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 Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The first applications were accepted on Monday for internationalised domain names (IDNs), in one of the most significant steps to making the Internet more accessible around the globe.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened the application process, ending the exclusive use of Latin characters for website addresses. On the first day, "we have already received six applications from around the world for three different scripts," ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom told an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

 

(Source: AFP)

Full story

AFP

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 10:10:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 10, 2009

ITU is pleased to announce the launch of its 2009 Cybersecurity and ICT Applications Essay Competition.

The 2009 ITU Cybersecurity and ICT Applications Essay Competition is open to current students and recent graduates in economics, political science, law, literature, telecommunications, computer science, information systems and related fields between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The winners of the 2009 Essay Competition will be offered the opportunity of a consultancy contract within the ITU Development Sector's ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division for three months. The winners will be given a contribution towards the cost of an economy class flight from their place of residence. In addition, they will be paid the sum of CHF 6000 towards living expenses for the duration of the contract.

To enter the competition you need to submit an essay on one of the following essay topics:

  • Mobiles for Development: Enabling Low-Cost e-Applications for Rural and Remote Areas (e-Health, e-Government, e-Environment)
  • Protecting Children and Youth in the Internet and Mobile Age: Innovative Technical and Social Solutions
  • Connecting the World Responsibly: Empowering Women and Girls Through Creative Uses of ICTs
  • Personal Information Online (internet/mobiles): Responding to User Safety Concerns

All applications should be submitted online through the competition website.

The deadline for applications is 14 June 2009.

We look forward to reviewing your applications and wish you the best of luck in the competition!

 

Friday, April 10, 2009 7:17:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 15, 2009

In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Emily Steel looks at who should bear the responsibility for protecting children online following the release of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force report on child esafety.

Attorney General Roy Cooper of North Carolina is reported as saying, "Clearly the main responsibility is on parents."  adding, "..because technology companies are providing the gathering space and encouraging children to come, they have a duty to put in place technologies that can help protect kids".

Acknowledging efforts by social networking sites such as MySpace to respond to reports of abuse within 24 hours, as well as blocking child predators from their network.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

Read article here

Wall Street Journal

Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:14:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 06, 2009

In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, John Carr, from the Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety argues that cohesion within the Internet industry can do much to address child online safety "without the need for direct government intervention".

(Source: Guardian)

Read letter here

Guardian website

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:41:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 2008 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is being held 3-6 December 2008 in Hyderabad, India. The third meeting of the Internet Governance Forum will be focusing on the overall theme of ‘Internet For All’. The main sessions are organized as three thematic days under the following headings: ‘Reaching the Next Billion’, ‘Promoting Cyber-Security and Trust’, ‘Managing Critical Internet Resources’ with the last day covering ‘Emerging Issues - the Internet of Tomorrow’ and ‘Taking Stock and the Way Forward’.

Transcripts of the main session, webcasts, and contributions to the dicussions can be found on the IGF website.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 9:13:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2008

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs recently released the UN e-Government Survey 2008: From e-Government to Connected Governance, which presents an assessment of the new role of the government in enhancing public service delivery, while improving the efficiency and productivity of government processes and systems. It comprises two parts including a section which presents the findings of the UN e-Government Survey 2008 and a section focusing on the ‘how to’ approach connected governance.

For more information on the survey, visit the Global E-Government Survey 2008 website.
Access the complete survey here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:18:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 29, 2007

The European Parliament held an STOA Workshop on "RFID in the everyday life of Europeans: A citizen's perspective on ambient intelligence" on 24 January 2007. The workshop was organized as part of the project "RFID and identity management: Case Studies from the frontline of the development towards ambient intelligence" commissioned by the Scientific Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament, and carried out by the European Technology Assessment Group.

ITU's Lara Srivastava delivered a presentation on the topic "Is our enviroment getting smarter? Are we". Her presentation is available here

Monday, January 29, 2007 9:57:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 18, 2007

ITU held a workshop entitled The Future of Voice on the 15th and 16th of January 2007 at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This workshop organized under the ITU New Initiatives Programme focused on the role of voice communications in the future ubiquitous network environment.

For a long time, voice services have been the principal driver of telecommunication revenue and will probably continue to drive demand for some time. Nevertheless, it is becoming harder to sustain traditional models of per-minute pricing for voice as the service is increasingly carried over data channels that are priced on a flat-rate basis. Some of the key issues discussed during the event include:

• How are voice services evolving and what does this mean for users, providers and the telecommunication industry as a whole?
• How will fixed, mobile and internet-based phone services converge?
• How does messaging, gaming, multimedia fit in?
• Are voice services of the future most likely to be billed by the minute, by volume, or on a flat rate basis?
• What regulatory freedom should be given to operators to bundle voice with other services (e.g., multiple play: voice, video, internet and mobility)?
• What form of licensing, if any, will be necessary for voice service providers?
• What will be the new business models and revenue streams?
• What are the residual universal service obligations (e.g. emergency calls) that should be imposed on voice providers?

All presentations and background papers as well as a web archive of the event (video and audio) are available on the workshop website.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 1:43:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Several Internet-related Decisions and Resolutions were adopted at the ITU 2006 Plenipotentiary Conference. These include:

  • DECISION GT-PLEN/A (Antalya, 2006): Fourth World Telecommunication Policy Forum
  • RESOLUTION 101 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Internet Protocol-based networks
  • RESOLUTION 102 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): ITU’s role with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and the management of Internet resources, including domain names and addresses
  • RESOLUTION 130 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Strengthening the role of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies
  • RESOLUTION 133 (Rev. Antalya, 2006): Role of administrations of Member States in the management of internationalized (multilingual) domain names
  • RESOLUTION GT-PLEN/7 (Antalya, 2006): Study on the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the activities of the Union related to the World Summit on the Information Society

The text of these resolutions and decisions can be found here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 11:09:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In his remarks at the First Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens, Greece, 30 October 2006, ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi, encouraged meeting participants to "welcome open debate in the great spirit of Athenian democracy".

See the transcript of Secretary-General Utsumi's speech here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:45:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 27, 2006

United Kingdom's telecommunications regulator Ofcom criticized a proposed European Union law regulating the internet, warning that "it could devastate the continent's internet-TV, mobile-multimedia and online-games industries". Under the EU proposal, many internet broadcasts would face the same requirements on advertising content and production quotas as traditional television.

The U.K. regulator hired Rand Corp. to conduct an impact-assessment study, which outlined the possible negative effects. There are major uncertainties about the future "trajectory" of Internet TV, the regulator said in a note accompanying the study. "Creators will simply distribute their own material via the open Internet, bypassing the need for any form of commercial relationship with other distributors," the regulator said, adding that internet broadcasters would move offshore to escape the regulation. The U.K. position is crucial.

When the EU proposal was first floated last year, London opposed all extension of broadcasting rules to new media. Ofcom spokesman Simon Bates said the U.K. has realized that some new services will fall under the regulation. The key is to gain exemptions for particularly vulnerable services. "We understand that some TV-like services that look like TV and feel like TV warrant some protection," he said, adding that fledgling services should remain exempt. "Our worst fear would be if blogs are required to be regulated like mass-media television services, with rules for example about offensive content." If infant industries are regulated, Ofcom says they risk being pushed offshore. Even though mobile-phone operators could restrict their services available on the open Internet, the EU regulation would give them "incentives to artificially structure businesses so that the regulatable activity of making and creating content takes place outside the EU." The regulation could devastate Europe's online-games industry, the report added. "Rand Europe finds that this industry is global, and that the added value activity of creating and developing games is highly 'portable,'" the regulator writes. "This industry is therefore highly susceptible to increases in regulation in one territory, however small, especially when that regulation does not have parallels in other territories." The regulator recommends "excluding online games altogether from the scope" of the EU regulation.

The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the proposal by year end. EU governments meeting in the Brussels-based Council of Ministers also must approve it. Intellect, a U.K. trade association, recently said the regulation threatens to stifle services such as on-demand and interactive-video content.

Please see William Echikson's article in Wall Street Journal Europe for more details.

Friday, October 27, 2006 11:55:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, October 21, 2006

There is growing interest in the economics of information infrastructure security.

Some of the seminal work in the field has been done by Ross Anderson of Cambridge University, particularly in his original paper Why Information Security is Hard - An Economic Perspective as well as in some of Bruce Schneier's work. Ross Anderson maintains an excellent resource page on the topic with pointers to relevant material.

In June of this year, the Fifth Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS 2006) was held in Cambridge, England and next week the The Workshop on the Economics of Security the Information Infrastructure will take place on 23 October 2006 in the Washington, D.C. area.

Saturday, October 21, 2006 9:51:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be held in Athens, Greece from 30 October - 2 November 2006.

The current programme is available here.

A couple of related websites have been unveiled:

CircleID has a related article asking What Will Be the Outcome of the Internet Governance Forum Meeting in Athens?

Saturday, October 21, 2006 8:28:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 28, 2006

The ITU has unveiled a new website Partnerships for Global Cybersecurity dedicated to moderation/facilitation activities related to implementation of WSIS Action Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs.

Background

The outcome documents from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) emphasize that building confidence and security in the use of ICTs is a necessary pillar for building a global information society (see extracts). The Tunis Agenda describes the establishment of a mechanism for implementation and follow-up to WSIS and requests ITU to play a facilitator/moderator role for WSIS Action Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs. In order to stress the importance of the multi-stakeholder implementation of related work programmes, ITU has named this the Partnerships for Global Cybersecurity initiative.

Here's how to participate and how to contact us if you would like to contribute to the work programmes.

Work Programmes

Based on the first facilitation meeting held in May 2006 and the related Chairman's Report, work programmes in three focus areas have been initiated:

For general information on WSIS implementation as a whole, including other action lines and themes, see here.

 

Thursday, September 28, 2006 11:34:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 07, 2006

A recent APDIP e-Note goes into the discussion of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) and Internet Governance.

As the number of non-English speakers on the Internet grows exponentially, the limitations of the Domain Name System have become evident to many.

The APDIP e-Note examines "how IDNs relate to cultural diversity and the basic human right to communicate in one's own language on the Internet. While the bulk of the content on the Internet has been in English, this is rapidly changing. In China, for example, over 60 million of the nation's 100 million-plus users browse the web only in Chinese, yet top-level domain names remain in Roman script for all users. The APDIP e-Note further discusses the ongoing debate on how best to allow users to navigate the Internet in their own language. Different systems available for multilingual domain names and future scenarios are also explored.

Download the full APDIP e-Note.
View other APDIP e-Resources here.

The Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that aims to promote the development and application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for sustainable human development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 11:53:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 17, 2006

At the invitation of the Government of Cameroon and Cameroon's Telecommunications Regulatory Board (ART), FTRA-2006, on the theme "IP networks and related services: Challenges for African regulators", was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on 7 and 8 June 2006. Eighty-three participants from 23 countries and 11 organizations attended the forum.

