Creating Tomorrow's Internet.
INTERNET MARK 2 NEWSLETTER - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER, 2004.
Welcome to the Internet Mark 2 Newsletter for November and December 2004.
In this issue:
=> Internet Analysis Report presentation in Geneva
=> Working Group on Internet Governance members announced
=> ICANN wants to remove itself from any governmental oversight
=> Messaging Industry collaboration
=> Profile of a spammer
=> Patent issues
ABOUT THE INTERNET MARK 2 PROJECT
The Internet Mark 2 Project rose out of concerns that Internet protocols and governance have not evolved sufficiently to deal with the range of problems which have appeared as the Internet gets older and bigger. We welcome your feedback and involvement in our work; some suggestions as to how you can get involved appear at www.internetmark2.org.
We are particularly seeking sponsorship at this stage, as the opportunities to take effective action are becoming more apparent. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to work with us in this way.
Sponsorship can be either publicly acknowledged or entirely confidential.
INTERNET ANALYSIS REPORT 2004 - GENEVA PRESENTATION
On November 11, Ian Peter presented the Internet Analysis Report - 2004 to a Lunchtime Seminar at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Headquarters in Geneva.
A copy of the slides for the presentation can be seen at http://www.itu.int/osg/spu/seminars. The presentation was followed by discussions with the ITU Policy and Strategy Unit and members of the Secretariat for the Working Group on Internet Governance.
The report continues to raise both interest and favourable comment. You can find out more about the report from http://www.internetmark2.org/study/About.html. One way you can assist us in continuing this work is to purchase a copy.
WORKING GROUP ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE MEMBERS ANNOUNCED
Meanwhile UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced the members of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance, which will prepare the ground for a decision on this issue by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2005.
The Working Group will be chaired by Nitin Desai, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the World Summit. It includes 40 members from governments, private sector and civil society, representing all regions (see below).
"The Working Group is not a negotiating forum," said Mr. Desai. "Its purpose is to facilitate the negotiations that will take place in Tunis. We come into this process as facilitators, and will strive to establish a dialogue of good faith among all participants."
Among the tasks of the working group are to:
- Develop a working definition of Internet governance;
- Identify the public policy issues that are relevant to Internet governance;
- Develop a common understanding of the respective roles and responsibilities of governments, international organizations and other forums as well as the private sector and civil society from both developing and developed countries.
The membership can be viewed at http://www.wgig.org/members.html. It includes a very strong civil society representation; but little representation from major industry stakeholders and none from the US Government. Other major players not represented include ICANN (although Vice President Alejandro Pisanty is a member) and the Internet Society (ISOC).
NO ROLE FOR UN IN ICANN?
Whether co-incidentally or not, within a few days of the announcement ICANN President Paul Twomey announced that his organization will cut its ties to the U.S. Department of Commerce when its current contract expires in 2006. That was not a great surprise - Many parties including the Regional Internet Registries had urged ICANN to move away from its ties with US Government to better reflect its international nature.
What was more surprising was that Twomey is purported to have said that ICANN will then operate as an independent private organization and not under the authority of any international body. This was a surprisingly direct announcement of an intention to steer a path in which the role of government would be at best advisory.
However that pans out, the contentious issue of the root servers remains, because they are not the subject of the ICANN contract with the US Government, but a separate contract altogether with Verisign Ltd. Internet Mark2 believes that policy for the Internet root should not be determined by any one country, but by the UN.
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INBOX AND MESSAGING INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
Huge movements are underway within the messaging industry as we go to press with this newsletter.
Ian Peter is currently attending the INBOX event in Atlanta, Georgia, where major email industry players including Microsoft, Earthlink, AOL, and ISPs, vendors, and corporate email users are coming to new levels of co-operation to address the spam and phishing problems
We will write more on these developments in the next newsletter, and in a Special Report on the Messaging Industry's strategies and directions.
But as a taste - One of the case studies in the Internet Analysis Report deals with the Internet Engineering Task Force's MARID working group, which was tasked with coming up with a sender authentication scheme for email, which can help substantially in reducing email fraud and many types of SPAM. This activity stalled in IETF when defensive patents lodged by Microsoft raised the ire of many participants.
We are pleased to report that major industry players, including Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Earthlink, Sendmail, Go Daddy, Verisign, major affected parties including the Bank of America and various industry bodies have jointly sent a letter to the US FTC announcing widespread support for adoption of a common sender authentication framework.
"SIDF is a combination of SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and the Microsoft Caller ID for E-mail draft proposals that have evolved over the past several months, reflecting input from the IETF MARID working group and a number of industry stakeholders. SIDF has been enhanced, providing deployment flexibility, and accommodating a combination of platform, application, and licensing choices including backward compatibility to over 100,000 domains that have published SPF records. As we speak, this technology is in early deployment and shows significant promise, and therefore, businesses and ISPs should initiate the implementation of SIDF and publish their records today.
As industry leaders, we share a responsibility for protecting users from the blight of online threats. While many of us compete in the marketplace, we stand united in our fight against spam and phishing and in the support of e-mail authentication standards. We are committed to deploy the Sender ID Framework by publishing our records and advance signing technologies such as Cisco's Identified Internet Mail and Yahoo's Domain Keys which can be rapidly deployed to meet the needs of consumers and enterprises worldwide".
Which is good news in itself! But in addition, industry players and industry groups are coalescing around a range of initiatives in crime prevention, consumer education, sharing authentication and reputation data, and adopting a common framework based on the ASPEN initiative for a series of interlocked initiatives.
Much remains to be done, but much is underway. More in our Special Report on the Messaging Industry (available soon)..
The full letter to the FTC can be viewed at http://www.truste.org/about/sender_id_industry_letter.php.
PROFILE OF A SPAMMER
Meanwhile a profile has emerged of a corporate spammer arrested recently. His operation included
=> 10 million e-mails a day
=> 16 high-speed lines
=> Income up to $750,000 per month
=> Software, pornography and work at home schemes
Relatively few people actually responded to the spammer's pitches. In a typical
month, prosecutors said during the trial, the spammer was making money on perhaps
only one of every 30,000 e-mails he sent out.
But the undertaking was so vast that he could still pull in $400,000 to $750,000
a month, while spending perhaps $50,000 on bandwidth and other overheads.
In our last newsletter we also commented on the patent issues emerging from
MARID. Now, it is claimed by Larry J. Blunk, senior engineer for networking
research and development at Merit Network Inc, that Microsoft been trying to
retroactively claim IP (intellectual property) rights over many of the Internet's
Blunk pointed out that Microsoft is claiming some form of IP rights over "a total
of 130 protocols which Microsoft is offering for license."
Some of the RFC protocols that Microsoft asserts that it may have IP rights over,
such as the TCP/IP protocols and the DNS (Domain Name System), form the very
bedrock of the Internet's network infrastructure.
Lawrence Rosen, a partner in the law firm Rosenlaw & Einschlag
and author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and
Intellectual Property Law," said he thinks Blunk "raises very
interesting and important questions."
"This is probably Microsoft's strategy, to impose licensing friction in the
open-source distribution process," he said. "IETF's failure to respond
appropriately to the Sender ID proposal has left the door wide open for this
Microsoft, however, has said it believes the issue is really just a
"Microsoft is aware of the letter and is working on a response to the concerns
raised by the letter author and on providing clarity about our participation in
standards-setting activities," said Mark Martin, a Microsoft spokesperson. "In
the end, we believe this is simply a misunderstanding which we are working hard
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Thank you for your support and interest in our activities. We look forward to
your continued interest and involvement over the coming holiday season and in