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Loose Lips

Russ WhiteWhen I was in the military, we were constantly drilled about the problem of Essential Elements of Friendly Information, or EEFIs. What are EEFis? If an adversary can cast a wide net of surveillance, they can often find multiple clues about what you are planning to do or who is making which decisions. For instance, if several people married to military members all make plans to be without their spouses for a long period of time, the adversary can be certain that a unit is about to be deployed. more

Why ICANN Rejected ISOC's Billion-Dollar Attempt At Feathering Its Own Nest With .org Sale?

Greg ThomasAs I've pointed out in recent articles, the promises and obligations of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are merged by direct reference into the InterNIC licensing agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN. This licensing agreement has been extended twice by mutual consent, most recently until January 2025. Therefore, the MOU's promises and obligations remain in effect through the InterNIC licensing agreement despite the fact that the MOU itself terminated in 2009. more

4G on the Moon

Doug DawsonThis post is a little more lighthearted than my normal blog posts. An article in FierceWireless caught my eye talking about how Nokia plans to establish a 4G network on the Moon. The primary purpose of the wireless technology will be to communicate between a base station and lunar rovers. 4G LTE is a mature and stable technology that can handle data transmission with ease... more

The Supreme Court Decides that Compatible Software is Still Legal

John LevineBack in the 1980s, everyone used the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet on their PCs. In 1989, Borland released a competitor, Quattro Pro. It used the same menu commands as 1-2-3 so that users could import their 1-2-3 spreadsheets with keyboard macros. Lotus sued Borland, and after a loss in the district court, Borland won on appeal, arguing that the keyboard commands are a "method of operation" and not subject to copyright. Lotus appealed to the Supreme Court... more

gTLDs Under the Microscope in Q1 2021: .kpmg Back in Focus and a Look at Past Launches

Chris NiemiWith the end of March upon us already, we take a fresh look at .kpmg and its ongoing .brand usage strategy in our first quarterly report of the year. A review of Alexa.com rankings for .brands and other new gTLDs is included as well as an examination of the factors that have affected registration rates for new gTLD launches from 2019 and 2020. Our MarkMonitor team of experts also analyzes the ICANN Final Report on the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process... more

An Anti-Competitive .com Fait Accompli?

Greg ThomasIn a recent article, Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Obligations to the U.S. Government, I wrote: The referenced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the vehicle by which the U.S. government delegates to ICANN the responsibilities for overseeing the technical management of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS)... This is important for many reasons, and much remains to be analyzed for additional context that can help expose the rot at the Internet's root. more

The White House Broadband Plan

Doug DawsonReading the White House $100 billion broadband plan was a bit eerie because it felt like I could have written it. The plan espouses the same policies that I've been recommending. This plan is 180 degrees different than the Congress plan that would fund broadband using a giant federal, and a series of state reverse auctions. The plan starts by citing the 1936 Rural Electrification Act, which brought electricity to nearly every home and farm in America. more

Time to Start Calling Facebook "The Dark Empire" and Regulate It Accordingly

Khaled FattalIt appears people, governments, regulators and legislators worldwide may have forgotten Facebook's complicit involvement with Cambridge Analytica (CA). It is possible that new priorities such as the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 may have pre-occupied them, and rightly so. But an unprecedented data breach in 2019 unfolded this weekend, bringing a recurring nightmare of the past back into today's reality. more

Time of Registration in Determining Cybersquatting

Gerald M. LevineWhile Panels under the UDRP and judges under the ACPA draw upon a similar body of principles in determining infringement -- both mechanisms, after all, are crafted to combat cybersquatting -- and though arbitration panels and judges undoubtedly view alleged tortious wrongdoing by abusive registrations of domain names through similar lenses and apply laws that may be outwardly similar, each protective mechanism has developed its own distinct and separate jurisprudence. more

Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Contractual Obligations to the U.S. Government?

