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Tuesday, August 04 2015 @ 06:56 PM CDT
Wednesday, February 12 2014 @ 08:42 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
For more than a decade there has been active resistance in some quarters to the continuing custody by the U.S. of the root domain registries of the Internet. Those directories (which control the routing of Internet traffic into and out of nations) are administered by ICANN, which in turn exists under the authority of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Today, Neelie Kroes, the strong-willed European Commission Vice-President in charge of the E.C.’s Digital Agenda, has put the question of “Internet Governance” (read: control of these registries) back into the news. Specifically, Kroes announced in a press release that the Commission will pursue a “role as honest broker in future global negotiations on Internet Governance.”
Monday, October 14 2013 @ 04:36 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
The unexpected disclosures of NSA activities by Edward Snowden presents a splendid example of U.S. government, as well as popular, indifference to world opinion. As part of its efforts to control the political damage of the embarrassing revelations, the Obama administration repeatedly stressed that only foreign nationals had been the targeted. As the breathtaking breadth of the data accessed and analyzed became clear, this rationale raised the question of how the foreign citizens - and even leaders - of U.S. allies might feel about being considered to be fair game for the NSA’s attention.
The answer to that question is that they weren’t happy. Nor, as we will see, were a group of NGOs that had no reason to think they were targeted at all.
Saturday, November 11 2006 @ 05:18 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Once upon a time, there was something new called "the Internet," and it was an unknown quantity. While some guessed what it could become, most did not. Famously, Mark Andreessen - of Mosaic, and later Netscape fame - and Tim Berners-Lee did, while Bill Gates did not. Less publicly, those that helped to create something that came to be called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - or ICANN - did, and the standards analogue of Bill Gates - the International Telecommunications Union - or ITU - did not.
The result was that ICANN came to control a small but vital piece of the Internet, called the root directories, while the ITU, a venerable global telecommunications standards organization existing under the aegis of the United Nations, and tracing its origins to 1865, did not, although perhaps it could have laid claim to those essential elements had it appreciated their future importance at the time.
And that road not taken, as Robert Frost once said, has made all the difference.
The almost haphazard way in which the future control of the root directories of the Internet was decided has become almost the stuff of legends (one of many versions may be found here). By some lights, the ITU would have been the logical home for the directories to reside, but regardless of your favorite interpretation of the actual events, that was not to be, and the ITU lost out.
Thursday, July 27 2006 @ 09:23 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
A topic I've been following for about a year now is the struggle over "Internet governance," which has translated most directly during that time period into the following question: "will the US Department of Commerce give up control of the root directories of the Internet or won't it?" The debate over that question sadly monopolized the World Summit on the Internet Society (WSIS) for most of the life of that initiative (to date), and promises to continue to do so.
That's a shame, because the WSIS initiative was founded to bring the benefits of information technology and Internet access to all of the peoples of the world. Appropriately, it's administered by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under the auspices of the United Nations, and if you're interested you can follow what's happened (and hasn't happened) over the past year by scrolling through the news stories, comments and blog entries availalbe in this folder, or by scanning this issue of the Consortium Standards Bulletin.
As you'll see from the materials in either location, ICANN's stewardship of the root directories is up for renewal (or termination) at the end of September of this year. Comments were earlier submitted on what to do when September has run its course, and a public meeting was held two days ago on the question of whether or not to renew the ICANN Memorandum of Understanding, or to put the job out to bid.
According to The Register's Kieren McCarthy, that meeting "should go down in Internet history," as the moment in time when the U.S. government "conceded that it can no longer expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over the internet." But the article then goes on to say:
However, assistant commerce secretary John Kneuer, the US official in charge of such matters, also made clear that the US was still determined to keep control of the net's root zone file - at least in the medium-term.
"The historic role that we announced that we were going to preserve is fairly clearly articulated: the technical verification and authorisation of changes to the authoritative root," Kneuer explained....
Tuesday, June 27 2006 @ 09:51 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
For some time I have been covering the topic of Internet Governance, both in the macro (and more meaningful) sense of ensuring that both the Internet and the Web fulfill the incredible promise that they hold for the advancement of all humanity everywhere, as well as in the micro, and more political sense of who should control the root directories of the Internet - a more symbolic than substantive question of control.