Participants emphasized the need to review the telecommunications-ICT political, legal, administrative and regulatory issues with a view to their inclusion of aspects relating to the Internet and related services, and the need for human capacity building for regulators in a rapidly changing telecommunications environment. After the successful establishment of sub-regional African Telecommunication Regulatory Associations, the Forum discussed the creation of a PAN African Regulatory Association building on the achievement of the African Telecommunication Regulators Network (ATRN) with the aim of putting in place an efficient mechanism capable of decision-making at the continental level. They finally agreed in principle on the establishment of such an association and its integration in the African Telecommunications Union (ATU). The recommendations agreed on may be found in the final communiqué.

FTRA-2007 will be held in Nairobi, Kenya with the exact dates announced at a later date.

[via the ITU-D Newslog]

Thursday, August 17, 2006 7:42:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 28, 2006

Study Group 17 (Security, languages and telecommunication software) has been instructed by Resolution 48 of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (Florianópolis, 2004) to study Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). It is considered that implementation of IDN will contribute to easier and greater use of the Internet in those countries where the native or official languages are not represented in IRA (International Reference Alphabet) characters.

To meet this obligation, Study Group 17 developed new Question 16, Internationalized Domain Names tasked in particular to investigate all relevant issues in the field of IDN. The mandate for Question 16 is available on the Study Group 17 website.

Question 16 was approved at the April 2006 Study Group 17 meeting in Jeju, Korea. At this meeting Question 16 drafted a questionnaire for a Circular to Member States, requesting information on their experiences in the use of IDN. TSB Circular 96 was issued on 31 May 2006.

The ITU-T has unveiled an IDN resource site to share information on work progress, achievements and acquired knowledge in the field of IDN. It includes an introduction to IDN, information about related events, standards materials, news, information on national and other IDN developments and a FAQ.

[via the ITU-T Newslog]

Friday, July 28, 2006 10:49:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Secretary-General of the United Nations has announced the convening of the Internet Governance Forum, to be held in Athens on 30 October - 2 November 2006.

The Secretary-General's message is available in all UN languages: [English] [Français] [中文] [عربي] [Русский] [Español]. The message in English reads:

"The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Tunis on 13-15 November 2005, invited me to convene a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue -- called the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The Summit asked me to convene the Forum by the second quarter of 2006 and to implement this mandate in an open and inclusive process.

The Government of Greece made the generous offer to host the first meeting of the IGF and proposed that it take place in Athens on 30 October - 2 November 2006.

I have asked my Special Adviser for Internet Governance, Mr. Nitin Desai, to assist me in the task of convening the IGF and I have also set up a small secretariat in Geneva to support this process. Two rounds of consultations open to all stakeholders held in Geneva on 16-17 February and 19 May have contributed towards a common understanding with regard to the format and content of the first IGF meeting. I have also appointed an Advisory Group with the task of assisting me in preparing the IGF meeting.

The Advisory Group held a meeting in Geneva on 22 and 23 May 2006 and made recommendations for the agenda and the programme, as well as the structure and format of the first meeting of the IGF in Athens.

As the IGF is about the Internet, it is appropriate to make use of electronic means of communication to convene its inaugural meeting. The document adopted by WSIS -- the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society -- calls on me "to extend invitations to all stakeholders and relevant parties to participate at the inaugural meeting of the IGF". Therefore, it is my pleasure to make use of the World Wide Web to invite all stakeholders -- governments, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities, to attend the first meeting of the IGF in Athens. The overall theme of the meeting will be "Internet Governance for Development". The agenda will be structured along the following broad themes.

  • Openness - Freedom of expression, free flow of information, ideas and knowledge
  • Security - Creating trust and confidence through collaboration
  • Diversity - Promoting multilingualism and local content
  • Access - Internet Connectivity: Policy and Cost

Capacity-building will be a cross-cutting priority.

The meeting will be open for all WSIS accredited entities. Other institutions and persons with proven expertise and experience in matters related to Internet governance may also apply to attend.

In its short life, the Internet has become an agent of dramatic, even revolutionary change and maybe one of today's greatest instruments of progress. It is a marvelous tool to promote and defend freedom and to give access to information and knowledge. WSIS saw the beginning of a dialogue between two different cultures: the non-governmental Internet community, with its traditions of informal, bottom-up decision-making; and the more formal, structured world of governments and intergovernmental organizations. It is my hope that the IGF will deepen this dialogue and contribute to a better understanding of how we can make full use of the potential the Internet has to offer for all people in the world.

(Signed) Kofi A. Annan" 

[via the Internet Governance Forum]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:46:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 16, 2006

A revamp of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) website is being tested.

Friday, June 16, 2006 4:39:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jefferson Rebuffed - The United States and the Future of Internet Governance by Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger and Malte Ziewitz, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Over the last several years, many have called for an internationalization of Internet governance in general, and Internet naming and numbering in particular. The multi-year WSIS process that culminated in November 2005 was intended to create momentum in such direction. The United States has long resisted such internationalization, fearing in particular the growing influence of China and similar nations.

The proposal put forward by the European Union in September 2005 would have offered a constitutional moment for Internet governance by suggesting internationalization based on fundamental values of the Internet community. The swift rejection of the proposal by the US was surprising, both from a tactical as well as – in light of its own constitutional history – a substantive viewpoint.

In this article we have described the main features of the European proposal and what it might have created. We evaluated four possible arguments explaining US rejection: delegation of power, objective rights, public choice, and de-legitimization of international regimes.

We conclude that a combination of domestic pressures and aversion of international regimes caused the US government delegation to reject the proposal. As a result, WSIS concluded without a constitutional moment for Internet governance. It may turn out, though, to be a Pyrrhic victory for the United States. The calls for internationalization of Internet governance will not subside and the US will have to continue to fend off demands for a transfer of power. The opportunity for Internet governance to be based on the values of the Internet community, however, will likely not return.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 1:36:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Continued Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet Domain Name and Addressing System

SUMMARY: The United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks comment on the continuation of the transition of the technical coordination and management of the Internet domain name and addressing system (Internet DNS) to the private sector. In June 1998, the Department issued a statement of policy on the privatization of the Internet DNS, which among other things articulated four primary functions for global Internet DNS coordination and management, the need to have these functions performed by the private sector and four principles to guide the transition to private sector management of the Internet DNS. On June 30, 2005, NTIA released the U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System further elaborating on these issues. The Department of Commerce seeks comment regarding the progress of this transition and announces a public meeting to be held on July 26, 2006, to discuss issues associated with this transition.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 4:18:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

The US Department of Commerce has announced that it intends to renew the IANA contract for up to 5 years with ICANN. Also see this Washington Post article and the official presolicitation notice.

Monday, May 22, 2006 11:26:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 18, 2006

In a press release today, ITU announced a global opinion survey to assess trust of online transactions and awareness of cybersecurity measures. The survey was conducted by ITU in conjunction with World Telecommunication Day, celebrated on 17 May to commemorate the founding of ITU in 1865. The theme chosen this year — Promoting Global Cybersecurity — aims to highlight the serious challenges of ensuring the safety and security of networked information and communication systems.

The announcement of the results of the survey coincides with the launch of an ITU Cybersecurity Gateway portal. The portal is a global online reference source of national cybersecurity initiatives and websites around the world and provides an integrated platform for sharing cybersecurity related information and resources. Presenting information tailored to four specific audiences: citizens, businesses, governments, and international organizations, the portal also provides information resources on topical cybersecurity concerns such as spam, spyware, phishing, scams and frauds, worms and viruses, denial of service attacks, etc.

With thousands of links to relevant materials, ITU intends to constantly update the portal with information on cybersecurity initiatives and resources gathered from contributors around the globe. For example, a number of countries are now ramping up national critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP) programmes and sharing information on these initiatives through the portal can assist both developed and developing economies in promoting global cybersecurity.

These efforts highlight work being carried out as follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Action line C5 dealing with "Building confidence and security in the use of ICT", for which ITU is the facilitator/moderator.

Update: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has made the following statement in conjunction with World Telecommunication Day giving his perspectives on promoting global cybersecurity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:52:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 17, 2006

UN Press Release: The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today established an Advisory Group to assist him in convening the Internet Governance Forum, a new forum for a multi-stakeholder dialogue on Internet governance.  The Group includes 46 members from Government, the private sector and civil society, including the academic and technical communities, who represent all regions of the world (see list below).  It is chaired by Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), who may also select special advisers to assist him.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:56:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on RFID, with a view to developing a coherent RFID Policy for Europe. In order to prepare for the consultation, the Commission is organizing a series of workshops (5) between March and June 2006, in which experts and stakeholders from all over Europe and the world come together to debate the key issues.

ITU's Lara Srivastava spoke at the first workshop (6-7 March 2006), and also at the third workshop in the series held 16-17 May 2006 on "RFID Security, Data Protection & Privacy, Health and Safety Issues" (see the presentation here). The Policy Framework Paper written by the Commission in advance of the meeting highlighted the vision of the ITU's 2006 Internet Report on "The Internet of Things" released in November 2005.

Two more workshops are planned in early June, after which the Commission will open up the debate for a wider on-line public consultation, resulting in a Communication on RFID to be issued later this year.

For more information, including webcasts, see the European Commission RFID Consultation Website.

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 4:53:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Cooperative Domain Service (CoDoNS) by Venugopalan Ramasubramanian and Emin Gün Sirer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:53:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Now underway is the ITU/UNESCO Global Symposium on Promoting the Multilingual Internet which is a follow-up to Phase 2 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted at the Tunis Phase of WSIS, highlights the importance of multilingualism for bridging the digital divide. It identifies ITU as taking the lead role in the implementation of information and communication infrastructure (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C2), ITU/UNESCO for access to information and knowledge (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C3), and UNESCO for cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content (WSIS Tunis Agenda Action Line C8).

The event is being audiocast live in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The programme is available here and contains links to all the presentations and speaker biographies.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:59:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 05, 2006
 Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler, Yale University Press.

Information, knowledge, and culture are central to human freedom and human development. How they are produced and exchanged in our society critically affects the way we see the state of the world as it is and might be; who decides these questions; and how we, as societies and polities, come to understand what can and ought to be done. For more than 150 years, modern complex democracies have depended in large measure on an industrial information economy for these basic functions. In the past decade and a half, we have begun to see a radical change in the organization of information production. Enabled by technological change, we are beginning to see a series of economic, social, and cultural adaptations that make possible a radical transformation of how we make the information environment we occupy as autonomous individuals, citizens, and members of cultural and social groups. It seems passé today to speak of "the Internet revolution." In some academic circles, it is positively naïve. But it should not be. The change brought about by the networked information environment is deep. It is structural. It goes to the very foundations of how liberal markets and liberal democracies have coevolved for almost two centuries.

