Cyber Bureau" together with its "primary lines of effort." The proposal is said to be designed to "lead high-level diplomatic engagements around the world." Two of those "efforts" deserve special note and provide an entirely new spin on the affectionate local term for the Department -- Foggy Bottom. more

The New State Department Cyberspace Bureau: from Multilateral Diplomacy to Bilateral Cyber-Bullying

These days in Washington, even the most absurd proposals become the new normal. The announcement yesterday of a new U.S. State Department Cyberspace Bureau is yet another example of setting the nation up as an isolated, belligerent actor on the world stage. In some ways, the reorganization almost seems like a companion to last week's proposal to take over the nation's 5G infrastructure. Most disturbingly, it transforms U.S. diplomacy assets from multilateral cooperation to becoming the world's bilateral cyber-bully nation. more

Bitcoin Domain Names Become Popular - and Attract Disputes

Cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) are all the rage -- so, naturally, related domain name disputes are, too. The wild fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices (Bitcoin hit a low of close to $6,000 this week, after reaching an all-time high of more than $19,000 only two months ago, and less than $1,000 a year ago) have attracted speculators, regulators and now even cybersquatters. more

Preparing for GDPR's Impact on WHOIS - 5 Steps to Consider

With GDPR coming into effect this May, it is almost a forgone conclusion that WHOIS as we know it today, will change. Without knowing the full details, how can companies begin to prepare? First and foremost, ensuring that brand protection, security and compliance departments are aware that a change to WHOIS access is on the horizon is an important first step. Just knowing that the ability to uncover domain ownership information is likely to change in the future will help to relieve some of the angst that is likely to occur. more

Transition of the Telecoms Industry Is Overdue

It is interesting to observe the changes in the telecommunications environment over the last few decades. Before videotex (the predecessor of the internet) arrived in the late 1970s early 1980s, 90% of telecommunications revolved around telephone calls. And at that time telephony was still a luxury for many, as making calls were expensive. I remember that in 1972 a telephone call between London and Amsterdam cost one pound per minute. Local telephone calls were timed... more

ICANN Maps Whois Models for GDPR

Earlier today ICANN held a webinar to provide an update on their data privacy activities in relation to whois and GDPR. Rather than simply talking about the various "models" they produced both a visual mapping as well as a matrix. While some attendees may not agree with how all the models are classified it is still a helpful way of showing the deviations from the current fully public whois model for gTLD domain name registrations. more

The Rise of a Secondary Market for Domain Names (Part 4/4): Facilitating the Secondary Market

The defining of rights in the UDRP process is precisely what WIPO and ICANN contemplated, but it is unlikely they foresaw the destination of the jurisprudence. Since its inception, UDRP Panels have adjudicated over 75,000 disputes, some involving multiple domain names. (These numbers, incidentally, are a tiny fraction of the number of registered domain names in legacy and new top-level domains, which exceeded 320 million in the first quarter 2017). more

The Rise of a Secondary Market for Domain Names (Part 3/4): Domain Names as Virtual Real Estate

The way the Internet operates drove a wedge between strings of lexical and numeric characters used as marks and alphanumeric strings used as addresses. Domain names were described by Steve Forbes in a 2007 press release as virtual real estate. It is, he said, analogous to the market in real property: "Internet traffic and domains are the prime real estate of the 21st century." more

From Crisis to Resilience - the Path to Sustainable Communications Infrastructure in the Caribbean

The Caribbean suffered six major storms in 2017, including the record-breaking Category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the unprecedented destruction, the islands of Dominica and Barbuda lost all communication and telecommunications service, and eight other Caribbean countries were severely disrupted. Each hurricane season wreaks greater devastation than the last, yet decreased telecommunications competition, inadequate regulation, and high national debt burdens in the region yield ever-diminishing infrastructural investment. more

How Do You Turn a Typesetting Language Into an Identifier System? (Not Easily)

Unicode's goal, which it meets quite well, is that whatever text you want to represent in whatever language, dead or alive, Unicode can represent the characters or symbols it uses. Any computer with a set of Unicode typefaces and suitable layout software can display that text. In effect, Unicode is primarily a typesetting language. Over in the domain name system, we also use Unicode to represent non-ASCII identifiers. That turns out to be a problem because an identifier needs a unique form, something that doesn't matter for typesetting. more