Internet i inne organizacje

9th Registration Operations Workshop (ROW), June 16th, 2020, Online

CircleID - Śro, 2020-06-10 18:31

The Registration Operations Workshop (ROW) was conceived as an informal industry conference that would provide a forum for discussion of the technical aspects of registration operations in the domain name system and IP addressing.

The 9th ROW will be held online on Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 at 13h00-16h00 UTC. The agenda is:

  • Panel: DNS Privacy and Encryption
  • An Architecture overview of APNIC's RDAP deployment to cloud
  • Deprecating jCard in RDAP: why and how
  • - Whois/RDAP lookup for mere mortals
  • EPP Extension: Registry Maintenance
  • The Biggest Obstacle for Innovating with New TLDs
  • Drone Remote Identification Protocol (DRIP) Use Cases

The attendance is free but registration is required to get the Zoom URL and credentials.

The ROW Series workshops are sponsored by Verisign and ICANN.

Written by Marc Blanchet, Internet Network Engineer and Consultant

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Can SpaceX Launch 30,000 Second-Generation Starlink Satellites? Maybe

CircleID - Pon, 2020-06-08 22:03

The bottom line is that success is not guaranteed, but neither is failure — there is a non-zero probability of success.

On May 26th, SpaceX applied for permission to launch 30,000 "second-generation" Starlink broadband Internet satellites. (Note that the software on Starlink satellites is updated about once a week). The application narrative states that the second-generation satellites will be configured as follows:

Space Segment from the Application for Approval for Orbital Deployment and Operating Authority for the Spacex Gen2 Ngso Satellite System

(The offsets of the single-satellite planes are set to form a uniform pattern so when a satellite crosses the equator another satellite in the adjacent plane will cross the equator a short, constant time later). The following snapshots from a simulation created by Richard Cole illustrate the coverage.

Animations of the Gen2 Starlink constallation (by Richard Cole / source)

The application narrative describes the ground and space segments and addresses the problems of debris mitigation and interference with astronomical observation. Here are some points that caught my eye:

  • The second-generation satellites "will have three times the data capacity of SpaceX's current satellites."
  • Polar regions are covered.
  • The second-generation satellites will have optical inter-satellite links.
  • Low altitudes "will enable smaller spot beams and greater satellite diversity, achieving the intensive frequency reuse needed to heighten capacity available anywhere in the world."
  • Low altitudes will allow SpaceX to use high E-band frequencies for communication with ground stations.
  • Low altitudes will reduce latency.
  • Terminal setup will be plug and play — "point it at the sky and plug it in."
  • SpaceX promises to make sure that "Starlink has no material effect on discoveries in astronomy."
  • SpaceX will extend its debris data sharing and collision-avoidance activities and "encourages all operators to follow these same practices."
Can they pull it off?

The FCC demands that half of the satellites for an approved constellation be launched within 6 years and all to be launched within 9 years. Can SpaceX manufacture, launch, and fund 30,000 second-generation satellites that quickly while continuing to launch first-generation satellites and replacements for those that are de-orbited after approximately five years of useful life?

When asked about Starlink during an interview at the Satellite 2020 Conference in March, Elon Musk said his goal for Starlink was to remain in the "not bankrupt category." If Elon is not sure, I can't be either, but they have a few positive things going for them.

Today, SpaceX is manufacturing about 120 satellites per month, which is far too few to satisfy the FCC. That being said, it is safe to say that Elon Musk knows more about modern, automated manufacturing than anyone alive today, having learned from his experience making cars, solar tiles, batteries, satellites, and rockets. He has learned the importance of building "the machine that builds the machines," which includes the factory, equipment, staffing, processes, and supply chain. SpaceX may already be able to make satellites faster than 120 per month and they will surely improve the manufacturing "machine" and the design of second-generation satellites for manufacturing ease. If that is not sufficient, they can open another factory — maybe acquire OneWeb's.

How about launching the satellites? SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a recent interview that if their Starship was not ready to take astronauts to the International Space Station within three years, it would be "a major company fail" and in an earlier interview, she said that Starships will be able to carry 400 satellites at a time. In his Satelite 2020 interview, Elon Musk set a goal of three launches per day with Starships landing back at the launch sites within a few days of launch. If they can achieve that cadence, launching will not be a problem.

Can they fund the project? It will take around three years for SpaceX to complete the first phase of the first-generation satellites and Shotwell and Musk have both recently said that low-cost end-user terminals are critical for global success and those are perhaps three years away. During those three years, SpaceX will have income from their launch business, government contracts, and Starlink customers as well as private investment.

They have been collaborating on Starship with NASA for six years and recently flew two astronauts to the International Space Station. Colonel Eric Felt, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, characterized that as the "culmination of perhaps the most successful private-public partnership of all times" so it seems safe to say they will be getting funding from the Defence Department as well as NASA.

How about private investment? SpaceX has succeeded in attracting Starlink investors recently, but Starlink's financial performance during the first three years of operation will impact their ability to continue raising capital. During the next three years, the majority of the satellites they launch will be at latitudes that deliver the most capacity in the relatively affluent regions of North America and Europe, and Internet service in the US and Canada is relatively expensive. Hopefully, they will be able to serve those markets without losing too much on expensive terminals while improving terminal technology. (They may also be interested in acquiring OneWeb antenna technology).

Debris is my biggest worry. The SpaceX application says their propulsion system will allow them to autonomously avoid collisions with tracked objects. Furthermore, over 85% of their satellites will be lower than the International Space Station and will be relatively quick to burn up in the atmosphere. They also promise to share all ephemeris data and encourage others to do the same.

But, what about objects that are too small to track? What if another operator is actively trying to avoid collisions — don't they need to coordinate with SpaceX? What about other companies that are planning to launch low-Earth orbit satellites? With the numbers of satellites being launched, it seems that international regulation and coordination are required and even then a debris solution is not obvious. Orbiting debris is clearly a global (not US) tragedy of the commons.

The bottom line is that success is not guaranteed, but neither is failure — there is a non-zero probability of success.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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SpaceX Launches Another Batch of 60 Starlink Internet Satellites

CircleID - Pią, 2020-06-05 03:40

On Wednesday, June 3 at 9:25 p.m. EDT, SpaceX launched its eighth Starlink mission. Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo: SapceX)

SpaceX launched its eighth Starlink mission via the Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday, carrying 60 more satellites for its Internet satellite constellation, bringing the total in operation on orbit to 480.

