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 Wednesday, April 27, 2005

CAPTEF (Conférence des administrations des postes et des télécommunications d’expression française ) Member States adopted a declaration recognizing the importance of the fight against spam at a meeting held in Paris between the 29th and 30th of April 2005. The main purpose of this meeting on "CAPTEF Internet" was to present the various methodologies adopted by the Member States for securing information systems, fighting spam and managing Internet domain names.

The final declaration emphasizes the collection of national contacts responsible for different areas in the fight against spam, which is to be disseminated to international organizations (OECD, ITU, etc.), and the reinforcement of cooperation and international coordination for sharing information on legislation, specific country needs, and anti-spam technologies.

Nineteen countries are currently members of CAPTEF: Benign, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Central Africa, Congo, Côte.d'ivoire, Djibouti, France, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Maurice, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Chad, and Togo. Six other countries: Algeria, the Comoros, Guinea, Morocco, Tunisia, and Democratic Republic of Congo take part as observers.

For further details, see Direction du développement des médias.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:32:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

FCC Chief Wants 911 Service for Internet Phones: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said on Tuesday he would soon propose requiring Internet-based telephone providers to offer their customers emergency 911 dialing services.

After hearing reports of consumers having trouble getting through to the police when dialing from an Internet telephone, known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), Martin said he wanted to address the problem quickly.

Calls to 911 with traditional telephones provide emergency service dispatchers with the caller's number and address. VOIP providers have limited access to the systems connecting those calls to primary emergency lines and location information is not always available.

"I immediately asked our staff to develop a plan to address this issue," Martin said during a House subcommittee hearing. The proposal would "hopefully require they (VOIP providers) have 911 services being provided," he said.

After the hearing, Martin told reporters he planned to offer a proposal to the other three FCC commissioners so they could vote on it in May, possibly at the May 19 FCC open meeting.

He declined to offer more details about his plan. Martin said since the FCC insulated the Internet phone carriers from many state regulations, the agency had an obligation to act.

In related news, Verizon announced on Tuesday that it would start making its 911 network in New York City available to all voice over Internet Protocol providers this summer.

From Reuters and News.com [via my weblog]

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:25:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Cybercrime Costs Billions But How to Report It?

Cybercrime costs societies billions of dollars every year, but it is not easy for European citizens to report that their digital identity has been stolen, according to anti-virus software companies and police.

Britain's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) three weeks ago estimated the nation's cost of computer crime at $4.7 billion a year. Yet common computer break-ins such as hacking, phishing and identity theft must be reported to the local police.

Britain's police offer online forms for citizens to report "non-emergency minor crimes" including theft, criminal vandalism and damage to motor vehicles, but there is no special category for computer crime.

Elsewhere in Europe, citizens are also mostly referred to local police forces to report these crimes.

"It really is a problem. These crimes are global, but citizens work with local police. Most of the police are trained to catch bank robbers rather than Internet robbers," said Mikko Hypponen at anti-virus company F-Secure in Finland, where citizens have to report to local police.

Dutch police have admitted that most are ill equipped to deal with cybercrime.

"Victims of high-tech crime experience this every day," wrote Pascal Hetzscholdt, policy adviser of the Dutch police's digital investigation unit, in a recent article for a police detectives magazine.

"When reporting a crime, they find that the police have big problems with taking and processing the technical aspects of the incident. Police and the public prosecution also have trouble estimating the importance," Hetzscholdt said.

Weak police skills lead to low interest, others say. From Reuters [via my weblog]

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:43:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 26, 2005

UK laws are failing to deter spam: UK spam laws are failing to stop spammers, say campaigners. According to anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, loopholes in UK law render legislation useless in the fight against spammers. The majority of spam originates from the US but there are a handful of hardcore UK-based spammers. Since the law came into force over a year ago no UK spammers have been fined or prosecuted.

Internet service provider AOL is becoming frustrated by the lack of effective anti-spam laws in the UK. "While the volume of spam originating in the UK may be lower than many countries, strong anti-spam legislation sends the right signal," said a spokesman for AOL. "We would like more legal avenues in the UK to hit spammers where it really hurts - in the pocket," he said.

The problem lies in loopholes which effectively give spammers the right to spam any address in the UK, said Steve Linford, who heads up Spamhaus. "British law allows spammers to spam business addresses and it is up to spammers to determine whether an address is a private one or a business one," he told the BBC News website. "Apparently the Department of Trade and Industry was told that British businesses wanted spam, although we have never heard of any," he said.