A series of changes in the technologies, economic organization, and social practices of production in this environment has created new opportunities for how we make and exchange information, knowledge, and culture. These changes have increased the role of nonmarket and nonproprietary production, both by individuals alone and by cooperative efforts in a wide range of loosely or tightly woven collaborations. These newly emerging practices have seen remarkable success in areas as diverse as software development and investigative reporting, avant-garde video and multiplayer online games. Together, they hint at the emergence of a new information environment, one in which individuals are free to take a more active role than was possible in the industrial information economy of the twentieth century. This new freedom holds great practical promise: as a dimension of individual freedom; as a platform for better democratic participation; as a medium to foster a more critical and self-reflective culture; and, in an increasingly information dependent global economy, as a mechanism to achieve improvements in human development everywhere.

The rise of greater scope for individual and cooperative nonmarket production of information and culture, however, threatens the incumbents of the industrial information economy. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we find ourselves in the midst of a battle over the institutional ecology of the digital environment. A wide range of laws and institutions—from broad areas like telecommunications, copyright, or international trade regulation, to minutiae like the rules for registering domain names or whether digital television receivers will be required by law to recognize a particular code—are being tugged and warped in efforts to tilt the playing field toward one way of doing things or the other. How these battles turn out over the next decade or so will likely have a significant effect on how we come to know what is going on in the world we occupy, and to what extent and in what forms we will be able—as autonomous individuals, as citizens, and as participants in cultures and communities—to affect how we and others see the world as it is and as it might be.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:55:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 01, 2006
 Friday, April 28, 2006

In a press release, the European Commission has indicated its views on follow-up to the international policy commitments made at WSIS:

To keep up the momentum of the successful World Summit on Information Society (Tunis, 16-18 November 2005), the European Commission has set out today its priorities for implementing the international policy commitments made at the Summit. These priorities include safeguarding and strengthening human rights, in particular the freedom to receive and access information. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) should be used to contribute to open democratic societies and to economic and social progress worldwide. The Commission calls for continuing international talks to improve Internet governance through the two new processes created by the Summit: the multi-stakeholder Internet Governance Forum and the mechanism of enhanced cooperation that will involve all governments on an equal footing.

The EC has also issued a FAQ on Internet Governance.

Friday, April 28, 2006 11:01:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 30, 2006

Owing the dangers of cybercrime and the need for common minimum technical and legal standards to fight such crime at a global level, the Convention on cybercrime (ETS N° 185) was prepared by Council of Europe member States and Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States. It entered with force on 1 July 2004. Its Additional Protocol concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems (ETS N° 189) entered into force on 1 March 2006.

The Convention is the only binding international instrument dealing with cybercrime. It has received widespread international support and is open to all States.

The Convention provides for consultations of the Parties (the Convention Committee on Cybercrime (T-CY)). The first meeting of the consultation of the parties took place in Strasbourg, France from 21-22 March 2006. Documents and materials from the meeting are available on the T-CY website.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 4:50:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 28, 2006

World Telecommunication Day (WTD) commemorates the founding of ITU on 17 May 1865. This year, WTD could carry added significance as 17 May has been identified by the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society as “World Information Society Day”.

While World Information Society Day is yet to be proclaimed, ITU, as the leading ICT agency of the UN system, upholds the idea and looks forward to its members to raise awareness of the role of ICT in achieving the development goals of all people.

For WTD 2006, the ITU Council chose the theme of Promoting Global Cybersecurity to highlight the serious challenges we face in ensuring the safety and security of networked information and communication systems.

In today’s interconnected and increasingly networked world, societies are vulnerable to a wide variety of threats, including deliberate attacks on critical information infrastructures with debilitating effects on our economies and on our societies. In order to safeguard our systems and infrastructure and in order to instill confidence in online trade, commerce, banking, telemedicine, e-government and a host of other applications, we need to strengthen the security practices of each and every networked country, business, and citizen, and develop a global culture of cybersecurity.

The urgency of promoting cybersecurity has been called for by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in 2002, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-2004) as well as the United Nations General Assembly (resolutions 58/199, 2004, and 57/239, 2002).

Invitations to organize national programmes in the context of promoting the theme Promoting Global Cybersecurity for WTD 2006 were sent to all ITU Member States and ITU Sector Members. Sector Members represent over 647 public and private companies and organizations with an interest in telecommunications. Also in conjunction with WTD 2006, the ITU is conducting a survey of cybersecurity trust and awareness. A list of links to the related materials includes:

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 1:43:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From today's Wall Street Journal Europe: How France Became A Leader in Offering Faster Broadband

"For years, France's telecommunications industry was a state-owned monopoly with one of the world's most backward broadband markets. But thanks to deregulation six years ago, French consumers have access to high-speed Internet service that is much faster and cheaper than in the U.S.

One telecom company in particular has exploited the changes and created competition in France -- a start-up called Iliad. Over 1.1 million French subscribers pay as low as €29.99 ($36) monthly for a "triple play" package called Free that includes 81 TV channels, unlimited phone calls within France and to 14 countries, and high-speed Internet. The least expensive comparable package from most cable and phone operators in the U.S. is more than $90, although more TV channels are generally included.

"We are coming into people's living rooms and changing the way they consume telecom services," says Michael Boukobza, Iliad's 28-year-old chief executive."

Key to France's success has been the active intervention of ARCEP, the French communications regulator. At last week's ITU workshop What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs?, François Varloot of ARCEP presented an overview of the French marketplace and their views on emerging symmetric and asymmetric IP regulatory issues.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:32:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 27, 2006

The Economist one said: "if the Net does have a God, he is probably Jon Postel."  David Maher, Senior Vice President, Law and Policy at PIR has published his memoirs of the early day attempts to revamp the internet's domain name system, which he has entitled Reporting to God. Ten years later, it appears that decisions surrounding the DNS remain as equally controversial as in the mid-1990's.

Monday, March 27, 2006 12:49:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On 23-24 March 2006 at ITU headquarters, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit hosted a high-level experts workshop entitled What Rules for IP-enabled NGNs? focused on the policy and regulatory challenges related to the deployment of IP-enabled NGNs. The following materials are now available:

Monday, March 27, 2006 11:18:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 17, 2006

In light of the consultations on the convening of the IGF, the United Nations Secretary-General will set up a multi-stakeholder Advisory Group to assist him in this task. The Group will consist of about forty members, representing governments, private sector and civil society and include members of the academic and technical communities. The members of the group will be chosen in their personal capacity. All stakeholders are invited to submit recommendations for members of the Advisory Group to the IGF secretariat by 18 April (igf@unog.ch). Relevant intergovernmental organizations are welcome to attend the meetings of the Advisory Group. The first meeting of the Advisory Group will be held after another round of consultations open to all stakeholders. A date for these meetings will be communicated as soon as possible. The first meeting of the IGF will be held in Athens from 30 October - 2 November 2006. More details on the venue and the logistics of the meeting will be made available on the host country's website.

Update: A new round of consultations on the convening of the IGF will be held at the United Nations in Geneva on 19 May 2006. They will be open to all stakeholders and will focus on the substantive preparation of the inaugural meeting of the IGF. The consultations will be followed by a meeting of the IGF Advisory Group on 22 - 23 May 2006.

[via IGF news]


Friday, March 17, 2006 10:33:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The OECD hosted a workshop entitled The Future of the Internet in Paris on 8 March 2006. Presentations given at the event will serve at "food for thought" for future OECD work.


The Economist has a related article entitled Reinventing the Internet.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 10:09:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, March 04, 2006

According to a press release from the UN, the UN Secretary-General has decided to establish a small Secretariat in Geneva to assist in the convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).  The Secretary-General was asked by the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis in November, to convene such a Forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

Nitin Desai, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Summit, held open consultations on 16 and 17 February in Geneva aimed at reaching a common understanding on how the Forum should function.  Those discussions produced a consensus that the IGF should have a strong development orientation.  It was also felt that the Forum should be open and inclusive, and allow for the participation of all interested stakeholders with proven expertise and experience in Internet-related matters.

The Secretariat will be headed by Markus Kummer, who has been the Executive Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Working Group on Internet Governance, which was established by the Secretary-General at the request of the first phase of the Summit, in Geneva in 2003.  The first meeting of the Forum is expected to take place later this year in Athens, Greece from October 30 - November 2 2006.

On a separate issue, the Secretary-General has also decided to ask Mr. Desai to consult informally on how to start a process aimed at enhancing cooperation on international public policy issues related to the Internet.  The Summit had requested the Secretary-General to start such a process in paragraphs 69-71 of the WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 9:14:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This publication, with a foreword by Nitin Desai, provides an overview of the key debates on Internet governance. It presents the work of the Open Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance, an Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) initiative that has collected perspectives from regional experts and end users.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:21:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to an article from Interfax China, the Ministry of Information Industry has announced the revamping of the country's Internet domain name system which will be enforced from March 1, 2006.

The new domain names system consists of a total of 4 Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) including the English language domain .CN and 3 Chinese-character top-level domains "中国" (.China), "公司" (.com)- in China .com is used to refer to companies, and "网络"(.net).

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:51:00 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 24, 2006

  The Golden Book — a record of work undertaken to implement the goas of the World Summit on the Information Society and build the future Information Society — was launched on 24 February 2006 during the Consultation Meeting of WSIS Action Lines Facilitators/Moderators, convened by ITU, UNESCO and UNDP in Geneva.

This Golden Book highlights some of the valuable work being done around the world to promote ICTs in projects, large and small, by governments, individuals or team effort, for the benefit of all. It provides illustrative examples of new and innovative projects to build infrastructure, promote ICTs in education, health and governance, ensure fair access and enhance online security.

The Golden Book has been published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a permanent record of the new commitments and resources pledged by stakeholders during the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). All WSIS stakeholders at the Summit were invited to submit an online questionnaire with details of their activities announced during the Tunis Phase. These activities have been planned or are already being undertaken to implement the WSIS Plan of Action. The Golden Book also serves as a tool helping to coordinate the action taken to implement the 11 Action lines and avoid duplication.

More than 375 submissions were made to the Golden Book by governments, international organizations, NGOs, companies and individuals, describing their work towards promoting ICT activities. ITU estimates that the activities announced during the Tunis Phase to promote WSIS goals represented a total value of at least € 3.2 billion (US$ 3.9 billion). Governments committed to implement projects for some € 1.9 billion, representing nearly two-thirds of estimated total value of all commitments, while international organizations pledged to carry out activities for around half that amount, i.e. 0.83 billion Euros. Business entities announced plans to realize projects for around 0.35 billion Euros and civil society projects amount to least 0.13 billion Euros.

Amount of financial commitments by stakeholder

Breakdown by anticipated expenditure

For more information on the Golden Book, please see here.

