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13 March 2007

uk: POSTnote - Internet Goverance (pdf) (United Kingdom Parliament)

There is increasing international debate on 'Internet governance', which encompasses a variety of public policy issues related to internet infrastructure, management and use. This POSTnote describes the structure of the Internet and summarises the debate over its management. It also discusses the prospects for its international governance, following the first meeting of the UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum.

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Are We Slowly Losing Control of the Internet? By Karl Auerbach (Circle ID)

Karl Auerbach is concerned about how the evolving internet "would be managed, monitored, diagnosed, or repaired" with there being a lack of discussion on these issues. He gives an example of VOIP-SIP, noting it's too complex and the basic encoding a mess. He comments that with history to use as a guide in many fields, "that in this internet age that we might have learned that clarity of internet protocol design is a great virtue and that management, diagnostics, and security are not afterthoughts but primary design goals." In this article Karl is concerned about internet stability and foresees "a future internet in which people involved in management, troubleshooting, and repair are engaged in a Sisyphean effort to provide service in the face of increasingly non-unified design of internet protocols. And in that future, users will have to learn to expect outages and become accustomed to dealing with service provider customer service 'associates' whose main job is to buy time to keep customers from rioting while the technical repair team tries to figure out what happened, where it happened, and what to do about it."

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Judge Rules for Ousted Registerfly CEO (Business Week)

Business Week has a story on the legal decision last week that Business Week reports "stunned even the lawyers for" Kevin Medina. Business Week notes that it wasn't immediately clear what effect the decision would have on RegisterFly's future or the 200,000 domain name holders who use RegisterFly. John Naruszewicz, Medina's longtime business partner and successor as CEO, and "one of the two who had fired Medina and taken control of the company, doesn't plan to appeal the judge's decision. 'We lost and it's all over,' he says. 'The company will implode in days and 1 million domain names are going to be lost. It's a damned shame.'" Further, Business Week reported "After listening to about 45 minutes of testimony and spending 40 minutes reviewing documents, Judge Sheriden ruled that Medina owned the company."

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New shield foiled Internet backbone attack (CNet)

CNET reports that the February denial of service attack on the DNS "had little effect, thanks to new protection technology, according to a report released by ICANN." The article largely quotes from last week's ICANN report on the attack.

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International domain names succeed in testing (ZDNet)

ZDNet runs a story on last week's ICANN announcement on IDNs noting that the tests were successful.

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DNS Attack: Possible Botnet Sales Pitch (Dark Reading)

Dark Reading's report on the ICANN fact sheet regarding last month's denial of service attack also largely quotes from the fact sheet. Dark Reading quotes David Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS and EveryDNS who says "They mentioned that it might be someone trying to show the 'strength' of their botnet-for-hire,' Ulevitch says. 'Not a test-run for a larger attack against the roots [themselves], but a way for an attacker to show the disruptive potential of their botnet to someone who might purchase it from them to cause harm against other less fortified victims.' Ulevitch also "says another attack on the DNS root servers is likely, but it shouldn't 'destabilize' DNS root operations." Dark Reading concludes wondering "whether the recommendations for thwarting future DNS infrastructure attacks will fall on deaf ears". "'Getting ISPs to implement source filtering and turning of open-recursive lookups has been an ongoing battle for many years -- and one with only limited success,' says Craig Labovitz, director of engineering at Arbor Networks. 'And while reflective attacks provide an easy way for zombies to attack [and] multiply firepower, it is not clear reflection played a significant role in the most recent attacks.'" Further, "Labovitz says he agrees with the ICANN report that massively replicating servers and anycast is the best plan for now."

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Reminder on 2007 Nom Com Positions (ICANN)

This is a reminder that the 2007 ICANN Nominating Committee is inviting Statements of Interest on three open positions for the ICANN Board of Directors, two members of the GNSO Council, one member of the ccNSO and three members of the At-Large Advisory Committee. Statements of Interest are due by 1 May 2007.

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XXX Comes to a Head posted by Milton Mueller (Circle ID)

Milton Mueller is critical of ICANN in the .xxx approval process. Milton notes he is "beginning to think that ICANN's approach to TLD approval was cooked up by a demented sergeant from Abu Ghraib." Milton writes about what he sees as a prolonged process where "ICANN tells ICM registry, the company applying for the domain, something is wrong with its application and something more needs to be done to get approval. ICM registry dutifully goes off and does what was asked. And then ICANN thinks of something else that is wrong, something else it has to do." Milton claims that heading into what should be the final approval stage a few ICANN board members are "leaning in a negative direction". The reason for Milton is the campaign organised by a group of pornographers, which has led some board members to wonder if the proposed TLD has community support. But, Milton says, "ICANN already decided, more than a year ago, that ICM Registry had sufficient support from the relevant 'community' to be classified as a sponsored domain. The test for sponsorship was part of the original process. So that issue is over. Or should be." Milton then asks why is this happening. He claims "The answer is that ICANN's processes are so arbitrary and political that any issue can be opened and reopened at any time, for any reason - regardless of the defined process. The answer is that ICANN's completely discretionary, beauty contest approach to TLD selection casts it adrift on a sea of politics, so that the slightest shift in the winds causes it to change direction. The answer is that ICANN will do anything to avoid making a controversial decision." So, according to Milton, "the Board members and CEO seem truly directionless, a couple of flotsam and jetsam bobbing about in a political sea. They simply do not understand how deeply they are sapping ICANN's credibility and stature in the world by making (non)decisions in this way. To live up to its role as a global governance institution, ICANN needs to have clear, objective decision making criteria and to stand up for principles. The path of arbitrariness ICANN is on leads to only one end result: litigation." Milton concludes that "The issue here is very simple. ICM Registry met all the criteria ICANN set out in its request for applications back in 2003. It passed all the tests ICANN said in advance it was going to require applicants to meet. It even passed all the tests the US government and the GAC imposed after the process was supposed to be over. That should be the end of the story."

