/ Recently Commented

Whois Scared?

Every time I witness another argument about changing the rules of the Whois system I marvel at how such an important core internet protocol could be so widely misunderstood. I don't mean that the protocol's technical details are not well understood -- it's a very simple device, easy to implement correctly and easy to use even for new users. I mean that the Whois system itself and its purpose in the Internet ecosystem is widely misunderstood. Everybody uses Whois and lots of people argue about Whois but precious few folks know why Whois exists in the first place. more

No False-Starts, Do-Overs, or Mulligans for Email

Josh Baer, former VP of Datran Media and current CEO of OtherInBox has been floating an idea at the DMA's Email Experience Council and a few other places, and recently got some traction in Ken Magill's Magill Report. What Josh is proposing is to create the technical means by which a Sender can decide when email 'expires' and is automatically removed from a recipient's inbox, either by deletion, or perhaps archiving (in the case of Gmail). This would supposedly help the end-user, by removing marketing offers that are no longer available. Why this idea shouldn't happen... more

The Real Deployment Issue

When I see glib talk about the inevitable transition to IPv6 or DNSSEC, I have to wonder what industry people think they are working in. Let me give an example that has nothing to do with networking: storage capacity. Now if there is one constant that everyone in the computing industry can agree on it is that they expect storage media capacity to increase. more

Why ICANN Isn't Being Very Sensible: Part I - .brands

We have long argued that ICANN should consider categories for new gTLDs because different categories will have markedly different benefits and impacts for consumers. It is difficult to represent the complexities of the world in any system and the flat, first come first served single level approach ICANN is proposing is actually more cumbersome, more restrictive, more expensive and less equitable than the very successful existing system it is seeking to extend. more

Project dotVinum for .WINE Domain Names

This article is a feedback on the sensitive .WINE dotVinum project which aims to create an extension for the wine community on Internet. Questions to Be Answered: Protection of rights at an international level: how to protect trademarks? Funding: who has the financial capacity to invest in such a project?... more

GAC New gTLD No Fly Zone

I have struggled over the past couple of weeks to come up with a metaphor to succinctly describe the standoff between the ICANN Board and the ICANN Government Advisory Committee (GAC) over the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) implementation process. So here's my best attempt to explain these dynamics in terms a layperson may be better to understand. I chose the metaphor for its timeliness, without meaning to offend anyone. more

Concerns About ICANN's Bylaws Shouldn't Bog Down Board/GAC Discussions

The Brussels meeting between the ICANN Board of Directors and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) became contentious over what constitutes a "bylaws consultation," what that designation means, and whether future meetings between the parties should be labeled as such. At the risk of going over familiar ground, it may be useful to review what the bylaws say about ICANN's duty to consult with the GAC. more

Inquiring About the "Unthinkable"

There has been no shortage of speculation within the ICANN community regarding the continued show down between the ICANN Board and its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) over new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and the pending expiration of the IANA contract this September. Now one of the more interesting topics of discussion that I have had with multiple independent parties was the potential of ICANN making changes to the L root zone file... more

International Internet Governance: A Field Guide to 2011

If an important debate of our age is going on right now but you don't know where, no one can blame you. Part of the intrigue surrounding discussion of how the Internet will be governed is deliberate; the current process and forums were conceived by parties who want to make sure that if their agenda fails in one place that they can claw back ground in another. Part of that plan is the byzantine "commitology" of the UN system, which is now frighteningly relevant to the broadband industry and civil society. What follows is an effort to make this clear what, where, when, and how it all will happen in 2011. more

URL Shorteners

If you're a twit a Twitter user, you've likely used one or another of the URL shorteners out there. Even if you're not, you may have run across a shortened URL. The first one I encountered, several years ago, was tinyurl.com, but there plenty of them, including bit.ly, tr.im, qoiob.com, tinyarrow.ws, tweak, and many others. ... What would best practices for URL shortening services look like? Some suggestions, from others as well as from me. more

Domain Pulse 2011: New gTLDs, Their Impact on Aftermarket and Importance of Domain Names

The impact of new generic Top-Level Domains on the price of existing gTLDs and ccTLDs is likely to be limited, Tim Schumacher, CEO of leading domain name marketplace Sedo, told the the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna, held on 17 and 18 February. "I don't think the new gTLDs will have a major impact on pricing of existing TLDs. If you start a company or a product, you will always need to have your 'dotcom' or respective ccTLD in the market you operate in," said Schumacher in an interview following the conference. more

ICANN's New gTLD Double Standard?

Over the last two days I have sat in a room and watched a rather interesting dynamic unfold between the ICANN Board and its Government Advisory Committee (GAC). While I remain optimistic of there being a responsible closure to the new gTLD implementation process within the next six months, an apparent double standard being used by the ICANN Board could be a potential stumbling block. more

ICANN Board: You Got It Right. Then You Got It Wrong. Now, Get It Right Again.

The ICANN Board has itself in a pretty pickle. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Consultancy with the Board in Brussels was an apparent non-starter. After hundreds of man-hours' worth of comments provided by the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC), the Board continues to claim that it lacks sufficient information on trademark issues in order to respond to concerns. more

A Politically Incorrect Guide to IPv6

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've doubtless seen reports that the supply of IPv4 addresses is running out. Earlier this month IANA, the master allocation authority, handed out the last so-called /8, a large chunk of 16 million addresses, to one of the regional address registries... Then what? The conventional wisdom is that everyone needs to support IPv6, a mostly compatible upgrade to IPv4 with much larger addresses, by the time the v4 space runs out. But I'm not so sure, particularly for e-mail. more

Blacklist Operations and Practices: Excerpts from an ASRG Draft

The Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG) published a draft for an Overview of Email DNSBL Best Practices. We can take a step back and review paragraph 2.2.5 (Conflict of Interest)... Some DNSBLs used for blocking/negative reputation have had a practice of requiring fees or donations to charities from the listee for delisting. It is generally considered entirely appropriate for a DNSBL to charge for access to it by its users -- the definition of a commercial DNSBL. more