Friday, February 24, 2006 6:22:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Eli Noam: Moore’s Law at risk from industry of delay:

"So, in technology, Moore’s Law is alive and well. But technology does not operate in a vacuum. No business or government institution can change at 50 per cent a year. While stability and tradition are important, if a fundamental technology progresses far beyond society’s ability to absorb its impacts, a growing disconnection occurs. When, in the 19th century, technology proceeded at a rapid pace while social institutions did not, the results were upheavals and revolutions. Today, again, the key elements of the information economy are progressing at a scorching rate, while private and public institutions are lagging behind.

Examples include the way the US lost leadership in mobile wireless and broadband internet because of interminable governmental processes in spectrum allocation. Around the world, it has taken more than a decade to set the rules on interconnection among telecommunciation carriers, and they are still far from settled. This has slowed the entry of new-style carriers.

The question of whether new broadband services should be treated in the same time-consuming way as traditional telecommunication has tied regulators in knots and recently created a confrontation between Brussels and Germany. In South Korea, video over the internet requires a broadcasting licence, which has slowed how much the network is used. Patent offices every­where are falling behind their workload. It may soon take more than five years to get a patent in the US."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:49:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, February 04, 2006

The beta of Internet Explorer 7 handles internationalized domain names in an interesting method to mitigate what is known as homographic spoofing.

When attempting to read a web address with non-standard characters, it blocks the action and puts up a dialogue box asking whether the user would like to specifically add the language (actually the corresponding script) as valid.

The same dialogue box allows the user to specify a locale specific suffix that will be entered with a key combination.

Saturday, February 04, 2006 9:13:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A possible timeline for convening of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been published on the consultations website on the convening of the IGF.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:36:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 27, 2006

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) has announced the latest news on its recently established (October 2005) "Study Group on a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP". The Study Group is considering i) basic concepts of competition rules in preparation for a full-fledged IP age, as well as ii) interconnection and tariff policies in the future.

At the first meeting, members of the Study Group discussed an agenda to be deliberated upon and adopted a draft agenda. From the standpoints of i) improved transparency for open deliberations and ii) further enhancement of the themes, the Study Group decided to invite public comments on the draft agenda during November 2005. During the second meeting of the Study Group on December 21, 2005, the Study Group adopted the Consideration Agenda Concerning a Framework for Competition Rules to Address Progress in the Move to IP.

Friday, January 27, 2006 10:11:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The official website of the 1st Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be convened later this year in Greece has been launched.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:52:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 23, 2006

This UN study on the construction of knowledge societies puts forward "the idea that if societies desire to follow the path of knowledge-based growth and development, a very thorough reconstruction of their institutions must occur. It suggests to political leaders, public administrations and the public at large that a broad, well-informed debate about this institutional shift should be undertaken. The magnitude of such a shift would require the cooperation of all segments of society and their sharing not only of the risk and cost of change, but first and foremost, of common goals and values. It is hoped that this study will inform this debate or at least sketch its parameters."

In an experimental Index of Knowledge Societies, it rates the following countries the highest:

Country Name IKS Index

1  Sweden 0.776
2  Denmark 0.763
3  Norway 0.719
4  Switzerland 0.706
5  Finland 0.704
6  Japan 0.696
7  Germany 0.696
8  Austria 0.692
9  New Zealand 0.692
10 United Kingdom 0.688

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:01:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 16, 2006

Two recent articles on the growing influence of national governments over the internet.

  1. Legal Affairs has just published Digital Borders By Jack Goldsmith and Timothy Wu. The article is an excerpt from the book Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

In this provocative new book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu tell the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s, and the ensuing battles with governments around the world. It's a book about the fate of one idea--that the Internet might liberate us forever from government, borders, and even our physical selves. We learn of Google's struggles with the French government and Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime; of how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world; and of eBay's struggles with fraud and how it slowly learned to trust the FBI. In a decade of events the original vision is uprooted, as governments time and time again assert their power to direct the future of the Internet. The destiny of the Internet over the next decades, argue Goldsmith and Wu, will reflect the interests of powerful nations and the conflicts within and between them.

While acknowledging the many attractions of the earliest visions of the Internet, the authors describe the new order, and speaking to both its surprising virtues and unavoidable vices. Far from destroying the Internet, the experience of the last decade has lead to a quiet rediscovery of some of the oldest functions and justifications for territorial government. While territorial governments have unavoidable problems, it has proven hard to replace what legitimacy governments have, and harder yet to replace the system of rule of law that controls the unchecked evils of anarchy. While the Net will change some of the ways that territorial states govern, it will not diminish the oldest and most fundamental roles of government and challenges of governance.

  1. First Monday has published The filtering matrix: Integrated mechanisms of information control and the demarcation of borders in cyberspace by Nart Villeneuve.

Increasingly, states are adopting practices aimed at regulating and controlling the Internet as it passes through their borders. Seeking to assert information sovereignty over their cyber–territory, governments are implementing Internet content filtering technology at the national level. The implementation of national filtering is most often conducted in secrecy and lacks openness, transparency, and accountability. Policy–makers are seemingly unaware of significant unintended consequences, such as the locking of content that was never intended to be blocked. Once a national filtering system is in place, governments may be tempted to use it as a tool of political censorship or as a technological "quick fix" to problems that stem from larger social and political issues. As non–transparent filtering practices meld into forms of censorship the effect on democratic practices and the open character of the Internet are discernible. States are increasingly using Internet filtering to control the environment of political speech in fundamental opposition to civil liberties, freedom of speech, and free expression. The consequences of political filtering directly impact democratic practices and can be considered a violation of human rights.

Monday, January 16, 2006 9:19:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At the second phase of WSIS in Tunis, the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society called for the establishment of an Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in paragraphs 72 - 79. The first meeting of the IGF will take place in Greece in 2006.

The first consultations on the convening of the IGF will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 and 17 February 2006. The meeting will take place at the United Nations and be chaired by Mr Nitin Desai, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for WSIS, who will assist the Secretary-General in preparing the convening of the IGF. Additional information can be found at www.intgovforum.org.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:48:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 23, 2005

Tides in Communication Politics? About Shifting Involvements and Technologies of Freedom and the Relevance of Albert Hirschman and Ithiel de Sola Pool for Today’s Communication Studies, by Willem Hulsink, former editor of Trends in Communications.

So like the tides, we can see swings of involvement in shaping the information and communication technologies of the past and the future: initially these technologies are mechanisms of freedom, questioning existing roles and practices, and keeping the hope alive for a better world, but at a later stage, when we realize both their possibilities and complications in real life, these technologies may end in the regulatory domain, provided that they generate perverse effects (e.g. one of Internet’s byproducts, unsolicited mail – spam – is now being addressed by the regulators).

Friday, December 23, 2005 12:43:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 20, 2005

ITU-T Study Group 2 has approved at its December 2005 meeting, ITU-T Recommendation E.910: Procedures for Registration with the Domain ".int". This Recommendation clarifies the principles and procedures for the registration of names under the Internet top-level domain ".int" and the process by which qualified international organizations can register for domain names under ".int".

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 4:20:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The internet as we know it is set to transform radically, according to a new ITU Internet Report entitled The Internet of Things, specially prepared to coincide with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005. From an academic network for the chosen few created in the late 1960s, the internet is now a mass-market, consumer-oriented network being accessed by over 900 million people worldwide, through personal computers, mobile phones and other wireless devices. But this is only the beginning. According to ITU’s report, we are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era, one that will radically transform the Internet, and with it, our corporate, community, and personal spheres. The new ITU report looks at key enabling technologies for ubiquity (e.g. RFID, sensors and sensor networks, telematics, robotics, nanotechnology) and how they might impact the future human and technological landscape.

At WSIS, the report was launched at a Press Conference and Panel Debate moderated by Kenn Cukier of The Economist. The lively debate included the following speakers and panelists: Nicholas Negroponte - MIT Media Lab, Olivier Baujard - CTO of Alcatel, Hitomi Murakami - VP General Manager of KDDI (Japan), Jonathan Murray - VP and CTO, Microsoft EMEA, Walid Moneimne, Senior VP and Head of EMEA Networks - Nokia, John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office - Sun Microsystems, and from the ITU, Lara Srivastava, lead author of the report.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:59:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 25, 2005

Internet governance: A tale of community structure and individual initiative by David Allen.

On one side, the Internet community argues for the informality and flexibility necessary for innovation – that is, for individual initiative – to flourish. On the other side, some governments call for more formality and the stable base – that is, for community structure – upon which ongoing operations and change can both occur.

Friday, November 25, 2005 3:26:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 17, 2005

Eli Noam has written a piece for the Financial Times entitled A First Amendment for the internet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 5:35:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The WSIS Stocktaking Report has been officially launched during the World Summit on the Infrmation Society in Tunis. The report has been prepared on the basis of activities entered to the WSIS Stocktaking Database that by November 2005 contained more then 2500 entries. 

For the launch presentation see Stocktaking.pdf (1.47 MB).

For the WSIS Stocktaking Database see here

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The final documents submitted to the second phase of WSIS being held 16-18 November 2005 in Tunis have been posted. They are:

In The Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, paragraphs 3-28 related to Financial Mechanisms for Meeting the Challenges of ICTs for Development, paragraphs 29-82 relate to Internet Governance, and paragraphs 83-122 relate to Implementation and Follow-up.

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 7:24:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 10, 2005

The latest edition of ITU News has a commentary from Yoshio Utsumi, ITU Secretary-General on the expectations beyond the upcoming Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society.

We started on the long journey to Tunis in 1998, when the government of Tunisia proposed to the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis to hold a World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). We have accomplished much during this journey. At the first phase of WSIS in Geneva in December 2003, we developed a common vision of the information society. In particular, we declared our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented society where the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) is used to promote sustainable development and improve the quality of life. It is a society where everyone, anywhere should have an opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the information society offers.

At the second phase of the Summit in Tunis on 16-18 November 2005, we will be closing one chapter, but we will be opening a new and much bigger chapter on the implementation of that vision. In this endeavour, we should really recognize the true value of ICT as a central theme in national development policies. ICT is changing our society in ways which are as fundamental as the changes wrought by steam engines in the 19th century or motor cars in the 20th century. As those machines did, ICTs help us to be more productive and efficient than ever before to fulfil our natural desire for a better life....

Nowhere are the challenges to the conventional sovereign State greater than in the realm of cyberspace. And Internet governance has dominated our discussions since the conclusion of the Geneva phase.

The traditional principles of “national sovereignty” that have been applied to telecommunications —namely that each State regulates its telecommunication sector as it sees fit — are not working for the Internet. The Internet, which started in one country, has rapidly penetrated everywhere. Now that the Internet has become a basic element of infrastructure for every nation, it is natural that nations wish to claim sovereignty over the Internet as they do over traditional telecommunication infrastructure.

However, the value of the Internet lies in the value of information created and consumed by users rather than in the infrastructure itself. So, Internet governance requires a multi-stakeholder approach in which users and consumers of information alike agree, at a global level, to cooperate on a basic set of guidelines on such issues as security, privacy protection and efficient operation.

