It's Not About the Internet (22 October 2019)
In the policy realm what we call “Internet issues” are not actually “Internet” issues&mdashthey are well-pedigreed social, political, cultural,
and economic issues, for which we clever technologists have provided a rich new environment in which to grow and multiply. It follows that the people best prepared
to tackle “Internet” issues may be thoughtful professionals in fields such as behavioral psychology, linguistics, sociology, education, history, ethnology,
and political science&mdashnot (exclusively) “Internet experts.” Interisle principal Lyman Chapin suggests a broadly interdisciplinary approach to what have
traditionally been considered “Internet” issues in an article that appears in the
50th Anniversary issue of the
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review.
Worth reading: "Moving the Encryption Policy Conversation Forward" (20 September 2019)
On September 10, the Encryption Working Group—convened under the auspices of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Princeton University—issued a constructive
and wise report titled "Moving the Encryption Policy Conversation Forward"
This report directly addresses the increasingly heated debate over use of encryption technologies to protect privacy contrasted against the needs expressed by law enforcement
to be able to conduct criminal investigations and protect public safety. Instead of adding further heat to this on-going debate, the Encryption Group has wisely recommended
toning down the rhetoric, and instead focusing on problems where feasible solutions can be developed that resolve not just technical issues, but also conform to rational
policies and core principles. This offers a hopeful way forward where polarized debate can be replaced with constructive cooperation toward concrete results that would benefit
individuals and society at large. We hope this report is read by all players concerned with issues of privacy and legitimate access by law enforcement.
Exposing and Documenting Abusive Internet Behavior (29 April 2019)
Today's Internet is increasingly polluted by malware, phishing, scams, and other forms of abuse that degrade the online environment on which so much of our economic,
social, and political lives rely. These abuses erode user confidence and inflict serious harm on individuals and organizations in every part of the world. Countering
them is at the top of everyone's list. But accurate information about abusive behavior on the Internet is surprisingly hard to obtain. This frustrates efforts to protect
Internet users from abuse, and to change the environment in positive, lasting ways.
ICANN's Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) project is a system for studying and reporting on abusive
behavior across top-level domain (TLD) registries and registrars. But DAAR reports only aggregated data on gTLD registries; it does not associate any metrics directly
with specific registries, does not include information about registrars, and omits ccTLDs entirely. As such it does not give organizations or individuals the information
they need to make decisions about how to safely and efficiently interact on the Internet. Achieving a safer Internet requires a trusted, neutral, public clearinghouse
to collect, publish, and persistently store information that categorizes and quantifies Internet identifier system behavior, which can be used to deploy security measures,
demonstrate the effectiveness of security or other administrative controls, inform policy makers, and conduct research.
Conservative abuse reporting throws new TLD program under the bus (19 February 2019)
ICANN has released a January 2019 domain abuse report
generated from the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting system (DAAR). DAAR is a system for studying
and reporting on domain name registration and security threat (domain abuse) behavior across top-level domain (TLD) registries and registrars.
It provides a distribution of domains identified as security threats and a breakdown of security threats by class for all new and legacy registries for which the
DAAR project can collect TLD zone data. But the report provides only aggregated summary statistics for TLDs, in pie-chart format; these “findings” are
misleading and do not represent actionable intelligence. The report also omits registrar information. By failing to be open and transparent about the high levels
of abuse in specific new TLDs and registrar portfolios, ICANN actively frustrates efforts to promote Universal Acceptance
of domain names and email addresses and calls future new TLD delegations into question.
Read Dave Piscitello's Security Skeptic blog post:
Conservative abuse reporting throws new TLD program under the bus.
APWG and M3AAWG Survey Finds ICANN WHOIS Changes Impede Cyber Investigations (20 October 2018)
Dave Piscitello's The Security Skeptic blog has a column focusing on how ICANN's "Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data" has affected access
and usage of domain name registration by cyber investigators and anti-abuse service providers.
Read Dave's column
and follow Dave's Security Skeptic blog.
Regulating Internet Service As a Utility: The Devil, As Always, Is in the Details (4 February 2015)
On the heels of President Obama's call last November for the FCC to take a stronger regulatory position with respect to "net neutrality,"
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to share a proposal with the other Commissioners tomorrow that will set up a vote 3 weeks later on
new rules for Title II regulation of "Internet service." What this means, however, is not clear from the way in which terms like
"net neutrality" and "Internet service" are used by reports in the popular press, such as this recent article in the New York Times:
In Net Neutrality Push, F.C.C. Is Expected to Propose Regulating Internet Service as a Utility (NYT 2/2/15)
"It is expected that the proposal will reclassify high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information
service, under Title II of the Communications Act..."
The details are even more important than usual in this context, as Interisle's comments to the FCC
("Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet")
describe — in detail. Our conclusion is that "[s]ervice providers should be required to make the telecommunications layer
of their networks available to any requesting party on a common carrier basis, subject to Title II regulation, especially Sections
201, 202, 208, and 254." Read the full paper for a clear explanation of the issues.