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Wednesday, August 24 2016 @ 11:25 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
“[H]as digital technology gone too far?
-Mike Alexander asking, on the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Web, whether we're becoming too socially isolated See all Quotes
Latest NewsUS.gov to open-source made-to-order software, allow contributionsThe Register
August 18, 2016 - United States chief information officer Tony Scott and chief acquisition officer Anne E Rung have issued a joint memo decreeing that henceforth all government agencies need to consider open-sourcing any bespoke software they commission....The policy therefore implements a three-year pilot during which US government agencies will be required to open source a fifth of their bespoke code. Security agencies are exempt from the policy.
The policy also calls for any bespoke development effort to “acquire and enforce rights sufficient to enable Government-wide reuse of custom-developed code.” There's also a requirement to keep an up-to-date inventory of code and to lodge open source code at code.gov.
Elsewhere the policy suggests that when sharing code, agencies should engage with existing communities whenever possible, rather than trying to create their own. Which sounds like a shout-out to whoever provisions storage at GitHub, if nothing else. There's even a section 5.2.F in which agencies are encouraged to ready themselves for code contributions from third parties within and without government, creating the potential for citizen coders to help build government apps.
The memo also insists that whenever agencies need new software they must consider “whether to use an existing Federal software solution or to acquire or develop a new software solution.” Agencies must also consider whether it is possible to get what they need by mixing government and commercial code.... ...Full Story
From eCars to cybersecurity: standards seen as natural enemy of the tech industry
DW.com August 17, 2016 - Not enough charging stations? That's not the problem. The problem is knowing which adapter fits your car.
Imagine you're driving your shiny new eCar to the beach and you come to charge it at one of ABB's electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Don't get me wrong, it looks like they have done their level best to cater for every possible standard, but it's a confusing array of options.
First, do you want AC or DC?...AC won't give you as much juice as DC, a fast-charging option. So you pick DC. But are you a CHAdeMO or a CCS? That depends on who made your car...."These standards are driven by the car manufacturers," says Robert Itschner, managing director of Business Unit Power Conversion at ABB Switzerland. "CHAdeMO is the standard used by Asian car makers and CCS is the European equivalent."... ...Full Story
Web at 25: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of World Wide Web
TheCourier.co.uk August 17, 2016 - Twenty-five years ago on August 6 1991, the first publicly available website was launched and the World Wide Web (WWW) was born.
It was created by the now internationally known Sir Tim Berners-Lee who, just eight months earlier, first posted the simple text page on an internal web server hosted by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research....Today there are over one billion sites on the World Wide Web – none of which would have been possible without the work of Berners-Lee,...Today’s Smart Phones, social media and advanced websites the world over would not have happened without that initial ground breaking work. It’s sometimes hard to imagine living in a world without them. Everything from banking to shopping to paying bills is increasingly done online.
But has digital technology gone too far?...
Two sets of data released this week certainly suggest a growing paradox in everyday life with technology bringing us closer but also seen to be getting in the way.... ...Full Story
Patent Advisory Group for Web Payments Working Group Launched
W3C.org August 16, 2016 - In accordance with the W3C Patent Policy, W3C has launched a Web Payments Working Group Patent Advisory Group (PAG) in response to disclosures related to two specifications of the Web Payments Working Group; see the PAG charter. 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 requirements. Public comments regarding these disclosures may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (public archive). Learn more about Patent Advisory Groups. ...Full Story
Carnegie Mellon U aims to unlock industrial 3D printing potential with new consortium that includes GE, Alcoa and United States Steel
www.3drs.org August 15, 2016 - ...for the 3D printing revolution to really pick up steam, a major push or technological breakthrough is needed to make this a truly accessible and affordable large-scale manufacturing option. In an attempt to realize that breakthrough, Carnegie Mellon University has announced a new consortium that brings together major companies, nonprofit institutes and the US government. Together, they will be working to fully unlock the potential of industrial 3D printing.
This ambitious consortium is headquartered in Carnegie Mellon University's NextManufacturing Center, and was announced at a campus event in late July by engineering professor and center director Jack Beuth. “Additive manufacturing is here now, and it's here to stay,” he said at the event. “One of the most important steps in making real progress with this technology is to bring all the key players — academia, industry, government, nonprofits — together to share knowledge, ideas and challenges. It's an integral part of creating a thriving additive manufacturing ecosystem, and today, we get do that here at Carnegie Mellon.”... ...Full Story
You heard it here first I've not only been writing about this risk for years, but I even wrote a cybersecurity thriller showing exactly how it could be done. So far, the election is tracking the plot of the book in a very disturbing fashion. You can find it here: http://mybook.to/lafayettecampaign
The Election Won’t Be Rigged. But It Could Be Hacked
The New York Times August 12, 2016 - ...It’s unclear what mechanism the Trump campaign envisions for this rigging. Voter fraud through impersonation or illegal voting is vanishingly rare in the United States, and rigging the election by [physically] tampering with voting machines would be nearly impossible....But it’s still a bleak landscape.
Over the years, the team at Princeton, cooperating with other researchers, has managed to disable and tamper with many direct recording electronic systems that use touch-screen computers without a verifiable paper trail.
I’m not the only one who is worried. This month, Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, said his department was concerned about infiltration of the nation’s electoral systems. Experts have warned about voting machine vulnerability for years, but nothing has changed. The mere existence of this discussion is cause for alarm. The United States needs to return, as soon as possible, to a paper-based, auditable voting system in all jurisdictions that still use electronic-only unverifiable voting machines.... ...Full Story
ANSI Announces 2016 Legal Issues Forum: Employment Law, Cybersecurity, and Social Media
ANSI.org August 12, 2016 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will hold its annual Legal Issues Forum on Nuts and Bolts Business Issues from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2016, at the FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. The event is part of World Standards Week (WSW), a series of meetings and celebrations hosted annually by ANSI, coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system.
A broad range of legal experts will lead panel discussions on employment law, cybersecurity, and social media – all topics of importance to non-profit organizations in the standardization community. Each session will be structured as a 90-minute moderated discussion, with considerable opportunity for audience Q&A. ANSI members and all interested stakeholders including those from government, industry, business, consumer groups, and academia are encouraged to attend and share their perspectives on these critical issues.
For the first time, this annual event is being offered free of charge to ANSI members. Non-members have a registration fee of $249.... ...Full Story
CORD Project Will Help Service Providers Build Cloud-Like Networks
eWeek August 11, 2016 - Service providers and telecommunications companies have a new tool they can use in their efforts to transform their networks into highly scalable, agile and affordable infrastructures similar to those run by cloud providers.
The Linux Foundation and the Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) recently spun out what had been a use case within the ON.Lab's ONOS open-source software-defined networking (SDN) operating system into its own project that proponents said will give service providers the platform they need to create and deploy services to customers and employees a cloud-like speed....Google, Samsung and Radisys joined the ONOS and CORD projects, both of which are operating under the auspices of the Linux Foundation....The goal of CORD is to take advantage of merchant silicon, white-box servers, bare-metal network switches and open-source software to create infrastructures that bring the flexibility, agility and affordability of cloud environments to the central offices of telcos, which traditionally have comprised closed and proprietary products....
Service providers are turning to open technologies to enable them to more quickly spin out services and applications to end users, which include enterprises, residential and mobile customers, according to Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. ...Full Story
SAC Launches Social Group Standards Platform
USITO August 11, 2016 - In implementing the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) and the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine's (AQSIQ) joint "Guiding Opinions on Cultivating and Developing Social Group Standards," SAC officially launched an online National Social Group Standards Information Platform. More than one hundred social groups have registered on the platform, and nearly one hundred social group standards have already been published. This platform increases information transparency and social supervision.
Participants include legal entities registered through the Ministry of Civil Affairs or local civil administrations in Beijing, Guangdong, Shandong, etc. Standardization focuses on industries including forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing, energy, construction, transportation, information, scientific research, technology services, medical and health and culture, among others.
Registration is completely voluntary, and the number of registrants is rapidly increasing. Institutes, trade associations, federations, and industry technology alliances all see benefit from the platform where they keep active tabs on social group standards information, social group standardization news update, social groups basic information and relevant policies. ...Full Story
Open vSwitch becomes a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project
CIO.com August 10, 2016 - The Linux Foundation has bagged another open source networking project. The open source virtual switch Open vSwitch (OVS) has become a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.
Just a few weeks ago CORD(Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) became a Linux Foundation project, joining other open source networking projects, including the SDN platform OpenDaylight and the SDN network operating system ONOS....Today there are more than 300 contributors across companies including Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat and VMware. The project is governed by its own open governance model, like many other Linux Foundation projects....More and more components of data centers are becoming software defined — from compute to storage and networking. In these datacenters networking functions are increasingly performed by software running on servers, either as part of the application or within a hypervisor. And OVS is one of the major open source projects.... ...Full Story