That is why our discussion of Internet governance has been so difficult: because the existing models do not work well. We need to embrace a new model, which I will call “new communication sovereignty.” In this model, we must fight to defend the “right to communicate” rather than the “right to govern.”

Communication is a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. What matters is whether you have guaranteed access to information or the means to communicate with others, rather than the ability to control the means of communication. The “right to communicate” is a fundamental human right in the information society.

As the Secretary-General for the World Summit on the Information Society, I feel truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve the international community at this key moment of change in its history. As the wheel of change continues to turn, we must work together to create a more just and equitable information society.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 2:50:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Computer Business Review Online is reporting that the US government is said to be planning to open the IANA contract to manage the internet's addressing systems, currently held by ICANN, for competitive bidding. But a US official yesterday denied a report that such a move has been discussed publicly.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 2:31:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet is holding a hearing on 9 November 2005 on the Staff discussion draft of legislation to create a statutory framework for Internet Protocol and Broadband Services (this is a new draft dated 3 November 2005).

The draft legislation includes provisions on broadband internet transmission services, VoIP, video services and general provisions on how the FCC should address public interest issues, including broadening of the FCC's responsibilities in countering spam.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 1:37:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The debates on internet governance have highlighted conflicting statements and visions on how the internet's domain name system (DNS) root server system should be managed.

From ICANN's statement on What is ICANN?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for .... root server system management functions.

From the Root Server FAQ by Daniel Karrenberg

ICANN does not control root name server operations?

A: No. Neither the IANA nor ICANN have any executive authority over the operation of root name servers. The establishment of such authority has been on ICANN's agenda from the start. It is mentioned in various guises in the MoU between ICANN and the US DoC. However none of this has ever been implemented. I do not believe ICANN, or anyone, should have control over the operation of all root name servers. So this goal should be removed from ICANN's agenda.

From the Working Group on Internet Governance

WGIG identified and included in the Background Report the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance. The issues of highest priority, including related issues and problems, are set out below for the attention of the WSIS...

Administration of the root zone files and system

Lack of formal relationship with root server operators

  • The root zone operators perform their functions today without a formal relationship with any authority.

From the U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System

As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.

 

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 10:30:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A book written by members of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) will be launched at WSIS in Tunis and made available on the WGIG website on 16 November 2005. The preface, introduction and conclusions are already available.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 10:08:44 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, November 07, 2005

For the upcoming Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 14-15 November 2005, just before the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the ITU has released a paper by Tracy Cohen, Olli Mattila and Russel Southwood, entitled VoIP and Regulation, which will be presented at the GSR:

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is generally viewed as a “disruptive technology”. All the current market indications show that IP networks and services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will replace traditional PSTN networks and services. ITU estimates that by 2008, at least 50 percent of international minutes will be carried on IP networks and that many carriers will have all-IP networks. Recent trends are certainly headed in this direction. For example, in the United States, residential VoIP subscriber numbers have increased from 150,000 at the end of 2003 to over 2 million in March 2005. It is predicted that subscribers in the US will exceed 4.1 million by 2006, generating over USD 1 billion in gross revenues for the year. In March 2005, the Chilean broadband operator VTR launched the first telecommunication network for residential services based on IP technology. The operator expects to expand its platform and reach 2 million customers in five years. There are approximately 35,000 residential telephones that use IP technology in Chile, either through Chilean operators or through Vonage...

This paper examines how VoIP services will affect future regulation. Due to the starkly contrasting global perceptions of VoIP however, it is difficult to present a unified approach to regulatory treatment of VoIP and this paper aims to reflect regulatory experiences from a wide range of countries that are grappling with the transition to VoIP. The three sections of this paper are structured to answer both the broad and specific questions raised by VoIP services, including the overall approach to regulating VoIP as a mainstream service; how VoIP has changed voice business models and the various ways of classifying the services it has created; and finally, other related issues frequently raised in connection with VoIP, such as quality of service; network integrity; emergency calling, numbering, communication security and lawful interception.

Monday, November 07, 2005 11:23:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, November 06, 2005

The U.N. isn't a threat to the net: an op-ed piece by Kofi A. Annan on internet governance.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:36:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

For the upcoming Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia, 14-15 November 2005, just before the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the ITU has released a paper by John Palfrey entitled Stemming the International Tide of Spam: a Draft Model Law, which will be presented at the GSR:

This discussion paper primarily takes up the question of what – beyond coordinating with technologists and other countries’ enforcement teams and educating consumers – legislators and regulators might consider by way of legal mechanisms. First, the paper takes up the elements that might be included in an anti-spam law. Second, the paper explores one alternative legal mechanism which might be built into an anti-spam strategy, the establishment of enforceable codes of conduct for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Third, this paper also examines a variant of the legal approach where ISPs are formally encouraged by regulators to develop their own code of conduct. ISPs should be encouraged to establish and enforce narrowly-drawn codes of conduct that prohibit their users from using that ISP as a source for spamming and related bad acts, such as spoofing and phishing, and not to enter into peering arrangements with ISPs that do not uphold similar codes of conduct. Rather than continue to rely upon chasing individual spammers, regulators in the most resource-constrained countries in particular would be more likely to succeed by working with and through the ISPs that are closer to the source of the problem, to their customers, and to the technology in question. The regulator’s job would be to ensure that ISPs within their jurisdiction adopt adequate codes of conduct as a condition of their operating license and then to enforce adherence to those codes of conduct. The regulator can also play a role in sharing best practices among ISPs and making consumers aware of the good works of the best ISPs. While effectively just shifting the burden of some of the anti-spam enforcement to ISPs is not without clear drawbacks, and cannot alone succeed in stemming the tide of spam, such a policy has a far higher likelihood of success in the developing countries context than the anti-spam enforcement tactics employed to date.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:19:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 04, 2005

Two recent papers from academic institutions have been released on internet governance in preparation for the upcoming negotiations just prior to the World Summit on the Information Society to be held November 16-18 2005:

Friday, November 04, 2005 11:46:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 01, 2005

James Seng's blog points to a recent paper published in the Internet Protocol Journal by Tony Hain regarding IPv4 allocation exhaust and references another recent paper by Geoff Huston on the same topic.

To this can be added a recent presentation by K. Claffy at ARIN entitled apocalypse then: ipv4 address space depletion:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 4:22:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 28, 2005

This recent presentation What2what (was end2end): the future of the Internet by Scott Bradner discusses the disappearing end-to-end nature of the Internet and the reasons, evolution to NGN, as well as his views on how innovation may slow down.

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:29:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 13, 2005
Countering Spam, PDF, Cristina Bueti, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 11 October 2005, presented to ITU-T Study Group 17 Meeting (Geneva, Switzerland).

Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:48:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The WSIS Executive Secretariat has announced that under the Chairmanship of the President of PrepCom of the Tunis phase of WSIS, a Negotiation Group will meet in two consecutive sessions from 24 to 28 October 2005. In its first session, on 24 and 25 October 2005, its objective will be to finalize the negotiation on the Political Chapeau and on the paragraphs remained in brackets of Chapter two of the Operational Part.

In its second session, from 26 to 28 October 2005, the Negotiation Group will aim to finalize the negotiations on Chapters one and four of the Operational Part of the final documents of the Tunis phase. It will be an intergovernmental negotiation process, to be held every day from 10.00 - 13.00 and from 15.00 - 18.00 hours in the Palais de Nations, Room XX, Gate 40. Interpretation in the six UN working languages will be provided. After each session, the President of PrepCom will inform the observers on the advancement of the work. Participants without badges should contact the Executive Secretariat with a completed badge request form by Friday 21 October 2005 at the latest.

The resumed PrepCom-3 will be held back to back to the Tunis Summit. The Prepcom Bureau decided that PrepCom-3 of the Tunis phase of WSIS will be reconvened on 13 November 2005, at 10.00 hours, in Tunis, for a three-day session (13-15 November 2005). Information about the venue will be provided at a later stage. The resumed PrepCom-3 will start with a short organizational Plenary meeting. The modalities of work of the resumed PrepCom-3 will follow the Rules of Procedure of the PrepCom, including the participation of observers in Plenary and Subcommittee meetings. Interpretation in the six UN working languages will be provided.

More information will be made available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:38:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 07, 2005

Promoting Global Cybersecurity, PDF, Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, 6 October 2005, presented to ITU-T Study Group 17 Meeting (Geneva, Switzerland)

Friday, October 07, 2005 10:10:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 06, 2005

Links to documents from WSIS Prepcom-3 (19-30 September 2005) Sub-Committee A, which dealt with the topic of Internet Governance, can be found on the WSIS website. The key documents from Prepcom-3 include:

According to the Report of the Work of Sub-Committee A, in order to complete the work in time for the Summit, document DT/10 Rev. 4 is offered as basis for further negotiations. The following documents elaborated during PrepCom-3 are offered as a further input to future negotiations:

Thursday, October 06, 2005 5:02:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Update on ITU and WSIS Activities Related to Spam and Cybersecurity (PDF) presented at OECD Spam Task Force Meeting, Paris, France on 3 October 2005, Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 3:32:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 29, 2005

According to Computer Business Review Online, NeuStar Inc has won a high-profile contract to provide internet addressing services for the world's GSM carriers, the company announced yesterday. NeuStar will operate a private root DNS server system serving the .gprs suffix, which will only be usable by participating GSMA member companies.

Update: There has been a lot of subsequent debate about the significance of this deal (mostly on Dave Farber's IP list and Nanog). In this post, James Seng tries to sum up what he sees are the main issues and points to the viewpoints of some other experts.

Thursday, September 29, 2005 2:21:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 28, 2005

PrepCom-3 Highlights: 26-27 September 2005

Internet governance discussions kicked off this morning with delegations getting down to the business of drafting text that will eventually become part of the outcome documents of November’s World Summit.

PrepCom-3 Highlights: 28 September 2005

The European Union signaled a radical shift of position on its support for maintaining the Internet governance status quo, tabling a bold new document (Word) on Wednesday night that proposed a new public-private governance model, including an international multi-stakeholder forum.

Taking the floor half-way through Wednesday evening’s meeting of Sub-Committee A, the UK delegate’s placid delivery belied the ground-shaking import of the proposal, which represented a clear departure from the “status quo” camp led by the US.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 6:58:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 26, 2005

On the 23 September 2005, the FCC released statements on legal intercept for broadband and VoIP providers as well as stating its jurisdiction over providers of telecommunications for Internet access and IP-enabled services in the United States of America.

