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Saturday, April 18 2015 @ 08:12 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
“Pulling an open-source project upon which people may depend is total jerk behavior
-Anonymous hacker commenting on Apple's pulling the FoundationDB codebase off of GitHub
“Apple is essentially saying that everything that FoundationDB, and its community, created during the lifetime of the project is now wrapped up and for the sole benefit of Cupertino. Ouch
-Ben Keppes, writing in Forbes Magazine following Apple's acquisition of open source vendor FoundationDB See all Quotes
Latest NewsUK Government Now Main Driver of ODF Advance: KudosGlyn MoodyComputerWorld.uk
April 17, 2015 - Back in July last year, I wrote about an incredible opportunity for the open source world. After years of disappointments, and despite the usual lobbying/threats by a certain large US software company against the move, the Cabinet Office announced that it was officially adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents. At the time I exhorted everyone involved to do their utmost to make this work, since it was the biggest chance to show that open standards and open source were not just viable as a government solution, but actually better than the alternatives.
Since then, we've heard very little - either in terms of the move being a raging success or a dismal failure. That makes this update from Francis Maude, who has been one of the key people driving this move, particularly welcome, as it seems that real progress has been made:..."A number of departments are starting to publish in open formats, including the Department for Transport, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, and HM Revenue and Customs. Many more departments will follow by the end of the year."
Clearly, those are huge wins.... ...Full Story
Core Technology for WhiteSpace Alliance Wi-FAR™ Specification Approved to Become ISO Standard
WhiteSpace Alliance April 17, 2015 - The WhiteSpace Alliance (WSA) ®, a global industry organization enabling sharing of underutilized spectrum, today announced that the core technology underlying its Wi-FAR specification has been approved to become an ISO standard.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, announced this decision on 8 April. The approved standard will be referred to as ISO/IEC/IEEE Std. 8802-22:2015.
Wi-FAR, a derivative of the IEEE 802.22 Standard, provides industry-recognized, cost-effective broadband Internet access through dynamic allocation of underutilized TV band spectrum (“whitespace”). Wi-FAR is an inter-operability and certification point-to-multipoint wireless broadband specification optimized for operation in the VHF and UHF TV bands, in the frequency range between 54 MHz and 862 MHz. Incorporating learnings from the TV broadcast community, the Wi-FAR specification is the first and only specification that has seriously addressed the requirements of long distance, non-line of sight transmission for Internet traffic to provide cost-effective backhaul and middle mile solutions.... ...Full Story
HDMI Forum releases 2.0a specification that adds HDR support
Jan Willem Aldershoff
MYCE April 16, 2015 - The HDMI Forum has announced the HDMI 2.0a specification has been updated to enable transmission of High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats. Users can likely upgrade their devices to the updated specification through a firmware update.
HDR should provide enhanced picture quality by simultaneously enabling greater detail for both the dark and bright parts of an image. The HDR-related updates include references to CEA-861.3, CEA’s recently published update of HDR Static Metadata Extensions.
The HDMI Forum isn’t really clear on whether the new standard requires new hardware, however TP Vision previously stated that it should be possible to get support for the new standard through a firmware update. HDMI 2.0 was announced in 2013 and allows 4K video at 60FPS. Most Ultra HD TVs released in 2015 will support HDMI 2.0....Although the first TVs with HDR support were demonstrated at CES this year hardly no HDR content is available. ...Full Story
Linux Foundation to Host Open Encryption Project
Linux Foundation April 16, 2015 - The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today announced it will host the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and its Let's Encrypt project, a free, automated and open security certificate authority for the public's benefit. Let's Encrypt allows website owners to obtain security certificates within minutes, enabling a safer web experience for all....A tremendous amount of data is passed over the Internet every minute of every day. This data includes usernames and passwords, credit card information, cookies and other types of sensitive or personal information. Encryption can help ensure this information doesn't land in the hands of hackers or identity thieves. However, the SSL certificates required for encryption on the Internet have historically been very difficult for website owners to obtain. Let's Encrypt will allow website owners to obtain SSL certificates through a free and simple process that will take no longer than a few minutes to complete.... ...Full Story
Please welcome the UHD Alliance: We've enjoyed assisting this broad representation of industry players create and launch a new consortium whose impact will be reflected in televisions worldwide.
UHD Alliance Calls for Contributor Members to Define the Next-Generation Entertainment Experience
UHD Alliance April 15, 2015 - Founding members of the UHD Alliance, representing leading companies in entertainment, technology, consumer electronics and distribution, today issued a call for contributors to join their mission to advance a new and differentiated entertainment experience for Ultra HD including high dynamic range, wide color gamut, high frame rate and advanced audio.
The goal of the Alliance is to ensure these technologies, coupled with performance metrics, will deliver a premium entertainment experience throughout the Ultra HD ecosystem from content creation to consumer enjoyment.
In addition to working discussions around technical specifications and certification details, the UHD Alliance will help develop industry-standard branding so that consumers can clearly identify certified premium UHD content and devices offered in the marketplace....Companies that want to join the UHD Alliance as contributing members can request membership information from the UHD Alliance at www.UHDAlliance.org/ ...Full Story
Eclipse Announces First Release of Eclipse OM2M Project
Eclipse/OneM2M April 15, 2015 - The Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse IoT Working Group announce the first release of the Eclipse OM2M open source project. OM2M, led by developers from LAAS-CNRS, implements the ETSI SmartM2M standard and plans to migrate to the new oneM2M standard.
OM2M is a standardized service platform that implements critical service capabilities required for M2M and IoT applications. It allows these services to be implemented independently of the network and the underlying hardware environment, making it easy for M2M and IoT developers to develop applications that integrate different types of devices and networking protocols.
OM2M 0.8 implements the ETSI SmartM2M standard. Later this year, OM2M will migrate the implementation to the global oneM2M standard. oneM2M is a global standards organization involving over 200 companies, including the key regional ICT standards bodies ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TIA, TTA and TTC, and the leading industry consortia Broadband Forum, Continua, HGI, Next Generation M2M Consortium and the OMA. oneM2M released its first specifications in January 2015.
A key issue for IoT is interoperability between different devices that use different protocols. This is particularly important for industries such as eHealth, Industrial Automation, and Home. OM2M 0.8 supports out-of-the-box integration and protocol interoperability with HTTP and CoAP enabled devices. OM2M’s extensible framework allows for easy integration with devices using protocols such as Zigbee, Zwave, 6LoWPAN, Modbus, and more.... ...Full Story
State Council Strengthens Energy Saving Standardization Work
USITO.org Weekly April 15, 2015 - On April 4, the General Office of the State Council published the "Opinions on Strengthening the Standardization Work on Energy Conservation," setting 2020 goals for establishing comprehensive standards on energy consumption limits for all major energy-intensive industries, and ensuring 80% of China's energy efficiency standards are internationally competitive.
The Opinions called for an accelerated development of national compulsory standards for energy efficiency and energy consumption limits, which would serve as market access regulations and force industry transformation. The Opinions require the State Administration of Standards, National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to improve the mechanism of state-led mandatory standards and guiding technical specifics development, and explore ways for government to directly adopt market-driven consortia standards as national standards, so as to drive rapid transformation of new energy-saving technologies, products and services into standards.
The Opinions require all relevant government agencies to take responsibility for promoting and enforcing energy efficiency standards, and mandate that enforcement of mandatory energy efficiency standards will be included in all levels of government energy-saving performance assessments. ...Full Story
Five Stars: A skillfully crafted cyber-terrorism thriller
Amazon Reader Reviews April 14, 2015 - I found Mr. Updegrove's book from a posting on the Passive Voice website. I've found several good books written by indie authors on this website. This was an exciting thriller with well developed interesting characters involved in a timely cyber-terrorism attack. Updegrove knows his subject well, so the information about Internet security or the lack of it has been presented clearly and woven skillfully into his story. I found myself jumping to Wikipedia and Google Maps to dig deeper into the setting and movements of his characters as well as read further about some of the information Updegrove used to develop his plot structure. I look forward to his next book and encourage anyone seeking a well written contemporary thriller to give this book a read. You will not be sorry. ...Full Story
SIPO Seeks Comment on Fourth Draft of China Patents Law
USITO.org Weekly April 14, 2015 - On April 1, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) released another draft for public comment of the China Patents Law with a deadline of April 28. This is the fourth comprehensive revision since SIPO started revision work in 2011. Previous drafts were released June 2016, November 2012 and January 2013.
The new draft includes substantial revisions to 30 articles, and adds a new chapter on patent applications. The major changes include:
- Expansion of administrative powers in investigating patent infringement, issuing injunctions, and levying fines
- Introduction of "punitive damages" and double or triple the compensation amount for the purpose of "punishing," rather than just "compensating," in the case of willful infringement
- Strengthening the legal system for patent attorneys and patent agencies and imposing strict regulation on patent attorneys/agencies without administrative licensing ...Full Story
Dash Industry Forum Publishes Version 3.0 of Its Interoperability Guidelines
Dash Industry Forum April 14, 2015 - DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF)...announced today the publication of Version 3.0 of its Interoperability Implementation Guidelines.
The new DASH-IF V3.0 guidelines include interoperability points for enhanced live, on-demand and time-shifted video streaming using AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 codecs. The guidelines support default HE-AAC and optional multichannel audio codecs, SMPTE-TT and CEA-608/708 closed caption formats, as well as common encryption (CENC) to support various digital rights management (DRM) systems.
Based on the second edition of the ISO/IEC 23009-1 (MPEG-DASH) standard, and incorporating enhanced live and ad insertion features, these guidelines enable deployment of live services and dynamic ad insertion with a single set of technologies. This means that a common DASH client implementation can be used to receive content for various streaming use cases and applications, enabling service and content providers to reach more DASH clients with the same set of publishing guidelines.... ...Full Story