Articles by date
04 October 2006
The National Academies recently completed a report titled "Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation," sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation. The report's final recommendations advise that ICANN strengthen its agreements with the TLD operators and call for further steps to improve the security of the DNS.
European Commission welcomes move towards full private-sector management by 2009 (news release) (European Union news release)
The United States government's decision to give more autonomy to ICANN was welcomed by the European Commission. On 30 September, a highly prescriptive Memorandum of Understanding between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN expired. It has now been replaced by lighter arrangements intended to end definitely by 2009. The European Commission has been working for several years on a system of internet governance entrusted fully to the private sector without government interference in the internet's day-to-day management. The Commission cooperated in 1998 with the US in setting up ICANN and hosted, until 2006, the Secretariat of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to ICANN. Completing the transition of internet governance to the private sector also had been the explicit request by the EU and its partners at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November 2005.
US government steps back from internet control (The Register)
Analysis: The US government has taken a step back from control of the internet with a new contract between it and overseeing organisation ICANN that came into effect.
A domain by any other name (The Guardian)
The public's dislike of Icann comes partly from the opinion that it exercises too much control over the internet, but that's not the case.
US loosens grip on running of internet (The Guardian)
The EU has hailed a decision by the US government to back down and grant full autonomy by 2009 to ICANN. Viviane Reding, EU information society and media commissioner, said "The European commission will follow closely Icann's transition to full independence in the next three years. With our advice, we will contribute to this transition to ensure that it takes place transparently, reflecting the interests of industry and civil society alike."
uk: Web of hate (The Guardian)
On the rightwing website Redwatch, hosted in the US but registered and run from the UK, hundreds of photographs of anti-war and anti-fascist activists are posted - with the message that they will 'pay for their crimes'. And now a number of those people have been attacked. So why hasn't the site been closed down? Matthew Taylor of The Guardian investigates.
03 October 2006
Mobile net names a bit dotty (The Australian/FT)
here are a few stories, such as this one published in both The Australian and Financial Times, questioning the value of dotmobi. The story reports "critics across a broad swath of business, the law and academe are railing against the proliferation of new domains, which they claim are costly and a cause of fraud". While there is support across industry, a senior lawyer from Verizon Communications, Sarah Deutsch, is quoted as saying "there is no particular business need". The article also quotes Marcus Eggensperger, legal director at Lycos Europe, saying "As a registrar, we are lucky because we have new markets but, to be honest, for trademark owners it could be a problem to have to make defensive registrations."
The internet will be a thriving, low-cost network of billions of devices by 2020, says a major survey of leading technology thinkers.
The Future of the Internet II (Pew Internet & American Life Project)
A survey of technology thinkers and stakeholders shows they believe the internet will continue to spread in a "flattening" and improving world. There are many, though, who think major problems will accompany technology advances by 2020. A predictions database can be viewed.
The United States is now a party to the Council of Europe (COE) Convention on Cybercrime, the only multilateral treaty that specifically addresses the problem of computer-related crime and electronic evidence gathering, the White House announced September 29.
EU Kids Online (EU Kids Online)
European Research on Cultural, Contextual and Risk Issues in Children's Safe Use of the Internet and New Media. EU Kids Online is a project funded by the EC Safer Internet plus Programme (see What is Safer Internet?) The EU Kids Online project (2006-2009) will examine research carried out in 18 member states into how children and young people use the internet and new media.
Who supports Internet censorship? by Craig A. Depken, II (First Monday)
Abstract: Censorship is the moral or legislative process by which society "agrees" to limit what an individual can do, say, think, or see. Recent attempts to regulate, i.e., censor, what is viewed on the Internet have polarized the general population. Unfortunately, beyond the anecdotal, the characteristics of those who support Internet censorship are unknown. In this study, the support for Internet censorship is empirically analyzed using survey data. Notwithstanding the potential limitations of survey data, the results indicate the characteristics of those who tend to favor and disfavor Internet censorship. Specifically, concerns over pornography and concerns over government regulation on the Internet are the two most polarizing elements of the relative support for censorship, which suggests that the debate over this issue will not be easily resolved.
The Changing Face of Privacy Protection in the European Union and the United States by FRED H. CATE (Indiana University School of Law/Indiana Law Review) (Social Science Research Network/Indiana Law Review)
This Article examines the expanding conflict and emerging compromises between the European Union and the United States over data protection. After describing each of the legal regimes and the principles that undergird them, the article concludes by addressing the conflict between those principles, current political efforts to minimize that conflict, and the inadequacies of both systems in the context of the Internet.
Principles of Internet Privacy by FRED H. CATE (Indiana University School of Law/Connecticut Law Review) (Social Science Research Network/Connecticut Law Review)
This article identifies principles that should undergird the government's efforts to protect privacy and craft privacy norms, and then contrast the application of those principles in particular settings identified by Professor Paul Schwartz in his article Internet Privacy and the State.
