[AfrICANN-discuss] Around the Internet, week end reading :-)

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Fri May 25 20:20:45 SAST 2007

1. The Impending Internet Address Shortage
Sometime in the next 6 years, the Internet will run out of space says
Information Week. The impending crisis that many discuss can be easily
averted through the migration to IPv6, and sooner rather than later.
"We must prepare for IPv4's depletion, and ARIN's resolution to encourage
that migration to IPv6 may be the impetus for more organizations to start
the planning process," said John Curran, chairman of ARIN's Board of
Trustees, in a statement.
The Information Week article covers a number of issues. One is that holders
of IP address blocs awarded during the Internet's early days may be sitting
on a gold mine because they're not bound by an ARIN contract, they're
theoretically free to sell their IP numbers. They haven't done so because,
among other things, there's no money in it at the moment. But if the IPv6
migration continues to lag and IP addresses become scarce, holders of legacy
IP address blocs could find it profitable to sell their numbers.
One of those who has attained an IP address block and not bound by an ARIN
contract is Karl Auerbach who notes the legal status of IP numbers remains
muddy. Auerbach supports making a legitimate market for IP address space,
and that IPv6 transition won't be easy.
The article concludes noting "One controversial method for dealing with the
IP address shortage has been the increasing use of Network Address
Translation (NAT), which effectively creates a private network within a
given IP address. ... So perhaps the Net of the future might evolve as an
IPv4 public mesh connecting private spaces behind NATs. For that we have
enough IPv4 space for decades." The article notes this scenario runs into
trouble when those private spaces try to directly interconnect.

2. ASIAN POP: Dot Community
The impending launch of .asia is covered by the San Francisco Chronicle. The
article begins by asking "Is .asia the harbinger of -- or a bridge to -- a
new era of social, cultural and commercial cross-pollination on the world's
fastest-growing and most populous continent?" The article notes .asia is the
first TLD "to be awarded to a transnational entity without some kind of a
formal government structure."
While a large part of Europe, which uses .eu, has a common currency and
government, none of this applies to Asia. The article notes Asia's "current
status is probably best understood as a hybrid between concept and
convenience. It's an oft-repeated cliche that there are 'no Asians in Asia,'
because the continent's inhabitants represent such a wild cultural diversity
and deeply competitive history that they have little incentive to embrace
that kind of a pan-regional identity."
However the backers of .asia say the Internet itself is dramatic evidence of
the overwhelming power of imagined concepts, once they've achieved
sufficient grassroots support. Or "put it another way: The entire Internet
is dependent on the idea that if you believe something exists, it exists --
even if you can't touch it, hold it or visit it in person. ... And that's
why the symbolic importance of giving the continent of Asia its own
designated neck of the 'netwoods can't be denied."
As the article notes "over 60% of the world's population and 90 languages
reside in Asia ... NOW is the time for the Asian community to establish its
own identity on the Internet."


3. DHS publishes sector-specific protection plan for IT infrastructure
Computer World reports "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a
broad blueprint of actions that technology companies and government entities
can take to mitigate terrorist and other threats against the nation's IT
infrastructure. ... The plans are designed to help infrastructure
stakeholders in each area to identify and prioritize key assets that need to
be protected and to provide recommendations on how to go about doing that."
The article notes "stakeholders in the IT sector include hardware and
software companies, network and security vendors, Domain Name System and TLD
operators and ISPs."

4. Academic Group Releases Plan to Share Power Over Internet Root Zone Keys
(news release)
The Internet Governance Project unveiled a plan to decentralise control over
the process of digitally signing the root zone file using public key
encryption as it transitions to a new, more secure technology known as
DNSSEC. This news release says "The need for the plan was made clear
recently when news of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security report on
DNSSEC implementation triggered international controversy by raising fears
that the U.S. government planned to control the "master keys" to the
Internet. The IGP proposal would distribute control over the process of
signing the root zone file to multiple organizations, all of them
nongovernmental in nature, defusing fears that U.S. national security
agencies will control the Internet's DNS root zone keys."

5. PPC Fraud: Every Click Counts...Or Does It?
This article on PPC fraud notes research by J.P. Morgan that says "spending
on all forms of online advertising will reach $19.2 billion in 2007, with
pay-per-click (PPC) advertising at Google, Yahoo and the other major search
engines accounting for half, or $9.6 billion." And as PPC grows, more
scammers get interested. Varying studies indicate that PPC fraud accounts
for between 10 and 15% of total billing. The article also notes domain
kiting/tasting and uses ICANN figures that purportedly show of the 5 million
domains registered each year, only 1 percent are registered with the intent
of actually building a functioning Web site, with the rest being "tasters"
or brokers involved in the billion dollar domain selling business.

6. Debate over Confidentiality of Web Site Registration Information
Privacy advocates will have to wait a little longer before they can rest
assured that most Web site registration information will be kept
confidential according to this article in Law.com. Milton Mueller says "We
have the votes to basically just push this thing through, but people are
being very delicate about not wanting it to look like we're saying, 'Ha ha,
we outvoted you.' They want to build consensus." The article notes "For
privacy advocates the proposed operational point of contact system was a
compromise, because they would prefer even more privacy. They argue that
keeping registrant information confidential is no different than an
individual exercising the option to get an unlisted phone number."

7. ICANN's At-Large Process: Exit, Without Voice by Wendy Seltzer
Thomas Roessler and Patrick Vande Walle are supposedly frustrated "at
interference and infighting in the formation of the European Regional
At-Large Organization". Roessler "suggests it's 'Time to Reconsider' the
structure of ICANN's At-Large, as he feels compelled to promise himself not
to get involved with ICANN again." While Vande Walle is "concerned that a
push for 'diversity' became a stereotyped exclusion of experienced
participants." Seltzer claims ICANN needs people such as Roessler and Vande
Walle as they've "good ideas about how to respond to the public interest in
domain name management. But, controlled by commercial interests who'd rather
raise prices on their domain-name monopolies or shield trademarks against
potential dilution, ICANN doesn't have the inclination to listen to the
individuals who make up the public."

8. Satisfaction with ICANN Wanes
ICANN is losing popularity claims Domain Name Wire as a result of their
latest survey. Approval declined to 24% of survey respondents who approve of
ICANN, down from 33% last year. However "50% of respondents say ICANN's
performance is acceptable, while 26% say it is poor." What the survey
doesn't say is that 74% of respondents say ICANN is doing an acceptable or
good job. In explaining the survey results, Domain Name Wire says unpopular
new contracts with registries and "ICANN's inaction during the RegisterFly
domain registrar implosion" contribute to the decline in ICANN's approval.
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