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Internet Economics

One year ago, in late 2017, much of the policy debate in the telecommunications sector was raised to a fever pitch over the vexed on-again off-again question of Net Neutrality in the United States. It seemed as it the process of determination of national communications policy had become a spectator sport, replete with commentators who lauded our champions and demonized their opponents. more

Enough With Blacklisting Online Pharmacies, Isn’t It Time to Consider White Lists?

Before I go back to the beginning, let me make clear that what follows are my personal observations vis-a-vis how National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is managing the .Pharmacy Registry relative to personal experience as founder, President and CEO of Tralliance Corporation, the original manager of the .Travel Registry. My analysis may be a little long, but I promise that if you stay with me, you will be enlightened. more

Despite Voice and AI Hype: the Domain Name Remains Crucial in Marketing

In the early days of the internet, companies only needed a simple web presence to be among the pioneers of digitization. Playfully animated hover buttons and electronically-synthesized background music were commonly accepted standards. To appear on a search engine, webmasters simply had to submit the URL of their website. more

Spare a Thought for Venezuela

Please spare a thought for Venezuela. This, the 33rd largest country in the world and with about 34 million people, the largest proven reserves of oil, the cheapest price of gasoline in the world, and was in 1950 richer than Germany, has fallen on times so hard in this once Latin America's richest country that 75% of the population lost an average of 11 Kg (24 pounds) in weight in one year because of food scarcity. And you might ask: "Why should I care?" more

HTTPS Interceptions Are Much More Frequent Than Previously Thought

I have written about the problems with the "little green lock" shown by browsers to indicate a web page (or site) is secure. In that article, I consider the problem of freely available certificates, and a hole in the way browsers load pages. In March of 2017, another paper was published documenting another problem with the "green lock" paradigm - the impact of HTTPS interception. more

Why Government Agencies Use Ugly, Difficult to Use Scanned PDFs - There’s More Than Meets the Eye

Sometimes, a government agency will post a PDF that doesn't contain searchable text. Most often, it's a scan of a printout. Why? Don't the NSA, the Department of Justice, etc., know how to convert Word (or whatever) directly to PDF? It turns out that they know more than some of their critics do. The reason? With a piece of paper, you know much more about what you're actually disclosing. more

Google Engineer Ben McIlwain on Why HSTS Could Be a Perfect Fit for .Brands Security

The Google-run .app TLD was always destined to draw attention and scrutiny, from the moment it fetched a then-record ICANN auction price of $25 million. Since it reached General Availability in May it has gained more than 250,000 registrations making it one of the world's most successful TLDs. However perhaps more interesting was Google's choice to add the .app TLD and its widely used .google extension to the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) Top-Level Domain preload list, offering an unprecedented level of security for all domains under .google and .app. more

Berners-Lee Warns Rise of Dominant Platforms has Resulted in Weaponization of the Web at Scale

The World Wide Web turned 29 today and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, web inventor, has shared some stern warnings about the direction it is headed. more

April 22, 1993 - A Day The Internet Fundamentally Changed

25 years ago, on April 22, 1993, a software release happened that fundamentally changed the user experience of the Internet. On that day, version 1.0 of "NCSA Mosaic for the X Window System" was released. You could now have (gasp!) text MIXED WITH IMAGES on the same page! Reading the Mosaic 1.0 release notes from Marc Andreessen is a bit of fun, as it includes gems like "Fixed mysterious stupid coredump that only hits Suns." more

Facebook vs. Domain Names: Lessons from Cambridge Analytica

The current revelations about Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data illustrate an important drawback to using a Facebook account as your business' online presence: Facebook knows and sells your customers! Millions of companies - especially small companies and start-ups - rely on a Facebook account for their online presence. On the surface, it seems like a great idea... more

Q&A With Rami Schwartz, Founder and CEO of .tube

After its initial launch in 2016 and with over 1,800 domains registered, the .tube TLD recently released over 25,000 previously reserved domains as part of a broader re-launch of its business and brand. I spoke with Rami Schwartz, Founder and CEO of .tube about the journey so far and about what's in store for .tube in the New Year... "We're used to fighting against companies much larger than us and prevailing - our history has seen us come up against the likes of the Mexican Government and Google..." more

The Darkening Web: Is there Light at the end of the Tunnel?

In his book "The Darkening Web: The War for Cyberspace" (Penguin Books, New York 2017), Alexander Klimburg, an Austrian-American academic, gives "Internet Dreamers" a "Wake Up Call". He tells us the background-story why people start to be "anxious about the future of the Internet", as the recent ISOC Global Internet Report "Paths to Our Digital Future" has recognized. Klimburg refers to Alphabets CEO Erich Schmidt, who once said that "the Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity does not understand". more

The Catalonian Matter: Law and Order, Democracy and Freedom of Speech, Censorship and Trust

I'm an engineer, and I firmly believe that Internet matters and, in general, Information Society, should be kept separate from politics, so usually, I'm very skeptical to talk about those and mix things. Let's start by saying that I'm Catalonian. Despite the dictatorial regime when I was born, forbidden teaching Catalonian, I learned it, even despite, initially for family reasons and now for work reasons, I live in Madrid. However, I keep saying everywhere I go, that I was born in Barcelona... more

The Internet is Dead - Long Live the Internet

Back in the early 2000s, several notable Internet researchers were predicting the death of the Internet. Based on the narrative, the Internet infrastructure had not been designed for the scale that was being projected at the time, supposedly leading to fatal security and scalability issues. Yet somehow the Internet industry has always found a way to dodge the bullet at the very last minute. more

Cuba Getting Faster YouTube Access in Next 24 Hours, Thanks to Deal Signed in December

In the December of last, Cuba singed a deal with Google to enable faster access to content served via its popular platforms such Gmail and YouTube. more