Greg ThomasRecently, I had time to reflect on various matters after the alternator in my vehicle decided that the middle of a mountain pass was the appropriate time and place to go to that great big pick-and-pull scrapyard in the sky while leaving me stranded with no cell signal on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Until that point, I had been seriously considering applying to ICANN's Nominating Committee for one of the three open seats on ICANN's Board of Directors. more

The $100 Billion National Broadband Plan for America

Paul BuddeThe new Administration in the USA laid out a $100 billion proposal for broadband investment as part of its $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Under the proposal, the plan is to provide national broadband coverage. The Administration will use better competition measures, such as price transparency, the use of public utility infrastructure, and subsidies for low-income households to achieve its goals. more

$400B China-Iran Deal Includes a $Billion 4G-5G Network, Most Likely Huawei

Dave BursteinChina has agreed to buy $16 billion/year of Iranian oil in what amounts to a barter arrangement for Chinese goods. Telecommunications is specifically included, with a $billion or more for an upgraded mobile system. Huawei & ZTE will probably split the contract. Iran's population is 84 million, about the same as Germany or Turkey. That's as much as Ireland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands combined. Nothing's announced, but it will be a big deal. more

Record $89B in China Means 2020 +4% Sales, $10B Profit

Dave BursteinThe US war on Huawei brought down sales internationally, but China's 700,000 5G cells and explosive cloud growth meant Huawei had an up year. The chip blockade did hurt in Q4 and will continue to hold down sales in 2021. Huawei has sufficient reserves to outlast the United States until China catches up in chip production. Perhaps the most important figure in the financial report was the $55 billion cash. Another $10 billion will come in from the sale of Honor/Glory. more

Are the LEOs Going to Disrupt the Telco Market?

Paul BuddeWe are getting closer to using alternative broadband solutions offered by international companies. Local telecommunication entities will, in this respect, be relegated to resellers. The reality of accessing low Earth-orbiting satellite (LEO) services is now clearly on the horizon. Most of the telcos and governments are not prepared for the potential shock this might cause to the structure of local telecommunications markets. more

Digital Culture Wars: Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" and China's Social Credit System

Klaus StollWe are on the cusp of a grave risk where unscrupulous groups with various agendas are using digital technologies to wage cultural war to stamp out dissent and gain control and power. The two most prominent recent examples are Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) and China's Social Credit System (SCS). The following piece was prompted by work on the UDHR and Internet Governance series, for CircleID to deal with UDHR Article 27 and the role of culture, arts, and science in the life of the community.  more

The Insecurity of Ambiguous Standards

Russ WhiteWhy are networks so insecure? One reason is we don't take network security seriously. We just don't think of the network as a serious target of attack. Or we think of security as a problem "over there," something that exists in the application realm, that needs to be solved by application developers. Or we think the consequences of a network security breach as "well, they can DDoS us, and then we can figure out how to move load around, so if we build with resilience (enough redundancy)... more

The Path to Combatting Domain Abuse

Graeme BuntonCompletely eradicating malware, botnets, phishing, pharming, and spam from the Domain Name System is not possible. That may be an odd statement from someone who just took the leadership position at the DNS Abuse Institute, but it's meant to underscore the scope of the work ahead of us. There will always be bad actors exploiting the DNS for their own criminal purposes, but working together, we can mitigate their impact. more

Cord Cutting in the US Continues in 4Q 2020

Doug DawsonThe largest traditional cable providers collectively lost over 1.3 million customers in the fourth quarter of 2020 -- an overall loss of 1.7% of customers. To put the quarter's loss into perspective, the big cable providers lost 14,158 cable customers per day throughout the quarter. The numbers below come from Leichtman Research Group, which compiles these numbers from reports made to investors, except for Cox, which is estimated. more

Guowang Starlink Will Be China's Global Broadband Provider

Larry PressIn an earlier post, I described what looked like two forthcoming Chinese broadband constellations, Hongyun and Hongyan and in another post, I described a third, identified as "GW" at the time. All three were projects of state-owned enterprises China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC). There was pushback from those contending that a broadband constellation was redundant ... more

Universal Acceptance – Making the Internet Work for Everyone

Aman MasjideBack in 2014, to foster innovation and to better the choice in domain names, ICANN introduced new generic top-level domains through its New gTLD Program. It was a monumental move that enabled businesses, individuals, and communities across the globe to mark their presence on the Internet. Allowing users to be present digitally in their chosen language (non-ASCII characters and scripts) gave opportunities to local businesses, civil societies, and governments to better serve their communities. more

