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Saturday, March 25 2017 @ 11:01 AM 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
“It's cheaper than other types of animation, but provides a much better experience for users than ordinary comics
-Migu Comic Co Ltd. VP Xiang Lisheng, commenting on the ITU's adoption of a new Chinese animation file structure See all Quotes
Latest NewsITU adopts Chinese-made interactive content format as new global standardGlobalTimes
March 24, 2017 - The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has adopted a new file structure for interactive mobile comic and animation content designed independently in China as its global standard on March 16, China's Ministry of Culture announced on Monday.
Known as T.621, the file structure will be able to be used on all types of mobile devices and platforms to provide high-definition content in a relatively small file.
The new file structure will also allow content creators to provide interactive content such as motion graphics and audio for online comics, which is in high demand in today's market.... ...Full Story
IEEE Approves New Standards Project IEEE P2755™—Guide to Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation
IEEE March 24, 2017 - IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), today announced the approval of the IEEE P2755™—Guide to Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation project. The new standards project aims to build a framework for terminology to help advance related standards efforts. Sponsored by IEEE’s Board of Governors Corporate Advisory Group, the newly formed IEEE P2755 Working Group is defining initial terminology that addresses a range of applications spaces, including Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cognitive Computing, Autonomics, Machine Learning and related technologies that enable businesses and governments to improve performance and lower costs....Lee Coulter, chair, IEEE Guide to Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation Working Group [said] “It’s important to establish a framework now that can evolve in step with related industry developments to ensure a commonality for understanding related products, services and concepts, and to help advance the market space for the benefit of all.”... ...Full Story
Patent Advisory Group Recommends Continuing Work on Web Payments Specifications
W3C.org March 23, 2017 - The Web Payments Working Group Patent Advisory Group (PAG), launched in August 2016, has published a report recommending that W3C continue work on the Web Payments Specifications. W3C launches a PAG to resolve issues in the event a patent has been disclosed that may be essential, but is not available under the W3C Royalty-Free licensing terms. ...Full Story
Government Agencies to be Rated on Cybersecurity Using NIST Framework
National Law Review March 22, 2017 - The Trump administration has announced that it will impose new metrics on federal agencies related to cybersecurity. Agencies and departments will be required to comply with the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House....Plans to impose the NIST cybersecurity framework on federal agencies illustrate the Framework’s increasing importance as a standard for cybersecurity, not just for government agencies, but more broadly throughout the information ecosystem. With security breaches, state-sponsored cyber-attacks, and ransomware demands increasing, the Framework offers useful guidance on processes and actions designed to enhance data security for government and industry alike. ...Full Story
OGC approves new standard for geological science data
OGC.org March 21, 2017 - The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has approved GeoSciML as an OGC Standard. The OGC GeoSciML Standard defines a model and encoding for geological features commonly described and portrayed in geological maps, cross sections, geological reports, and databases.
GeoSciML provides a mechanism for storage and exchange of a broad range of geologic data enabling users to generate geologic depictions (such as maps) in a consistent and repeatable fashion....This standard describes a logical model and GML/XML encoding rules for geological map data, geological time scales, boreholes, and metadata for laboratory analyses....
The GeoSciML standard includes a Lite model, used for simple map-based applications; a basic model, aligned with INSPIRE, for basic data exchange; and an extended model to address more complex scenarios. The standard also provides patterns, profiles (most notably of OGC Observations and Measurements - also ISO 19156), and best practices to deal with common geoscience use cases.... ...Full Story
Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor
The Open Web Foundation March 20, 2017 - Today is the world wide web’s 28th birthday. Here’s a message from our founder and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee on how the web has evolved, and what we must do to ensure it fulfils his vision of an equalising platform that benefits all of humanity.
Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the world wide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all of humanity.
1) We’ve lost control of our personal data
The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data,...
2) It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web
...through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.
3) Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding
Political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry. The fact that most people get their information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data, means that political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users. One source suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000 variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a near-impossible situation to monitor. And there are suggestions that some political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep others away from the polls....
