/ Recently Commented

ICANN Successfully Tiptoes Through Political Minefield With New TLD Applicant Guidebook

ICANN released its sixth version of the draft Applicant Guidebook for the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program in April following three years of debate surrounding the rules and procedures that will outline how potential applicants will apply to own their own piece of Internet real estate. Overall, the response has been positive. more

Slippery Slope

Last week, I visited Budapest to deliver a speech at the ICANN Studienkreis, an annual conference where experts study and address some current issues relating to Internet governance. I discussed how the Internet is on a slippery slope. Starting with the legitimate concern over how to deal with cybersquatters, we have moved to an unreasonable focus on legal control of Internet content and the domain name system. more

The ENISA Botnet Report: Thoughts on the State of Play in Smart Phones

At the ENISA presentation on her botnet report at eco in Cologne, 9 and 10 March, one of the slots was dedicated to threats to the mobile environment. The message I was supposed to come home with was: we can still count the numbers of mobile viruses manually, <600; the problem will never be the same as on a fixed network as traffic is monitored and metered: We detect it straight away. We are studying the problem seriously. Are mobile operators really prepared for what is coming? more

Who is Wagging Who? Same Dog, New Tale.

Today, my company AusRegistry International signed an open letter to the United States House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet as a show of support for ICANN and its new Top-Level Domain program. I'm disappointed by the nature of the oversight hearing the Subcommittee has called and I believe it will only be a distraction. Let's not kid ourselves; the reason for this hearing is to beat up ICANN over the new TLD program. I think this is unfair and unjustified... more

LTE Insufficient from the Start, Boingo IPO Propitious

The trouble with planning way ahead is that the world changes before you execute. The major wireless carriers have been planning their 4th generation LTE (Long Term Evolution) rollouts for a long time -- that's how they do things. Now, even as Verizon Wireless is doing an aggressive rollout of LTE, it's becoming clear that LTE networks will not be able to slake the data thirst of a world full of smart phones and tablets. Whoops. more

Open letter to US House Subcommittee for Oversight Hearing on gTLDs

This is an open letter to the United States House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and the Internet regarding the Oversight Hearing on new Top-Level Domains to be held on Wednesday 4 May. The intention of the open letter is to highlight the imbalance of intellectual property interests on the panel and to ensure the Subcommittee is presented with some balanced facts and benefits of the new Top-Level Domain program. more

What ICANN Can Learn from Humpty Dumpty

I have been an active participant in the ICANN "grand experiment" from the beginning. An experiment in which a private sector led organization was entrusted by the Internet community and governments to be a trustee of a global public resource. However, at no time during my twelve years of participation in ICANN have I been more concerned about the long term viability of this organization than I do now heading into the Singapore meeting. Failure of the ICANN Board to do the right thing in Singapore will have a profound impact on the future of the private sector led model. more

Password Policies Need to Be the Same if We Want Users to Take Our Advice

The other day on Facebook, one of my friends mentioned that today (i.e., that day) was a good day to update his passwords. But he then lamented that some web sites don't allow you to create more than a 12-character password! He was incensed! Well, maybe not incensed but showed contempt for the fact these sites restricted password length. more

Paid Peering: Issues and Misunderstandings

Recently I was asked for my opinion on Google paying France Telecom (FT) to deliver traffic into FT's network, i.e. Google paying to peer with FT. I wasn't aware Google pays FT. I don't even know if it's true. But I do know this is a topic fraught with misunderstandings. Also, if there is a "problem" here, the problem is one of competition (or lack thereof) in portions of the French broadband access market. It is not a problem that can be or should be fixed by "network neutrality" regulations or legislation. more

Defending Against the Hackers of 1995

Two factor authentication that uses an uncopyable physical device (such as a cellphone or a security token) as a second factor mitigates most of these threats very effectively. Weaker two factor authentication using digital certificates is a little easier to misuse (as the user can share the certificate with others, or have it copied without them noticing) but still a lot better than a password. Security problems solved, then? more

What Next for Email Service Providers?

It's been a very bad month for ESPs, companies that handle bulk mailings for their clients. Several of them have had internal security breaches, leaking client information, client mailing lists, or both. Many have also seen clients compromised, with the compromised credentials used to send spam. The sequence of events suggests all the ESPs whose clients were compromised were themselves compromised first. (That's how the crooks knew who to attack.) more

Corporate Domain Registration Practices in Light of New gTLDs

For years, corporate domain name administrators have scoffed at every new second-level and third-level country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) liberalization, and rightly so. Until recently, most had continued the practice of registering significant numbers of variations, misspellings and typo-squats. While I have never encouraged the practice of registering every variation in every geography, as this becomes prohibitively expensive over time... With what seems to be the imminent launch of hundreds of new TLDs as a result of ICANN's new initiative, companies appear to be saying enough is enough, and meaning it. more

Court Approves Nortel's Sale of IPv4 Addresses to Microsoft

Yesterday morning (26-April-2011), in US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Judge Kevin Gross signed an order authorizing Nortel's sale of IPv4 addresses to Microsoft. This is an important moment for the Internet community, as it represents the beginning of a new market-based mechanism for the distribution of scarce IPv4 address resources. As the various Regional Internet Registry (RIR) organizations exhaust their supply, traditional "needs-based" distribution will become impossible. more

Top 3 New Requirements to the TLD Evaluation Criteria and What They Mean for Applicants

Three sections of the redlined version of the Draft Evaluation Criteria for new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) caught my attention. It seems ICANN wants to ensure it has information to not only evaluate and score responses, but to conduct a post-launch analysis of the program's success in terms of expanded competition, consumer choice and trust. That additional information means more work by both the applicant and for ICANN. But it's a good move because pre-launch preparation and thought staves off mishaps and misfortunes later. more

Really? A Hearing on New gTLDs at this Late Stage?

To the dismay of many (and the chagrin of some), it appears as though the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will be conducting a hearing on New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Meanwhile, ICANN is careening towards the finish line of the new gTLD Program with a vote by the ICANN Board scheduled for June 20th. Just what this all means remains to be seen. more