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The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation: An Agenda for the 2020s

The UN Panel on Digital Cooperation presented last week in New York its final report, and an old question is back on the international agenda: Could the global Internet be ordered by a reasonable arrangement among stakeholders which would maximize the digital opportunities and minimize the cyber risks by keeping the network free, open and safe? more

Cuba's New WiFi Regulations – Good, Bad or Meh?

Soon after ETECSA began rolling out WiFi hotspots for Internet access, people began linking to them from homes and community street nets. These connections and importing the WiFi equipment they used were illegal, but generally tolerated as long as they remained apolitical and avoided pornography. Regulations passed last month legalized some of this activity in a bid to boost connectivity by allowing Internet access from homes and small private businesses like restaurants and vacation rentals that are located close enough to a hotspot to establish a WiFi connection. more

Can ICANN Survive Today’s Global Geo-Political Challenges Under Its Existing Narrow Mandate?

Recently, the Presidents of four Latin American countries slammed ICANN over its .amazon domain name decision. This added to a long list of geo-politically infused challenges which ICANN needed to render final decisions on after all delay tactics or deferments had already been fully exhausted. It is clear that ICANN is facing unprecedented challenges as it tackles issues that go beyond its current narrow mandate. more

Trade War Is Turning Into a Technology War

President Trump knows that in the current trade war, the Huawei issue is perhaps one of the most important issues for the Chinese government. It directly undermines the Chinese prestige and the ban create global anxiety. This is resulting in discussions in many countries, assessing their relationship with China. It highlights the domination of the Chinese in telecoms manufacturing, but at the same time, it opens up other discussions in relation to Chinese dominance and influence. more

Back to the Future Part IV: The Price-Fixing Paradox of the DNS

GenX-ers may remember spending a summer afternoon at the movie theater and seeing the somewhat corny but beloved antics of Marty McFly and Doc as they used a souped-up Delorean to travel the space-time continuum. In Back to the Future Part II, Doc and Marty travel into the future, where the bullying, boorish Biff causes a time-travel paradox when he steals the Delorean and takes a joyride into the past to give his younger self a sports almanac containing the final scores of decades worth of sporting events. more

Trump Orders Cyberattacks by US Companies

It is supremely ironic. A rogue national leader with the stroke of a pen, dictates that its companies will expose a foreign company's end users to cyberattacks. This is the net effect of denying security patches or operating system updates pursuant to Trump's order. In the US Great Rogue Leader's bizarro world, this is the very behavior that he claims makes his actions necessary. In fact, this Trump malware attack is worse because of the mass exposure to exploits. more

A Closer Look at the "Sovereign Runet" Law

In December 2018, a bill on the "stable operation" of the Russian segment of the Internet was introduced and got the title "Sovereign Runet" in mass media and among the public. It was adopted after 5 months later, despite doubts about the technical feasibility of its implementation. The law is very ambitious in its intent to simultaneously control Internet traffic and protect Runet from some external threats, but legislators still have no idea how it would actually work. more

Understanding 5G: A Basic Primer

The initial, essential step toward understanding 5G is to perform an intellectual body purge of the endless disgorging of cluelessness and disinformation that emerges from the Washington White House and radiates out around that city and then to the outside world that it infects. The institutes, pundits, self-professed experts, summits, and even the U.S. press all pretty much feed out of the same trough of 5G political slop that gets passed around as incantations of ignorance, spin, and K-street lobbying. more

The Borg in Us All: Is Resistance Futile?

One of the main roles played by science fiction is to portray fundamental issues and questions that face humanity long before they actually become relevant to our daily lives. We cannot always be sure of where our reality ends, and fiction begins. Star Trek storylines including Borgs are a good example. In the storyline, Borgs are part organic, part artificial and created eons ago, yet they seem to presage the challenges in our contemporary personal reality and challenges in the Internet's cyberspace. more

The Three-Character Question at the Heart of Single-Character .COMs: W-H-Y?

In the matter relating to O.COM, I've focused on the fact that VeriSign has -- in correspondence to the organization that is counter-party to its .COM and transliterated .COM IDN Registry Agreements, in earnings calls with its investors and financial analysts, and in policy published on its website for every innocent and unsuspecting Tom, Dick, and Harry in the world to be duped by -- stated an unequivocal and unwavering commitment . more

How to Best Manage the Social Media

The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions -- just some of the potential attached to the internet. more

The Spurious Justifications for Eliminating Price Caps on .org and Other Legacy Domains

ICANN is about to do serious damage to its reputation by making a precipitous, ill-considered leap into the unknown should it follow through on removing price constraints on several legacy extensions, most notably .org. Doing so would expose a global community of non-profits to the risk of quickly-escalating exploitative pricing. The rationale for eliminating price caps relies on three points, all of which are incorrect. more

Open Data Leads to Competition

In a previous post, I spoke of Amazon's use of customer and market data in restraint of trade, but they are not alone. For example, leaked internal documents show that plans to sell access to user data were discussed for years and received support from Facebook's most senior executives. Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because Amazon was spending money on advertising and partnered with them on the launch of the Fire smartphone. more

Is Digital Democracy an Option – and What Is Involved in It?

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the internet Berners-Lee, the father of the internet, reiterated his suggestion for a radical change, which would improve the functionality of the internet for the benefit of society. He suggests a sort of refoundation of the web, creating a fresh set of rules, both legal and technical, to unite the world behind a process that can avoid some of the missteps of the past 30 years. While this most certainly would be an excellent development, I am rather pessimistic about a rapid implementation of such a radical change more

DNS Privacy at IETF 104

From time to time the IETF seriously grapples with its role with respect to technology relating to users' privacy. Should the IETF publish standard specifications of technologies that facilitate third-party eavesdropping on communications or should it refrain from working on such technologies? Should the IETF take further steps and publish standard specifications of technologies that directly impede various forms of third party eavesdropping on communications? more

News Briefs

Google Reported to Be Pushing Trump Administration for Exemption on Huawei Ban, Citing Security Risk

Critics Say FCC's New Report Declaring US Broadband Healthier Than Ever is Based on Flawed Data

Microsoft Sees Serious Appetite for Revised Privacy Laws in US, Says It's Time to Match EU's GDPR

NGOs, Academics Warn Against EU’s Deep Packet Inspection Problem, at Least 186 ISPs Breaking Rules

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Chief David Redl Resigns

US Federal Trade Commission Says It Lacks Resources to Go After Privacy Violations Effectively

Representatives From EU, NATO, USA, Japan, Australia Hold Meeting on 5G Security and Policy Measures

No GDPR Action Against Any Big Tech Firms Since Law Imposed Last Year, Doubts Escalate Over Enforcer

UK Government Planning on New Laws for IoT Devices Including a Mandatory Security Labelling Scheme

Canada Says Facebook Has Refused to Address Serious Privacy Deficiencies Concerning Its Local Laws

World's Growing Refugee Population Requires Access to Broadband to Mitigate Problems, Says Report

Non-Profit Organizations Send Joint Letter to ICANN Opposing the Removal of .org Price Caps

FCC to Block China Mobile From Gaining Access to the U.S. Market

Trump Administration Announces Its Big 5G Push: Largest-Ever Spectrum Auction and a 20.4B Fund

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Close to Half of America Not Using the Internet at Broadband Speeds, Says Microsoft

Article Expresses Concern That Google and Other Tech Giants are Quietly Buying Up Undersea Cables

Cybersecurity Continues to Be the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Top Priority for 2019

Russians Take to the Streets to Protest Against New Internet Restrictions

Thousands of UK Businesses, Individuals to Lose Their .EU Web Address in a No-Deal Brexit

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