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 Wednesday, 13 April 2005

ITU has just released its new statistics on global broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants as of 1 January 2005. Korea and Hong Kong, China have kept the top rankings they received in 2004. The Netherlands makes an impressive move from 9th in ranking in 2004 to 3rd this year. Denmark also moves up two slots to 4th. Canada drops to 5th from 3rd in 2004. Switzerland moves from 10th in 2004 to 6th this year. Israel moves to 12th this year. The USA drops from 13th in 2004 to 16th in 2005. France has moved up fast in the rankings and is now just behind the USA followed by the UK at 15th.

Wednesday, 13 April 2005 20:47:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 08 March 2005

In a press release, Internet provider XS4ALL today launched a court case against Dutch State, seeking compensation for the cost of making its network ready for wiretaps. In the press release, it states: “Since the end of 2001 XS4ALL has invested about half a million euro to comply with the requirements for lawful interception, a significant percentage of the net profit. Because of the rapidly increasing customer-base and the even stronger increase in the volume of Internet usage, XS4ALL will have to make many new high investments in the near future to comply with wiretapping legislation. XS4ALL considers it unreasonable that these costs are not reimbursed, since these investments are made purely in the general interest of law enforcement and do not benefit the providers in any way.“

Tuesday, 08 March 2005 13:44:58 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 04 March 2005

In the latest Phishing Activity Trends Report (January 2005) from the Anti-Phishing Working Group, it's reported:

“In January, there were 12,845 new, unique phishing email messages reported to the APWG. This is a substantial increase of 42% over the unique reports for December, and represents an average monthly growth rate of 30% since July (2,625). The number of phishing web sites supporting these attacks rose even more dramatically. In January, there were 2,560 unique sites reported, a jump of 47% over December (1740) and more than double the number reported just three months ago in October (1186).”

Friday, 04 March 2005 16:32:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 03 March 2005

In this article, Joanne VanAuken says the recent formation of the Voice over IP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) may help increase VoIP security by increasing security awareness and providing free testing tools. While VoIP technology is advancing toward becoming a viable and potentially critical infrastructure for businesses and governments, it also carries the threat of hacking and eavesdropping. Application-level attacks are inevitable and voice spam is also a legitimate worry. If not implemented and secured, VoIP technology will open networks and organizations to increased risk. Ms. VanAuken hopes the VOIPSA will gain acceptance in the security community through vendor collaboration.

Thursday, 03 March 2005 12:49:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 02 March 2005

This keynote talk (PDF) by Duane Northcott dating from 2003, describes some of the shifts underway in the forces that shape computing including:

  • Computing defined by Moore’s Law giving way to new model driven by bandwidth
  • Storage can make up for the lack of unlimited, ubiquitous bandwidth

This enables a new computing architectural model which provides for consolidation of clients through remote display technology and mobility through virtualized computing environments (VCEs).

This paradigm shift (which will be driven separately by security issues) will provide major new opportunities for service providers to provide virtualized computing environments and not just connectivity. This suggest that a more centralized computing model with dumb virtual computing environment terminals on the edges may win out yet over today's Internet end-to-end model. There are others who suggest this is where Google's strategy is heading.

Wednesday, 02 March 2005 12:32:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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 (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, 02 March 2005 11:39:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 01 March 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, 01 March 2005 11:51:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 28 February 2005
Monday, 28 February 2005 17:29:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 24 November 2004
A recent report by KPMG Australia (press release) illustrates the powerful impact that broadband is having and will continue to have on national economies. The report gives one of the clearest pictures to date as to why broadband should be a national priority for all countries and not just Australia. KPMG has gathered information from recent research and empirical evidence and produced a report entitled Leaders or Laggards? Australia's Broadband Future (PDF). [via CommsWatch]
Wednesday, 24 November 2004 22:36:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 18 November 2004
Attacks using massive botnets of compromised PCs are becoming more and more sophisticated and organised gangs are more likely than ever to be behind online attacks, according to a new VeriSign report. The trend appears to be towards more sophisticated attacks by more organised groups, VeriSign said in its twice-yearly Internet Security Intelligence Briefing, released on Tuesday. The criminal groups increasingly rely on massive numbers of compromised home PCs to launch their attacks, said Mark Griffiths, vice-president for VeriSign.
Thursday, 18 November 2004 10:45:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ZDNet has an interview with Richard Clarke where he discusses cybersecurity issues in Straight Talking on Terror. [via Slashdot]

Thursday, 18 November 2004 10:22:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 01 November 2004

The Economist asks: "Will charging based on content come to the internet? The history of transportation offers clues."