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Moniker Domain Name Auction Rakes in $4.3M (Domain Wire)

The live domain name auction yesterday in Las Vegas resulted in $4.3M in sales; more to come in silent auction.

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Turkey Lifts YouTube Ban After 2 Days (Sydney Morning Herald)

Turkey lifted its ban on YouTube Friday, an official for the country's largest telecommunications firm said, two days after a court ordered the Web site blocked because of videos that allegedly insulted the founder of modern Turkey.

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Sweden seeks telecoms monitoring (BBC)

Sweden's government has presented a bill to give its defence intelligence agency powers to monitor any e-mail or phone call into or out of the country.

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uk: Brown unveils classification system for new media (The Guardian)

A "labelling" system for media content is under way to help parents protect their children from unsuitable content in the digital age, Gordon Brown revealed. The chancellor said that Ofcom, the industry regulator, has agreed to introduce a media content rating scheme to provide better information about websites, TV programmes, computer games and other media.

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eBay CEO: Phishers threaten user trust (CNet)

eBay chief Meg Whitman said on Thursday that phishers pose one of the biggest threats to the customer trust that has sustained the auction giant.

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Pope says Web and TV can be 'destructive' for youth (CNet)

Pope Benedict called on the media on Friday to promote family values and criticized the Internet and television's often "destructive" influence on young people.

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Australians own more gadgets than Americans: study (Sydney Morning Herald)

Australians adopt gadgets such as digital cameras and MP3 players far more enthusiastically than Americans, new research shows.

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The Face of the $100 Laptop (Business Week)

The so-called $100 laptop that's being designed for school children in developing nations is known for its bright green and white plastic shell, its power-generating hand crank, and for Nicholas Negroponte, the technology futurist who dreamed it up and who tirelessly promotes it everywhere from Bangkok to Brasilia. What has not received much attention is the graphical user interface -- the software that will be the face of the machine for the millions of children who will own it. In fact, the user interface, called Sugar, may turn out to be one of the more innovative aspects of a project that has already made breakthroughs in mesh networking and battery charging since Negroponte unveiled the concept two years ago.

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Telecoms fighting in tough TV arena (International Herald Tribune)

The biggest hurdle for IPTV, or Internet protocol television, analysts say, is that consumers already have plenty of ways of bringing digital television into their homes.

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Europe continues push for iTunes interoperability (IT Wire)

European pressure on DRM schemes that restrict the use of purchased music to particular types of player (think iTunes and iPod) has stepped up a notch.

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Convergence promises to slash voice bills (vnunet)

Fixed-mobile convergence, combined with VoIP, will allow corporate customers to slash their voice telephony bills by over a third, experts predict. A new Analysys report warned that mobile network operators in particular will have to work hard to arrest the decline in enterprise voice revenues in the face of technology that can allow companies to bypass more expensive services.

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Kaspersky Lab: Annual Report on Malware and Spam Evolution (International Telecommunications Union)

Kaspersky Lab, a developer of secure content management solutions, recently announced its annual report on malware and spam evolution. The report, authored by Kaspersky Lab analysts, surveys the trends of 2006 and looks at what 2007 may bring.

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12 March 2007

Ex Registerfly CEO Regains Control (The Whir)

The Whir, on RegisterFly, reports "Medina has less than a week to right the ship, as ICANN filed notice with Registerfly February 21 that the company had until March 14 to fix its operations or lose its accreditation as a registrar."

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Al-Qaeda plot to bring down UK internet (The Sunday Times)

Scotland Yard has uncovered evidence that Al-Qaeda has been plotting to bring down the internet in Britain, causing chaos to business and the London Stock Exchange. In a series of raids, detectives have recovered computer files revealing that terrorist suspects had targeted a high-security internet "hub" in London.

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11 March 2007

Judge Rules for Ousted Registerfly CEO (Business Week)

In a legal decision that stunned even the lawyers for the victor, a U.S. District Court judge on Mar. 8 handed over the embattled Web registrar Registerfly.com to the executive who was running it when it began to founder. Judge Peter Sheridan ruled in favor of defendant Kevin Medina, who had been chief executive of the parent company, Unifiednames, before he was fired by two other board members on Feb. 12.

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New shield foiled Internet backbone attack (CNet)

An attack in early February on key parts of the backbone of the Internet had little effect, thanks to new protection technology, according to a report released by ICANN.

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International domain names succeed in testing (ZDNet)

Internationalized domain names have moved a step closer to reality, following ICANN's announcement that it had successfully completed testing.

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