Four-Pronged Approach to Keep Your Domain Names and DNS Secure from Cyberattacks

Sue WattsDomain names, domain name systems (DNS), and digital certificates are fundamental components of the most important applications that enable your company to conduct business - including your website, email, voice-over IP, and more. However, these vital applications are being attacked with an increasingly high level of sophistication and severity. more

ICANN Must Release the Single-Character .com Hostages from the IANA Impostor's Warehouse

Greg ThomasMost of the single-character .com labels were initially registered in 1993 by Dr. Jon Postel while performing work pursuant to a contract with, and funded by, the U.S. government and are currently assigned to a "shell registrar" created and controlled by ICANN. This shell - which is the 376th entry on ICANN's list of accredited registrars - is misleadingly identified as the IANA registrar while being engaged in the illicit warehousing of domain names for speculative purposes. more

Developing the Next Generation of Internet Champions – Internet Society's Early Career Fellowship

Dan YorkHow do we help develop the next generation of champions for an open Internet? As many of us who were involved in the early years of the Internet are getting older, how do we help inspire a new wave of advocates for an open Internet available to everyone? As we face so many threats to "the Internet way" from many different forces - governments, corporations, criminals, and other organizations - how do we help build the corp of people who understand Internet technology and policy issues and can help shape the future of this Internet we have all come to rely on? more

A Look at Cuba's Digital Revolution

Larry PressIn spite of having a slow, expensive, government-controlled Internet infrastructure, Cuba is undergoing what Ted Henken and Sara Garcia Santamaria refer to as a digital revolution. The digital revolution might be said to have begun in 2007 when Yoani Sánchez launched her blog "Generation Y." Internet access was difficult -- she would get illegal connectivity at tourist hotels, and the blog was initially hosted in Germany. Soon, the Huffington Post began publishing her posts, and she has subsequently received many international awards, including the Ortega y Gasset Award for Digital Journalism in 2008. more

Is ICANN Running a Racket?

Greg ThomasOn March 13, 2019, I published an article on CircleID, Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name, that explored the proposed release and auction of o.com, a single-character .com domain name that was registered in 1993 and assigned to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) by Dr. Jon Postel. Although the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has since raised serious objections... more

ICANN70 Virtual Community Forum: What to Expect?

Donna AustinOn 19 February 2020, ICANN announced that ICANN67 would be held via remote participation out of an abundance of caution associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Little did we know at the time that twelve months later, ICANN meetings would still be held via remote participation. For a community that has been accustomed to meeting face-to-face at least three times a year since ICANN1 in Singapore in March 1999, this has created a tremendous challenge for how we conduct our business. more

New gTLD Round 2 Update – Where Are We Really At?

Tony KirschMany industry onlookers and potential future applicants may be aware of the significant step the New gTLD Round 2 Program took recently when ICANN's policy body, the GNSO Council, unanimously approved the recommendations put forward in the final report from the community-led Subsequent Procedures Working Group and sent it to the ICANN Board for approval. more

The WiFi 6 Revolution

Doug DawsonWe're edging closer every day to seeing WiFi 6 in our homes. WiFi 6 will be bolstered by the newly approved 6 GHz frequency, and the combination of WiFi 6 and 6 GHz spectrum is going to revolutionize home broadband. I don't think many people understand how many of our home broadband woes are caused by current WiFi technology. WiFi has been an awesome technology that freed our homes from long category 5 wires everywhere, but WiFi has a basic flaw that became apparent when homeowners started to buy hordes of WiFi-enabled devices.  more

Ending U.S. Government Amnesia About Its Legacy Internet Registries is in the Public Interest

Greg ThomasOn July 2, 2002, Damien Cave published an interview on Salon.com with John Gilmore, "original 'cypherpunk' and all-around Internet supergeek," titled "It's time for ICANN to go." In this wide-ranging interview, Gilmore -- an early employee of Sun Microsystems who also co-founded Cygnus Software (acquired by Red Hat) and was an early supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Internet Society (ISOC) -- offered blunt insight and eye-opening historical detail... more

