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Internet Governance: Analogue Solutions to Digital Problems

This is an overview of the booklet, "Internet Governance: Issues, Actors and Divides," recently published by DiploFoundation and the Global Knowledge Partnership. "Internet Governance is not a simple subject. Although it deals with a major symbol of the DIGITAL world, it cannot be handled with a digital - binary logic of true/false and good/bad. Instead, the subject's many subtleties and shades of meaning and perception require an ANALOGUE approach, covering a continuum of options and compromises." Update: This article was reposted with additional information and a new title. more

NTIA Nixes Privacy Protection in Whois

Many registrars have gotten complacent about reforming the Whois-Privacy relationship. After all, they can sell additional privacy protection to their subscribers for an extra $5-10. Seems like a perfect "market oriented" interim solution, as the so-called "bottom up" policy development process of ICANN figures out how to provide tiered access. Not so fast. more

Preventing A New World Internet Order

If anyone needs another reason why the UN should not be in charge of the internet, they need look no further than the upcoming UNESCO conference on "Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace." The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization conference will discuss "whether universal free expression standards should be applied to the Internet and how free expression can be protected while respecting individual privacy, national laws and cultural differences." The conference is being held in preparation for the second phase of the UN's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)." more

Reforming Whois

Now that we're into the New Year and deadline for public comment on the proposed new .CA whois policy nears and now that my term as a CIRA Director enters its home stretch, I wanted to take some time to elaborate further on my Unsanctioned Whois Concepts post from long ago and revise it somewhat. more

Person to Person Security and Privacy Infringement

IT security strategies invariably focus on maintaining impenetrable fortresses around computers and network systems. Firewalls, virtual private networks and anti-virus programs are the tools IT engineers use to create their digital security. Sophisticated defense systems can be very effective at keeping the obvious attackers at bay, yet they often create a false sense of security because the real attacks, the kind that inflict irreparable damage on a system or network, avoid the obvious routes into the secure fortress. more

The FTC Authentication Summit

The Federal Trade Commission and NIST had a two-day Authentication Summit on Nov 9-10 in Washington DC. When they published their report explaining their decision not to create a National Do Not Email Registry, the FTC identified lack of e-mail authentication as one of the reasons that it wouldn't work, and the authentication summit was part of their process to get some sort of authentication going. At the time the summit was scheduled, the IETF MARID group was still active and most people expected it to endorse Microsoft's Sender-ID in some form, so the summit would have been mostly about Sender-ID. Since MARID didn't do that, the summit had a broader and more interesting agenda. more

dotMP Goes Mobile, Limits Access to WHOIS Data

The fact that the market for mobile phones that provide Internet access (aka "smart phones") is predicted to increase during the next several years, with global shipments growing to an impressive nearly 125 million units in 2009, means the competition for bridging mobile content and mobile phone use is likely to be keen. Indeed, dotMP already must face competition for registry services that will target mobile phone users. A few of the biggest names in information technology and mobile communications -- led by Nokia and including Microsoft, Vodafone, HP, Orange, Samsung and Sun Microsystems are planning to wedge into the Top-level Domain name space (TLD) by supporting a new TLD registry for mobile web content focused on web pages built specifically for access by mobile devices like smart phones and handheld computers or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)... what may set dotMP apart from the technology giants led by Nokia, is a significant value added benefit to its domain name registration services...it will protect the privacy of its registrants.  more

CIRA Proposes New Standard for Domain Name Whois Privacy

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has announced its proposed policy to provide all dot-ca domain name holders with increased privacy safeguards, bringing it in line with recently-enacted Canadian privacy laws. more

EFF Files Brief in Support of Email Privacy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in a case that could have a profound effect on the privacy of Internet communications. The brief argues that the decision in US v. Councilman, soon to be reheard by the full First Circuit, should be overturned. more

An Analysis of Microsoft’s MARID Patent Applications

The IETF MARID working group has been slogging away all summer trying to produce a draft standard about e-mail sender verification. They started with Meng Wong's SPF and Microsoft's Caller ID for E-mail, which got stirred together into a hybrid called Sender ID. One of the issues hanging over the MARID process has been Microsoft's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Caller ID and Sender ID. The IETF has a process described in RFC 3668 that requires contributors to disclose IPR claims related to their contributions. more