In a recently published paper, Andrew Odlyzko, a professor at the University of Minnesota, divines lessons from the history of transportation to explain the telecoms industry's attraction to price discrimination, and what it may mean in future. Of course, in general telecoms, companies already exploit variations in what customers are willing to pay for digital bits, depending on whether they take the form of a cable television programme or an SMS text message. On the internet, however, charging according to content would mark a big change.

On the net, discrimination might mean one price for web and e-mail traffic, another for instant messaging and still others for telephone calls, music and films. Is it likely? Mr Odlyzko hopes not, although history strongly suggests that the temptation exists. He thinks that price discrimination might not be in telecoms companies' interests after all. Unlike on canals, toll roads and so forth, internet capacity is abundant. Internet service is therefore a commodity. Simpler, flat-rate pricing, he argues, is likely to increase usage: discrimination would turn some users away.

Indeed, he says, distinguishing between different types of traffic would mean so much technical rejigging that the openness of the internet would be destroyed. Because the internet is decentralised and simply priced, it is cheap for many other networks - run by big companies, universities and telecoms firms - to connect to it. This in turn gives the internet a great capacity for innovation. Price discrimination could jeopardise all this. While content delivery does lend itself to a closed network, connectivity does not. Open networks are likely to win because they can attract more revenues from users,Mr Odlyzko says. Is this wishful thinking? History, as he shows, is full of examples of successful price discrimination. The telecoms companies may yet think it worth a try.

[via E M E R G I C . o r g]

Monday, 01 November 2004 13:17:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) conference, a gathering of Internet Service Provider (ISP) engineers and vendors convenes three times a year for mostly technical conversation along with social networking. The recent NANOG conference in Reston Virginia saw some unusually direct talk about Spam and the ISPs that tolerate it from America Online's Postmaster, Charles Stiles. [via CircleID]
Monday, 01 November 2004 13:04:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 October 2004

The UK mobile phone operators, O2, Orange, TMobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and 3, have today appointed a body to oversee the self-classification of new forms of adult commercial content on mobiles. The new body, which is named the Independent Mobile Classification Body (IMCB), is a subsidiary of premium rate regulator ICSTIS, and has been formed for this purpose. It has now launched a classification framework (press release (Word)) against which providers of commercial content to mobile subscribers will be able to self-classify new forms of content such as still images and video clips. [Via Ewan Sutherland's blog]

Wednesday, 27 October 2004 02:22:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Lawrence Solum has posted another example of a study showing how ISPs can take down Internet content without any justification.

The Bits of Freedom group, a non-profit Dutch digital rights advocacy organization, recently completed a study to show how easy it is to compel ISPs to disable a customer's web site. They opened an account with 10 different Dutch ISPs and uploaded text from the famous author Multatuli, from 1871. The text stated that the work belonged to the public domain (Multatuli died in 1881, 117 years ago). They then created a fake society to act as the copyright holder and sent take down notices to all the ISPs from a Hotmail e-mail account. 7 of the 10 ISPs took the site down without even having looked at the site. 1 ISP forwarded the customer's information to the fake plaintiff, even though that information was never asked for. In all cases, the customer was informed, but few ISPs sent the full complaint to the customer, and gave only a very short amount of time to the customer to reply. One ISP gave the customer only 3 hours to respond before it removed the material. Only one ISP requested verification of the fake plaintiff's identity because of the dubious hotmail e-mail address.

Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:10:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The government of India's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications, has released its broadband policy. During their public consulations, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit provided its broadband background research and case studies on promoting broadband to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). [via Om Malik on Broadband]

Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:24:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 12 October 2004
Tuesday, 12 October 2004 11:35:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Tuesday, 12 October 2004 11:34:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 08 October 2004

Google as the Networked Computer from E M E R G I C . o r g. An extract:

"Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker wrote in a recent report on Google: “Particularly, with the launch of Gmail, we became intrigued at the possibility that Google could create a distributed computing model layered over user-generated content. Right now users can have 1GB of webmail storage—but with potentially tens of thousands of servers, and commensurately cheap storage space, we wonder about the possibility of Google providing a thin application “desktop” that resides on the browser, where users could jot brief notes (GWord?), do basic calculations (GExcel?), and of course, search. The April 2004 registration of by Google could lend some credibility to this line of thinking. Ultimately, we believe the company could have a significant opportunity ahead of it in Search / Find / Obtain well beyond the domain.”

Are we heading toward a virtualized computing environment, as argued in this talk by Duane Northcutt CTO, Silicon Image, Inc, entitled Mega-Gates, Mega-Bytes, & Mega-Bits Per Second: Three major forces and how they are changing computing (PDF).

Friday, 08 October 2004 20:54:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |