Privacy

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Conflict of Opinion

If a UDRP panelist believes domainers are the same thing as cybersquatters, is he fit to arbitrate? I came across an editorial on CNET today by Doug Isenberg, an attorney in Atlanta and founder of GigaLaw.com, and a domain name panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization. The guest editorial focuses on Whois privacy and why it's imperative to maintain open access to registrant data for intellectual property and legal purposes. That's a common opinion I've read a million times. Nothing groundbreaking there. But then I was shocked to read that Isenberg generalizes domainers as cybersquatters: "Today, cybersquatters have rebranded themselves as 'domainers.' Popular blogs and news sites track their activities..." more»

DPI is Not a Four-Letter Word!

As founder and CTO of Ellacoya Networks, a pioneer in Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), and now having spent the last year at Arbor Networks, a pioneer in network-based security, I have witnessed first hand the evolution of DPI. It has evolved from a niche traffic management technology to an integrated service delivery platform. Once relegated to the dark corners of the central office, DPI has become the network element that enables subscriber opt-in for new services, transparency of traffic usage and quotas, fairness during peak busy hours and protection from denial of service attacks, all the while protecting and maintaining the privacy of broadband users. Yet, DPI still gets a bad rap... more»

Hunting Unicorns: Myths and Realities of the Net Neutrality Debate

In many ways, the emotionally charged debate on Network Neutrality (NN) has been a lot like hunting Unicorns. While hunting the mythical horse could be filled with adrenalin, emotion, and likely be quite entertaining, the prize would ultimately prove to be elusive. As a myth, entertaining; but when myths become reality, then all bets are off. The Network Neutrality public and private debate has been filled with more emotion than rational discussion, and in its wake a number of myths have become accepted as reality. Unfortunately, public policy, consumer broadband services, and service provider business survival hang in the balance. more»

Whither DNS?

The Domain Name System is often though of as an integral part of the Internet. Without it, how can you ever locate anything? Well, quite easily, thank you very much. DNS is used implicitly for many services, such as web browsing. It also includes explicit extensions for a few applications such as e-mail. (I'm talking here about DNS the system, not DNS the technology that can be re-purposed to things like ENUM.) But the most notable thing about DNS is its receding importance... more»

The Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008

Last week Sen. Snowe filed bill S.2661, the Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008, or APCPA. While its goals are laudable, I have my doubts about some of the details. The first substantive section of the bill, Section 3, makes various phishy activities more illegal than they are now in its first two subsections. It makes it specifically illegal to solicit identifying information from a computer under false pretenses, and to use a domain name that is deceptively similar to someone else's brand or name on the web in e-mail or IM to mislead people... more»

A Balkanized Internet Future?

Joi Ito has an important post [also featured on CircleID] on how the internet is in danger of becoming balkanized into separate "internets". He's not the only person who's concerned. Greg Walton worries about Regime Change on the Internet. My friend Tim Wu, a law professor specializing in international trade and intellectual property, has written an article for Slate: The Filtered Future: China's bid to divide the Internet... more»

More on WHOIS Privacy

Last week I wrote a note the ICANN WHOIS privacy battle, and why nothing's likely to change any time soon. Like many of my articles, it is mirrored at CircleID, where some of the commenters missed the point. One person noted that info about car registrations, to which I roughly likened WHOIS, are usually available only to law enforcement, and that corporations can often be registered in the name of a proxy, so why can't WHOIS do the same thing? more»

An Internet Security Operations Viewpoint of IGF

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is an annual UN conference on Internet governance which was held this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The topics discussed range from human rights online to providing Internet access in developing countries. A somewhat secondary topic of conversation is Internet security and cyber-crime mostly limited to policy and legislative efforts. Techies and Internet security industry don't have much to do there, but I have a few updates for us from the conference. more»

ICANN Sacrifices Privacy for Shot at Independence

Late last month, ICANN took a major step toward addressing some ongoing concerns by signing a new agreement with the U.S. government entitled the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) heralded as a "dramatic step forward" for full management of the Internet's domain name system through a "multi-stakeholder model of consultation." ...While the Joint Project Agreement may indeed represent an important change, a closer examination of its terms suggest that there may be a hidden price tag behind ICANN newfound path toward independence -- the privacy of domain name registrants. more»

Wall Street Journal Article on Whois Privacy

Today's Wall Street Journal discusses the fight over Whois privacy. The article on the front page of the Marketplace section starts by discussing how the American Red Cross and eBay use the Whois database to track down scammers: "Last fall, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross used an Internet database called "Whois" that lists names and numbers of Web-site owners to shut down dozens of unauthorized Web sites that were soliciting money under the Red Cross logo. Online marketplace eBay Inc. says its investigators use Whois hundreds of times a day..." more»

The Invisible Hand vs. the Public Interest in IPv4 Address Distribution

In the efforts to promote the public interest over that of monied interests in Internet Governance few issues are clear cut. One issue that has recently been discussed is that of requiring a "needs assessment" when transferring IP addresss blocks from one organisation to another (in the same or different RIR regions) or indeed when requesting IP resources from your friendly RIR. more»

A Clear Case for ISP Regulation: IP Address Logging

Over on the Network Neutrality Squad yesterday, I noted, without comment, the following quote from the new Time Warner Cable privacy policy bill insert: "Operator's system, in delivering and routing the ISP Services, and the systems of Operator's Affiliated ISPs, may automatically log information concerning Internet addresses you contact, and the duration of your visits to such addresses." Today I will comment, and explain why such logging by ISPs creates a clear case for regulatory intervention, on both privacy and competition grounds. more»

Whois: If You Want Privacy, Pay For It

Netchoice, a lobbying group for the e-commerce industry had a strange reaction on the failure of the GNSO working group on Whois to reach a consensus. After all, they say, "Privacy concerns with Whois that were identified years ago have already been addressed by in the marketplace"... more»

Help! My Domain Name Has Been Hijacked!

They are out there. In Internet Cafes and dark rooms from New York to Hong Kong to Iran, the domain name hijackers are plotting to steal your domain names. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself against losing your domain names. ...Registrars are often skeptical of claims of domain hijacking, and the hijackers often "launder" the domain names to look as if they have sold them to third parties... By the time you discover that your domain name has been stolen, it may be at its third or fourth different registrar in the name of a completely different party... more»

Spamming the News Cycle: Spamhaus Non-Story Goes Viral

Google News now shows more than 300 stories about Spamhaus, most about a proposed court order following a district court default judgment. To me, the most interesting is the meta-story -- why the non-event of a proposed order has the blogs scrambling with claims of constitutional crisis and even the notoriously close-lipped ICANN issuing an announcement "in response to community interest expressed on this topic." more»