Multistakeholderism Is Working: A Short Series of Articles

Paul McGradyI was in a conversation with a close friend the other day, you know the kind where you have been friends for so long that you have endured each other experimenting with changed politics, evolving religion, and if you are unlucky, flirtations with multilevel marketing. We were discussing politics that day, which is not unusual given our ancient friendship and the recent change at the helm of the United States. more

Five Considerations When Selecting Your Data Science Team

Fred TabsharaniThe experience of interviewing a data scientist is like none other. Over the past year, we've interviewed more than 100 data scientists, and most, if not all, of them are brilliant. After all, they are a data scientist and have spent many years mastering their craft. The purpose of this post is to potentially assist technology leaders who are considering hiring a data scientist or a data science team. There are five items of consideration. more

Is Fiber a Hundred Year Investment?

Doug DawsonI think every client who is considering building a fiber network asks me how long the fiber will last. Their fear is having to spend the money at some future point to rebuild the network. Recently, my response has been that fiber is a hundred-year investment -- and let me explain why I say that. We're now seeing fiber built in the 1980s becoming opaque or developing enough microscopic cracks that impede the flow of light. more

Keep Politics Out of 5G International Standardization

Anthony RutkowskiFor the past hundred years or so, the world's vendors of communication networks and services have collaborated -- largely among themselves -- with great success. That paradigm continues today for 5G with the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and an ecosystem cluster of related organizations where industry and affected government agencies worldwide successfully work on a massive scale. more

SpaceX's Starlink Service in Cuba Would Benefit the Cuban People, SpaceX and the US

Larry PressSpaceX has begun the process of securing licenses to operate its Starlink Internet service in the Caribbean. I don't know which nations they are considering, but would advise them to seriously consider Cuba -- Starlink service in Cuba would benefit the Cuban people, SpaceX, and the US. What's in it for Cuba? Fixed home and commercial connectivity in Cuba are limited, slow, and expensive, but they do have shared connectivity... more

Notes from the DNS Privacy Workshop at NDSS 2021

Geoff HustonFor many years the consuming topic in DNS circles was that of the names themselves. If you wind the clock back twenty years or so, you will find much discussion about the nature of the Internet's namespace. Why were there both generic top-level labels and two-letter country codes? If we were going to persist with these extra-territorial generic country codes in the namespace, then how many should there be? Who could or should manage them? And so on. more

Quantifying the Benefits of Fiber

Doug DawsonDr. Bento J. Lobo, an economist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga undertook a study to quantify the benefits of the municipally-owned fiber network in Chattanooga. Any citywide fiber network brings economic development to a community, but a municipally-owned system brings additional benefits because of the way that the business is more deeply integrated into the community. more

Why Do We Assume Cable Broadband is Always Good?

Doug DawsonOne of the oddest aspects of FCC monitoring of broadband is that the agency has accepted the premise that any broadband product faster than 25/3 Mbps is adequate broadband. This means that the FCC has completely accepted that broadband provided by cable companies is adequate and is something the agency doesn't have to be concerned with. The FCC makes the automatic assumption that broadband from cable companies is good broadband... more

Framing the Internet Governance Debate: The Long Road to WSIS+20 (2025)

Wolfgang KleinwächterSince the early 2000s, the global debate about Internet Governance did have its ups and downs. We did see the establishment of ICANN, the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the making of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and the failure of the World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT). We did see NetMundial and the IANA transition. more

The State of the Internet

Doug DawsonThe Mozilla Internet Health Report is packed with interesting statistics about the state of the Internet. Reports like this one remind us that broadband is a worldwide issue that is much larger than the US broadband industry I write about every day. The report contains a lot of interesting facts: A little more than half of the planet is still not connected to the Internet. As a planet, we still have a long way to go. While the largest percentage of a region still not online is in Africa, by sheer numbers, most of those still not connected are in Asia... more

Help Recognize Internet Pioneers and Heroes – Nominations Open for 2021 Internet Hall of Fame

Dan YorkDo you know someone who deserves recognition for launching the Internet in their region or country? Or someone who made some major technical innovation that made the Internet faster or better? Or someone who is a passionate advocate who influenced other people to make the Internet better? Can you think of someone who helped the Internet reach new people? For example, in a new region or language? Do you know someone who made the Internet more inclusive and accessible to more people? more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 8: Articles 22-25

Klaus StollThis article is Part 8 of the series of articles discussing human rights in the digital age and published here on CircleID.2 When we commenced this analysis of the UDHR, and the relevance of its principles to our rights and duties within the Internet ecosystem, we committed ourselves to work through the UDHR one Article at a time. With this Part 8 we are four-fifths through that task. more

Brexit Done: What Does It Mean for an Online Presence?

Ewa ZaneOn January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom officially ended the transition period and is no longer subject to European Union rules. The U.K. had been part of the EU for 47 years, or almost two generations. Comprehending the impact, the changes, the new ruling, and compliance will take some time. But in a world where online shopping, online banking, and communication is growing at lightning speed, we need clarity on key digital assets - the basic domain name. more

Why We Need Broadband Regulation

Doug DawsonAnybody that reads my blog posts knows that I am in favor of broadband regulation. I'm sure ISPs read this and wonder why -- because who doesn't like being unregulated? My feelings on this go back to basic economics - monopolies must either be regulated or split up. By definition, monopolies always end up taking advantage of consumers - unregulated monopolies really can't help this behavior because employees and management of monopolies will inevitably take advantage of monopoly market power. more

An Inquiry Into an Organization's Security Priorities

Steven BellovinIn the wake of recent high-profile security incidents, I started wondering: what, generally speaking, should an organization's security priorities be? That is, given a finite budget - and everyone's budget is finite - what should you do first? More precisely, what security practices or features will give you the most protection per zorkmid? I suggested two of my own, and then asked my infosec-heavy Twitter feed for suggestions. more

The Future of Europe's Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse

Jeremy MalcolmLike much of how the Internet is governed, the way we detect and remove child abuse material online began as an ad hoc set of private practices. In 1996, an early online child protection society posted to the Usenet newsgroup alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.children (yes, such a thing really existed) to try to discourage people from posting such "erotica" on the assumption that the Internet couldn't be censored. more

78% of Cybersecurity Professionals Expect an Increase in DNS Threats, Yet Have Reservations

Alban KwanA recent survey conducted by the Neustar International Security Council confirmed the heightened interests on domain name system (DNS) security. The survey reveals that over three-quarters of cybersecurity professionals anticipate increases in DNS attacks, especially with more people shopping online amid the pandemic. Yet, close to 30% have reservations about their ability to respond to these attacks. more

Psst! Do You Know Anyone Developing Blockchain Applications?

Thomas BarrettThe International Trademark Association's Blockchain Subcommittee is interested in meeting companies working on Blockchain applications related to intellectual property. The Blockchain Subcommittee's mission is to explore the use of blockchain technology in trademark prosecution, maintenance, protection, and practice, including the opportunities and threats to the value of trademarks, brands, and consumer trust in emerging blockchain technologies. more

A Simple Suggestion for President Biden Regarding the Cuban Internet

Larry PressLast September, I asked what had happened to the proposal for a branch connecting the ARCOS undersea cable, which has a landing point in North Miami Beach, to Cojimar, Cuba. The consortium that operates the cable had applied for permission to connect Cuba in July 2018, and the FCC granted a request for streamlined processing, which should have taken less than 45 days, but nothing happened until September 2020 when the application was referred to a Justice Department committee... more

Notes from NANOG 81

Geoff HustonAs the pandemic continues, the network operator community continues to meet online. NANOG held its 81st meeting on February 8 and 9, and these are my notes from some of the presentations at that meeting... Ethernet, developed in 1973 at Xerox PARC, was a revolutionary step in network architectures in many ways. The common bus architecture imposed several constraints on the network that have echoed through the ensuing four decades in all kinds of ways. more

Facebook Stays, Everybody's Happy, but Nothing Has Changed

Paul BuddeAfter some turmoil, Facebook won the war with the Australian Government as the necessary changes were made to the legislation that avoided them needing to change their business model. Those subtleties are lost in the general press. What counts for the popular media is that they were able to spin some great stories around the fact that Australia stood up to the giants. That brought international attention, which boosted the ego of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. more

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