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Understand More, Fear Less: Will G20 Be Able to Contribute to an Internet Future with a Human Face?

Last week, the G20's ministers responsible for the digital economy met in Düsseldorf to prepare this year's G20 summit, scheduled for Hamburg, July 2017. Building on important strides initiated two years ago during the G20 summit in Antalya and based on the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative (DEDCI), which was adopted last year under the Chinese G20 presidency, the Düsseldorf meeting adopted a "G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Declaration" which also includes a "Roadmap for Digitalisation". One day before the ministerial meeting, non-state actors were invited to discuss "Policies for a Digital Future" within a so-called Multistakeholder Conference. more»

Dissecting the (Likely) Forthcoming Repeal of the FCC's Privacy Rulemaking

Last week, the House and Senate both passed a joint resolution that prevent's the new privacy rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from taking effect; the rules were released by the FCC last November, and would have bound Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States to a set of practices concerning the collection and sharing of data about consumers. The rules were widely heralded by consumer advocates, and several researchers in the computer science community, including myself, played a role in helping to shape aspects of the rules. more»

Human Rights and Regular Internet Users

Human rights are a topic that came up several times at the IETF meeting that just ended. There's a Human Rights Research Group that had a session with a bunch of short presentations, and the featured two talks at the plenary asking, 'Can Internet Protocols Affect Human Rights?' The second one, by David Clark of MIT, was particularly good, talking about "tussle" and how one has to design for it or else people will work around you. more»

Is Call Forwarding an "Information Service" and Why It Matters for FTC Jurisdiction

Time to brush the dust off your Computer II notebooks. Are voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding enhanced services or telecom services? Today's case: FTC v. American eVoice, Ltd... The FTC brought an action against Defendants claiming that they were engaged in cramming, adding unwanted voicemail, electronic fax, and call forwarding services to consumers bills to the tune of $70 million. more»

Google Claims It Fixed the Security Holes the CIA Exploited

WikiLeaks shook the internet again on March 7, 2017, by posting several thousand documents containing information about the tools the CIA allegedly used to hack, among others, Android and iOS devices. These classified files were obtained from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence, although they haven't yet been verified and a CIA official declined to comment on this incident. This isn't the first time that the U.S. government agencies were accused of crossing the line and undermining online security and civil liberties, as it's been only a year since the infamous FBI-Apple encryption dispute. It's like "1984" all over again. more»

The Internet as Weapon

One of the most striking and enduring dichotomies in the conceptualization of electronic communication networks is summed up in the phrase "the Internet as weapon." With each passing day, it seems that the strident divergence plays in the press -- the latest being Tim's lament about his "web" vision being somehow perverted. The irony is that the three challenges he identified would have been better met if he had instead pursued a career at the Little Theatre of Geneva and let SGML proceed to be implemented on OSI internets rather than refactoring it as HTML to run on DARPA internets. more»

Wikileaks, the CIA, and the Press

As you've probably read, WikiLeaks has released a trove of purported CIA documents describing their hacking tools. There's a lot more that will be learned, as people work their way through the documents. For now, though, I want to focus on something that's being misreported, possibly because of deliberately misleading text by WikiLeaks itself. Here's the text from WikiLeaks... more»

Mitigating the Increasing Risks of an Insecure Internet of Things

The emergence and proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices on industrial, enterprise, and home networks brings with it unprecedented risk. The potential magnitude of this risk was made concrete in October 2016, when insecure Internet-connected cameras launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, a provider of DNS service for many large online service providers (e.g., Twitter, Reddit). Although this incident caused large-scale disruption, it is noteworthy that the attack involved only a few hundred thousand endpoints... more»

We Urgently Need a New Internet

Let's be honest about it. Nobody -- including those very clever people that were present at its birth -- had the slightest idea what impact the internet would have in only a few decades after its invention. The internet has now penetrated every single element of our society and of our economy, and if we look at how complex, varied and historically different our societies are, it is no wonder that we are running into serious problems with the current version of our internet. more»

Let's Face Facts: We Need a New Industrial Internet

The Internet is a great success and an abject failure. We need a new and better one. Let me explain why. We are about to enter an era when online services are about to become embedded into pretty much every activity in life. We will become extremely dependent on the safe and secure functioning of the underlying infrastructure. Whole new industries are waiting to be born as intelligent machines, widespread robotics, and miniaturized sensors are everywhere. more»