/ Recently Commented

The Fight Is on to Save Access to WHOIS: A Call to Action for Brand Owners

Late last week, ICANN published the guidance from the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) that we have been waiting for. Predictably, WP29 took a privacy maximalist approach to the question of how Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to WHOIS, a tool widely used by cybersecurity professionals, businesses, intellectual property owners, consumer protection agencies and others to facilitate a safer and more secure internet.  more

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember that the Nazis rounded up Jews, Roma, political dissidents, and other "undesirables" using the best data and technology of the day and sent them off to concentration camps. We don't normally deal with this type of political reality in ICANN, but now is the time to do so. In 1995, the recently formed European Union passed the EU Data Protection Directive. more

Russian-Based Kaspersky Lab Planning on Swiss Data Center to Address Russian Exploit Concerns

Leading Moscow-based anti-virus software provider Kaspersky Lab is planning to open a data center in Switzerland to address Western government concerns that Russia exploits its anti-virus software to spy on customers, according to a report from Reuters on Wednesday. more

ICANN Cancels .CORP, .HOME, and .MAIL TLDs Indefintley Due to Collision Concerns

ICANN has announced that it has indefinitely deferred the delegations of the new TLDs .CORP, .HOME, and .MAIL due to the high-risk nature of the strings. The domains name system overseer has determined the said TLDs can cause name collisions, the overlap of private and public namespaces which may result in unintended and harmful results. more

Is Blockchain Causing More Cybersecurity Attacks in the Financial Industry?

There's a lot of misunderstanding about blockchain. A recent study by HSBC, for example, found that 59 percent of customers around the world had never heard of it. Yet, while that alone is quite telling, it's probably more alarming to consider the fact that very same poll revealed that 80 percent of people who had hard of blockchain did not understand what it is. This level of confusion isn't confined to the general population either. more

GDPR and WHOIS - Winners and Losers

I think we are all hoping that when ICANN meets with the DPAs (Digital Protection Authorities) a clear path forward will be illuminated. We are all hoping that the DPAs will provide definitive guidance regarding ICANN's interim model and that some special allowance will be made so that registrars and registries are provided with additional time to implement a GDPR-compliant WHOIS solution. more

Facebook vs. Domain Names: Lessons from Cambridge Analytica

The current revelations about Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data illustrate an important drawback to using a Facebook account as your business' online presence: Facebook knows and sells your customers! Millions of companies - especially small companies and start-ups - rely on a Facebook account for their online presence. On the surface, it seems like a great idea... more

ICANN Cannot Expect the DPAs to Re-Design WHOIS, but Asking for a Reprieve Makes Sense

We are on the brink of the most serious threat to the open and public Internet for decades. ICANN, under pressure from domain name registrars and EU data protection authorities, has proposed an "interim" plan that will hide critical information in WHOIS. Security, threat intelligence, and anti-abuse professionals rely on WHOIS to track down bad guys and keep the Internet as safe and secure as possible. more

ICANN IPC & BC to Host Cross-Community Call on Accreditation/Access Model for Non-Public WHOIS Data

The ICANN Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) and Business Constituency (BC) will be hosting a community-wide discussion regarding the proposed accreditation and access model for non-public WHOIS data, which was first circulated to the community during ICANN 61. The discussion will take place via ICANN-supported remote participation and/or audio bridge this Friday, April 6, 2018, from 1400-1600 UTC. more

European Commission Killing Off Thousands of EU Domains Due to Brexit

After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK. Over the past year, the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy. more

Security, Standards, and IoT: Will Connected Devices Flourish Under Prescriptive Regimes?

Security for Internet-connected devices, the "Internet of Things" (IoT), is critically important. Now, more than ever, it is top of mind for device manufacturers, network operators, consumer advocates, lawmakers, and government regulators -- domestically and internationally. In the face of recent attacks, government authorities and consumer advocates have proposed legislation, frameworks, certifications, and labeling schemes. more

Leveraging Trademark Data to Drive Domain Name Strategy

For years, corporate domain name portfolio managers have struggled with determining whether or not their portfolios were the "right" size. Managers of mature domain name portfolios have often felt that their portfolios were bloated, containing domains that were no longer needed. Conversely, domain managers of newer portfolios have sometimes known that gaps existed. Regardless, the question remains -- just how many domains should a corporate portfolio contain? more

Accreditation & Access Model For Non-Public Whois Data

In the current debate over the balance between privacy and Internet safety and security, one of the unanswered questions is: "How will those responsible for protecting the public interest gain access to the non-public data in the WHOIS databases post General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?" In an attempt to prevent WHOIS data from going "dark," several community members have been working for the past weeks to create a model that could be used to accredit users and enable access to the non-public WHOIS data. more

IETF and Crypto Zealots

I've been prompted to write this brief opinion piece in response to a recent article posted on CircleID by Tony Rutkowski, where he characterises the IETF as a collection of "crypto zealots." He offers the view that the IETF is behaving irresponsibly in attempting to place as much of the Internet's protocols behind session level encryption as it possibly can. ... Has the IETF got it wrong? Is there a core of crypto zealots in the IETF that are pushing an extreme agenda about encryption? more

ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the Internet

ICANN has consistently said its intention in complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to comply while at the same time maintaining access to the WHOIS domain name registration database "to greatest extent possible." On February 28, ICANN published its proposed model. Strangely, while ICANN acknowledges that some of the critical purposes for WHOIS include consumer protection, investigation of cybercrimes, mitigation of DNS abuse, and intellectual property protection, the model ICANN proposes provides no meaningful pathway to use WHOIS in those ways. more