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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»

Web Encryption - It's Not Just for E-Commerce, Anymore

Last week, I re-tweeted Cloudflare's announcement that they are providing universal SSL for their customers. I believe the announcement is a valuable one for the state of the open Internet for a couple of reasons: First, there is the obvious -- they are doubling the number of websites on the Internet that support encrypted connections. And, hopefully, that will prompt even more sites/hosting providers/CDNs to get serious about supporting encryption, too. Web encryption -- it's not just for e-commerce, anymore. more»

The Next New Media: Typewriters and Handwritten Letters

Who would have thought that typewriters and handwritten letters would ever be back in fashion? But back in 2013 it was reported that Russia was buying large quantities of typewriters. When this was further investigated the country denied that this was for security reasons. Since the Snowden revelations there has been a further rush on typewriters, both by government officials and by a range of, mainly corporate, businesses. more»

Call for Nominations: M3AAWG J. D. Falk Award Seeks Stewards of a Better Online World

Anyone seeking to honor a groundbreaking contribution toward a better online world should submit a nomination for the 2014 M3AAWG J. D. Falk Award. Presented to people whose work on specific projects made the Internet a safer, more collaborative, more inclusive place, the J. D. Falk Award has recognized leaders and pioneers who saw elements of the online experience that needed improvement and took action to fix them.  more»

Watch LIVE: Edward Snowden at HOPE-X Today at 2:00pm EDT (18:00 UTC)

Whether you view Edward Snowden as a criminal or a hero, or somewhere in between, you cannot dispute that his revelations about pervasive surveillance have changed the discussions about the Internet on both technology and policy levels. If you are interested in hearing what Edward Snowden has to say himself, he is scheduled to speak today, Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 2:00pm US EDT at the HOPE-X conference in New York City. more»

It's Time to Talk Solutions on Mass Surveillance

The public discussion of surveillance one year on from the Snowden revelations remains a search for the biggest sinner. New stories 'outing' countries and companies are great transparency and essential for healthy societies but they have a side effect that isn't so benign: they create an evergreen source of new justifications for security services to demand more money for a surveillance and counter-surveillance arms race. more»

Disclosing Unique User IDs in URLs Doesn't Violate ECPA - In re Zynga/Facebook

In separate lawsuits, plaintiffs alleged Facebook and Zynga violated the Stored Communications Act (in Zynga's case, also the Wiretap Act). The crux of plaintiffs' allegations was that when a Facebook user clicked on an ad or a link, the HTTP request sent by the browser included the user's Facebook ID and the address of the webpage the user was viewing when he or she clicked the link. An end user's request to play Farmville would result in the transmission of similar information to third parties. more»

Help ICANN Fix Whois Conflicts With Data Privacy Law

ICANN has opened a comment period in relation to whois conflicts with local law / data privacy law. Of course anytime ICANN, or anyone else, tries to make any changes to whois policy there are issues. Whois is, for a variety of reasons, an emotive subject... under EU law many feel that registration details for domain name registrants need to be handled in a manner that is more compatible with the EU Directives and local law more»

2050: The Internet Odyssey - How We Lost It and a Way to Get It Back

The Internet was replaced by a dual system created in 2014: a fiber optic network called "Net2Cash". It has a speed of one hundred Petabits per second (equivalent to 100 million Gigabits per second or 100,000 million Megabits per second). We no longer talk about Megabytes or Gigabytes because that is old school. Nowadays a couple of Exabites store the content of all written by man, from books and newspapers to Sumerian clay tablets; from Inca quipus and Egyptian hieroglyphs to all homework made by kids registered in elementary school. more»