The job of enforcing the spam law falls to the Office of the Information Commissioner, which admits that it finds it hard to deal with the problem. "It is hard to prove anything because it is difficult to track spammers down. The power of the Information Commissioner is sadly limited although he is calling for greater powers," said a spokesperson.

Even if the Information Commissioner manages to track a UK-based spammer down, the penalty of fines up to £5,000 is not harsh enough thinks Mr Linford. "Some spammers make that amount in a day," he said. UK spammers account for less than 2% of all junk e-mails with the lion's share of spam coming from the US.

From BBC via [my weblog]

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 1:51:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ENISA’s Seat Agreement signed in Heraklion: ENISA Seat Agreement was signed today in Heraklion, Crete, by ENISA’s Executive Director, Mr Andrea Pirotti, and Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Anastasios Nerantzis, in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister Mr Kostas Karamanlis. High level representatives of the Greek Government and Parliament attended the event as well as representatives from the Foundation for Research and Technology, FORTH, and from the ENISA Management Board. From ENISA [via my weblog]

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 12:55:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A Refutation of Metcalfe's Law (PDF) and a better estimate for the value of networks and network interconnections by Andrew Odlyzko and Benjamin Tilly.

  • There have been and continue to be controversies about interconnection policies of ISPs. A particularly sensitive issue is the frequent refusal of large ISPs to peer (roughly speaking, exchange traffic freely without payment) with smaller carriers. (The refusal of AOL to interconnect instant messenger systems is very similar.) This behavior has often been attributed to abusive exploitation of market power. But there may be a more innocent explanation, based on the economic value that interconnection generates. As we show in Section 2, if Metcalfe's Law held, then interconnection would produce equal value for any two network, irrespective of their relative sizes. Hence refusal to interconnect without payment would have to be due to either obtuseness on the part of management or strategic gaming. However, if network value scales like n log(n), as we argue (or by most other rules of this type, the quadratic growth of Metcalfe's Law is very unusual in this regard) then relative gains from interconnection depend on the sizes of the networks. In this case the smaller network gains considerably more than the larger one. This produces an incentive for larger networks to refuse to interconnect without payment, a very common phenomenon in the real economy.

  • Metcalfe's Law and Reed's Law both significantly overstate the value of a communication network. In their place we propose another rough rule, that the value of a network of size n grows like n log(n). This rule, while not meant to be exact, does appear to be consistent with historical behavior of networks with regard to interconnection, and it captures the advantage that general connectivity offers over broadcast networks that deliver content. It also helps explain the failure of the dot-com and telecom ventures, since it implies network effects are not as strong as had been hoped for.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 8:17:14 AM (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 March 2005 issue of Business Communications Review, pp. 20–21 has an interesting article entitled Which NGN? that debates different visions of the future of the Internet:

  • But this all could change. Major moves are afoot to radically alter the way the Internet operates. If certain organizations and people have their way, the Internet will evolve to look considerably more like the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or today’s mobile/cellular networks. And this could happen much sooner than you might think.
  • To facilitate this migration, many carriers started participating in a major international standards development effort. Working through an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Study Group, the carriers (with vendor and government assistance) are developing their own blueprint that they call the “Next Generation Network” (NGN). Intense standards work is under way at the ITU and other groups such as the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) to further the integration and interoperability of IP networks with the PSTN and mobile networks.
  • Architecturally, the ITU’s NGN relies heavily on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework, developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)/3GPP2 for 3G/UMTS and CDMA mobile networks. The IMS has been extended to cover wireline facilities, to create a converged, seamless mobile user experience. The ITU NGN also mandates IPv6, and uses traffic prioritization end-to-end to deliver service quality. It requires reservation and commitment of network resources before connections are established.

Although the article suggest a conflict of vision on NGN standards, this post also notes that the ITU and IETF are exploring ways of cooperating on NGN standardization. Both ITU's FGNGN (Focus Group on Next Generation Networks) and Study Group 13 (Next Generation Networks) are meeting in the coming weeks at ITU to advance NGN standardization.

Friday, April 22, 2005 4:55:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest issue of the WDR e-Brief, an electronic newsletter with pointers to the latest news from the World Dialogue on Regulation is available:

  • "The World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies is concerned with regulation and governance for network economies. We conduct research, facilitate online dialogue and discussion among experts, and publish and distribute papers, reports and other relevant information. The dialogue theme for the current research cycle is diversifying participation in network development."
Friday, April 22, 2005 2:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Telecommunications Magazine has an article on ITU's recent Ubiquitous Network Societies workshop.