My most detailed coverage can be found in the November 2005 issue of the Consortium Standards Bulletin, titled WSIS and the Governance of the Internet, which I wrote in the run up to the second plenary meeting, and closing event of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), an ambitious initiative launched by the United Nations and administered by the ITU to to bridge the digital divide between the haves and the have-nots.
That second meeting was held in Tunis, Tunisia, and was overshadowed by the ongoing political spat over who should control the root directories of the Internet - small databases that include the two letter national identifiers that end domain names and help direct Internet traffic to the appropriate geographical target. Currently, those domains are under the control of ICANN, which is in turn empowered to administer the directories under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Telecommuncations and Information Administration, a branch of of the United States Department of Commerce.
That subjection of a vital, if small, element of the Internet infrastructure to the control of a single nation achieved increasing significance as the Bush administration adopted an increasingly "go it alone" attitude in the post-9/11 world, and the political brouhaha that built up over the issue after the Department of Commerce announced in the summer before the Tunis summit that it would not, as earlier promised, relinquish control of the root directories built into a resounding crescendo that opershadowed, and indeed overpowered, any real progress that might otherwise have been accomplished at Tunis.
The upshot was that the opposition caved to the U.S. on the eve of the summit, taking away as a sop the formation of a new Working Group on Internet Governance, which is now in formation, leaving control of the root directories in U.S. hands.
Now, however, another time-sensitive event is looming: the expiration of the MOU itself, opening the door for debate over whether ICANN itself should remain the indirect custodian of the root domains (the domains are actually administered by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, or IANA), or whether the contract should be turned over to another contractor (if you'd like to know the full details of how things operate, see the Feature Article from the September CSB, titled WSIS, ICANN and the Future of the Internet).
Sunday, December 04 2005 @ 11:10 AM CST
Contributed by: updegrove
Two weeks ago, the U.S. pulled off an Internet governance coup in Tunisia. Today, ICANN's Board of Directors is meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. In between, among other things, ICANN was hit with three new law suits relating to how it does its job. If it's not one thing, it's another.
It's been just over two weeks since the World Summit for the Information Society folded up its tents (literally) in Tunis. I've been following the WSIS process for two years, and cumulating blog entries and news items for the last six months here. I also dedicated this November's issue of the Consortium Standards Bulletin to the "compromise" that left the root zone of the Internet to the management of the U.S., and created a new Internet Governance Forum to accommodate the desires of the rest of the world to participate in decision making regarding the future use and impact of the Internet.
Now that everyone is back home, how is it going? Here are a few notes and reports from all over that give a sense of what's been happening.
Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 11:26 AM CST
Contributed by: updegrove
19,000 people went to Tunis to figure out how to bridge the Digital Divide between the first and the third world. How could the hundreds of press representatives there have found virtually nothing about open source worth reporting?
Friday, November 18 2005 @ 11:28 AM CST
Contributed by: updegrove
In the run up to the Tunis Summit, someone blinked on the face-off over
Internet governance. The questions is, who - the U.S.? The opposition?
Or maybe both? For now, its all spin.
Saturday, October 29 2005 @ 01:30 PM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
The future of the Internet won't be decided in Tunis in a few weeks, but who will decide the future of the Internet may be. Here's how you can tell the U.S. Ambassador what you think about that.
Saturday, October 01 2005 @ 11:33 AM CDT
Contributed by: updegrove
In an action which the White House will probably call an another
example of "Old Europe" in action, the EU has broken ranks with the US
over Internet governance.
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Quote of the Day
“Open standards are simply better for developers
-Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, announcing the SIG's first standard See all Quotes
Latest NewsStandardisation process should be open, study showsGijs HilleniusEU Joinup
August 04, 2105 - Organisations setting ICT standards should be open, as this improves their standards and contributes to their implementation in software, concludes a group of Swedish researchers....
The study provides important insights for legislators and policy makers, the researchers explain. ICT policies should take into account the interactions between standards and their implementations in software.
The group has found an ideal example, they say, that illustrates the affect software implementation and standardisation organisations have on each another.
Their study looks in detail at the RDFa XML and HTML metadata standard and its implementation in the Drupal content management system. By tracking comments and contributions from Drupal developers on the RDFa standard, and following the trail of interactions with the W3C standardisation organisation, the researchers show how developers from small and large, private and public sector organisations contribute to standardisation of W3C RDFa via their contributions to Drupal.