These are complex problems, and the solutions will not be simple. But a few broad paths to progress are already clear. We must work together with web companies to strike a balance that puts a fair level of data control back in the hands of people, including the development of new technology like personal “data pods” if needed and exploring alternative revenue models like subscriptions and micropayments. We must fight against government over-reach in surveillance laws, including through the courts if necessary. We must push back against misinformation by encouraging gatekeepers such as Google and Facebook to continue their efforts to combat the problem, while avoiding the creation of any central bodies to decide what is “true” or not. We need more algorithmic transparency to understand how important decisions that affect our lives are being made, and perhaps a set of common principles to be followed. We urgently need to close the “internet blind spot” in the regulation of political campaigning....
It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone. If you would like to be more involved, then do join our mailing list, do contribute to us, do join or donate to any of the organisations which are working on these issues around the world. ...Full Story
A Standard for Lighting Color Preference?
NIST Techbeat March 20, 2017 - One of the goals of artificial lighting is to make things look natural....To hit the “sweet spot” between too dull and too vivid, lighting manufacturers rely on an international standard that helps them determine whether their white lights will render objects “correctly” – that is, the way they might look in sunlight. This standard is based on an old system called the Color Rendering Index (CRI), which scores lamps on their color fidelity: The higher the CRI score, the more natural objects should look when illuminated. A score of 100 is considered “perfect.” Most good white light lamps get scores of 80 or higher.
But just because something looks natural does not mean that people like it....The final goal is to allow a new version of the CRI to remain as a “color fidelity” metric, but also to create a new standard for “color preference” to give companies further guidance for manufacturing LED lights. Companies could use one or both of these metrics depending on the intended applications.... ...Full Story
ITU Publishes Policy Recommendations on Digital Financial Services
ITU March 17, 2017 - After two years of extensive consultation, the ITU Focus Group on Digital Financial Services (DFS) has concluded its work with the publication of 85 policy recommendations and 28 supporting thematic reports. The Focus Group brought together more than 60 organizations from over 30 countries to drive greater financial inclusion for the estimated 2 billion people around the world who remain unbanked.
Commenting on the success of the Focus Group, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said: “Governments around the world face many similar challenges in their efforts to deliver fully integrated digital financial services. Until now solutions have largely been developed in isolation. This is the first time an organization has sought to develop a comprehensive set of practical and integrated guidelines drawing on expertise from across the financial service and telecommunication/ICT sectors.”... ...Full Story
New alliance to promote Ethereum blockchain technology
Network Asia March 16, 2017 - The world's most advanced enterprise and startup blockchain innovators have formed an alliance to build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, standards, and a reference architecture, EntEth 1.0.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) seeks to augment Ethereum, enabling it to serve as an enterprise-grade technology, with research and development focused on privacy, confidentiality, scalability, and security. EEA will also investigate hybrid architectures that span both permissioned and public Ethereum networks.
The founding members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance rotating board include Accenture, Banco Santander, BlockApps, BNY Mellon, CME Group, ConsenSys, IC3, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, and Nuco....
EEA will collectively develop industry standards and facilitate open source collaboration with its member base as well as the Ethereum Chief Scientist and Inventor, Vitalik Buterin, and is open to any members of the Ethereum community who wish to participate. This collaborative framework will enable the mass adoption at a depth and breadth otherwise unachievable in individual corporate silos and provide insight to the future of scalability, privacy, and confidentiality of the public Ethereum permissionless network. ...Full Story
Using INSPIRE geospatial data to create innovative added-value services
Monica Lopez Potes
EU Joinup March 13, 2017 - The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has launched two pilot projects with private sector partners from Spain and The Netherlands to demonstrate the benefits of using Linked and Open INSPIRE Data using RDF, a developer friendly W3C specification for building the Semantic Web.
The JRC, in its efforts to facilitate cross-sector interoperability and help reuse the investments of INSPIRE in other data infrastructures, including Linked Data and Open Data portals, has procured and launched the development of two pilots. These pilots aim to illustrate how INSPIRE data can help in different e-Government services as well as the feasibility and possible benefits of representing INSPIRE data in RDF.
The first pilot is developed by Guadaltel(link is external) ...[and]addresses use cases in the area of the environment, more specifically related to the provisioning of a hydrography RDF services based on national INSPIRE data published by CNIG(link is external) (Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica). This RDF data can serve many applications but will explore its possible use within regional government and water management.
The second pilot...sets out to improve the information position of emergency responders by using Linked INSPIRE Data as a central point of reference.... ...Full Story