  • So what does ubiquitous really mean? One take has a future where everything is connected to everything else by some type of wireless network. Alongside this is a future that sees superconvergence of everything from fixed to mobile networks spanning multi-platforms, multi-functions and multi-applications.
  • In short, it sounds like the long-held dream of all telecom professionals everywhere, providing services and applications to everyone regardless of their location. “Technology and network access will become an afterthought to daily activities,” predicts [ITU Secretary-General Yoshio] Utsumi.
Friday, April 22, 2005 11:04:33 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Bleepblog has news of the Skype VoIP Cyberphone.

Friday, April 22, 2005 8:55:18 AM (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)  #     | 

According to an article in The Australian, the Australian Communications Authority will launch a year-long trial starting May 5, 2005 of ENUM, in conjunction with Australia's internet administration authority, AusRegistry.

Friday, April 22, 2005 7:59:39 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 21, 2005

Research paper: On selecting a technology evolution path for broadband access networks, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 72, Issue 4, May 2005, Pages 449-470, Soo-Hyeon Yoon, Moon-Gil Yoon and Jinjoo Lee

Thursday, April 21, 2005 3:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From The Arizona Republic:

"It's the next Internet scam, and it could be the most menacing.

The reason: Even experienced Internet users can become victims and not know it.

The ploy is called pharming - a play off "phishing," the previous Internet fraud - and it involves highly skilled hackers who secretly redirect users' computers from financial sites to the scammers' fake ones, where they steal passwords and other personal information. Even the Web address looks the same."

More...

Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:47:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to new ITU research, here are the top 10 mobile operators by proportionate subscribers in the world, as of December 2004. China Mobile is in first place with over 204 million subscribers.

Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:25:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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

Niklas Zennström's keynote presentation (PowerPoint) entitled A Vision For Global Telephony from the Voice on the Net Canada 2005 conference. [via Jeff Pulver Blog]

Mobile | VoIP | Wireless
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 2:57:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Australian Communications Authority Vision 20/20 project's final report is available on the project website. The Vision 20/20 project was a foresight project, designed to develop a greater understanding about the future of communications and the consequences for regulation. Following the preliminary report released in August 2004, the final report:

  • provides a holistic framework to examine the future strategic landscape
  • identifies the best possible outcomes and pre-conditions
  • covers the emerging IP-based architecture, digital content and convergent business models in more depth
  • provides a more substantive assessment of the issues related to digital participation
  • places current regulatory assumptions under more scrutiny and
  • provides possible direction on strategic action.

The project has been a collaborative project, with approximately 200 people in Australia and internationally having participated through interviews, workshops and discussion.  The Australian Communications Authority hopes the report will contribute to strategic thinking and discussion about future regulatory approaches within government, industry and the wider community. The project and presentation page now includes notes from a Telecommunications & Disability Consumer Representation (TEDICORE) workshop held in November 2004.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 11:41:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

VoIP and ENUM, Om Malik and Stuart note that Lenn Pryor, Channel 9 founder, is leaving Microsoft and joining Skype. VoIP and ENUM also points to news of SkypeMobile in MobileMag:

At the Voice On the Net (VON) conference in Toronto, Skype Technologies co-founder and CEO Niklas Zennstrom reported that a mobile version of Skype will be available this year.

“We will encourage hardware manufacturers to deploy Skype on their devices.” said Zennstrom. SkypeMobile for mobile devices (our unofficial name for the new Skype) will be targeted to hardware manufacturers for integration into new dual-mode (GPRS + WiFi) mobile devices once made available to carriers. Our guess is that whichever manufacturer will adopt Skype first is the platform SkypeMobile will be released for.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 6:25:26 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

Skype is proudly announcing its 100 millionth download. Recently, Richard Stastny pointed to some new stats giving a breakdown of the top Skype economies (April 2005), which looks like this if we graph it.

Another interesting look is to combine this number with the number of registered users (35 million according to this in April 2005) which offers the possibility to look at Skype users as a function of population. This shows that the largest relative percentage of Skype users are from Israel then Taiwan, China followed by Denmark.