The open process adopted by W3C, attracts contributions from many organisations including a number of micro enterprises, they show. And small and large private companies, as well as public sector organisations contribute the W3C RDFa standar, by contributing to Drupal.... ...Full Story
UK teams with France on open data
UKAuthority.com August 03, 2105 - The UK and France are to look at cooperating on open data as part of a joint Data Taskforce announced today.
Chancellor George Osborne and French economy minister Emmanuel Macron unveiled the plans with a claim that it could provide the basis for up to €60 billion (£42 million) in economic growth across the EU.
The taskforce will focus on three objectives, including increased cooperation between the UK and France on making government data available for public use....The task force will also look at establishing a set of principles for the use of data and data science by small and medium enterprises, and at how to provide consumers with more control and portability of their data. HM Treasury said the taskforce is due to report by the end of the year with recommendations on promoting greater competition between new entrants and established data-based service providers.... ...Full Story
OMB developing cyber guidance for contractors
FCW July 31, 2015 - The Office of Management and Budget is drafting guidelines intended to bolster the cybersecurity of contractors in the aftermath of damaging compromises of federal information via third-party vendors.
The draft guidance will be published at CIO.gov, according to a Federal Register notice. “The increase in threats facing federal information systems demand that certain issues regarding security of information on these systems is clearly, effectively and consistently addressed in federal contracts,” the notice stated.... ...Full Story
Trade groups tell Congress to keep its hands off IoT
IDG July 31, 2015 - The U.S. Congress should take a hands-off approach toward the burgeoning Internet of Things industry and let vendors figure out how to deal with privacy and security issues, representatives of four trade groups said.
The IoT industry offers great potential for growth and for innovative new products, but that growth “requires government restraint,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, told lawmakers Wednesday.
Government has a role in an ongoing debate about issues such as who owns the data moving over the IoT, but decisions about security and privacy should be driven by vendors, Shapiro told the Internet subcommittee of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. “It’s up to manufacturers and service providers to make good decisions about privacy and security, or they will fail in the marketplace,” he added.... ...Full Story
Open Source Is Going Even More Open—Because It Has To
Wired July 30, 2015 - Google often gives its software away for free. It has long believed in open source software.
But last week, the company took this idea to the next level. It gave away all rights to Kubernetes, a cloud computing system originally designed by Google engineers, asking a non-profit to manage its development. It didn’t just share some software code with the world. It agreed to let an independent party oversee the development of the code.
Dubbed the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the organization is just the latest in a series of high profile new foundations now stewarding opens source projects created by large tech companies. In the past year, we’ve also seen the launch of the Cloud Foundry Foundation to govern a project originally released by VMware, the establishment of the Node.js Foundation, thanks cloud services company Joyent, and the founding of the Open Container Initiative, thanks to several different companies, most notably Docker and CoreOS. All four of these new organizations are under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, the organization originally founded to manage the Linux Kernel, the core of all Linux operating systems.... ...Full Story
International Standards Organizations Issue Updated Guidelines for Common Patent Policy Implementation
ANSI Weekly News July 29, 2015 - World Standards Cooperation (WSC) partners the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have issued updated guidelines for implementation of the Common Patent Policy for ITU-T/ITU-R/ISO/IEC intended to address patented technology in international standards....The WSC organizations instituted the patent policy in 2007, with the goal of promoting greater awareness and practical guidance for participants of technical bodies in the case that patent matters arise. The policy encourages early disclosure and identification of patents that may relate to standards under development, as greater transparency promotes efficiency and helps avoid potential patent right issues in standards development....As part of this implementation, ISO, IEC, and ITU jointly adopted Guidelines for the Implementation of the Common Patent Policy and a Patent Statement and License Declaration Form to support implementation of the patent policy. Additionally, the WSC organizations each maintain an online patent information database intended to facilitate the standards-setting process.... ...Full Story
ANSI and Mexican Accreditation Body Sign MoU, Strengthening Collaboration for Global Climate Action
ANSI Weekly News July 28, 2015 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion, AC (EMA, Mexico) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) pledging to mutually work together to harmonize their accreditation processes for greenhouse gas (GHG) programs. This agreement will enable each accreditation body to provide the validation and verification bodies operating in both countries greater flexibility, consistency, and value. The signing is a response to the July Climate Summit of the Americas conference, hosted by the Government of Ontario, Canada, which set out to foster and strengthen partnerships among jurisdictions for global climate action and build motivation and support for carbon pricing.
