Nominet is canvassing support for a crucial Net governance vote that it says will help prevent government regulation of Britain’s…Blog Read More
With my book out the way, I now have lots more time to, er, read books. And one of those near the top of the pile was Who controls the Internet? by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu. The book has frequently cropped up in conversations with various Net people since it was published in March, and so I have been itching to read it.
I finished it this morning. And my gut feeling is that this is a very important book. Not only does it cover a big hole in knowledge and understanding of the Internet, but it is also well written, easy to understand, concise, coherent and thoughtful. I strongly suspect it will be ones of those books that informs opinion and so has a lasting, global influence far beyond what you could expect from 226 pages of text.
Being a journalist and knowing a thing or two about the subject though, I also have a number of criticisms. It has a dangerous US bias despite its avowed international outlook, it completely misses a fundamental plank of Internet governance, namely ICANN, and it has missed recent changes that will come back to haunt it.Blog Read More
Less than a week after 87 percent of Net experts went out of their way to tell the US government that it needs to internationalise its role as overall authority for the Internet root, another shot has been fired over its boughs by two insiders.
A paper [pdf] put out by Becky Burr and Marilyn Cade pulls no punches when it states that it provides a “concrete pathway for eliminating one of the most sources of contention in the ICANN debate – the United States’ retain, exclusive and unilateral authority over the Internet’s authoritative root”.Blog Read More
I have finally finished my analysis of the 632 comments sent to the NTIA following its Notice of Inquiry over the continued role of ICANN as Internet overseer, and it’s going to come as a shock to the US government.
A remarkable 87.3 percent of comments that discussed the USG’s role said it should transition itself away from complete control to a more international body. ICANN fared little better: 63.4 percent of comments about it varied from critical to downright hostile.
Yes, I have bothered to go through every single comment, read every single word and do an analysis. The only analysis I didn’t do (and which now I cannot summon the energy to do) was to find out what percentage of the comments came from which region (mostly inside the US and outside the US) – so if someone wants to…Blog Read More
I’ve written a piece for The Register which went up this morning about Nominet having to deal with a US company surreptiously data-mining the Whois details for .uk domains to use in their products.
It’s an interesting story in that it highlights something that most people are really very unaware of, plus helps outline the risks we face in not building sufficient privacy laws with digital technology. Nominet is a rare example of a main Net registry that provides a minimum of Whois information about domain owners and also has an opt-in to remove all information except your name.
This system about thanks to two Australian con-men a few years ago taking the entire Whois for .uk domains and then using it to send people letters telling them they had to pay extension fees to keep their domains. It was a scam, but one that 50,000 Nominet customers were fooled by.
That isn’t my main point however. My main point is that while under European law, the Whois data is copyright and therefore protected, under ICANN rules, all global top-level domains – which means all dotcoms, dotnets, dotorgs etc – have to make all people’s contact details publicly available, and that means home address and telephone number and email address.Blog Read More