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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

Cybersecurity Tech Accord: 98% of Registrar Whois Requests Unrequited

Frederick FelmanWhen a brand goes so far as to ask a domain name registrar for Whois (the registration contact details) of a potentially abusive domain name, there's likely a lot at stake. Most often, the request is prompted by consumer safety concerns, such as the risk to consumers posed by a malicious site. Other times, the demand has a simple goal: to have a dialog with the registrant about the use of trademarks or other intellectual property in order to avoid extreme action. more

Let's Bring Telecom Manufacturing Back to the US

Doug DawsonPresident Biden recently signed an executive order that will require that the federal government buys more goods produced in the United States. This was done to promote American jobs and to keep profits at home. It's a great idea, but it suffers from one big flaw -- we don't manufacture a lot of things in the US anymore. Statistics are hard to pin down, but something like 40,000 US factories have shut down over the last decade. more

Macquarie Group Is Set to Shake Up the Digital Infrastructure Market

Paul BuddeA few months ago, I reported on the broader market of which telecommunications infrastructure is a part. I mentioned data centers, cloud computing and data analytics (big data). All together, we can perhaps best call this digital infrastructure. While the importance of this merged set of infrastructures will benefit all economies and societies, I recently focused on regional developments as basically every region and every mid-size town will need to have a digital hub for local computing workloads and storage. more

Facebook Is Right to Call the Australian Government Bluff

Paul BuddeAs mentioned in previous analyses, the way that the Government has approached its battle with the digital giants has been flawed from the beginning. True, its tough stand had made Google pay media companies well above what these companies would have been able to negotiate individually with Google, but the fundamentals of why these battles are taking place are still unchanged. more

Busting Domain Name Secondary Market Myths

Zak MuscovitchThe Secondary Market in domain names plays a critical role in Internet commerce yet is often misunderstood. This article will attempt to clear up some of the myths that frequently arise when discussing the Secondary Market... Domain name investors are but one group participating in the thriving domain name Secondary Market, in which already registered domain names move from one owner to another. more

An Institute to Combat DNS Abuse

Graeme BuntonOver the last few years, it's become clear that abuse of the Domain Name System -- whether in the form of malware, botnets, phishing, pharming, or spam -- threatens to undermine trust in the Internet. At Public Interest Registry, we believe that every new .ORG makes the world a better place. That means anything that gets in the way of that is a threat, and that includes DNS Abuse. more

SpaceX Starlink Is Coming to Low-Income Nations

Larry PressBeta testers in the US and Canada paid $500 for a terminal and are paying $99 per month for the service. The beta tests began in high-income countries, but SpaceX is beginning to roll Starlink out and will include low-income nations, for example, India. Last September, SpaceX responded to a request for consultation on a roadmap to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed from TRAI, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India. more

Emergence, Rise and Fall of Surveillance Capitalism, Part 2: Rise and Fall

Klaus StollOne of the consequences of the Jan 6th events is a renewed attention towards Surveillance Capitalism as a key doctrine undermining democracy.2 This part 2 of the 2 part series of discusses the rise and fall of Surveillance Capitalism under the premise that the better we understand the danger at the door, the better we are able to confront it. more

Google Set to Survive in Oz, but Far Bigger Threats Are on the Way

Paul BuddeThe signs are that the Australian Government and Google are close to a compromise. The Government's main demands stay in place, but some of the details will be changed. This allows the Government to claim victory, while the damage to Google will be limited... Publishers will, in one way, or another be paid for news, either through a payment based on the value of the news and the value of the Google search facility. more

EU Rulings on Geo-Blocking in Digital Storefronts Will Increase Piracy Rates in the Developing World

Mark DatysgeldFor the longest time, it was an insurmountable challenge for those in the developing world to be able to afford to legally consume multimedia products. Prices originally set in Dollars, Euros or Yen often received insufficient adjustments to compensate for lower incomes, something that was compounded by local import or manufacture taxes that did little to alleviate matters. more

ECFiber: Building a Fiber-to-Premises Network in the Rural United States

George SadowskyNestled in the northeastern part of the United States is the small state of Vermont, the 14th State to join the United States in 1789. Its name comes from the French, in which 'vert montagne' means 'green mountain.' and it is known as the Green Mountain state. With only about 625,000 inhabitants, it is the 45th state out of 50 in size, and 49th of 50 in number of people, even less populated than Alaska. more

Why Fiber?

Doug DawsonAs much as I've written about broadband and broadband technology, it struck me that I have never written a concise response to the question, "Why Fiber?". Somebody asked me the question recently, and I immediately knew I had never answered the question. If you're going to build broadband and have a choice of technologies, why is fiber the best choice? more

3 Most Scary Attacks that Leaked Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of Millions of Users

Evan MorrisCybercriminals are increasingly targeting Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The reason being "data is the new gold" in this digital world, and the more sensitive some data is, the more value it has. There is no more sensitive data than personally identifiable information because it contains enough information to identify you digitally. Examples of personally identifiable information include name, email, contact number, address, social security number, tax file number, banking or financial information, and more such data that helps identify you. more

5G a Fizzle With Consumers

Doug DawsonThe cellular companies have made an unprecedented push to get customers interested in 5G. Back in November, I recorded a college football game that enabled me to go back and count the twelve 5G commercials during the game. Advertising during sports events is relatively expensive, so these ads were not purchased at bargain-basement prices. The amount of money being spent on advertising 5G must be gigantic. more

Now We Know Why It's Hard to Get a .COM

Mike MontgomeryAs executive director of CALinnovates, an organization that advocates for innovation and startups, as well as a new business owner myself, I know how important a .COM domain name can be to a new company's online presence and marketing strategy. That's why I read with interest a new Boston Consulting Group report on how the .COM market is changing. I have a much better understanding of why new businesses find it hard to get relevant .COM domain names. more

Let's Not Forget About Solar Flares

Doug DawsonAs the world becomes more and more reliant on electronics, it's worth a periodic reminder that a large solar flare could knock out much of the electronics on earth. Such an event would be devastating to the Internet, satellite broadband, and the many electronics we use in daily life. A solar flare is the result of periodic ejections of matter from the sun into space. Scientists still aren't entirely sure what causes solar flares, but they know that it's somehow related to shifts in the sun's magnetic field. more

Starlink Broadband Service – More on the Beta Plus Exciting Video

Tom EvslinIf you have last-generation satellite internet access, broadband from a wireless ISP (WISP), or even satellite television from DISH or DIRECTV, an installer came and carefully aimed a dish antenna for you. Starlink, a broadband access service from Elon Musk's SpaceX company, reimagines the install process and, in most cases, eliminates the need for an installer. The Starlink dish can sit on the ground or the peak of your roof; more importantly, it aims itself, as you see in the accompanying video. more

Technology: Doomsday or Godsend – the Choice Is Ours

Paul BuddeFollowing the American insurrection and the role the media played -- social media, particularly the "doomsday scenario," started to appear again in relation to technological developments. Only a few years ago, a group of hi-tech companies, including Tesla, warned against the negative aspects of artificial intelligence (AI). Other technologies that could seriously affect human developments include gene editing, nanotechnology and synthetic biology. more

Reflections on the Pandemic Effect on Internet Use and Democracy

Kitaw Yayehyirad KitawLast year, around the same time, the release on the same day of two flagship reports on 'the Internet' had prompted me to write an article on CircleID entitled 'Connecting the Next 46 Percent: Time to Pick the Good From the Bad and the Ugly'. I was then prudently asking whether 'the more we connect the world, the less free it becomes?'. Who would have known that a pandemic would erupt a few months later, unveiling different perspectives in assessing that very same question? more

An IPv6 Update for 2020

Geoff HustonThe Australian Domain Name Administration, AUDA, recently published its quarterly report for the last quarter of 2020. The report contained the interesting snippet: "The rapid digitization of our lives and economy -- necessitated by COVID-19 -- continued to underpin strong growth in .au registrations. New .au domains created in December 2020 were up 23 percent from December 2019, while total domains under management were up more than 2.1 percent over the same period." more

