Policy & Regulation

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Internet Society Posting Updates from ITU Plenipot 2014 in Busan

If you are, like me, not in Busan, South Korea, for the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference but are curious about what is going on there, my Internet Society colleagues on our public policy team have been posting regular updates to the Internet Society's blog and to the @ISOCPolicy Twitter account... Given that I work in the technology side of Internet Society's work and don't have the cycles to keep up-to-date with everything going on there in Busan, I've found these updates very helpful in understanding some of the major events happening at the ITU Plenipot 2014. more»

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more»

Towards More Efficient Registry-Registrar Relations

On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group. The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz. more»

ICANN in Hollywood: Foreshadowing a Happy Ending?

As we arrived in Hollywood -- the land of happy endings -- ICANN had just given us cause to hope that the ICANN accountability process might get its own Hollywood ending, despite a fitful start. As one who's been critical of ICANN management's heavy-handed attempts to control the accountability process, it's only appropriate to give credit where credit is due. In accepting the community's strenuous -- and nearly unanimous -- calls for a cross-community working group to lead the process of improving ICANN's accountability mechanisms, ICANN management says it's now prepared to follow the community's lead, rather than dictating and constraining it. more»

.trust Technical Policy Launch

Whenever I examine the technical elements of the various Internet security certifications and standards that organisations are clamouring to achieve compliance against, I can't help but feel that in too many cases those businesses are prioritising the wrong things and wasting valuable resources. They may as well be following a WWI field guide on how to keep cavalry horses nourished and bayonets polished in a world of stealth aircraft and dirty bombs. more»

UN Broadband Commission 2.0

Back in late 2009 I had the honour of explaining my views on how broadband can deliver social and economic benefits to countries and their people to Dr Hamadoun TourĂ© the Secretary-General (SG) of the ITU, the UN body looking after global telecoms. He showed a particular interest in the initiative Australia had taken in developing the NBN. This discussion with the SG led to the establishment in 2010 of the UN Broadband Commission, co-sponsored by UNESCO and the ITU. Dr TourĂ© invited 50 Commissioners from around the world to participate in this initiative, half of them from private industry. more»

ICANN 51 Focus: Making ICANN Directly Accountable to the Broader Internet Community

ICANN 51 taking place in Los Angeles this week may not have its customary evening Gala, but it opened with rousing remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in the first-ever ICANN appearance of the head of the Cabinet agency from which it was born and which has exercised continuous oversight of its key IANA functions. The themes of the growing importance of Internet Governance and the U.S. government's steadfast commitment to defense of the multistakeholder model, as well as the connection between maintenance of an open Internet and fostering free speech and economic growth, were key elements of Secretary Pritzker's address. more»

Where Is Cyberspace?

In my first CircleID post, I compared the cyberspace to a farmland, which has to be cultivated and developed. I ended by asking: Where is cyberspace? I have asked this same question from many people, many of whom are internet experts. They all said the cyberspace is in the computers, networks, or servers, or the Internet itself. I agree with these cyberspace ideas. In addition, my opinion is a bit different. more»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

Privacy and Security - Five Objectives

It has been a very busy period in the domain of computer security. With "shellshock", "heartbleed" and NTP monlink adding to the background of open DNS resolvers, port 445 viral nasties, SYN attacks and other forms of vulnerability exploits, it's getting very hard to see the forest for the trees. We are spending large amounts of resources in reacting to various vulnerabilities and attempting to mitigate individual network attacks, but are we making overall progress? What activities would constitute "progress" anyway? more»