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Governments Shouldn't Play Games with the Internet

Governments often use small players as pawns in their global games of chess. Two weeks ago the European Court of Justice invalidated the EU-US Safe Harbor ("Safe Harbor") framework, turning Internet businesses into expendable pawns in a government game. But for the past fifteen years, Safe Harbor allowed data flows across the Atlantic -- fostering innovation and incredible economic development. more»

Freedom on the Internet: Where Does Your Country Stand?

Out of the 3 billion users on the Internet, how many can trust that their online communications will not be monitored or censored? How many feel safe that they can express their opinions online and will not be arrested for their ideas? How many feel confident in communicating anonymously online? For us at the Internet Society this is a key element of an Internet of opportunity: Internet access is only meaningful if people can trust that their fundamental rights will be respected and protected online as well as offline. more»

Consumer Trust? Not at ICANN Compliance

Every person and every entity must have a philosophy if they are to be successful. Consumer trust is one of the key issues at the heart of keeping the Internet open as well as prosperous. The ICANN Affirmation of Commitments was signed in 2009 and has been the guiding principle for ICANN's activities going forward. The title of section 9.3 is Promoting competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice. This section is in essence the embodiment of the commitment of ICANN. more»

I'm Shocked, Shocked to Find There's Cryptanalysis Going On Here (Your plaintext, sir.)

There's been a lot of media attention in the last few days to a wonderful research paper on the weakness of 1024-bit Diffie-Hellman and on how the NSA can (and possibly does) exploit this. People seem shocked about the problem and appalled that the NSA would actually exploit it. Neither reaction is right. In the first place, the limitations of 1024-bit Diffie-Hellman have been known for a long time. RFC 3766, published in 2004, noted that a 1228-bit modulus had less than 80 bits of strength. That's clearly too little. more»

Internet Society Releases Internet of Things (IoT) Overview: Understanding the Issues and Challenges

Near the end of the first decade of this century, the world reached an Internet milestone. The number of Internet-connected devices surpassed the number of people alive on planet Earth. At the time, seven billion devices had already been connected to the Internet, and this went completely unnoticed by most people. This moment represented an important sign of the rapid pace in which we are adopting technology and embracing Internet connectivity. more»

Correcting Federal Databases: A Procedural Guide

Federal databases, such as those being compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, contain data about many people and businesses. Although some of this data may be protected personal information (PPI), there is also extensive information in federal databases that is publicly disseminated via the internet. If the information is wrong, it has the potential to be a vector of tortious mischief. more»

Thinking Ahead on Privacy in the Domain Name System

Earlier this year, I wrote about a recent enhancement to privacy in the Domain Name System (DNS) called qname-minimization. Following the principle of minimum disclosure, this enhancement reduces the information content of a DNS query to the minimum necessary to get either an authoritative response from a name server, or a referral to another name server. more»

'The Global Village' Idiot

I recall from some years back, when we were debating in Australia some national Internet censorship proposal de jour, that if the Internet represented a new Global Village then Australia was trying very hard to position itself as the Global Village Idiot. And the current situation with Australia's new Data Retention laws may well support a case for reviving that sentiment. more»

ICANN Should Curb Anonymous Domain Name Abuses

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses sell to consumers -- including those involved in illicit activities, such as websites peddling illegal narcotics, pirated movies and music, or counterfeit handbags. For example, 96 percent of Internet pharmacies do not comply with U.S. laws, and as they ship pills tainted with paint thinner, arsenic, and rat poison, they put the health and safety of consumers at risk. Why don't law enforcement officials do more to combat this problem? Partly because of the difficulty of identifying who is actually operating the illegal pharmacies. It is time to fix this, while allowing anonymity for those who deserve it. more»

How to Move Cybersecurity Forward in a More Positive Way

In 2013 I wrote a blog Telecoms as a spying tool, in which I mentioned that those who use the internet to spy indiscriminately will have to face the reality that such activities will only start a cat-and-mouse game -- the technology will always be able to stay one step ahead of those who are using the internet for criminal purposes. Since that time some very significant developments have taken place that have confirmed our prediction. more»