Consumer Technology vs. 5G

Bob Frankston5G represents a threat to the level playing field and innovation of the Internet. It is the new face of the battle over network neutrality. At its inception in the 19th-century, the talking telegraph (AKA the telephone) was an amazing feat of engineering using analog technology. One could speak into a microphone in one city and be heard in another city. Accomplishing this required a very large investment in technology. The customers were consumers of the service. more

Taking the Long View: Will This Be the Year ISPs Rethink Their Business Plans

Doug DawsonI have to wonder if this year is making the big ISPs rethink their business plans. For years, many big ISPs have foregone making long-term investments in broadband and instead chased the quick return. A good example is CenturyLink. Before the merger with Level 3, the company had started a program to replace the copper plant in urban markets with fiber aggressively. At the peak, the company built fiber to pass 700,000 homes a year. more

25 Years of John Barlow's Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace: When Visions Meet Realities

Wolfgang KleinwächterOn February 8, 1996, John Perry Barlow published his "Declaration of Independence in Cyberspace" in Davos. Inspired by the "Digital Revolution" and the "Dot-Com-Boom", he predicted a new "Home of Mind," a cyber world without governments. "Governments of the Industrial World", he wrote, "you weary giants of flesh and steel. I come from cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather." more

The Internet Isn't Privatized Until .com Is Put Out for Bid

Greg ThomasPreviously, this series tackled the terribly awful Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement and also made the case that the tainted presumptive renewal currently included in registry agreements is inherently anti-competitive. But renewing legitimacy and integrity of Internet governance requires accurately understanding the unique and significant role retained by the U.S. government following the IANA transition. more

The Internet of Trash

Geoff HustonIt's often a clear signal that we're in deep trouble when politicians believe they need to lend a hand and help out with regulations. A bill has been passed by the US Congress, and now signed into law, that requires the National Institute of Science and Technology to work with other agencies in developing guidelines for the use of devices that manage security vulnerabilities, patching, together with configuration and identity management. more

My Experience With Starlink Broadband, It Passes "Better Than Nothing" Beta Test

Tom EvslinMay become the access answer for many at the end of the road. The icicle dripping dish in the picture is the antenna for Starlink, a satellite-based broadband service from SpaceX -- one of Elon Musk's other companies. It came Saturday, just before the snow arrived here in Stowe, VT. It's heated, so I didn't have to shovel it out, and it's working despite its frozen beard. The pandemic has shown us that it is socially irresponsible to leave any family without broadband access. more

Clarivate Domain Survey Reveals a 10% Increase in Cyberattacks

Brian KingClarivate has once again surveyed global business leaders about the importance of domain names to their organizations, including the role of domains as intellectual property (IP) assets. The 2020 survey followed up on our 2019 survey, revealing key year-over-year trends in how organizations manage, secure and budget for domain names. In this blog, we review key trends from the new report. more

The Netizen's Guide to Reboot the Root (Part II)

Greg ThomasThe first part of this series explained how Amendment 35 to the NTIA-Verisign cooperative agreement is highly offensive to the public interest. But the reasons for saving the Internet are more fundamental to Western interests than a bad deal made under highly questionable circumstances. One of the world's foremost experts on conducting censorship at scale, the Chinese Communist Party's experience with the Great Firewall... more

Freedom of Expression Part 5: COVID Vaccines not Mandatory

Salanieta TamanikaiwaimaroIn Part 4 of the Freedom of Expression series, I had highlighted my concerns about the lack of transparency in ingredients of all the COVID-19 vaccines, which has been addressed by Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, the same day (World Holocaust Day) I had raised these concerns. A recent Resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will see the further regulation of social media on content relating to COVID-19. more

A Patchwork Quilt: Abuse Mitigation, the Domain Naming System and Pending Legislation

Frederick FelmanA few weeks ago, Appdetex published a blog with predictions for 2021, and admittedly, at the date of publication, there were already very clear indications that one prediction was already in flight. In our blog post, we'd said, "With the global domain name system failing to abate abuse, and, in fact, thwarting consumer protection, get ready for a patchwork of local laws targeting attribution and prosecution of bad actors... Get ready for some confusion and turmoil in the world of notice and takedown related to local laws and regulations." more