Monday, April 18, 2005 9:39:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

According to Wired Magazine, the U.S. military has assembled the world's most formidable hacker posse: a super-secret, multimillion-dollar weapons program that may be ready to launch bloodless cyberwar against enemy networks -- from electric grids to telephone nets. The group's existence was revealed during a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month (PDF). Military leaders from U.S. Strategic Command, or Stratcom, disclosed the existence of a unit called the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, or JFCCNW.

Monday, April 18, 2005 9:05:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

Via CommsWatch comes the news that The Creative Archive, a BBC led initiative, is to provide access to public service audio and video archives in a way that allows the British public to find, share, watch, listen and re-use the archive as a fuel for their own creative endeavours. "In other words, you can rip, mix and share the BBC. It's a great idea and you can read all about it on the official web site and in a "Guardian" article".

Monday, April 18, 2005 3:21:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T Workshop on NGN in collaboration with IETF will be held in Geneva at ITU Headquarters on 1 - 2 May 2005. The workshop will also serve as an important meeting point for ITU-T and IETF management.

The overall objectives of the workshop are to explore specific NGN issues that impact both the ITU-T and the IETF to better understand the work underway in the two organizations and to identify areas where actions could be taken between the ITU-T and IETF to further coordinate their work. Six sessions will each be co-chaired by an ITU representative and a representative from IETF. Topics will include requirements and functional architecture; nomadicity and mobility; QoS, control and signalling capabilities; network management; security capabilities and evolution.

The workshop, the second on NGN in 2005, is an example of the way in which ITU-T is seeking to engage all interested parties in work towards the development of worldwide standards for NGN. Objectives of the workshop include:

  • To explore specific NGN issues that impact both the ITU-T and the IETF to better understand the work underway in the two organizations; and
  • To identify those areas where actions could be taken between the ITU-T and the IETF to further should coordinate their NGN-related work., and to seek to reach agreement on any actions to be taken to coordinate the work of the two organizations and perhaps establish joint activities.

Also see the ITU press release:

The objectives of the workshop are to report the progress of ITU’s work on NGN and explore specific issues that impact both the ITU and the IETF in order to better understand the work underway in the two organizations and to identify areas where action can be taken to make further progress.

Houlin Zhao, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau notes that, "We have made tremendous progress, thanks to the support of ITU members and members of other standards developing organizations such as IETF, ETSI and ATIS. The momentum that this work has achieved will allow the ICT industry to develop a raft of new products and services on a much more powerful and dynamic infrastructure based on globally accepted standards."

Monday, April 18, 2005 1:28:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 14, 2005

From VoIP and ENUM comes the news that Switzerland has started an ENUM trial. For more information see Swiss ENUM (German only at this time).

Thursday, April 14, 2005 4:00:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

CNET has an interview with Paul Kurtz, the executive director of the US-based Cyber Security Industry Alliance.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 3:04:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An experts workshop on Ubiquitous Network Societies was held from 6 to 8 April 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland at ITU Headquarters. The Chair's Report from the meeting is available here. Workshop presentations can be downloaded here. The background and thematic papers presented at the workshop include:

Thematic/Background Papers

Country Case Studies

Thursday, April 14, 2005 12:02:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

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)  #     | 

From the Advanced Video Coding (AVC) Alliance: AVC is the new generation compression algorithm for consumer digital video. Compared to the current industry standard MPEG-2, AVC is at least twice as efficient at all bit rates. This means that AVC will open up channels to the end user that were previously closed for digital video services at the right quality. AVC offers significantly higher video resolution at the same bit rate, or the same video quality with half the bit rate that is required for MPEG-2. This will enable attractive new products and services to be introduced by all players in the value chain.

AVC is the result of work started in the ITU and in MPEG, completed in the Joint Video Team (JVT) made up from experts of the two organizations. The algorithm is published as H.264 by the ITU, while ISO/IEC published it as MPEG-4 Part 10.

The primary application of AVC is in new video services where MPEG-2 is less suitable, especially where limited bandwidth is available. Examples are mobile applications, IPTV over ADSL and HDTV in Europe, where spectrum is particularly scarce. Recently, the DVB Steering Board approved the AVC implementation guideline specification, which was prepared by the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) Technical Module. The specification has been sent to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) pending formal
standardization.

For more information, see Wikipedia's H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 9:27:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 13, 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, April 13, 2005 8:47:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 08, 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, March 08, 2005 1:44:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 04, 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, March 04, 2005 4:32:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 03, 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, March 03, 2005 12:49:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 02, 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, March 02, 2005 12:32:46 PM (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 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)  #     |