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Reshaping Cyberspace: Beyond the Emerging Online Mercenaries and the Aftermath of SolarWinds

Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender based in the Middle East and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a "Nobel Prize for human rights"), On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received an SMS text messages on his iPhone promising "new secrets" about detainees tortured if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to the Canadian Citizen Lab researchers. more

DNS Oblivion

Technical development often comes in short, intense bursts, where a relatively stable technology becomes the subject of intense revision and evolution. The DNS is a classic example here. For many years this name resolution protocol just quietly toiled away. The protocol wasn't all that secure, and it wasn't totally reliable, but it worked well enough for the purposes we put it to. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 6: Articles 18-19

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs guiding principles from which policy making, and acceptable behavior, are derived. Identifying the fundamental principles to guide Internet ecosystem policy making around digital citizenship, and around the integrity of digital practices and behavior, can and should start with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). more

Another ICANN Meeting Concluded With No Action on DNS Abuse or Privacy/Proxy Policy

The ICANN 69 meeting has come to a close, with no progress on DNS abuse or implementation of the Privacy/Proxy Services Accreditation policy (PPSAI). While ICANN is uniquely positioned to do so, it refuses to do anything proactive about DNS abuse, with its executives overtly attempting to limit its role to data collection. Moreover, its refusal to implement community-driven initiatives such as the PPSAI points to a growing trend where ICANN is backing away from its public interest responsibilities, to the detriment of the Internet and its users. more

The Good Old Days in the Cryptography Wars

The 20th century was the golden age of surveillance. High-speed communication went either by telegraph and telephone, which needed a license from the government, or by radio, which anyone can listen to. Codes were manual or electromechanical and were breakable, e.g., the Zimmermann telegram and Bletchley Park. (The UK government spent far more effort inventing a cover story for the source of the telegram than on the break itself, to avoid telling the world how thoroughly they were spying on everyone.) more

The Whois Wars Go On

There is a lot of discussion about the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2 report on evaluating a System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to non-public gTLD registration data after the decisions taken by the GNSO Council on September 24th. Notably, the Business Constituency (BC) and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) have voted against the adoption of the Final Report of the EPDP team. more

The EPDP Passed an Important Milestone… Now What?

This isn't the blog post I had hoped to write. When I signed up to participate in ICANN's Expedited Policy Development Process for gTLD Registration Data, I knew we had a lot of work ahead of us, but I was cautiously optimistic that we would, eventually, reach a successful outcome. Today, I find myself looking at things differently. After hundreds of hours and countless meetings and emails, Phase 2 of the EPDP's work has wrapped up with the delivery of our final report to the GNSO Council. more

2020’s New Internet Success – Rejoinder

The posting with a similar name seems a bit contrived by anonymous in some strange attempt to enhance its significance. Many others, including myself, have been discussing this subject for some time. Indeed, a concerted lobbying effort and anti-competitive efforts by legacy TCP/IP internet stakeholders have been really ramped up over the past year to mischaracterize what is occurring. more

2020’s New Internet Success

Chinese technology policy is now more effective even than their naval posture in the South China Sea, and both are playing out in full sunshine. This success is not about the hardware pillar of Chinese tech policy, though: its focus is the structural approach China and, increasingly, other stakeholders are taking to global Internet Governance... Late in the Year of the Pig just gone, China's offer of a New Internet Protocol was chewed over in senior-level advisory groups of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)... more

IGF-USA Teaser. Laura DeNardis: The Internet in Everything

Dr. Laura DeNardis, Professor and Interim Dean of the School of Communication at American University and a Faculty Director of the Internet Governance Lab, is a featured panelist at this week's IGF-USA conference. In advance of the event, I would like to draw attention to her sixth book: The Internet in Everything. Freedom and Security in a World with no Off Switch. This treatise is one of those "should/must-reads" that come along from time-to-time as it focuses on a critical issue that is overlooked by either design or neglect: how digital infrastructure determines policy. more