A New Wave of Web Addresses (Business Week)
Business Week reports on the DotMobi launch with 88,000 domains registered in the first two days (75,000 registrations reported elsewhere). Business Week asks who is registering these domains. Sarah Deutsch, General Counsel of VERizon, is quoted again saying big-name companies are being forced to register dotMobi domains or risk brand damage. Sarah says "Anytime one of these top-level domains is introduced, we are forced to register these domains proactively because if you don't do that, you are going to find your trademark infringed. It might be linked with pornography or phishing or fraud. Companies are forced to come in and protect their crown jewels." Sarah goes on to say that dotMobi names don't offer the domain owners anything they can't do with their existing domains. Meanwhile dotMobi CEO Neil Edwards obviously disagrees although in the article he doesn't seem to give any convincing arguments.
Internet Law - The Initial Interest Confusion Theory: The Beginning of Liability for Search Engine Companies (Internet Business Law Services)
One of the leading U.S. cases on the issue of liability for the use of trademarked terms is Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment (Brookfield). The case concluded with a remarkable decision that marked the beginning of a new liability era for those using trademarked words in their advertisements. Brookfield held that the defendant company was liable to the plaintiff company, under the Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Laws of the U.S. Lanham Act for the defendant's use of plaintiff's trademarked term in defendant's Meta tags in Defendant's websites, even if no actual damage existed. This case introduced the Initial Interest Confusion liability theory that is still applicable in the U.S. Courts. Of the legal issues in the case, the Court considered whether there was an infringement of trademark claim; second, whether there was an unfair competition claim. These two issues were solved after intellectual property considerations in part that that related to the use of trademarked terms in domain names. Third, and most important for us in this discussion, the Court considered whether West Coast Entertainment Company (defendant) was liable for the use of the trademarked term "movieBuff" in the Meta tags in its website "westcoastvideo.com" or any other website different than "movieBuff.com." The Court decision was in the affirmative. The Court held that due to the Initial Interest Confusion theory, West Coast Entertainment Company was liable to Brookfield for the use of its trademarked term in the Meta tags of defendant's websites other than "movieBueff.com."
Milton Mueller writes on the Internet Governance website, linked from this CircleID article (but inaccessible at the time of writing) of the new MoU between ICANN and the DoC, that the new agreement "is a cosmetic response to the comments received by NTIA during its Notice of Inquiry in July 2006" with the object seeming "to be to strengthen the public's perception that ICANN is relatively independent". Milton writes that the relationship is "fundamentally unchanged" and notes that "In one important respect, the JPA has actually increased direct US intervention".
IPv6 Internals by Iljitsch van Beijnum (Cisco - The Internet Protocol Journal)
This article discusses some of the protocol details you should be aware of when planning a transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Although it is not intended as a complete step-by-step guide, this article explains the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 as they relate to actually operating a network. Vendor-and operating system specific details can be found in the book from which this text was adapted, and further information is available in the references.
The new three year agreement between ICANN and DoC is reported by many news outlets, with emphasis being given to the more hands off approach by the US government and the US government pledging to cede control of the net to private sector hands at an unspecified future point.
Rethinking Accountability in Cyberspace: A New Perspective on ICANN by KEES DE VEY MESTDAGH and RUDOLF W. RIJGERSBERG (University of Groningen) (Social Science Research Network)
Abstract: One of the most persistent debates regarding Internet governance concerns ICANN's accountability deficit. This paper identifies the habitual application of a State frame of reference by which scholars and politicians address accountability issues regarding the domain name system as the source of this debate. Re-examination of the assumptions underlying two exemplary solutions, direct elections and intergovernmental supervision, shows that the State frame of reference informing this debate ultimately breaks down. The availability of alternative services renders the call for a State-based model by which to judge and design ICANN's accountability provisions superfluous. The latter part of the paper shows that a market model is more appropriate to assess ICANN's accountability mechanisms and its role amongst other domain name services providers. In addition, a market frame of reference enables us to understand ICANN's hybrid organisational structure better.
11 May 2006
ICANN Chooses Privacy for Whois (Electronic Privacy Information Center)
ICANN has voted to adopt a policy protecting the privacy of domain holders' personal information.
us: Measuring the Child-Porn Trade (Wall Street Journal)
Unlike, say, the soft-drink or airline industries, the child-pornography industry doesn't report its annual sales to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Yet in a press release ahead of a recent House of Representatives hearing aimed at curbing the industry, Texas Republican Joe Barton said, "Child pornography is apparently a multibillion ... my staff analysis says $20 billion-a-year business. Twenty billion dollars."
Some interesting facts about domain names such as that of of the 676 possible two-letter sequences - they're all taken. And then even allowing for digits, giving 1296 combinations, again every single variation is taken. Als, there are 253,000 non-IDN domains that are 32 characters or longer, including 538 that are 63 characters long.
cn/us: Yahoo ! employees get chance to see Chinese detainee videos outside company’s headquarters (Reporters sans frontières)
A Reporters Without Borders team stationed itself with a video player outside Yahoo !'s California headquarters on 7 April and stopped employees as they left the building, offering to show them videos filmed in China of people criticising Yahoo !'s cooperation with the Chinese police. Reporters Without Borders wants Yahoo ! to stop cooperating with the Chinese authorities in the arrests of activists and journalists.
China warns on 'unhealthy' websites (The Guardian)
Chinese websites are being urged to suppress material that could harm state interests or damage social morality.