FCC Requires Certain Broadband and VoIP Providers to Accommodate Wiretaps.
Order: Acrobat
News Release (8/5/05): Word | Acrobat
Martin Press Statement: Word | Acrobat
Abernathy Statement: Word | Acrobat

FCC Adopts Policy Statement on Broadband Internet Access.
Policy Statement: Word | Acrobat
News Release (8/5/05): Word | Acrobat
Martin Press Statement: Word | Acrobat

"...the Commission has jurisdiction necessary to ensure that providers of telecommunications for Internet access or Internet Protocol-enabled (IP-enabled) services are operated in a neutral manner. Moreover, to ensure that broadband networks are widely deployed, open, affordable, and accessible to all consumers, the Commission adopts the following principles:

  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
  • To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers."
Monday, September 26, 2005 8:56:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 23, 2005

The Chair of WSIS Phase 2 Prepcom-3 Sub-Committee A dealing with Internet Governance has released a chair's draft of Chapter 3: Internet Governance for consideration of Sub-Committee A.

Friday, September 23, 2005 10:19:25 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Highlights from the discussions at WSIS Prepcom-3 19-21 September 2005 can be found here.

Friday, September 23, 2005 8:42:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 22, 2005

From TPRC 2005: Internet Governance: Theories and First Principles by Johannes M. Bauer, Michigan State University.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:06:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From TPRC 2005: DNSSEC and Hardening Security in the Internet Infrastructure: The Public Policy Questions by Amy Friedlander, Stephen Crocker, Allison Mankin, W. Douglas Maughan, Douglas Montgomery, Shinkuro Inc.

This is a paper from the practitioner community. We are engaged in an effort to strengthen security in the Internet infrastructure. Our immediate task is to deploy a new Internet protocol, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC), which promises to harden features of the Domain Name System (DNS), a key element in the infrastructure of the Internet. In our work, we find ourselves at the intersection of the following questions:

  1. How do we stimulate innovation in infrastructure services when those services are provided in a competitive, largely private commercial environment and the returns are likely to occur in the long term and will also be shared?
  2. What is the appropriate role of government in fostering infrastructure development when we are committed to largely privately-owned and operated infrastructure facilities and services?
  3. What is the balance among national and homeland security interests and global Internet management - or governance?
Thursday, September 22, 2005 2:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The video archives (Real Video) of yesterday's (20 September 2005) opening discussions on Internet governance in WSIS Prepcom-3 Sub-Committee A which is handling Internet Governance have been made available. They are available in English and in the original language from the Floor.

Access to the all real-time Prepcom-3 streams and archives can be found here.

Update: The archives of the 21 September 2005 discussions on Internet Governance in Sub-Committee A can be found here in English and in the original language from the Floor.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 8:30:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 20, 2005
 Monday, September 19, 2005

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a staff discussion draft legislation (PDF) intended to replace the US Telecommunications Act of 1996.

According to the Committee's announcement, highlights of the staff discussion draft include:

  • "Creates common regulatory definition for broadband Internet transmission services (BITS) which includes Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modems, and other broadband services.
  • Ensures network neutrality to prevent broadband providers from blocking subscriber access to lawful content.
  • Provides a uniform, federal regulatory framework for broadband providers, Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), and broadband video providers, except in some areas where state or local rules still apply, such as rights-of-way.
  • Authorizes the FCC to determine that VoIP can be required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.
  • Develops a streamlined franchising process for broadband video providers.
  • Applies many current cable video requirements to broadband video providers.
  • Allows municipalities to develop and deploy BITS, VoIP and broadband video services. However, municipalities can't provide preferential treatment for these services and must comply with all regulations governing private-sector providers.
  • Ensures that VoIP subscribers have access to 911."
Monday, September 19, 2005 12:51:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 15, 2005

WSIS Press Release, 15 September 2005: World Summit on the Information Society - Tunis Phase Preparatory Committee 3 (PrepCom-3): The final preparatory meeting for the forthcoming Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society will take place at the Palais de Nations, Geneva, from 19-30 September 2005. The meeting, which is expected to welcome some 1'500 participants from UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and the media, will work to finalize the working documents of the Summit, scheduled to take place in Tunis from November 16-18. For full text see: 

Thursday, September 15, 2005 2:04:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The ITU has released an IP Policy Manual.

"The use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based technologies is now a strategic element in the design, development and use of telecommunication networks. Consequently, there is a growing interest by ITU members in the policy and regulatory issues related to the growth of IP-based networks, such as the Internet, and their convergence with other networks. One example is the rapid uptake of Voice over IP (VoIP), which has given rise to a number of recent national regulatory proceedings and decisions. We are also witnessing a growing interest in the policy and regulatory implications of next-generation networks (NGNs), a key standardization activity in ITU. Convergence across media platforms, such as delivery of television over broadband networks, is also forcing national policy and regulatory reviews spanning what were previously different sectors. This clearly will result in new challenges for national policy makers and regulators and there appears to be a need to build international dialogue on these issues, including the sharing of national experiences and approaches as well as assistance in capacity building for developing economies. There is much opportunity not only to find common technical approaches, as in ITU's standards work on NGNs, but also to discuss and share common policy and regulatory approaches to convergence and network security."

For further information click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 10:14:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 05, 2005

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) takes place this November in Tunisia. The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom-3 of the Tunis phase) will be held in Geneva from 19-30 September under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and is certain to attract many high-level participants from the world of ICTs (information and communication technologies).

With support from SDC, GKP, and UNDP-APDIP, dev.tv intends to take advantage of this gathering to stage a one-hour televised debate on whether ICTs can effectively help lift people out of poverty. The debate will be broadcast on BBC World to 275 million homes worldwide, and will also be streamed over the internet during the week of the WSIS.

Monday, September 05, 2005 7:34:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 05, 2005

The Chairman's report (PDF) from the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held June 28 - July 1 2005 has been released.

The event was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action adopted on 12 December 2003, at the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and in preparation for the Tunis phase of WSIS, to be held from 16 to 18 November, 2005. The event website provides links to the final agenda, all background papers, presentations, electronic contributions, the Chairman’s Report and audio archives.

The four-day meeting was structured to consider and debate six broad themes in promoting international dialogue and cooperative measures among governments, the private sector and other stakeholders as well as promotion of a global culture of cybersecurity. These include information sharing of national and regional approaches, good practices and guidelines; developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities; technical standards and industry solutions; harmonizing national legal approaches and international legal coordination; privacy, data and consumer protection; and developing countries and cybersecurity.

The first day of the meeting focused on countering spam as follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam, held in July 2004.

Friday, August 05, 2005 12:38:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At a recent ITU cybersecurity event, Bruce Schneier, Founder and CTO, Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. gave a keynote speech entitled Negotiating for Security.

A Real Audio archive is available of Mr. Schneier's talk (speech starts 4 minutes from start of archive).

Mr. Schneier states that security is one of the fundamental building blocks of the information society as everything we now do with information requires some kind of security—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, may it be personal, corporate or government related. He said that to a very real extent the limits of the information society can be seen as the limits of security. In other words, if we cannot do it securely, we will not do it with computers and on the internet. Therefore, this means that security is a fundamental enabling technology of the global information society. Moreover, he noted that society as a whole is increasingly moving onto computers and networks and therefore things that had previously nothing to do with computers suddenly do: whether airplanes or the national power grid, these now have an important information security component to their secure functioning. This means that information security therefore has become our general security, which is almost everything. This fact explains our need for an increased focus on security and why the things we are trying to achieve here at this meeting are so important.

Friday, August 05, 2005 11:16:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the recent ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, Maria Cristina Bueti, Policy Analyst, Strategy and Policy Unit, ITU, presented a background paper entitled ITU Survey of Anti-Spam Laws and Authorities Worldwide. The survey was conducted in April 2005 and sent to ITU’s 189 Member States. The survey results, based on 58 responses received, showed that there are a number of countries that have already implemented anti-spam legislation. In some cases, countries use data protection laws or consumer protection laws to cope with spam issues. A number of countries do not have anti-spam legislation or any laws applicable to spam. A slide from her presentation is shown below.

Friday, August 05, 2005 10:58:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 04, 2005

From the Washington Post: To keep criminal hackers at bay, VeriSign, keeper of the master Internet address book, has been throwing mind-boggling amounts of money and computing firepower at security. VeriSign considers 2004 "the turning point" in the conflict because the bad guys exhibited such dramatic leaps in creativity, sophistication and focus.

 

Thursday, August 04, 2005 4:31:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 03, 2005

John Levine, Chair, IRTF Antispam Research Group (ASRG) writes in his weblog that the anti-spam Sender Policy Framework (SPF) email authentication scheme is losing market mindshare.

In a recent talk at an ITU Cybersecurity Event, Mr. Levine gave a presentation entitled The Limits of Security Technology: Lessons from the Spam Wars. In his talk, he asked the audience to reflect carefully as to how technology fits in to the overall solution. He stressed that technology can be morally and politically neutral but we need to decide exactly what it is that we want. For example, an ultimate solution to spam could impact on issues such as anonymous speech, whether we wanted virtual or physical identities, or closed or open systems. These were all tradeoffs that needed to be considered.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 8:42:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 02, 2005
 Friday, July 29, 2005

The final version of a paper commissioned by the ITU entitled A Comparative Analysis of Spam Laws: The Quest for a Model Law (PDF) has been released. The paper was authored by Derek E. Bambauer, John G. Palfrey, Jr., and David E. Abrams, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, for the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity held in Geneva, 28 June - 1 July 2005.

Executive Summary

Spam presents a significant challenge to users, Internet service providers, states, and legal systems worldwide. The costs of spam are significant and growing, and the increasing volume of spam threatens to destroy the utility of electronic mail communications.

The Chairman’s Report from the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam in July 2004 emphasized the importance of a multi-faceted approach to solving the problem of spam and named legal governance as one of the necessary means. Our paper focuses on the potential nature of the legal regulation of spam, specifically the importance of harmonizing regulations in the form of a model spam law. We agree with the Chairman that the law is only one means towards this end and we urge regulators to incorporate other modes of control into their efforts, including technical methods, market-based means, and norm-based modalities.

Spam uniquely challenges regulation because it easily transverses borders. The sender of a message, the server that transmits it, and the recipient who reads it may be located in three different states, all of which are under unique legal governance. If spam laws are not aligned in these states, enforcement will suffer because the very differences between spam laws may mean that a violation in one state is a permissible action in another. Moreover, spammers have an incentive to locate operations in places with less regulation, and the opportunity to states to create a domestic spam hosting market may engage them in a race to the bottom.

Harmonizing laws that regulate spam offers considerable benefits, insofar as a model law could assist in establishing a framework for cross-border enforcement collaboration. To those enforcing the regulation of spam, harmonization as a model law effort offers: clear guidelines, easy adoption, enhanced enforcement, stronger norms, fewer havens for spammers, and the increased sharing of best practices. If such regulators then agree that harmonization can aid legal regimes intent on curbing spam, they must initially address four critical tasks: defining prohibited content, setting default rules for contacting recipients, harmonizing existing laws, and enforcing such rules effectively. This legal approach must be concurrently matched by efforts that employ other modes of regulation, such as technical measures, user education, and market-based approaches.

