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Feds Shut Down File-Sharing Website Megaupload.com, Seven People Charged

Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down one of the world's largest Internet file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, charging its founder and others with violating piracy laws, the Associated Press reports today. "The indictment was unsealed Thursday, one day after websites shut down in protest of two congressional proposals [SOPA & PIPA] intended to thwart the online piracy of copyrighted movies and TV programs." more

Carriers Skirting Rules on Network Neutrality vs. Free’s Innovative Network

From will they ever learn department, we are once again seeing attempts by incumbent carriers to skirt rules around network neutrality. They tried and failed with UBB. Now they are at it again with "speed boost" technologies. The two technologies at question are Verizon's "Turbo" service and Roger's "SpeedBoost". more

Number Misuse, Telecommunications Regulations and WCIT

Another twenty five years has just zoomed by, and before you know it, it's all on again. The last time the global communications sector did this was at the WATTC in 1988, when "the Internet" was just a relatively obscure experiment in protocol engineering for data communications. At that time the Rather Grand telephone industry bought their respective government representatives... to the Rather Grandly titled "World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (WATTC) in November 1988 in Melbourne, Australia and resolved to agree to the Rather Grandly titled "International Telecommunication Regulations." more

Where is Metadata Anyway?

I can't help but think that the situation in this rather old joke applies very precisely to the current Australian efforts to compel network operators, through some contemplated regulatory instrument, to record and retain network-collected data about their customers' online activities. What I'd like to examine here the emerging picture that while networks, and network operators, make convenient targets for such surveillance efforts, the reality of today's IP network's are far more complex, and Internet networks are increasingly ignorant about what their customers do. more

Here’s Looking at You…

Much has been said in recent weeks about various forms of cyber spying. The United States has accused the Chinese of cyber espionage and stealing industrial secrets. A former contractor to the United States' NSA, Edward Snowden, has accused various US intelligence agencies of systematic examination of activity on various popular social network services... These days cloud services may be all the vogue, but there is also an emerging understanding that once your data heads into one of these clouds, then it's no longer necessarily entirely your data; it may have become somebody else's data too... more

As IPv6 Deploys, Will We Look Back on NAT as the Ugly Step Sister or Unsung Hero?

The debates are raging over whether or not we should migrate to IPv6. The strongest argument is the enormous address space that will allow for everyone and everything to have a unique public address, many addresses actually. It is often said that the shortage of public IPv4 addresses has limited our capabilities because it led to the pervasive use of private addressing, Network Address Translation (NAT) and Port Address Translation (PAT). Though these technologies remain critical, they are often regarded as stop-gap measures, and they sometimes create problems. In some circles, NAT has acquired a very bad name. But is that a fair perspective of the technology? Let's review the positives and negatives. more

The Open Internet?

I'm sure we've all heard about "the open Internet." The expression builds upon a rich pedigree of term "open" in various contexts. For example, "open government" is the governing doctrine which holds that citizens have the right to access the documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight, a concept that appears to be able to trace its antecedents back to the age of enlightenment in 17th century Europe. more

On the Hunt for “Critical Internet Resources”

I'm writing this column in November, and that means that it is time for the traveling circus known as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to come down to earth, unpack its tents and sell tickets for its annual song and dance routine. The script for this year's show has been changed, and after being excluded from the main arena last year at the Athens gig, the headline act of "Critical Internet Resources" is taking a starring role this year in Rio. Some folk are even saying that it is the single most contentious issue to be scheduled at this year's IGF show. So what are "Critical Internet Resources" anyway? If folks are going to spend all this time, energy and carbon emissions traveling to Rio to talk on this topic, then wouldn't it be helpful to understand what it means in the first place? There are probably a number of ways to answer this question, so in this heavily opinionated column I'd like to look at the range of possible answers to this question. more

Is Bandwidth Infinite? It All Depends…

On August 23 ( while I was in China) a list member Lee S. Drybrugh wrote in jest: I happened to bump into Peter Cochrane stating, "The good news is -- bandwidth is free -- and we have an infinite supply." Next by sheer accident I bumped into this in relation to Gilder, "Telecosm argues that the world is beginning to realise that bandwidth is not a scarce resource (as was once thought) but is in factinfinite." Can anyone explain this infinite bandwidth as I think I am getting ripped off by my ISP if this is true? Craig Partridge then offered what I think is a very good commentary of a difficult question where the answer depends very much on context... more

Who Will Secure the Internet of Things?

Over the past several months, CITP-affiliated Ph.D. student Sarthak Grover and fellow Roya Ensafi been investigating various security and privacy vulnerabilities of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the home network, to get a better sense of the current state of smart devices that many consumers have begun to install in their homes. To explore this question, we purchased a collection of popular IoT devices, connected them to a laboratory network at CITP, and monitored the traffic that these devices exchanged with the public Internet. more

Evolving the Internet Through COVID-19 and Beyond

As we approach four months since the WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, and with lockdowns and other restrictions continuing in much of the world, it is worth reflecting on how the Internet has coped with the changes in its use, and on what lessons we can learn from these for the future of the network. The people and companies that build and operate the Internet are always planning for more growth in Internet traffic. more

Only Structural Change Can Save the Mobile Industry

I regularly bring this issue forward, similar to the discussion in relation to the structural separation of the fixed networks, which I began just over a decade ago. What we are seeing in the mobile industry is an infrastructure and a spectrum crunch. The amount of spectrum needed to satisfy people's demand from mobile phones, tablets and soon a range of other smart devices is limitless. Mobile carriers are scrambling for spectrum... more

IPv6: Beware of Dirty, Muddy IPv4 Addresses as the Pool Dries Up

Mid March a special plenary session of the Canadian standard committee isacc was convened in Ottawa to review the final report of the Canadian IPv6 Task Group. It was unanimously approved and the essence of its 66 pages are seven recommendations for Government, Industry, Service and Content providers, and the regulator, CRTC to proceed with diligence, even some sense of urgency. One paragraph provides an interesting new twist... more

To Flat or To Cap?

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone, but it's the Christmas season again and doubtless a large number of television sets will be sold as part of the annual retail festivities. But these days the devices for sale in the shops are not just televisions: today's television is perhaps better described as a media computer with a very large display. Sure, the device can tune in to radio transmissions and display them... but the device also is equipped with either a WiFi or an Ethernet jack, or both. This alone sounds like a relatively innocuous addition to the television, but it's providing to be a highly disruptive change in the traditional Internet market space. more

Bashbleed - A Nasty Reminder Never to Forget Security 101

After the botched burglary at the Watergate Apartments, every scam and scandal that hit the headlines became a 'gate' -- Irangate, Contragate, you name it. The Heartbleed bug is possibly the closest thing to Watergate that this generation of computer security had seen till the past few days -- an exploit in a component that is "just there" -- something you utterly rely on to be there and perform its duties, and give very little thought to how secure (or rather, insecure) it might be. So, fittingly, every such catastrophic bug in an ubiquitous component is now a 'bleed'. more