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Universal Acceptance – Making the Internet Work for Everyone

Back 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

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

We 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

Is ICANN Running a Racket?

On 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

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

On 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

The Path to Combatting Domain Abuse

Completely 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

The 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

In 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

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

Domain 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

The Insecurity of Ambiguous Standards

Why 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

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

How 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

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

Most 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

A Look at Cuba's Digital Revolution

In 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

ICANN70 Virtual Community Forum: What to Expect?

On 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

Are the LEOs Going to Disrupt the Telco Market?

We 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

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

China 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

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