Emergence, Rise and Fall of Surveillance Capitalism, Part 1: Emergence

Klaus StollOne of the consequences of the Jan 6th events is a renewed attention towards Surveillance Capitalism as a key doctrine undermining democracy. This 2-part series of articles discusses the emergence, rise, and fall of Surveillance Capitalism under the premise that the better we understand the danger at the door, the better we are able to confront it. more

Limitations and Laches as Defenses in Domain Name Cybersquatting Claims

Gerald M. LevineUDRP Paragraph 4(c) states as a preamble that "[a]ny of the following circumstances, in particular, but without limitation, if found by the Panel to be proved based on its evaluation of all evidence presented, shall demonstrate your rights or legitimate interest to the domain name for purposes of Paragraph 4(a)(ii)." Three nonexclusive circumstances are listed. more

Freedom of Expression Part 4: Censorship, COVID-19, the Media and Assault on Freedom of Expression

Salanieta TamanikaiwaimaroAs I write this, it is World Holocaust Day, 27th January 2021, a memorial of the atrocious events that shocked and outraged the conscience of humanity and gave birth to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the year that Holocaust victims majority of whom were Jews re-established the nation of Israel. Most of us can never begin to imagine the extent of the atrocities but relive the experiences through movies or documentaries, including but not limited to Spielberg's 1993 Schindler's List... more

SpaceX Is First With Inter-Satellite Laser Links in Low-Earth Orbit, but Others Will Follow

Larry PressWhen SpaceX first announced plans for Starlink, their low-Earth orbit Internet service constellation, they said each satellite would have five inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs) - two links to satellites in the same orbital plane, two to satellites in adjacent orbital planes, and one to a satellite in a crossing plane. They subsequently dropped the crossing link as too difficult and, when they finally began launching satellites, they had no laser links. Last year they tested ISLLs on two satellites. more

Information Protection for the Domain Name System: Encryption and Minimization

Dr. Burt Kaliski Jr.In previous posts in this series, I've discussed a number of applications of cryptography to the DNS, many of them related to the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). In this final blog post, I'll turn attention to another application that may appear at first to be the most natural, though as it turns out, may not always be the most necessary: DNS encryption. (I've also written about DNS encryption as well as minimization in a separate post on DNS information protection.) more

Nominations Open for Public Interest Registry (PIR) Board of Directors

Dan YorkWould you be interested in helping guide the future of the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the non-profit operator of the .ORG, .NGO and .ONG domains? Or do you know of someone who would be a good candidate? If so, the Internet Society is seeking nominations for four positions on the PIR Board of Directors. The nomination deadline is Monday, February 16, 2021, at 18:00 UTC. more

What Will 2021 Have Install for the ICT Industry?

Paul BuddeWhile 2021 will remain a year with lots of uncertainties, at the same time, we can say that the pandemic has not affected the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in any significant way. Yes, there has been a slowdown, for example, in the sale of smartphones. Shortages in both materials and expertise are slowing fiber deployment, and the recovery over 2021 will be slow and uncertain because of the many lockdowns and travel restrictions. more

Is Starlink the Tesla of Broadband Access? I Have a Chance to Find Out

Tom EvslinStarlink is satellite internet access from SpaceX, one of Elon Musk's other companies. If it lives up to its hype, it will cure the problem of broadband availability in rural areas, although affordability will still be an issue. Most satellite-based Internet access sucks (that's a technical term). If based on geostationary satellites (ones you can point a dish at), the distance to the satellite is so great that the round-trip time for data is forever; this problem is called latency. more

The Netizen's Guide to Reboot the Root (Part I)

Greg ThomasIn the world of ICANN and Internet policy, complexity is manufactured to create an illusion that issues are impenetrably technical such that normal and everyday principles can't apply. This causes a pervasive and entrenched phenomenon of eyes that glaze over at the mere mention of the word "ICANN" -- including those of government regulators and other officials that might otherwise take more of an active interest. more