Our analysis of existing spam legislation gathered by the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit evaluated these laws’ elements to determine whether they were commonly included or not, and whether provisions were uniformly implemented or varying when present. Our research documents seven instances in which extant laws strongly converge: a focus on commercial content, the mandatory disclosure of sender/advertiser/routing, bans on fraudulent or misleading content, bans on automated collection or generation of recipient addresses, the permission to contact recipients where there is an existing relationship, the requirement to allow recipients to refuse future messages, and a mix of graduated civil and criminal liability. Also documented are five key areas of disagreement which are vital to a harmonized spam law but which have evaded consensus thus far: a prior consent requirement for contacting recipients, a designated enforcer, label requirements for spam messages, the definition of spam (whether it is limited to e-mail communication, or includes other applications, such as SMS), and the jurisdictional reach of the system’s spam laws. Naturally, a harmonization effort must tackle and narrow these zones of divergence in order to succeed.

Spam laws, whether harmonized or not, are at best only part of the solution to the spam problem and must be developed in concert with technical, market, and norms-based tools if the scourge of spam is to be substantially reduced. Efforts to harmonize the legal regulation of spam can serve as one effective means to solving the unique challenges spam presents. A model spam law is possible to develop, despite the many differences among the world’s spam laws.

Friday, July 29, 2005 10:00:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Announced today on the WSIS web site is that the second Informal Consultation Meeting on Internet Governance (open to all stakeholders) will take place at the United Nations (Palais des Nations), Geneva, on 6 September 2005. Further details will be available in due time here.

Friday, July 29, 2005 9:44:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 28, 2005

Presentations in a July 2005 ICANN GAC roundtable discussion:

  • Root Server Anycast System (root server operators) provides an update of DNS root-server anycast status (103-worldwide with more planned for 2005) and the statement that root server anycast deployment is a "tremendous success".
  • Assorted Slides (Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC) provides views on deploying DNSSEC on the root server system and the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) final report comments that the "Lack of formal relationship with root server operators" is a public policy issue relevant to Internet governance. It is stated that this is "wrong" and "not a way to solve the issues about who edits the [root] zone file."
Thursday, July 28, 2005 2:51:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Internet Governance Project, an interdisciplinary consortium of academics with scholarly and practical expertise in international governance, Internet policy, and information and communication technology, has published a concept paper entitled The Future US Role in Internet Governance: 7 Points in Response to the U.S. Commerce Dept.’s “Statement of Principles”.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:26:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The ITU Council has approved that the theme for World Telecommunication Day 2006 (May 17) be Promoting Global Cybersecurity.

Here is the background of this decision as contained in the proposal to ITU Council:

The United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 2002, a resolution entitled UNGA Resolution 57/239: Creation of a global culture of cybersecurity, calling for international organizations to consider measures to foster a global culture of cybersecurity and invited Member States to develop throughout their societies a culture of cybersecurity in the application and use of information technologies. The General Assembly also stressed the necessity to facilitate the transfer of information technology and capacity-building to developing countries, in order to help them to take measures in cybersecurity.

The ITU Plenipotentiary in 2002 adopted Resolution 130: Strengthening the role of ITU in information and communication network security, instructing the Secretary General and the Directors of the Bureaux to intensify work within existing ITU study groups and inviting ITU Member States and Sector Members to participate actively in the ongoing work of the relevant ITU study groups.

In 2004, a second resolution, UNGA Resolution 58/199: Creation of a global culture of cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructure, was adopted by the United Nations on the global culture of cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructure. The General Assembly, through this Resolution, encouraged Member States, regional and international organizations that have developed strategies to deal with cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructures to share their best practices and measures that could assist other Member States in their efforts to facilitate the achievement of cybersecurity; it also stressed the necessity for enhanced efforts to close the digital divide, to achieve universal access to information and communication technologies and to protect critical information infrastructures by facilitating the transfer of information technology and capacity-building, in particular to developing countries so that all States may benefit fully from information and communication technologies for their socio-economic development.

In 2004, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) adopted Resolution 50 on Cybersecurity, requesting the ITU-T to continue to raise awareness, of the need to defend information and communication systems against the threat of cyberattack, and continue to promote cooperation among appropriate entities in order to enhance exchange of technical information in the field of information and communication network security.

In accordance with PP Resolution 130 and WTSA Resolution 50, it was proposed that ITU should take a lead role in promoting a global cybersecurity campaign. The vehicle of World Telecommunication Day can be used to build an awareness campaign in support of this objective. In implementing this campaign, ITU would work in close cooperation with organizations involved in global cybersecurity issues, including the European Network and Information Security Agency, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as other national, regional and international interested entities.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:48:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 22, 2005

Following the release of the report from the Working Group on Internet Governance, according to a Decision of PrepCom-2 all governments and other stakeholders are invited to submit written comments and proposals on Internet Governance to wsis-contributions@itu.int by 15 August 2005. Thereafter, a compilation of these contributions will be forwarded to PrepCom-3, which will be held 19-30 September 2005, together with the report of the WGIG.

Friday, July 22, 2005 5:09:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Working Group on Internet Governance has released its final report (Word, PDF).

The Report has been translated in all UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish (all Word format).

A Background Report (Word) is also made available. It will be translated into French and posted on this website in due course.

Click here (PDF) to view the Press Release.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 8:42:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Via Africa: Creating local and regional IXPs to save money and bandwidth has been released by The ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) Regulatory Reform Unit.

This booklet has three sections that seek to look at how national and regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) might be created, particularly in the African context but it also draws on lessons from elsewhere:

  • Section One looks at the African policy context out of which IXPs came and outlines the practical reasons for implementing them on the continent.
  • Section Two describes how national IXPs have been set up and deals with both the people and technology issues that have to be addressed. It also identifies ways in which the regulatory framework can be made more favourable to encourage their successful operation.
  • Section Three looks at the next logical step: how it might be possible to connect national IXPs so that data can flow between countries without needing to leave the continent. It summarizes: the discussions to date about the best approach to this task; the option chosen by AfrISPA; and what needs to happen to make it a reality.

There is also a discussion of the regulatory issues that may need to be considered and the appendices of the booklet contain a list of useful documents and references.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:16:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 30, 2005

The US government has released a significant evolution in its policy stance in a newly released U.S. Principles on the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System in the run-up to the second phase of WSIS in Tunis and the upcoming release of the Working Group on Internet Governance's report on Internet Governance.

  • The United States Government intends to preserve the security and stability of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System (DNS).  Given the Internet's importance to the world’s economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure.  As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file.
  • Governments have legitimate interest in the management of their country code top level domains (ccTLD).  The United States recognizes that governments have legitimate public policy and sovereignty concerns with respect to the management of their ccTLD.  As such, the United States is committed to working with the international community to address these concerns, bearing in mind the fundamental need to ensure stability and security of the Internet’s DNS.
  • ICANN is the appropriate technical manager of the Internet DNS.  The United States continues to support the ongoing work of ICANN as the technical manager of the DNS and related technical operations and recognizes the progress it has made to date.  The United States will continue to provide oversight so that ICANN maintains its focus and meets its core technical mission.
  • Dialogue related to Internet governance should continue in relevant multiple fora.  Given the breadth of topics potentially encompassed under the rubric of Internet governance there is no one venue to appropriately address the subject in its entirety.  While the United States recognizes that the current Internet system is working, we encourage an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders around the world in the various fora as a way to facilitate discussion and to advance our shared interest in the ongoing robustness and dynamism of the Internet.  In these fora, the United States will continue to support market-based approaches and private sector leadership in Internet development broadly.

A corresponding news article from AP is U.S. Won't Cede Control of Net Computers.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 10:54:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T has recently hosted a workshop on IPv6 organized in cooperation with the European Union’s IPv6 Task Force Steering Committee (IPv6 EU TF-SC) and the IPv6 Forum. The event, held in Geneva, between 22 to 23 June 2005, examined the current status of IPv6, with regards to rollout, policy, technology and applications. An additional aim was to promote awareness of IPv6 to countries where Internet use is relatively low. The agenda and presentations have been made available on the event web site.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 12:02:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 29, 2005

During this morning's session at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity on Information Sharing of National and Regional Approaches, Good Practices and Guidelines, Myriam DUNN, Head, International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Center for Security Studies (CSS), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland presented a background paper (PDF) on A Comparative Analysis of Cybersecurity Initatives Worldwide.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 12:14:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Luc Mathan from the relatively new Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) is giving a presentation on MAAWG's efforts to align the messaging industry stakeholders along three directives: Collaboration, Technology and Policy. The working group will address collaborating on cross-operator communications, best practices and technology to combat messaging abuse, as well as developing a cohesive point of view on public policy.  More information about MAAWG.

MAAWG members are developing a feedback loop mechanisms to deal with spam complaints between ISPs. They are also creating a contact database for service providers to be able to contact the appropriate person to deal with a messaging abuse situation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:29:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Steve Linford of the Spamhaus Project is speaking at the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity on the first day which is concentrating on countering spam. Some of his remarks:

  • Spamhaus blocks approximatley 8 billion spam messages per day
  • They estimate there are 4 million infected zombie machines which have been compromised with 60-100,000 newly infected per week
  • These are used to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Attacks
  • This is increasingly a criminal activity with "spam supermarkets"
  • Mostly American and Russian spammers using Chinese hosting. These are technically smart users who firewall their sites from their hosting companies.
  • Spammers in Russia are more criminal than US counterparts. They are involved in
  • The largest Russian ISP, Rostelecom says they cannot terminate accounts as Russian law does not permit it.
  • Australian spam laws are best in the world, penalties are high enough to make a dent in spam
  • Consumer confidence in the Internet is dropping every day
  • Spam is a cancer and it is fast killing the Internet

Some of Steve's conclusions include:

  • You must ban and not regulate spam
  • Governments must give resources to law enforcement agencies
  • Make it criminal for ISPs to host spammers
  • Require a 24 hour point of contact for all ISPs to terminate problems
  • Educate users to not reply to spam

The meeting is also being audiocast live over the Internet. Mr. Linford's talk is the beginning of Session 2.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:06:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At the start of the 21st century, our societies are increasingly dependent on information and communications technologies (ICTs) that span the globe. The ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity opens today and takes place from 28 June – 1 July 2005 at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This conference will examine the recommendations in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) first phase's Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action that relate to building confidence and security in the use of ICTs and the promotion of a global culture of cybersecurity. Now available on the meeting web site is the agenda (with links to presentations as they are given) and meeting background papers and contributions. The meeting is also being audiocast live over the Internet.

