It's time to rethink Cybercrime

The shift towards the digitisation of economies has opened up huge opportunities. But it’s also brought enormous security risks. As our online footprint grows and we touch the Internet through an average of 5.7 devices in every home, we are increasingly exposed to risks including fraud, identity theft, virus attack and breaches of personal information.

gTLDs *are* going to make the Internet less safe

Report into abusive domain names makes for worrying reading

The introduction of thousands of new Internet extensions in the next year is going to make the Internet less secure if a new report is anything to go by.

The "namespace quality index" produced by domain consultants Architelos is the first time a comprehensive review of abuse of the domain name system has been undertaken. It makes for interesting, and worrying, reading.

GAC advice: new gTLD safeguards

Below is Annex 1 to the Governmental Advisory Committee's (GAC) communique to the ICANN Board delivered on 11 April 2013 in Beijing. It concerns a series of "safeguards" for new gTLDs.

Safeguards on New gTLDs

The GAC considers that Safeguards should apply to broad categories of strings. For clarity, this means any application for a relevant string in the current or future rounds, in all languages applied for. The GAC advises the Board that all safeguards highlighted in this document as well as any other safeguard requested by the ICANN Board and/or implemented by the new gTLD registry and registrars should:

Internet humbles UN telecoms agency

ITU forced to face modern realities as WCIT conference implodes

Having turned industries and governments upside down, the Internet has claimed its first organizational scalp, subjecting the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to a humiliating failure at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai earlier today.

No sooner had applause run out after a vote on what to include in the preamble to an updated global telecoms treaty than the United States took the floor and announced it would not sign it.

"It's with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the U.S. must communicate that it's not able to sign the agreement in the current form," said Ambassador Terry Kramer. "The Internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without UN regulation. We candidly cannot support an ITU Treaty that is inconsistent with the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance."

Internet power-grab looms large as world conference enters final day

Vote taboo broken at WCIT as chair asks for "feel of the room"

Moment of the non-vote vote at 1am. Credit: Dominique Lazanski

Fears that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will award itself a role in governance of the Internet, despite the promises of its Secretary-General, are looming large on the last day of the World Teleconference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

At the end of a confusing and fast-paced day of discussions yesterday, the issue that has haunted for the conference for the past six months finally exploded into the open with discussion of a new proposed resolution that would see the ITU "play an active and constructive role" in deciding the evolution of the global communications network.

Draft ITR text seeks role for ITU in Internet governance

Key concern of WCIT conference lives on

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is seeking to give itself a role in Internet governance, despite strong resistance and an earlier promise by its Secretary-General that it would not do so.

According to draft text of a revised version of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), being discussed currently at the WCIT conference in Dubai, the ITU would take an "active and constructive role in the multi-stakeholder model of the Internet". The draft resolution also notes that "all governments should have an equal role and responsibility for international Internet governance".

Additionally, a proposed new article 3.8 argues that countries should have the choice to opt-out of the global Internet addressing system and "be able to manage the naming, numbering, addressing and identification resources used within their territories".

WCIT goes dark: deadlock hits key telecoms conference

Chair leads even smaller group of regional representatives in crunch talks

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) is going dark with just one day left to rewrite the international telecommunication regulations (ITRs) and a number of significant issues remaining unresolved.

Despite 1,700 participants representing 189 different countries and organizations, large sections of the text will be decided by a group of 24 regional representatives this afternoon.

The decision to call the closed meeting, without many of the issues ever having been discussed in plenary sessions, has been a conscious strategy adopted by the chair and ITU throughout the meeting.

But while that approach has kept embarrassing public fights to a minimum, it also raises serious questions over the ITU's processes and ability to act a global convener and resolver of modern telecoms issues, particularly when it comes to the Internet.

Where we are with WCIT

A full rundown of all the issues up for discussion in Dubai

The World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) continued this weekend with full-day meetings on both Saturday and Sunday.

There are multiple issues on the table so here is a rundown of the most significant and where negotiations currently are.

The "compromise" bomb

All work is currently being overshadowed by the decision by the ITU and host country to introduce what has been promoted as a "compromise text" at the plenary session on Monday morning.

The most troubling parts of leaked 'compromise text'

A leaked draft of a so-called "compromise text" to be introduced on the first day of the second week of the WCIT conference contains a number of proposed changes that will have some governments and most Internet organizations fuming.

Here are the most troublesome parts:

Article 3.3

MOD 3.3: A Member State has the right to know the international route of its traffic where technically feasible.

This was already a controversial proposal, with civil society groups claiming that it would allow for widespread online monitoring.

The addition of the word "international" is this text makes it plain that the intent is to track traffic not just within a country's own borders but outside as well.

Article 3A - The Internet

Leaked document confirms fears of UN Internet powergrab

A leaked document has confirmed fears that a world conference held by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will be used by some countries to expand government control over the Internet.

A draft of a document to be provided to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) on Monday morning and provided to website WCITleaks includes a number of proposals that have prompted fierce disagreement during the first week of the two-week conference in Dubai. The draft also includes a number of previously unseen additions.

In particular, the document proposes:

  • That governments be given a "right to know" what route has been taken by information over data networks - something that civil society groups have warned would enable widespread online monitoring.
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