Looking Back at the Broadband Industry in 2020

Doug DawsonI periodically take a look at broadband trends into the future. But as I was thinking about how unique 2020 was for everybody, I realized that there were some events during the year that we're going to look back on a decade from now as important to the broadband industry. Interestingly, most of these events were not on anybody's radar at the beginning of the year. more

The Legacy of the Pai FCC

Doug DawsonAs is normal with a change of administration, there are articles in the press discussing the likely legacy of the outgoing administration. Leading the pack in singing his own praises is former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who recently published this document listing a huge list of accomplishments of the FCC under his Chairmanship. Maybe it's just me, but it feels unseemly for a public servant to publish an official self-praise document. more

Why the Internet is Not Like a Railroad

John LevineWhen one person transmits the speech of another, we have had three legal models, which I would characterize as Magazine, Bookstore, and Railroad. The Magazine model makes the transmitting party a publisher who is entirely responsible for whatever the material says. The publisher selects and reviews all the material it published. If users contribute content such as letters to the editor, the publisher reviews them and decides which to publish. more

Securing the DNS in a Post-Quantum World: Hash-Based Signatures and Synthesized Zone Signing Keys

Dr. Burt Kaliski Jr.In my last article, I described efforts underway to standardize new cryptographic algorithms that are designed to be less vulnerable to potential future advances in quantum computing. I also reviewed operational challenges to be considered when adding new algorithms to the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). In this post, I'll look at hash-based signatures, a family of post-quantum algorithms that could be a good match for DNSSEC from the perspective of infrastructure stability. more

Notorious Markets, Scams and Implications for Brands

Frederick FelmanOn January 14, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List, or NML). This publication enumerates online and physical markets that have been reported to engage in trademark, counterfeiting, and copyright infringement at scale. For the first time, the NML documents show how internet platforms play a part in bringing illicit goods into the US. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2020

Larry PressI posted reviews of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments during 2017, 2018 and 2019. I've updated those posts during the years and have 18 new posts for 2020. In 2020 we saw increased effort from China, OneWeb's bankruptcy and restructuring with new ownership and prospects, Amazon investng in space-related infrastructure, Telesat making steady progress, SpaceX making rapid progress and satellite and debris tracking and collision-avoidsnce service startups. The following are brief summaries of and links to the 2020 posts. more

Reality Check on the 5G Security MAGAverse

Anthony RutkowskiAs chance has it, the attempt by NTIA to create a fake Trump Open 5G Security Framework MAGAverse as they headed out the door on 15 January is being followed this week by the global meeting of 3GPP SA3 (Security) to advance the industry's real open 5G security Framework. Designated TSGS3-102e (the 102nd meeting, occurring electronically), it continues the practice of assembling companies, organisations, and agencies from around the world every 8 to 12 weeks to focus on 5G security for current and future releases of 5G infrastructure. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 7: Articles 20-21

Klaus StollInternet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded on guiding principles from which all policymaking is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide policymaking than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This article, Part 7 of a series, looks at Articles 20 and 21 and explores how principles in the UDHR and lessons learned over the last half-century help define the rights and duties of one's engagement in the digital spaces of the Internet ecosystem. more

Securing the DNS in a Post-Quantum World: New DNSSEC Algorithms on the Horizon

Dr. Burt Kaliski Jr.One of the "key" questions cryptographers have been asking for the past decade or more is what to do about the potential future development of a large-scale quantum computer. If theory holds, a quantum computer could break established public-key algorithms including RSA and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC), building on Peter Shor's groundbreaking result from 1994. more

WHOIS Record Redaction and GDPR: What's the Evolution Post-2018?

Jonathan ZhangWe all use the Internet daily. Practically every element of our reality has its equal in the virtual realm. Friends turn into social media contacts, retail establishments to e-commerce shops, and so on. We can't deny that the way the Internet was designed, to what it has become, differs much. One example that we'll tackle in this post is the seeming loss of connection between domains and their distinguishable owners. more

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