Privacy / Recently Commented

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»

New Bill Bans Internet Companies From Offering Unbreakable Encryption

Companies such as Apple, Google and others will be banned from offering encryption so advanced that even they cannot decipher it when asked to under the UK's Investigatory Powers Bill. 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»

ICANN Must Make User Privacy a Central Tenet for New Registrations, Says EFF

In a statement released today, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has criticized ICANN for not being proactive on privacy matters, saying the organization "can't seem to wrap its head around" the issue. 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»

Confessions of an Ex-Opponent of Whois Privacy

The following is the easyDNS response to ICANN's public comment period on GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. The public comment period is open until July 7, 2015. We strongly urge you to make your voice known by signing the petition over at Save Domain Privacy. I submit these comments as a CEO of an ICANN accredited registrar, a former director to CIRA and a lifelong anti spam contributor with an unblemished record of running a managed DNS provider that maintains zero tolerance for net abuse or cybercrime... more»

Active and Passive Internet of Things

"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it." -Mark Weiser ...The Internet of Things is a step in this very direction. And like all things new and mysterious, it has its fair share of utopian and dystopian soothsayers; with an almost certain probability that neither of their deterministic predictions will completely come to fruition in the future. more»

Consumers Are the Serfs of the Feudal Internet Companies

In one of the email conversations with my expert colleagues from around the globe, an interesting article was discussed written by Bruce Scheier in Wired: When it comes to security, we're back to feudalism. An interesting aspect of the discussion was the conclusion that Google's and Facebook's consumers are not their customers. The distinction is important, because consumers are the product being sold to their actual customers who are their advertisers. more»

End-to-End Email Encryption - This Time For Sure?

Phil Zimmerman's Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and its offspring have been encrypting and decrypting email for almost 25 years -- but require enough knowledge and determination to use them that adoption has never taken off outside the technoscenti. Now initiatives from several quarters aim to fix that -- but will it all "just work," and will end users adopt it even if it does? more»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead

Recently during an afternoon meeting with a friend of mine, Bob Ochieng, who happens to work for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Africa Operations, he lamented that at online Internet Governance discussions fora such as CircleID, and, there is no serious frequent engagements from African Voices. This got me thinking and I realized that most African Internet Stakeholders would rather use a "wait and see approach" in matters as critical as Internet Governance. more»

Extreme Vulnerability at the Edge of the Internet - A Fresh New Universal Human-Rights Problem

By design, the Internet core is stupid, and the edge is smart. This design decision has enabled the Internet's wildcat growth, since without complexity the core can grow at the speed of demand. On the downside, the decision to put all smartness at the edge means we're at the mercy of scale when it comes to the quality of the Internet's aggregate traffic load. Not all device and software builders have the skills - and the quality assurance budgets - that something the size of the Internet deserves. more»

Luddites of the 21St Century Unite?

In the past few weeks doom and gloom stories about the future were printed, discussed and opined in the press. The down and out of the message of futurists is that the middle class is going to be swept away in the coming years because of software and robotic solutions (from here on: automated processes), making humans redundant... Do Luddites of the 21st century need to rise? I want to look at the topic from a few angles. more»