network policy

Dr. Renda opines in the WSJ

The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal has elected to publish an advocacy piece by Dr. Andrea Renda with the catchy title Andrea Renda: The U.N., Internet Regulator?. He errs in describing the Jon Postel period as "governance by private bodies". Next, he errs in ascribing to "civil society" a role equal to "business" in GNSO policy development. The wish list of "coulds" to improve the current balance of forces takes note of the single state with sole control over a resource (the IANA contract), but ignores the single corporation with monopoly power over another resource (the .com contract), and the limited success over the past decade to realize any of the enumerated "coulds". All in all, a good essay by any Chicago school ideologue -- free markets, no regulations, and no purpose for communication other than private profit and "free expression" for early adopters, so no fundamental problem of universal access yet to solve.

2011 was a bad year for civil society on the net

The image is the visual which accompanies the study released today (pdf) by Reporters sans frontières (RSF). I'll provide the details in updates for France, Australia, India and Egypt.

1656367_6_1fd7_la-carte-pour-2011-des-pays-ennemis_f669ba950adb23090ab304d290621b51.jpg removed.

Meanwhile, back at the SSL certificate and (actual) IANA root editor's office ...

Reuters is carrying a piece by Joseph Menn, Key Internet operator VeriSign hit by hackers.

Several paras caught my eye. These two:

"Oh my God," said Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and before that the top lawyer at the National Security Agency. "That could allow people to imitate almost any company on the Net."

The VeriSign attacks were revealed in a quarterly U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in October that followed new guidelines on reporting security breaches to investors. It was the most striking disclosure to emerge in a review by Reuters of more than 2,000 documents mentioning breach risks since the SEC guidance was published.

And this one:

Ken Silva, who was VeriSign's chief technology officer for three years until November 2010, said he had not learned of the intrusion until contacted by Reuters. Given the time elapsed since the attack and the vague language in the SEC filing, he said VeriSign "probably can't draw an accurate assessment" of the damage.

I've met Ken several times while he was CTO of (the whale) VGRS and I was CTO of (a minnow) CORE. I think his assessment (VGRS's inability to draw an accurate assessment at the point in time it disclosed the breach to the SEC) is likely to be correct.

I've no idea if this was disclosed to ICANN and/or the DoC as part of the .net contract renewal. The notion that the duty of disclosure by publicly traded corporations of operational failure extends to SEC, for the protection of investors, and no further, comes as a surprise. This is the dot after all.

ICANN Board Seat #9 (ASO AC appointed)

The ICANN Bylaws entity, the Address Supporting Organization, will begin public consideration of the candidates for ICANN Board Seat #9, currently held by Ray Plzak. I've offered to serve, as has Martin Levy, Bill Manning, and Ray Plzak.

2012 Submarine Cable Map

The 2012 edition of one of my favorite wall hangings is out. I'll have to pass on the purchase (I've the 2009 version I picked up to add some visual interest to an otherwise dull vendor exhibit that kept getting recycled, at ICANN meeting after ICANN meeting), but it is fun to peer at (pun).

submarine-cable-map-2012-m.jpg deleted.

Means of Arrest

In today's Le Monde there is a useful five-part infographic showing how name to address resolution works, from the end user associating his or her endpoint device, e.g., a browser, with a file shareing resource, e.g., Megaupload.com, and how the FBI interposed on the name to resource mapping, preventing such associations. The amount of French poor Francophobes must read to understand the sequence of wire frame diagrams is limited (and Google does translate for those that need help). See Comment le FBI a-t-il bloqué Megaupload ?.

In updates to this post I'll expand on the aspects I think interesting.

First, while the DoJ sites are servicing the LOIC loads, a copy of the indictment can be found here: MegaUpload.pdf.

Second, to quote from the NYTimes piece to get to a quote from GW Law's Orin Kerr

The Megaupload case is unusual, said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University, in that federal prosecutors obtained the private e-mails of Megaupload’s operators in an effort to show they were operating in bad faith.

"The government hopes to use their private words against them," Mr. Kerr said. "This should scare the owners and operators of similar sites."

See 17 USC 512(c)(1)(A) for the significance.

Update 1:
A writer for the LA Times provides an interesting view in http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2012/01/copyrights-feds-push-novel-theories-in-megaupload-case.html.

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