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Brad Templeton in Response to Site Finder Controversy

A harmful, highly unilateral and capricious action. Tons of software out there depended on the ability to tell the difference between a domain name which exists and does not. They use that to give a meaningful, locally defined error to the user, or to identify if an E-mail address will work or not before sending the mail. Many used it as a way to tag spam (which came from domains that did not exist). It is the local software that best knows how to deal with the error. more

Rediscovering the Internet

I wrote a guest column for ZDNet last month on the importance of IPV6. I fear that the Internet has been devolving into a recreation of the old smart networks with a lot of perverse complexity in the infrastructure. The latest calls for protection from all that bad stuff only adds to my concern since the problems attributed to the "Internet" will encourage people to seek more meddling. Unfettered connectivity has been a necessary precondition for allowing innovation to thrive on the Internet. It worked because the same openness allowed those at the edges to protect themselves against the errors whether malicious or just problematic. In fact, the so-called Internet revolution was triggered by the key concept of the browser -- treating other systems with suspicion but leaving it to the end points to decide how much to trust each other. more

U.S. Senate's Hearing on ICANN

Later today, Senator Conrad Burns, who chairs the U.S. Senate subcommittee responsible for supervising ICANN, will be holding a hearing on a number of issues.

At the beginning of the year, a press release called "Burns Unveils NexGenTen Agenda For Communications Reform and Security in the 21st Century", had reported:

"U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) announced his top priorities for his chairmanship of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the 108th legislative session. The ten items, called the Burns NexGenTen Tech Agenda, aim to strengthen security and usher reform for 21st Century Communication... more

Montreal ICANN Meetings Creating Some Irritations

Two controversial issues which were on the agenda of the Montreal ICANN meetings creating some irritation: the way of planning to create a country code support organization (ccNSO), and the discussions around the purpose and operation of WHOIS – the database of registrants of domains.

Without going into the history of the ccTLDs withdrawing from their former role within the DNSO and moving towards a self organized structure, there is an obvious conflict revolving around the term “binding” that ICANN and the GAC want to see in defining the ccNSO. One European ccTLD manager put it bluntly: “We are not under the law of California!” more

With No Privacy Standards Who Knows Who Is Abusing The Whois Database

John Banks is a loan officer in New York. John's supervisor recently warned John about the potential number of bad loans he may be carrying as part of his portfolio. To dump some of the bad loans he might be carrying, John came up with a scheme. He pointed his web browser to www.whois.org and entered terms denoting disease or poor health such as 'cancer' and 'illness'. This query on the Internet's WHOIS database reported results of names and addresses of domain name owners who had developed websites devoted to providing information on certain serious illnesses. John compared these names and addresses with those in his portfolio of loans. For the matches, he canceled the loans and required immediate payment-in-full. more

Time For ICANN/IANA To Squarely Face The Question Of Privacy

Various people whose judgment I value [M. Mueller, B. Fausett] have suggested that ICANN/IANA may finally get to the issue of privacy.

The ICANN Board is establishing a "President's Standing Committee on Privacy" (why the committee is possessed by ICANN's "president" and not the Board is something we can deal with at another time and another place.)

Privacy is a hard question. It is a matter that pervades all aspects of information handling. It would be entirely inappropriate, and ultimately futile, to try to deal with privacy as an after-the-fact adjustment to the existing DNS Whois system. It is necessary to examine the most fundamental questions -- such as what reasons, if any, justify there being a Whois database at all. more

Is Whois Data Accuracy Enough?

The Whois Task Force of the Domain Name Supporting Organization (DNSO) has been consulting with registrars over the past few months on the Whois accuracy issue for law enforcement. The Task Force has enumerated three primary areas of interest: accuracy, uniformity, and better searching capabilities. When the registrars met with the Task Force in Shanghai, a fourth area of interest was also brought forward and advocated by many of the registrars at the meeting as paramount to the other three areas. This fourth area of interest was privacy. more

Parsing Hype From Hope: Will ENUM Spark Changes In Telecom?

In the beginning there was silence; then, silence begat communication, and communication begat more communication and, ultimately, group communication formed and begat a primordial "network" of communication that gradually and inevitably increased in effectiveness and complexity: there were only signal fires at first but, then, there were cave drawings, carrier pigeons, shouting from hill-tops, smoke from fire, lines of cannon fire, the telegraph, Alexander Graham Bell, and, finally, the network of networks known as the Internet. But, is that it? Is there not something more impressive in its impact upon communication than the Internet? What more might one desire than the dynamic wonders of the Internet, you ask? Well, what about ENUM? "E-What!?" more