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Recent WHOIS Report Overlooking Fundamental Issue?

Each Task Force recently published a report posted on ICANN's website on recommendations for modifications or improvements to WHOIS. The Task Force recommendations include proposals ranging from a recommendation to notify those who may be included in the database of the possible uses of WHOIS data to one that recommends ICANN offer the Internet community "tiered access" to serve as a vague mechanism to balance privacy against the needs of public access. Too many of the recommendations seem to be framed by those who view Internet users with hostility, such as the recommendation to punish domain name users when a domain name is cancelled or suspended for "false contact data," by canceling all other registrations with identical contact data. more

Email Address Forgery

In my roles as postmaster at CAUCE (the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail) and abuse.net, I get a lot of baffled and outraged mail from people who have discovered that someone is sending out spam, often pornographic spam, with their return address on the From: line. "How can they do that? How do I make them stop?'' The short answers are "easily'' and "it's nearly impossible.'' more

Search Engine Optimization: Static IP vs. Dynamic IP Addresses

This is a hotly debated topic. Some Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs) claim that sites with a static IP address rank higher while other SEOs claim that shared hosting is just fine... that it would be stupid for search engines to penalize shared hosting since we are running out of IP addresses and so many sites are currently using name based hosting. ...I decided to run it through our statistical analysis engine to get the facts. Here is the methodology I used to answer this question. more

Data Reveals Domain Name Registrations Have Hit All-Time Highs

In a report released today, VeriSign has stated that more than 4.7 million new domain names registered during the first quarter of 2004 -- highest ever recorded in a three-month period. "The profile reveals that more than 63 million domain names have now been registered, approximately one for every 100 people living in the world today. This number is greater than at any time in the Internet's history, surpassing even the heights that were seen during the Internet "bubble." Moreover, data reveal that the current base of domain names is being utilized more actively than ever before, as measured by renewal rates, look-up rates, and the percentage of domain names tied to live sites." more

Does ICANN’s New Proposed Budget Harm Competition?

Despite the stated commitment to meeting their obligations to the government, ICANN's proposed budget may potentially breach the MoU. Specifically, the MoU commits ICANN to "perform as an organization founded on the principles of competition..." However, an alliance of at least 50 Registrars claims that the new Registrar fee structure contained in the proposed budget would significantly harm competition.  more

Friction-Free Commerce, Spam-Free Future

I'm sitting here at the Inbox conference on e-mail, and listening to an encouraging, plays-nicely-with-other-children talk from Ryan Hamlin, GM of anti-spam technology and strategy at Microsoft. Over the past couple of months, with evidence abounding at this conference, a number of big industry players have been getting together to fight spam. Most significantly, Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL - plus a bunch of (other) ISPs are getting together behind a single standard for "Sender ID " - (actually, server authentication) name not yet determined... more

80% of Spam Originating from Home PCs

The majority of spam -- as much as 80 per cent of all unsolicited marketing messages sent -- now emanates from residential ISP networks and home user PCs. This is due to the proliferation of spam trojans, bits of surreptitious malware code embedded in residential subscriber PCs by worms and spyware programs. Worm attacks are growing in frequency because they provide a fast means of infecting a vast number of computers with spam trojans in a very short period of time. It's no surprise that many service providers report an upsurge in spam traffic immediately following a worm attack. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part III

"Competitive Bidding for new gTLDs" is the focus of part three of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...When new radio frequencies become available for commercial use, federal law requires that licenses be auctioned off to the highest qualified bidder. The FCC does a reasonably good job in designing and conducting spectrum auctions. They are often familiar in format, not much different than found for consumer goods on eBay. In other cases, such as with "Simultaneous Multiple-Round" or "combinatorial bidding," the auction design is fairly complex. Because of complexity in these cases, the FCC sponsors periodic conferences on auction theory and seminars on auction mechanics for potential bidders. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part II

"Comparisons with Telecommunications Policy" is the focus of part two of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...In the United States, an independent federal agency, under the direction of Congress, is charged with developing and implementing policies governing the major telecommunications industries. These include broadcast radio and television, wireline and wireless telephony, and video distribution via cable, wireless, and satellite. One might wonder why the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") does not likewise have jurisdiction, at least in the US, over perhaps the most significant telecommunications industry -- the Internet. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part I

"The Root Server is a Scarce Resource" is the focus of part one of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...We begin our analysis of domain name policy with a brief excursion into economics. Economics cannot answer all of the questions raised by domain name policy. First, domain name policy must answer to the discipline of network engineering. A useful domain name system must work, and the functionality, scalability, reliability, and stability of the system are determined by the soundness of its engineering. Second, domain name policy must answer to public policy. The Internet is a global network of networks, and Internet policy is answerable to a variety of constituencies, including national governments, the operators of the ccTLDs, Internet Service Providers, information providers, end users of the Internet, and many others. more

Techies Wanna Do Policy

I'm sure we have all heard a techie or standards body tell legislatures, courts, and business groups to keep their mits off of the internet; that such groups are "clueless" and that they will damage some noumenon or other indistinct, but critical, principle of the internet. Consider, for example, the condemnation of competing DNS roots by ICANN and the IAB. What makes today so interesting is that two well respected techies have stepped forth and made strong social/economic/business policy statements. more

ICANN’s Picture of Itself

ICANN has released its draft new budget. The document gives us a good look at how ICANN sees itself. It's arguably an internally inconsistent view. ...This budget calls for ICANN to have almost 60 staff members by the end of the next fiscal year. Expenses under this budget are predicted to be twice those of last year ($16 million v. $8 million). more

Why Do Chinese Enterprises Ignore the Internet?

Judging from the development of the Internet in the world, the popularity rate of domain names is one of the primary parameters to measure whether the Internet is well developed or not in a country. The popularity rate of domain names is 11 percent in North America and reaches as high as 12.5 percent in Europe, while in China, which has over 20 million enterprises, there are only more than 300,000 domain names under .CN and the total number of domain names is only 1.187 million, including a lot of governmental and individual websites. more

Can Technology Can Spam?

It seems to be impossible to implement a law against spam - unsolicited bulk email - without making a hash of it. At best, anti-spam laws are ineffective; at worst, they cause more problems than spam itself. Can technology fare any better? ...But despite this flurry of initiatives, we are yet to see a definitive answer to the spam problem. An Anti-Spam Technical Alliance has been formed by Microsoft, America Online, Yahoo! and EarthLink, but these companies continue to proffer competing solutions. Meanwhile, the technology being deployed in the spam wars is causing collateral damage, in the form of 'false positives' - email that is incorrectly categorised as spam, and so never reaches its intended recipient. more

Will DNS Rescue the Future of Search?

Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China have started work on a project based on a distributed information retrieval system that promises to address future search engine scalability issues that are believed to be inevitable as the Internet continues to expand: "With the rapid increase of web pages, the coverage of search engines will become poorer and the update intervals will be much longer. If the current architecture of search engines is still in use, it will be an impossible mission to find the precise and comprehensive information in the future. This problem will be more serious when IPv6 technology is widely implemented in communication networks. The problem of 'Too much information means no information' may become a disaster with information explosion." more

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