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WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

2017 Domain Name Year in Review

Given that it's been a few years since my last domain name year in review, I've really enjoyed looking back at this year's biggest domain name stories and seeing how this industry has evolved. This year, in particular, has seen some notable changes which are likely to impact the domain name landscape for years to come. So without further ado, here is my list for 2017. more

Caribbean Businesses Can Make Good Use of Free DNS Security

IBM Security, Packet Clearing House (PCH) and Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) unveiled a free Domain Name System (DNS) service designed to protect all Internet users from a wide range of common cyber threats. Launched on November 16 with simultaneous press events in London, Maputo and New York, the public DNS resolver has strong privacy and security features built-in and can be enabled with a few changes to network settings, as outlined on the organisation's website. more

Enabling Privacy Is Not Harmful

The argument for end-to-end encryption is apparently heating up with the work moving forward on TLSv1.3 currently in progress in the IETF. The naysayers, however, are also out in force, arguing that end-to-end encryption is a net negative... The idea of end-to-end encryption is recast as a form of extremism, a radical idea that should not be supported by the network engineering community. Is end-to-end encryption really extremist? Is it really a threat to the social order? more

RIPE 75: Imprssions of the Meeting

RIPE held its 75th meeting in Dubai in mid-October. As usual, there was a diverse set of presentations covering a broad range of activities that are taking place on today's Internet. The topics include issues relating to network operations, regulatory policies, peering and interconnection, communications practices within data centers, IPv6, the DNS, routing and network measurement. If that's not enough, the topic of the Internet of Things has been added as a Working Group in the RIPE pantheon. If you add address policy, database and RIPE services to the mix, you get a pretty packed five days with topics that would appeal to most Internet folks. more

The Darkening Web: Is there Light at the end of the Tunnel?

In his book "The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace" (Penguin Books, New York 2017), Alexander Klimburg, an Austrian-American academic, gives "Internet Dreamers" a "Wake Up Call". He tells us the background-story why people start to be "anxious about the future of the Internet", as the recent ISOC Global Internet Report "Paths to Our Digital Future" has recognized. Klimburg refers to Alphabets CEO Erich Schmidt, who once said that "the Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity does not understand". more

General Data Protection Regulation and the Future of WHOIS

Why does all of the discussion around potential options for WHOIS in the era of the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) feel like déjà vu? Is it because issues around WHOIS never really go away, and become a hot topic every few years? Is it because no one is really happy with the current system? Privacy advocates would be delighted to do away with it altogether, while business and Intellectual Property professionals press for improvements to accuracy and availability, which I fully support. more

I Never Signed Up for This! Privacy Implications of Email Tracking

What happens when you open an email and allow it to display embedded images and pixels? You may expect the sender to learn that you've read the email, and which device you used to read it. But in a new paper we find that privacy risks of email tracking extend far beyond senders knowing when emails are viewed. Opening an email can trigger requests to tens of third parties, and many of these requests contain your email address. more

A European Perspective on the Equifax Hack: Encouraging Data Security Through Regulation

The Equifax hack is understood to have compromised the personal data of over 140 million individuals. Although recent hacks of other businesses have affected more individuals, the personal data held by Equifax is significantly more sensitive than the data compromised in other hacks and includes Social Security numbers, birth dates, current and previous addresses and driver licence details... (Co-authored by Peter Davis and Brendan Nixon.) more

The Role of Domain Name Privacy and Proxy Services in URS Disputes

Here's another apparent limitation of the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), the domain name dispute policy that applies to the new generic top-level domains (gTLDS): Proceedings are unlikely to unmask cybersquatters hiding behind privacy or proxy services. Domain name registrants often use these privacy and proxy services to hide their identities when they register domain names. The services have legitimate uses but are controversial. more