What's different this time: Wednesday's launch was the first Starlink satellite with a deployable visor to block sunlight from hitting the brightest spots of the spacecraft, according to the company. This measure is in response to the opposition from the astronomical community concerned with the increasing number of satellites (in particular by SpaceX ), with their sun reflections disrupting scientific observations with terrestrial telescopes. In January, SpaceX also launched another experimental satellite with a dark coating to reduce reflectivity.

For a deeper insight, read today's piece by Paul Budde and Fred Kappetijn: Hassle Over LEOs

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Hassle Over LEOs

CircleID - Pią, 2020-06-05 03:11

The European Space Agency (ESA) receives hundreds of reports a week of possible dangerous situations that need to be looked at more closely. On average, ESA must make at least one evasive maneuver per satellite a year to avoid collisions.

The following article is based on a blog written by my Dutch colleague Fred Kappetijn. We have worked together to present this to you.

Every second, 4.5 billion people using computers and other electronic devices send 100,000 gigabytes of information to each other. Around 60% of the world's population has an Internet connection. North America and Europe have penetrations of 95% and 87%. But Asia and Africa do not yet get beyond 54% and 40%. On those continents, there are many remote areas where there is no Internet yet. At least no affordable Internet.

Limitations of of Satellite Communication

If there are no (fiber optic) cable or radio connections, there is still the relatively expensive alternative of satellite communication. Usually, these are geostationary (GEO) satellites positioned above the equator at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. They rotate at the same speed as Earth. The footprint of such a satellite-only covers part of Earth's surface and a computer bit takes a while to go up and down. Although the bit travels through the vacuum of space at the speed of light (300,000 km/sec), it still does half a second over a return trip.

On top of that, there is another half-second for communication between Earth's ground stations via fiber-optic connections. There is also the refraction of the laser light in the fibre as the data speed is two-thirds of that of light. The total delay, the latency, of the telecommunications connection via GEO satellites, is thereby a second.

This is a long time when we realize that a human being is already aware of a delay at more than 0.15 seconds. As a result, synchronous communication such as video conferencing becomes unpleasant due to interruptions of the conversations, especially when more people are talking simultaneously in discussions.

The LEO Alternative

So, what is next? The solution to creating a global network of broadband Internet services without delay is to use telecommunication satellites that orbit closer to Earth, the so-called Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. They are not 36,000 kilometers above Earth, but orbit at between 200 and 2,000 km. The computer bit goes up and down faster, so there is much less delay. Depending on the altitude of their orbit, these satellites circle every 24 hours, 12 to 16 times around the Earth. Due to their low and fast orbits, LEO satellites have a fast-moving and small footprint. That is why it takes many satellites for a global network.

The idea of developing such a satellite network was born a long time ago. The Iridium consortium made the first attempt. The first telecommunications service was launched in 1998. The aim was to build a network of 77 satellites. But within a month of the festive start, Iridium went bankrupt and U.S.$5 billion (AU$7.3 billion) had been lost.

Iridium collapsed because of problems with the financing of the venture. Other issues included poor quality of the indoor reception, the bulky user devices, and the overall mismanagement of the project. Iridium has restarted, and last year the last of the 66 satellites were launched. This revised satellite network now provides telecommunications services in remote places for the business market, such as the oil industry, aviation, and defense. So real niche markets, not a consumer market.

The second company that attempted to build a global satellite network to offer broadband Internet services was OneWeb. This company went bankrupt in March last year because the Japanese SoftBank, which was one of the main financiers with a billion-dollar investment commitment, pulled the plug. Of the planned 650 LEO satellites that would run their laps at an altitude of 1,200 km, 74 were launched. SoftBank, which suffered a loss of $17 billion in 2019, blamed COVID-19. But there are also rumors that OneWeb could not develop a sound revenue model for its expensive consumer-oriented broadband Internet services based on its "low delay" LEO satellite network.

Starlink Mission – SapceX launching 60 Starlink satellites stacked together deployed on 24 May 2019

There are still many ongoing projects, three of which are the most advanced. Telesat LEO, with 300 satellites, is developed by the Canadian telecommunications company Telesat. The second one is Project Kuiper (named after Dutch astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who died in 1973), the brainchild of Jeff Bezos's largest Internet shopping company, Amazon, with 3,236 satellites. Finally, there is Starlink from Elon Musk's space company SpaceX with 42,000 satellites. There are also plans from Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook; his project is called Athena with a yet unknown number of satellites. Google does not want to be left out and launched plans for Google's Satellite Constellation with "only" a thousand satellites.

Of course, most certainly, China also does not want to be left behind. Some of their projects include Hongyun (rainbow cloud) with 864 satellites and Hongyan (wild goose) with 320 satellites. The Russian state-owned company for space operations, Roscosmos, is also joining the race. Through the company Gonets (messenger), services are offered for commercial and military purposes. The satellite network now has 18 satellites in two orbits; the entire plan is for 36 satellites in six orbits.

Of all these projects, SpaceX's Starlink is undoubtedly the most advanced. At regular intervals, SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are launched, each with 60 Starlink satellites on board. By May 2020, 422 satellites had been launched into orbit. That should grow to 12,000 in the first phase and another 30,000 at a later stage. This still requires a lot of money, and SpaceX will bring its spin-off Starlink Business to the stock market to raise money. Only last week did they launch the first-ever commercial crewed launch.

The expensive race for the global broadband satellite Internet is especially fierce in the Western world, with a squeeze between macho techno-billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos (the richest man in the world) and Mark Zuckerberg, who is a bit behind but thinks the project is part of Facebook's mission statement 'to bring the world closer together.' The business plans acknowledge a lot of investment needs to be made but predict that the proceeds will be huge.

Bears on the Road

For all these parties, there are at least four "bears on the road."

The first one is the battle for the required frequencies. The frequency spectrum is managed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is affiliated with the United Nations and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the U.S. Government. For example, SpaceX has objected to Amazon's attempt to participate in the first round of spectrum distribution, as the formal enrollment period has expired. If Amazon, with this short cut, would be able to get a piece of the pie, it would come at the expense of SpaceX's lead. In short, we are witnessing a wrestling game between Jeff and Elon.

The second "bear" is the cost of ground reception equipment. Because each satellite can only be seen on a limited surface for a limited time, the antennae in the reception and transmitting equipment should be able to track the satellite overflying at 7-8,000 kilometers per second. That is quite a technical feat but could make the user's equipment very expensive. It is now thought to be $1,000 per device, but engineers hope the price will fall to $200.

The third "bear" is the opposition from the astronomical community against SpaceX in particular. All these satellites, with their sun reflections, disrupt scientific observations with terrestrial telescopes. Lately, SpaceX has been making a strong effort to reduce this problem of their Starlink satellites by, for example, changing the position of the various components of the satellite and providing the satellites with light-absorbing coatings. The latter can only be a limited solution because dark paint absorbs heat that causes the satellite to heat up too much. This means more is needed for cooling, which needs more energy and more solar panels. This then increases the reflecting, and it becomes a vicious circle.

The fourth "bear" is space junk. The number of man-made objects in space will be much more significant because of these LEO satellite network projects. This increases the risk of collisions of satellites and rockets with space debris. The risk of such a collision was revealed in 2009 when a runaway Russian satellite rammed a then-active Iridium satellite, leading to a thousand new pieces of space debris.

Therefore, it is necessary to plan what should be done with the satellites if they are no longer active. One method that is now being applied is that after its active life, the satellite is directed to a lower orbit (de-orbiting). In such a lower orbit, the satellite encounters more resistance, which eventually slows down the satellite to bring it closer to Earth and finally disintegrates into the atmosphere and partially burns. Only last week, there was a spectacular light show above Australia when debris from a Russian rocket re-entered Earth's atmosphere where it burned off. NASA has recommended that 99% of LEO satellites should be taken to a lower orbit after their missions — a kind of palliative orbit for satellites.

The danger of possible collisions between the functioning and non-functioning satellites and space debris was revealed a few months ago. The Dutch-built Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), which has not been in use since 1983, sailed just meters past another satellite. The American company LeoLabs has built a system for tracking LEO satellite-based radar and advanced algorithms. LeoLabs calculated that the two satellites would pass each other over Pittsburgh, with only 15 to 30 meters between them. That is exactly what happened. In aviation, they call that a near miss.

Since the launch in 1957 of the first satellite, the Russian Sputnik 1, a lot of stuff has been shot into space. After some 5,500 launches, this has created a huge pile of junk in space around the Earth — about 34,000 objects larger than ten centimeters, one million of magnitude between one and ten centimeters and some 130 million smaller than one centimeter.

The European Space Agency (ESA) receives hundreds of reports a week of possible dangerous situations that need to be looked at more closely. On average, ESA must make at least one evasive maneuver per satellite a year to avoid collisions. Most of the time, it concerns impending collisions with space debris. This requires a manual process which is expensive and very time consuming and unsustainable in the long term.

No wonder ESA is advocating that machine learning techniques are developed for satellites that will be required to continually transmit their position so that an automated traffic regulation system can be developed in space.

What Can Be Done?

There is still a lot of work to be done when looking at all the developments around delay-free global satellite-based broadband networks that provide affordable Internet access. But if the big innovative entrepreneurs with deep pockets like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have set their sights on this, it could eventually work. But before that happens, there will still have to be a few technical, financial, regulatory hurdles to be braced. No doubt that in this hurdling, every now and then, someone will make a fatal stumbling.

Written by Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication

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Privacy in the Age of COVID-19

CircleID - Czw, 2020-06-04 03:25

The Washington Post reports that a recent poll conducted shows that 3 out of 5 Americans are unable or unwilling to use an infection-alerting app developed by Google and Apple. About 1 in 6 adults can't use the app because they don't own a smartphone — with the lowest ownership levels for those 65 and older. People with smartphones evenly split between those willing versus unwilling to use such an app.

The primary concern among those not willing to use such an app comes from the distrust people have about the ability or willingness of those two tech companies to protect the privacy of their health data. This unwillingness to use such an app, particularly after seeing the impact that the virus is having on the economy, is disturbing to scientists who have said that 60% or more of the public would need to use such an app to be effective.

This distrust of tech companies is nothing new. In November, the Pew Research Center published the results of the survey that showed how Americans feel about online privacy. That study's preliminary finding was that more than 60% of Americans think it's impossible to go through daily life without being tracked by tech companies or the government.

To make that finding worse, almost 70% of adults think that tech companies will use their data in ways they are uncomfortable with. Nearly 80% believe that tech companies won't publicly admit guilt if they are caught misusing people's data. People don't feel that data collected about them is secure, and 70% believe data is less secure now than it was five years ago.

Almost 80% of people are concerned about what social media sites and advertisers know about them. Probably the most damning result of the survey is that 80% of Americans feel that they have no control over how data is collected about them.

Almost 97% of respondents to the poll said they have been asked to agree to a company's privacy policy. But only 9% say they always read the privacy policies, and 36% have never read them. This is not surprising since the legalese included in most privacy policies requires reading comprehension at a college level.

There is no mystery about why people are worried about the collection of personal data. There have been headlines for several years talking about how personal data has been misused. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data scandal showed a giant tech company selling personal data that was used to sway voters. The big cellular companies were caught selling customer location data several times, which lets whoever buys it understand where people travel throughout each day. Phone apps of all sorts report back location data, web browsing data, and shopping habits, and nobody seems to be able to tell us where that data is sold. Even the supposed privacy advocate Apple lets contractors listen to Siri recordings.

It's not a surprise that with the distrust of tech companies, it's becoming common for politicians to react to privacy breaches. For example, a bill was introduced into the House last year that would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to fine tech companies to as much as 4% of their gross revenues for privacy violations.

California recently enacted a new privacy law with strict requirements on web companies that mimic the regulations used in Europe. Web companies must provide California consumers the ability to opt-out from having their personal information sold to others. Consumers must be given the option to have their data deleted from the site. Consumes must be provided the opportunity to view the data collected about them. Consumers also must be shown the identity of third parties that have purchased their data.

The unwillingness to use the COVID-tracking app is probably the societal signal that the hands-off approach we've had for regulating the Internet needs to come to an end. Most hands-off policies were developed twenty years ago when AOL was conquering the business world, and legislators didn't want to tamp down on a nascent industry. The tech companies are among the biggest and richest companies in the world, and there is no reason not to regulate some of their worst practices. This won't be an easy genie to put back in the bottle, but we have to try.

Written by Doug Dawson, President at CCG Consulting

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Canada Caves to the US, Blocks Huawei 5G (Inference)

CircleID - Czw, 2020-06-04 02:20

Huawei is the strong favorite of Canadian network builders, for good products and extraordinary support. It displaced the incumbents at Bell Canada years ago and has a joint "Living Lab" in Vancouver with Telus1. Huawei had already won the 5G contracts. It has a thousand researchers and spends a quarter billion dollars on Canadian R&D.

It was a government decision. Bell Canada told the Canadian Press, "Huawei has been a reliable and innovative partner in the past, and we would consider working with them in 5G if the federal government allows their participation."

I infer that the Telus2 and Bell3 decisions to block Huawei from 5G is a political decision made under pressure from the U.S.. Canadians are insulted by the many Americans who think Canada is effectively ruled by the U.S., but Canada is deeply dependent.

Contrary to popular belief, Huawei no longer makes a habit of undercutting prices. Nokia underbid Huawei on recent Chinese contracts. Switching between vendors is a problem, however. The 5G gear of Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei do not work well together — a serious failure of 3GPP standard making.

Ironing out the compatibility problems could require replacing existing equipment; UK telcos see a possible cost in the billions. But switching vendors should not make a major difference to users. Ericsson's 5G technology is comparable to Huawei's. Korea has 115,000 5G cells, some from Huawei and others from Ericsson and Samsung. There is no evident difference in performance.

The U.S. government has totally cracked the Nokia and Ericsson gear, possibly with direct cooperation. The same is probably true of the Chinese government, so the switch will not improve Canadian security.

  1. Huawei and TELUS to create 5G "Living Lab" in Downtown Vancouver (Nov 6, 2015) 
  2. TELUS announces 5G network equipment partners (Jun 2, 2020) 
  3. Bell Canada selects Ericsson as 5G network equipment supplier (Jun 2, 2020) 

Written by Dave Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime

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The Impact of a Pandemic on Cyberattacks and Business Continuity Plans

CircleID - Śro, 2020-06-03 18:54

A new survey of security and IT leaders by sheds light on how organizations across industries are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, how prepared they were when the pandemic first hit, how vulnerable they are, and what the long-term impact on companies may be.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found there has been an increased number of employees working from home. It also found that more than 26% of survey respondents said their organizations have seen an increase in the volume, severity, and scope of cyberattacks since March 12, 2020. Only 54% of survey respondents indicated their pandemic (business continuity) plans prepared them for the current situation.

As our reliance on the internet and its underlying infrastructure of domain names, domain name system (DNS), and digital certificates has increased dramatically during this pandemic, so has the threat of these digital assets being attacked.

In our recent white paper, "Beyond the Firewall: Implementing DNS Defenses to Mitigate Online Vulnerabilities and Threats”, we explained that DNS forms the underlying infrastructure for how the internet works, serving as a directory to point users to the right web content. But when DNS goes down, websites go down. When that happens, the logical thing is to use phones and email to keep business running. However, that's not possible, because downed DNS means no email, no phones (VoIP), and no remote employee login through virtual private network (VPN). It also disallows file transfer protocol for moving large datasets and various multi-factor authentication services (for example, email, Google®, and Microsoft®).

We explain further that the simple-looking acronym, DNS, belies the complexity of the system that is made up of a worldwide web of separate entities working in a relay of information exchanges. This complex nature exposes the DNS to multiple potential points of failure, as each point in the system could be vulnerable to attacks, such as a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, DNS hijacking, DNS cache poisoning, and domain shadowing, to name a few.

Since the failure of these digital assets can clearly lead to a significant impact in terms of lost revenue, data, and brand reputation, secure digital asset management is a boardroom discussion and should be included in your business continuity plan (BCP).

The Business Continuity Institute's annual BCI Horizon Scan Report identifies the top 10 business continuity threats for the next 12 months, as reported by 569 global respondents. And perhaps surprisingly to some, digital assets play a contributing factor in five of these risks:

  1. Cyber attacks. DNS is vulnerable to a whole host of cyber attacks ranging from DNS cache poisoning, DNS hijacking, domain shadowing, malware, DNS tunneling, DDoS and phishing attacks, as well as the exploitation of expired digital certificates.
  2. Data breaches. Cyber attacks against digital assets are increasingly used to steal data, either by masking another attack vector or by directly taking advantage of poor security and management of assets.
  3. Unplanned IT and telecom outages. If a company's domains or DNS fail, then every way it communicates using the internet can fail. If that happens, how would an organization communicate with clients and employees?
  4. Critical infrastructure failure. If you are relying on staff being able to work from home during a pandemic or while you're implementing your business continuity plan, you must secure VPN as a critical piece of infrastructure, and that includes securing your digital assets.
  5. Supply chain disruption. Since a failure of company domains and DNS will grind to a halt the ability to communicate, how would a business maintain operations and supply chain?

Boards are responsible for understanding risk. It's clear from what I've outlined above that digital assets are at risk of poor management and the threat of third-party attacks.

If you're unsure how robust your approach is to managing corporate digital assets, use the CSC Domain Security Checklist. It's a free resource based on our defense in depth security approach that walks you through pertinent questions and identifies risks that may not have been considered.

For a more in-depth consultation, CSC Security CenterSM will analyze your portfolio and identify security blind spots to help you mitigate cyber threats.

If an incident occurs as it has done recently in the shape of COVID-19, the actions of the board and the organization's BCP will be closely watched in the court of public opinion, the legal courts, and by lawmakers.

  1. This article originally published on Digital Brand Insider.

Written by Ken Linscott, Product Director, Domains and Security at CSC

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More under: Cyberattack, Coronavirus, Cybersecurity, Domain Management, DNS, Domain Names, Brand Protection

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

CircleID - Pią, 2020-05-29 21:00

Co-authored by Klaus Stoll and Professor Sam Lanfranco.

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques.

Donald Trump just outed himself as Surveillance Capitalist in Chief. Social media, as we know it only exists because it is one of the main sources of data, revenue, and profits for surveillance capitalism. It is also Donald Trump's much beloved and used bully pulpit that allows him to reach 80.5 million people in an instant.

Why is Trump attacking it by alleging that Twitter was stifling his freedom of speech? Why has he followed that by signing a likely legally unenforceable executive order that empowers federal regulators to crack down on social media companies that allegedly censor political speech or exhibit political bias?

The inconvenient truth is that surveillance capitalism is incompatible with the truth. Whilst pretending to serve millions, social platform business practices have been created not with the interest of users, but as ever more effective private data harvesters in the service of a commercial and political elite. In truth, they care little about the truth of what users say or receive. They care about their return on investment.

Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act protects social media companies from liability for the content that users post on their platforms, unlike other media who are held accountable for their content. This does not exempt social media companies from all responsibility for the veracity of content. Everybody on the Internet, be they private individuals, corporate companies, or President of the United States, have rights and responsibilities.

Trump has the right to free speech, and he is also responsible for what he says, its veracity and that it does not harm others. If he is unable to express his opinions responsibly, it falls to those whose platforms he uses to act responsible and flag his content with the intent to prevent harm from falsehoods. This is part of the give and take within the freedom of speech.

Such an intervention does not limit Trump's free speech. His opinion is still fully visible and unredacted. When its veracity is questionable or false, the platform to flag that promotes user due diligence, a wider exercise of responsible free speech, and a generally more knowledgeable public dialogue.

Trump's response to Twitter's actions is to clothe his unfettered lack of veracity in the wrappings of free speech. The irony of Trump's Executive Order is that Twitter could become required to remove such postings of questionable veracity, rather than just flag them for due diligence.

Twitter's response is a "violation" of the first principle of surveillance capitalism: Separate what is morally and ethically inseparable. Separate rights from responsibilities. Separate data ownership from privacy. Separate falsehood from consequences, all in the name of surveillance capitalism's profits.

Trump needs a social media bully pulpit that frees him from any concerns about anybody or anything except himself and his interests, to win the next election.

While Twitter pursues baby steps by flagging Trump's postings, social media must choose which path to follow. The whole Internet ecosystem must choose which path to follow. How do we protect the rights and responsibilities of free speech, promote the veracity of content, and protect user privacy?

Social media have become dominant players in this area of the Internet and have a major role to play. How does society balance the private interests of surveillance capitalism and a public good that includes free and responsible speech, veracity of content and user privacy? Surveillance capitalism, with its exploitive business model and associated use by allied political actors, will opt for their responsibility-free privileges and unbridled profits. Others, in defense of the public interest and the integrity of the individual, will fight for the Internet as free and unbiased Network of Networks dedicated to serving the common good.

The fight over the path forward will be long, costly, and turbulent. Those who demand truth and integrity in social media, endanger surveillance capitalism's business model with its storehouses of data, money, and power. Drawing on Trump's unfortunate Tweet, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," on the Internet, that looting started two decades ago with social media warehousing and exploiting private date. Hopefully, with rightful and responsible free speech, veracity and engaged citizenship, we can get beyond the data looting and restore dignity to the role of the Internet as a Network of Networks operating in the public good, without having ended up where "the shooting starts."

Written by Klaus Stoll, Digital Citizen

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More under: Censorship, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation, Privacy

Unintended Benefits of Trump's Twitter Tantrum

CircleID - Pią, 2020-05-29 18:01

Four years ago, progressive intergovernmental organizations like the European Union became increasingly concerned about the proliferation of hate speech on social media. They adopted legal mechanisms for removing Twitter accounts like Donald Trump's. The provisions were directed at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In June of 2016, a "deconstruction" of these mechanisms was presented to one of the principal global industry standards bodies with a proposal to develop new protocols to rapidly remove such accounts. The proposal recognized that tweet messages such as Trump's were essentially global malware, and used cybersecurity threat models to identify and remove the source account.

The proposal for the new takedown protocol standards was not adopted. However, the EU did proceed to advance the legal mechanism implementations to additional social media platforms and in 2019 claimed a degree of success in removing the worst hate speech identified to European authorities. Unfortunately, Trump's Twitter account was not removed despite numerous parties identifying his messages as blatantly racist and xenophobic. The messages became so egregious that they led to a U.S. House of Representatives resolution condemning them. Twitter refused, however, to abide by the EU provisions.

The European Commission implements comprehensive and broad set of actions to tackle the spread and impact of online disinformation in Europe. (Image: European Commission)

During the past four years, the phenomenon of speech malware expanded into "fake speech." The EU progressively began to tackle these societal disinformation threats as well. The threats were especially relevant to elections. Legal mechanisms similar to those dealing with hate speech were put into effect.

Over time, Trump's hate speech evolved into fake speech — principally via Twitter messages. The messages became increasingly so "disinformative" that Twitter recently attempted to comply with its EU legal obligations through the labeling option. Trump on Thursday manifested a Tantrum by Executive Order against Twitter — purveying still further disinformation and asserting legal authority he does not have.

The Trump Tantrum against Twitter may have some unintended benefits to the larger world outside Trump's office. Among other things, it allows the EU to make clear that Twitter was, in fact, complying with its legal obligations. Furthermore, removing liability protection for social media companies would make the laws throughout the world deal with hate and fake speech more compelling. It also renews the possibility of developing a new cybersecurity protocol for identifying and tagging tweet disinformation. Indeed, it opens up the possibility of going beyond just tagging Trump's messages, but also terminating his account. Trump could even be memorialized in a sense by assigning his fake tweets with a unique cyber threat identifier and reported worldwide for implementing takedown remediation.

Note: The author was an invited expert to the November 1997 UNHCR conference on internet hate speech.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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More under: Cybersecurity, Internet Governance

A New U.S. National Broadband Plan?

CircleID - Pią, 2020-05-29 17:22

United States Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass) introduced a bill that would require that the FCC create a new National Broadband Plan by July 2021. This plan would lay out the national goals needed for broadband going forward and also provide an update on how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted Internet access. I am not a big fan of the concept of a national plan for many reasons.

Can't Trust FCC Data. The FCC would base any analysis in a new plan on the same flawed data they are using for everything else related to broadband. At this point, the best description of the FCC's broadband data is that it is a fairy tale — and not one with a happy ending.

Gives Politicians Talking Points rather than Action Plans. A national broadband plan gives every politician talking points to sound like they care about broadband — which is a far cry from an action plan to do something about broadband. When politicians don't want to fix a problem, they study it.

Makes No Sense if Broadband is Unregulated. Why would the government create a plan for an industry over which the government has zero influence? The FCC has gifted the broadband industry with 'light-touch regulation' which is a code word for no regulation at all. The FCC canned Title II regulatory authority and handed the tiny remaining remnant of broadband regulation to the Federal Trade Commission — which is not a regulatory agency.

The Last National Broadband Plan was a Total Bust. There is no need for a National Broadband Plan if it doesn't include a requirement that the FCC should try hard to tackle any recommendations made. Almost nothing from the last broadband plan came to pass — the FCC and the rest of the federal government stopped even paying lip service to the last plan within a year after it was published. Consider the primary goals of the last National Broadband Plan that were to have been implemented by 2019:

  • At least 100 million homes should have affordable access to 100/50 Mbps broadband. Because the cable companies implemented DOCSIS standards in urban areas, more than 100 million people now have access to 100 Mbps download speeds. But only a tiny fraction of that number — homes with fiber, have access to the 50 Mbps upload speed goal. It's also impossible to make a case that U.S. broadband is affordable — U.S. broadband prices are almost double the rates in Europe and the far East.
  • The U.S. should lead the world in mobile innovation and have the fastest and most extensive wireless network of any nation. U.S. wireless broadband is far from the fastest in the world — our neighbor Canada is much closer to that goal than is the U.S. Everybody acknowledges that there are giant areas of rural America without good wireline broadband, but most people have no idea that cellular coverage is also miserable in a lot of rural America.
  • Every American Community should have gigabit access to anchor institutions such as schools, libraries, and government buildings. We probably came the closest to meeting this goal, at least for schools, and over 90% of schools now have gigabit access. However, much of that gain came through poorly-aimed federal grants that paid a huge amount of money to bring fiber to anchor institutions while ignoring the neighborhoods around them — and in many cases, the fiber serving government buildings is legally blocked from being used to help anybody else.
  • Every American should have affordable access to robust broadband and the means and the skills to subscribe. A decade after the last National Broadband Plan, there are still huge numbers of rural homes with no broadband, or with broadband that barely functions. Instead of finding broadband solutions for rural America, we have an FCC that congratulates itself each year for being on the right trajectory for solving the broadband gap.
  • To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every America should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption. I can't come up with anything other than a facepalm for this goal.

As hard as I try, I can't think of even one reason why we should waste federal dollars to develop a new national broadband plan. Such a plan will have no teeth and will pass out of memory soon after it's completed.

Written by Doug Dawson, President at CCG Consulting

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Coronavirus, Policy & Regulation

The Costs of Trump's 5G Wall

CircleID - Pią, 2020-05-29 01:12

Over the past three years, Trump and his followers around Washington have begun to erect the equivalent of his Southern Border Wall around the nation's information network infrastructure — especially for 5G. The tactics are similar — keep out foreign invaders who are virtually sneaking across the borders to steal the nation's information resources and controlling our internet things. The tactics and mantras are almost identical. "Build The Wall" that keeps the foreigners' equipment and communications out of our networks. Stop our cooperation in the international activities that foster global communication and trade because we are being treated unfairly.

Piece by piece, Trump has moved forward with his plans since assuming power — masked by incremental steps in diverse Washington agency venues and the esoteric fog that envelops how 5G networks and cooperation work and supports those who support it would make quick money from 5G network wall snake oil. Like all of the Trump communication, he creates an alternative reality, projecting the illusion of leadership and action while harming American telecommunication's national security and economic interests. Week after week, the bricks of Trump's 5G wall have emerged from Administration portals in the form of Executive Orders and instant emergency regulations dictated by tweets. Trump's 5G security disinformation campaign is the equivalent of his "taking bleach" to cure COVID-19 infections.

Specific examples of Trump's ignorant, xenophobic wall follies include bans on foreign network products, prohibiting international network interoperation, withdrawal of engagement in international 5G activities by government agencies, demanding lockstep compliance by allies, and impeding private sector collaboration in industry and academic activities. U.S. existence in most global activities has largely ceased — replaced by faux domestic initiatives that create the illusion of replacing ongoing global activities. You can see the adverse effects rather vividly in the participation and leadership at trusted, authoritative international venues dealing with 5G cybersecurity such as ETSI's annual Security Week. This is a real 5G security venue with the actual global participants in 5G developments, not Trump's fake ones.

Trump's playbook here dates back to almost identical tactics by the Harding Administration a century ago. Then, xenophobia and anti-globalism were peaking and abetted by a rampant fear of new foreign radio equipment going into rapidly emerging American wireless Internet infrastructure. Harding's tactics did not work out well, and ultimately the policies and global engagement changed significantly.

The costs of Trump's 5G wall fall upon American information industry providers who are being shut out of extraterritorial markets and losing their effective engagement in global collaborative activities. Trump's actions have been a gift for offshore providers. The costs also fall upon American consumers who will be served up more expensive products with inferior capabilities and fail to interoperate with the rest of the world. And lastly, Trump has made the nation itself an untrusted pariah worldwide that is focused entirely on serving his boundless narcissism and unfettered tweeting of fake information.

The remaining relevant dialogue in international bodies these days is how long it will take the U.S. to recover in a post-Trump world. That will be the great challenge of 2021 and beyond. That is the blueprint for the future that deserves attention over the coming months.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Mobile Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecom, Wireless

ICANN Publishes Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013

ICANN Announcements - Czw, 2013-12-19 02:06
18 December 2013

The 2013 Annual Report for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been published online today.

The report highlights the organization's achievements and progress from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, including:

  • Continued accountability and transparency efforts.
  • Opened new offices to increase ICANN's internationalization.
  • Completed evaluation of more than a thousand new gTLDs and preparations to place them in the root.
  • Finalized new Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
  • Establishment of Trademark Clearinghouse.

Further content includes:

  • Audited financial statements for fiscal year 2013.
  • Biographical details on each of the Board of Directors.
  • Messages from the CEO and Chairman.

The complete annual report is available online at: [PDF, 6.69 MB]

The At-Large Community Seeks Expressions of Interest for Candidates for Post of ICANN Board Seat

ICANN Announcements - Wto, 2013-12-17 01:49
16 December 2013

A call for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) is now open through December 26, 2013. This Call for EoIs is part of the process through which the user community within ICANN will appoint one voting member of the ICANN Board. While acting in a personal capacity as a member of the ICANN Board, this member must be able to reflect the users' point of view and interests in the debate and decision making undertaken within the ICANN framework.

In seeking candidates for this post, ICANN's At-Large Community is looking for an individual with a broad international perspective and a background in Internet users' interests, consumer policy and/or civil society worldwide.

Information about the At-Large Community:

"At-Large" is the name of the community of individual Internet users involved in ICANN's policy development process. It currently consists of over 160 active At-Large organizations (called "At-Large Structures" or "ALSes"), representing the opinions of the global community of Internet users. At-Large provides a means through which individual end users of the Internet worldwide can participate in the matters on which ICANN works, such as:

  • Guidance on how to run Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs);
  • How to introduce new gTLDs (such as .eco, .green and IDN TLDs); and
  • How to implement a stable and fair transition from IPv4 to the next Internet addresses generation, IPv6.

The At-Large Board Candidate Evaluation Committee (BCEC) now calls for Expressions of Interest (EoIs).

For more information regarding the BCEC, including member details, please see the At-Large Board Candidate Evaluation Committee Web page (

How to apply for consideration:

To apply, please complete and submit the Expression of Interest (EoI) available at The form can be submitted online or printed and either:

  • Posted to At-Large Director Applications, ICANN, c/o Heidi Ullrich, 12025 Waterfront Dr. Ste 300, California 90094, USA; or
  • Faxed to +1 310 823 8649.

To be considered, EoIs must be received by 26 December 2013 at 23:59 UTC.

Please feel free to e-mail the BCEC with any questions regarding the SOI or the application process at The BCEC will respond to all inquiries.

Additional information is available on the At-Large Board Director 2014 Selection Workspace (

To watch a video of Roberto Gaetano, Chair of the Board Candidate Evaluation Committee explain the Board member search, go here:

To view Tijani Ben Jemaa, Chair of the Board Member Process Committee speak about the process, go here (in French only):

New gTLD Auction Rules

ICANN Announcements - Pon, 2013-12-16 23:50
17 December 2013 Forum Announcement: Comment Period Opens on Date: 17 December 2013 Categories/Tags: New gTLD Auctions Purpose (Brief): To gather community input regarding the detailed rules and processes for Auctions to resolve string contention sets in the New gTLD Program. The preliminary auction rules were originally published 1 Nov 2013, they have since been updated based on feedback and will be finalized based on the input of the community from this comment period. Public Comment Box Link:

High-Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms Convenes in London

ICANN Announcements - Pią, 2013-12-13 23:08
13 December 2013

LONDON – The Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms—a diverse group of global stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, the technical community and international organizations—held their first meeting in London to discuss global Internet cooperation and governance mechanisms. The Panel expressed strong support for a multistakeholder approach to the future of Internet governance. The conversations held at the London meeting were facilitated by a team of Internet governance experts. The discussion will be taken online in the coming days at

"The world relies on the Internet for economic, social, and political progress. It is imperative to ensure emerging issues are properly addressed in a global context, without individual governments or intergovernmental organizations developing their own solutions," said Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and chair of the Panel.

"The success of the Internet is rooted in a distributed and bottom-up model, with openness and collaboration at its core," said Vint Cerf, vice-chair of the Panel. "The inaugural meeting of the Panel brought together a diverse set of perspectives on the future of the Internet, and through this diversity I'm confident we can chart a course to protect the core of the current ecosystem, while evolving its methods, accessibility, and universality to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future."

In keeping with its mission, the first meeting of the Panel addressed desirable properties for global Internet cooperation, administration and governance. The Panel will conduct two additional meetings in the coming months. The next meeting, scheduled for late February 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California, will be hosted by The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. Sunnylands is partnering with the Panel in its substantive work. Following this meeting, a high-level draft report will then be released for open consultation. A final meeting will be hosted by the World Economic Forum in May 2014 in Dubai. During this meeting, the Panel will consider community feedback and discussions at forums including the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in Brazil and the Freedom Online Coalition's conference in Tallinn, Estonia. A high-level report will be published at the conclusion of the May meeting, and is expected to cover the following areas:

  • A brief overview of the current Internet governance ecosystem
  • Opportunities and challenges facing the current ecosystem
  • Desirable ecosystem properties including:
    • Ecosystem legitimacy
    • Effective and inclusive multi-interest and consensus-based system
    • Ensuring global participation including from the developing world
    • Co-existence with other governance systems (national and multi-lateral) ensuring a stable system that is not prone to attack, mismanagement, and manipulation

Panel members are working in their personal capacity. Members consist of:

  • Mohamed Al Ghanim, Founder and Director General of the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority; former Vice-Chair, UAE Information and Communications Technology Fund; Chairman of WCIT-12
  • Virgilio Fernandes Almeida, Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; Chair of Internet Steering Committee; National Secretary for Information Technology Policies
  • Dorothy Attwood, Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy, Walt Disney Company
  • Mitchell Baker, Chair, Mozilla Foundation; Chair and former CEO, Mozilla Corporation
  • Francesco Caio, CEO of Avio; former CEO, Cable and Wireless and Vodafone Italia; Founder of Netscalibur; broadband advisor in UK and Italy; Government Commissioner for Digital Agenda
  • Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; former Chairman, ICANN; Co-Founder of the Internet Society
  • Fadi Chehade, CEO and President of ICANN; Founder of Rosetta Net; technology executive
  • Nitin Desai, Indian economist and diplomat; former UN Undersecretary General; convener of Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG)
  • Byron Holland, President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia; former diplomat and journalist; former Minister of Foreign Affairs; former Member of the European Parliament
  • Ivo Ivanovski, Minister of Information Society and Administration, Macedonia; Commissioner to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development
  • Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe; former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway
  • Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology of Nigeria
  • Olaf Kolkman, Director of NLnet Labs; "Evangineer" of the Open Internet; former Chair of the Internet Architecture Board
  • Frank La Rue, labor and human rights lawyer; UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; Founder, Center for Legal Action for Human Rights (CALDH)
  • Robert M. McDowell, former U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner; Visiting Fellow, Hudson Institute's Center for Economics of the Internet
  • Andile Ngcaba, Chairman and Founder, Convergence Partners; Executive Chairman, Dimension Data Middle East and Africa; former South African Government Director General of Communications
  • Liu Qingfeng, CEO and President of iFLYTEK; Director of National Speech & Language Engineering Laboratory of China; Member of Interactive Technology Standards working group
  • Lynn St. Amour, President and CEO of the Internet Society; telecoms and IT executive
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder and Promoter of Wikipedia; Member of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation
  • Won-Pyo Hong, President, Media Solution Center, Samsung Electronics
London Panel Agenda

December 13

09:00 – 11:00


Expert presentations on Internet Cooperation and Governance to cover:

  • History of Internet cooperation and overview of current ecosystem
    Speaker: Vint Cerf
  • Nature and scope of global Internet governance
    Speaker: William Drake
  • Current system opportunities and challenges: ( this includes legitimacy and mandate challenges, challenges for global participation and inclusion)
    Speaker: David Gross & Bertrand de la Chapelle
11:00 – 11:15 Break 11:15 – 12:00 Backgrounder Q&A Session 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch 13:00 – 14:30

Developing Desirable System Properties

Panel is split into the following four proposed tracks, each moderated by an Internet Governance expert:

  • Desirable properties for ecosystem legitimacy
    Moderator: David Gross
  • Desirable properties for an effective and inclusive multi-interest & consensus-based system
    Moderator: Sally Wentworth
  • Desirable properties to ensure global participation including from developing world
    Moderator: William Drake
  • Desirable properties for co-existence with other governance systems (national and multi-lateral) ensuring a stable system that is not prone to attack, mismanagement, and manipulation.
    Moderator: Wolfgang Kleinwachter
14:30 – 14:45 Break 14:45 – 17:30

Joint Observations

Panel members, moderated by experts, coalesce around a set of overall joint observations on the desirable system properties

17:30 – 17:45 Break 17:45 – 18:30


Panel members discuss next steps, timelines/dates, communication rules and modus operandi for panel

About The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands

The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, which operates The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating entity. The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands hosts high-level retreats that address serious issues facing the nation and the world, including the recent official meeting between President Obama and President Xi of the People's Republic of China. In addition, Sunnylands offers programs through the Sunnylands Center & Gardens to educate the public about the history of Sunnylands, its architecture, art collections, cultural significance, and sustainable practices.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organised, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. For more information please visit:

About The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (

Editor's Note: The Panel was previously referred to as the Panel on the Future of Global Internet Cooperation.

For more information on the Panel, please contact: Pearson Cummings at

ICANN 49 Registration Now Open

ICANN Announcements - Czw, 2013-12-12 18:52
12 December 2013

Registration is now open for ICANN's 49th Public Meeting to be held in Singapore from 23-27 March 2014. The meeting site will be the Raffles City Convention Centre. To register, please visit

To make a hotel reservation, visit

ICANN holds three public meetings each calendar year in different regions of the globe. Usually comprised of more than 200 different sessions, these week-long meetings are the focal point for individuals and representatives of the different ICANN stakeholder groups to introduce and discuss issues related to ICANN policy.

Participants may attend in person or remotely. Meetings are open to everyone and registration is free.

For more information, visit

Proposal for a Specification 13 to the ICANN Registry Agreement to Contractually Reflect Certain Limited Aspects of ".Brand" New gTLDs

ICANN Announcements - Sob, 2013-12-07 02:28
6 December 2013

ICANN is posting today for public comment a proposal requested by the Brand Registry Group to incorporate a new Specification 13 to the new gTLD Registry Agreement, which would be available to a Registry Operator that operates a TLD that ICANN determines qualifies as a ".Brand TLD".

The proposed draft of Specification 13 [PDF, 80 KB] and the concepts reflected therein have not been approved by the New gTLD Program Committee of ICANN’s Board of Directors. ICANN is seeking public comment on all aspects of the proposal.

ICANN is also posting with the proposed draft of Specification 13 a position statement [PDF, 83 KB] of the Brand Registry Group in support of the proposed draft.

ICANN Issues Advice to IT Professionals on Name Collision Identification and Mitigation

ICANN Announcements - Pią, 2013-12-06 13:14
6 December 2013

ICANN today issued comprehensive advice to IT professionals worldwide on how to proactively identify and manage private name space leakage into the public Domain Name System (DNS) and thus, eliminate the causes of name collisions as new Top Level Domains (TLDs) are added to the DNS. In a report titled Name Collision Identification and Mitigation for IT Professionals [PDF 228 KB], ICANN explains the nature and causes of name collision and proposes a range of possible solutions.

View All Name Collision Resources Now »

Domain name collisions are not new. However the report addresses some concerns that a number of applied-for new TLDs may be identical to names used in private name spaces.

The report explains how DNS queries leak into the global DNS from private name spaces and how these leaks can have unintended consequences. The report shows that private networks will consistently, stably, and reliably perform name resolution when they use Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) and resolve them from the global DNS, and proposes methods to migrate to FQDNs.

"While it appears that name collisions won't affect significant numbers of corporate network operators or Internet users, ICANN considers it essential that it does everything possible to minimize potential impact and to offer clear advice on dealing with the issue," said Paul Mockapetris, Global Domains Division Security Advisor.

The report recommends that every organization that is not already using FQDNs from the public DNS should consider the following strategy:

  • Monitor name services, compile a list of private TLDs or short unqualified names you use internally, and compare the list you create against the list of new TLD strings.
  • Formulate a plan to mitigate causes of leakage.
  • Prepare users for the impending change in name usage by notifying them in advance or providing training.
  • Implement your plan to mitigate the potential collision.

The release of today's advice to IT professionals is the result of several months of diligent work by ICANN's staff, subject matter experts, the ICANN Executive Team and the Board of Directors.

"The report we've issued today offers IT professionals, whether they work in large organizations or small companies, comprehensive advice and suggested remedies that can be simple to implement," said Dave Piscitello, Vice President of Security and ICT Coordination. "While other interim or makeshift solutions may exist, migration using FQDNs has lasting value – once you've done this, you are good to go for now and future new TLD delegations."

The report, along with additional useful information and resources, can be found at:

ICANN and the CTU to Increase Active Engagement with Caribbean Stakeholders

ICANN Announcements - Pią, 2013-12-06 01:57
5 December 2013

Montego Bay, Jamaica - In the context of the recent Caribbean ICT Week, Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, and Ms. Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation and coordination among both organizations.

The signing took place in the presence of Government Ministers of CTU member states including the President of the CTU, Hon. Philip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining of Jamaica; the signing ceremony was followed by a press conference facilitating widespread communication of news of the event to the Jamaica public, and wider Caribbean through electronic media.

In her remarks at the signing Ms. Bernadette Lewis remarked that "The Internet has become entwined in the fabric of our lives therefore we must take an interest in its development and participate in the fora that chart its course. The continued and equitable growth of the internet is a collective responsibility and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) is prepared to play its part in taking an active role in determining the future of the Internet. This MoU is the demonstration of the CTU's commitment to work in collaboration with ICANN to increasing awareness and usage of the Internet and its resources in the Caribbean."

On his part, in the spirit of collaboration, Fadi Chehadé ended his remarks by quoting the African Proverb "If you want to go fast…go alone. If you want to go far…go together."

Mr. Chehadé and Ms. Lewis committed to make this a workable framework by getting their respective teams to start implementing concrete actions in the upcoming weeks. Actions are planned to include capacity building, partnering for outreach events and fostering multistakeholder dialogue at the regional and national levels.

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