The meeting will specifically consider six broad themes in promoting international cooperative measures among governments, the private sector and other stakeholders, including:

  • information sharing of national approaches, good practices and guidelines; 
  • developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities;
  • harmonizing national legal approaches and international legal coordination;
  • technical standards;
  • privacy, data and consumer protection;
  • developing economies and cybersecurity.

The first day of the meeting will focus on countering spam as follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam held in July 2004.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 6:09:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 03, 2005

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recommended the introduction of a uniform intellectual property (IP) protection mechanism designed to further curb unauthorized registration of domain names in all new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). This came in a report by WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) on the IP implications of introducing additional generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs). The report, "New Generic Top-Level Domains: Intellectual Property Considerations", which is available at http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/reports/newgtld-ip, said that such a preventive mechanism would complement the curative relief provided by the existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).

Friday, June 03, 2005 11:57:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 27, 2005

The OECD has just published an excellent paper by Suresh RAMASUBRAMANIAN on Spam Issues in Developing Countries (PDF), which is linked to from the OECD antispam toolkit.

Friday, May 27, 2005 2:35:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At an ITU/EU (ENISA) Regional Seminar on Cybersecurity for CEE, CIS and Baltic States in Riga, Latvia, Robert Shaw of the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit has given a presentation (PDF) on the upcoming ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity which will be held June 28-July 1 2005 at ITU headquarters.

Other presentations on available on the event web site, including an update by Pernilla SKANTZ on the establishment of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:32:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Via iwar: GAO: Critical Infrastructure Protection: Department of Homeland Security Faces Challenges in Fulfilling Cybersecurity Responsibilities, May 26, 2005

While DHS has initiated multiple efforts to fulfill its responsibilities, it has not fully addressed any of the 13 responsibilities, and much work remains ahead. For example, the department established the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team as a public/private partnership to make cybersecurity a coordinated national effort, and it established forums to build greater trust and information sharing among federal officials with information security responsibilities and law enforcement entities. However, DHS has not yet developed national cyber threat and vulnerability assessments or government/industry contingency recovery plans for cybersecurity, including a plan for recovering key Internet functions. DHS faces a number of challenges that have impeded its ability to fulfill its cyber CIP responsibilities. These key challenges include achieving organizational stability, gaining organizational authority, overcoming hiring and contracting issues, increasing awareness about cybersecurity roles and capabilities, establishing effective partnerships with stakeholders, achieving two-way information sharing with these stakeholders, and demonstrating the value DHS can provide. In its strategic plan for cybersecurity, DHS identifies steps that can begin to address the challenges. However, until it confronts and resolves these underlying challenges and implements its plans, DHS will have difficulty achieving significant results in strengthening the cybersecurity of our critical infrastructures.

Complete Report...

Friday, May 27, 2005 8:50:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The 2005 ASEM Cyber Security Workshop, Seoul will be held in Republic of Korea, hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication of Korea. The ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity will follow shortly afterwards, June 29-July 1 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:42:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

H.E. Ambassador Janis Karklins (Latvia) has invited WSIS stakeholders to take part in an informal consultation on implementation and follow-up of the Plan of Action for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to take place in Room 26 of the United Nations in Geneva, on 13 June, from 10-13 and 15-18 (see invitation letter). The consultations will take place just ahead of the meeting of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance.

These consultations will concern, in particular, paras 10-11 of the draft Operational document for the Tunis phase of the Summit, and the compilation of comments on that draft. The deadline for further comments is 31 May 2005.

The consultations follow-on from those hosted by ITU's Working Group on WSIS (WG-WSIS) that were held on 2 May

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:51:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From the FTC's Operation Spam Zombies page:

Spammers use home computers to send bulk emails by the millions. They take advantage of security weaknesses to install hidden software that turns consumer computers into mail or proxy servers. They route bulk email through these "spam zombies," obscuring its true origin.

As part of a worldwide effort to prevent these abuses, the FTC announces "Operation Spam Zombies." In partnership with 20 members of the London Action Plan and 16 additional government agencies from around the world, the Commission is sending letters to more than 3000 Internet service providers (ISPs) internationally, encouraging them to take the following zombie-prevention measures:

  • block port 25 except for the outbound SMTP requirements of authenticated users of mail servers designed for client traffic. Explore implementing Authenticated SMTP on port 587 for clients who must operate outgoing mail servers.
  • apply rate-limiting controls for email relays.
  • identify computers that are sending atypical amounts of email, and take steps to determine if the computer is acting as a spam zombie. When necessary, quarantine the affected computer until the source of the problem is removed.
  • give your customers plain-language advice on how to prevent their computers from being infected by worms, trojans, or other malware that turn PCs into spam zombies, and provide the appropriate tools and assistance.
  • provide, or point your customers to, easy-to-use tools to remove zombie code if their computers have been infected, and provide the appropriate assistance.

In a later phase, the Operation plans to notify Internet providers worldwide that apparent spam zombies were identified on their systems, and urge them to implement measures to prevent that problem.

Business Guidance

Letter text translations (provided by participating agencies):

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 8:32:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 19, 2005

From Slashdot: Canada's National Task Force on Spam released its final report today. Despite prior spam actions on privacy grounds in Canada, the task force is calling for a tough new anti-spam law including penalties for failure to obtain appropriate opt-in consents before sending commercial email as well as private right of action to encourage Canadian lawsuits against spammers. Professor Michael Geist, who headed up the legal aspects of the task force, provides a good summary of the recommendations.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 7:57:03 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The US Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on certain definitions and substantive provisions under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM).

In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FTC proposes rule provisions on five topics: (1) defining the term “person,” a term used repeatedly throughout the Act but not defined there; (2) modifying the definition of “sender” to make it easier to determine which of multiple parties advertising in a single e-mail message will be responsible for complying with the Act’s “opt-out” requirements; (3) clarifying that Post Office boxes and private mailboxes established pursuant to United States Postal Service regulations constitute "valid physical postal addresses" within the meaning of the Act; (4) shortening from ten days to three the time a sender may take before honoring a recipient's opt-out request; and (5) clarifying that to submit a valid opt-out request, a recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her e-mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 4:37:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A review of market trends impacting the development of the applications architecture of the Internet in general is presented, followed by an historical review of the subject and an analysis of regulatory aspects. It concludes with a review of the state of backbone interconnection in Latin America. Carlos Silva Ponce de León, Telecommunications Policy, Volume 29, Issues 5-6 , June-July 2005, Pages 367-386

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:30:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 12, 2005

From the April 2005 ITU News (free subscription required): International Internet Connectivity:  Are poor countries subsidizing the rich?, contents include:

  • Framing the issues
  • The ITU role: The story thus far... and the future
  • What does the Working Group on Internet Governance say?
Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:01:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) is discussing how to improve current Internet governance arrangements in order to bring them more in line with the WSIS principles. In the light of these discussions, this questionnaire has been developed to allow for a structured feed-back. 

The WGIG has also opened a public discussion forum with instructions on how to use the associated Plone software.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

News on VoIP regulatory proceedings since the beginning of 2005 from the ITU-D's Regulatory Reform Unit newsroom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 11:21:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 09, 2005

Daniel Karrenberg has published an excellent and comprehensive FAQ explaining the operation of the Internet domain name system root server system.

Monday, May 09, 2005 2:45:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 04, 2005
 Monday, May 02, 2005

This article by Ian Peter looks at competing views of the historical origins of the Internet and gives his views how this relates to Internet governance.

Monday, May 02, 2005 12:20:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 22, 2005

ITU-T is hosting a workshop on IPv6 organized in cooperation with the European Union’s IPv6 Task Force Steering Committee (IPv6 EU TF-SC) and the IPv6 Forum. Here is the advanced programme.

Taking place in Geneva, between 22 to 23 June 2005, the event will examine the current status of IPv6, with regards to rollout, policy, technology and applications. An additional aim will be to promote awareness of IPv6 to countries where Internet use is relatively low. The workshop will also follow-up on recent comments sent to the Director of ITU-T’s secretariat, the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) on the management and distribution of IP addresses. .

Friday, April 22, 2005 4:59:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The World Summit in Reflection: a Deliberative Dialogue on WSIS brought to you by the journal Information Technologies and International Development and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School.

Friday, April 22, 2005 8:16:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 21, 2005

WorldSummit2005.org in an article entitled Internet Governance Debate Moving to Next Stage reports that the Working Group on Internet Governance just completed its third meeting in Geneva at the United Nations.

"The discussion is now moving from mapping the internet governance landscape of institutions and stakeholders towards assessments and recommendations. Monday’s session was conducted as an open consultation, yesterday and today the group was meeting in private. Expectedly, a few conflicts surfaced again, which mainly circled around the role of different stakeholders, the question of a new organisational framework, and the multilateralization of the core Internet resources. But progress can be observed."

More...

Thursday, April 21, 2005 10:34:32 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Houlin Zhao, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector presented ITU and IPv6 (PowerPoint) at the Global IPv6 Summit in Beijing on 5 April 2005. In a related article in China Daily entitled IP Address Supply Facing Crunch.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 10:04:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The Working Group on Internet Governance opened its third meeting yesterday at the United Nations in Geneva. Output of the real-time captioning for the Open Consultations held on April 18 2005 are available [morning session] and [afternoon session] on the WGIG website.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005 8:09:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 18, 2005

Identifying key regulatory and policy issues to ensure open access to regional backbone infrastructure initiatives in Africa by Paul Hamilton and TeleGeography. This report was commissioned by the Global Information Communication and Technologies Policy Division (CITPO) of the World Bank in June 2004. It provided inputs into a conference convened by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 28–30 July 2004 to review the status of all current telecommunications infrastructure initiatives within the Southern and East African subregions, as well as the interrelated regulatory, policy and funding issues and to plot the way forward with stakeholders. From World Bank via my weblog

Monday, April 18, 2005 4:14:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 14, 2005

ITU Session on Internet Governance (PDF) was presented by Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, on 17 February 2005 in a session before the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG's) open consultations held at the United Nations. The subject of the talk was Internet Governance in context of evolution of telecommunications technologies and policies.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 11:50:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Recently ITU-T Study Group 2 (SG2) determined a a new draft Recommendation to clarify the management of the top level domain “.int”. The draft Recommendation (Word), named E.int (Word) is now considered stable and will be sent to the ITU membership. Unless comments are received, it would be expected to be approved at the December 2005 meeting of SG2. The draft Recommendation (Word) also contains a liaison from SG2 which has been transmitted to ICANN.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005 11:39:42 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The ITU Council Working Group on WSIS held a meeting on 13-14 December 2004 discussing ITU activities relevant to the World Summit on the Information Society. The Working Group is to prepare, based on inputs of ITU Member States and Sector Members, as well as those of the Secretary?General and the Directors of the Bureaux and submit to ITU Council proposals on  necessary ITU actions to help accomplish the goals and objectives articulated in the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.

Some of the input documents to that meeting relate to Internet governance including:

Tuesday, March 01, 2005 11:51:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |