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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»

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»

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»

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»

Help Us Answer: What Will the Internet Look Like in 10 Years?

What will the Internet look like in the next seven to 10 years? How will things like marketplace consolidation, changes to regulation, increases in cybercrime or the widespread deployment of the Internet of Things impact the Internet, its users and society? At the Internet Society, we are always thinking about what's next for the Internet. And now we want your help! more»

Internet Governance Outlook 2017: Nationalistic Hierarchies vs. Multistakeholder Networks?

Two events, which made headlines in the digital world in 2016, will probably frame the Internet Governance Agenda for 2017. October 1, 2016, the US government confirmed the IANA Stewardship transition to the global multistakeholder community. November 2, 2016, the Chinese government announced the adoption of a new cybersecurity law which will enter into force on July 1, 2017. more»

Using Domain Name Privacy/Proxy Services Lawfully or to Hide Contact Information and Identity

Privacy/proxy services carry no per se stigma of nefarious purpose, although when first introduced circa 2006 there was some skepticism they could enable cybersquatting and panelists expressed different views in weighing the legitimacy for their use. Some Panels found high volume registrants responsible for registering domain-name-incorporating trademarks. Others rejected the distinction between high and low volume as a determining factor. more»

Selling DONA Snake Oil at the ITU

A venerable old ITU tradition got underway today. Its Telecommunication Standardization body, known as the ITU-T, gathered, as it has done every four years for much of the past 100 years in a conclave of nations, to contemplate what they should be doing at their Geneva intergovernmental standards meetings for the next four years. The gathering is called the WTSA... Old intergovernmental institutional habits still continue, so the participants are gathered in a remote location in Tunisia called Hammamet. more»

Writing the Next Chapter for the Historic One-Time Pad

The OTP, or One-Time Pad, also known as the Vernam cipher, is, according to the NSA, "perhaps one of the most important in the history of cryptography." If executed correctly, it provides uncrackable encryption. It has an interesting and storied history, dating back to the 1880s, when Frank Miller, a Yale graduate, invented the idea of the OTP. Communication was expensive and difficult in the age of telegrams, and few messages were easily encrypted. more»

IP Addresses Are Not Telephone Numbers - The Fundamental Flaw with the FCC's Proposed Privacy Rules

Last month the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), the information telcos collect about consumers' phone calls. The Commission's proposed rules would adapt and apply privacy rules that have historically applied to the traditional telephone space to broadband carriers. It would also regulate how broadband providers use and share that data. more»

We Need You: Industry Collaboration to Improve Registration Data Services

For more than 30 years, the industry has used a service and protocol named WHOIS to access the data associated with domain name and internet address registration activities... The challenge with WHOIS is that it was designed for use at a time when the community of users and service operators was much smaller and there were fewer concerns about data privacy. more»

DNS and Stolen Credit Card Numbers

FireEye announced a new piece of malware yesterday named MULTIGRAIN. This nasty piece of code steals data from Point of Sale (PoS) and transmits the stolen credit card numbers by embedding them into recursive DNS queries. While this was definitely a great catch by the FireEye team, the thing that bothers me here is how DNS is being used in these supposedly restrictive environments. more»

Problems With the Burr-Feinstein Bill

What appears to be a leaked copy of the Burr-Feinstein on encryption back doors. Crypto issues aside -- I and my co-authors have written on those before -- this bill has many other disturbing features. (Note: I've heard a rumor that this is an old version. If so, I'll update this post as necessary when something is actually introduced.) One of the more amazing oddities is that the bill's definition of "communications" (page 6, line 10) includes "oral communication", as defined in 18 USC 2510. more»

The Second Machine Age Calls for Vision and Leadership

This post I've been pondering on for a long time, but never found the right angle and perhaps I still haven't. Basically I have these observations, thoughts, ideas and a truckload of questions. Where to start? With the future prospects of us all. Thomas Picketty showed us the rise of inequality. He was recently joined by Robert J. Gordon who not only joins Picketty, but adds that we live in a period of stagnation, for decades already. "All great inventions lie over 40 years and more behind us", he points out. more»