The signing will ultimately help bolster a spectrum of GHG programs and other businesses that rely on accreditation to operate with optimum efficiency in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2008, ANSI has offered an accreditation program for organizations providing third-party validation/verification services for the reduction and removal of greenhouse gases. The ANSI Accreditation Program for Greenhouse Gas Validation/Verification Bodies operates according to requirements defined in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard ISO 14065:2013, Greenhouse gases - Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition.
EMA, the Mexican accreditation body, is Mexico’s first non-government body for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, which comprise testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, clinical laboratories, inspection bodies and certification bodies, proficiency testing providers, and GHG emission verification/validation bodies. Since 2010, EMA has offered an accreditation program for third-party validation/verification of greenhouse gases in the Mexican market....
ANSI and EMA are both members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and PAC, and operate ISO 14065 accreditation programs. ...Full Story
Tech Giants Boost Open Source Container Collaboration
Jack M. Germain
LinuxInsider July 27, 2015 - The Linux Foundation this week announced the formation of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a consortium dedicated to developing a new set of common container technologies and driving their adoption.
CNCF aims to make it easier for businesses to build and deploy containerized cloud applications oriented to microservices. The goal is to develop cloud-native applications that allow Internet companies to make scaling their businesses more practical.
The group's founders -- more than two dozen major technology companies -- include AT&T, Box, Cisco, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Twitter and VMware. Additional members will join the group in the coming weeks....The announcement of the new technology foundation comes on the heals of another major Linux Foundation-sponsored group. CoreOS and Docker last month announced the formation of the Open Container Project, a nonprofit coalition of 21 industry leaders aiming to establish minimal common standards for cloud storage software containers.
Many of the companies banding together in OCP also signed on to found CNCF....Open source container-packaged applications are important, Messina emphasized. They give organizations moving from building monolithic applications to a distributed application a way to separate applications from the constraints of the infrastructure. ...Full Story
Updegrove, The Lafayette Campaign (Book Review)
ValueWalk July 27, 2015 - ...Andrew Updegrove, author of The Alexandria Project, is back with another Frank Adversego cyber-thriller, The Lafayette Campaign: A Tale of Deception and Elections. If you (well, only if you're a Republican) think that the worst case scenario is that Donald Trump decides the next presidential election, assuming that he runs as a third-party candidate, think again. Elections can be tipped or determined not only by third-party candidates (Ralph Nader is often said to have been the spoiler in 2000) and Supreme Court decisions but also by hackers.
The more electronic elections become, the more hackable they are. Competing rogue forces can devote funds and skills to shaping their outcome. Indeed, just think about it. Why give millions of dollars to PACs, money which is often wasted, when you can fund a bunch of hackers? The Chicago “vote early and often” pols and the RNC Watergate crew worked in the pre-digital era. Today their exploits seem laughably primitive. Elections can be stolen much more elegantly with a few lines of code.
The Lafayette Campaign is a fast-paced thriller that takes the reader through the machinations of election cyber-fraud. A perfect beach book. ...Full Story
Apple and Samsung may help make the SIM card disappear
the Verge July 25, 2015 - The SIM card as we know it may be about to disappear. According to the Financial Times, Apple and Samsung are in discussions with mobile carriers to help develop and implement a new SIM card standard that could make it easier to switch between service providers. The report refers to the new standard as an embedded SIM — or an e-SIM — which would remain inside the phone and give consumers the ability to switch carriers without getting a new card, rather than locking them into a specific carrier, as they do now. That means no more swapping SIMs to switch phones or carriers; it would all be done through an interface on the device....The GSM Association, an industry group that represents mobile operators, tells the Financial Times that "the majority of operators" are on board with the shift over to e-SIM. That reportedly includes AT&T, T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica, and Orange, as well as other international carriers. The association confirmed Apple and Samsung's participation in developing the new standard, but the companies' involvement may not yet be final. The association says of Apple: "While we are optimistic, a formal agreement with them is still in progress."... ...Full Story