It’s official, people know very little about the internet and domain names

Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org, .ngo and .ong domains, debuted the findings of its first Internet 101 Survey, a study testing basic internet knowledge among U.S. internet users of all ages and backgrounds. The results underscore the need for widespread internet education among users and spotlight critical issues from net neutrality …

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CentralNic promises $30 million .sk will only ever mean “Slovakia”

DomainIncite DomainIncite: CentralNic has committed that it will not repurpose Slovakian ccTLD .sk to mean anything other than “Slovakia”, following its purchase of SK-NIC this week. The acquisition of the Bratislava-based registry, which will cost between €21 million and €26 million ($25 million to $31 million) depending on performance, has been controversial in Slovakia, with many leading […]

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The Internet Must Remain Open – Even for Those We Disagree With

CircleID CircleID: Over the past couple of weeks, following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, there has been significant discussion in social and traditional media about various technology companies removing websites from their servers, or otherwise making them unavailable.

As the operators of Canada's Internet domain, we at CIRA are getting numerous inquiries about our stance and policies on this issue. I'd like to use this opportunity to make a couple of clarifications about how CIRA works and what CIRA actually does.

First, and perhaps most importantly, CIRA has no involvement on the content of .CA websites. Our role is to manage the registration of the domain name and to ensure that Registrants (those that register .CA domain names) and Registrars (the organizations that sell the .CA domain to Canadians) meet CIRA's legal and policy requirements, such as Canadian Presence Requirements. We are also responsible for the safe, secure and stable operation of the underlying domain name system (DNS). We are one part of Canada's Internet ecosystem, working with registrars and web hosting companies who interact directly with Canadian organizations and individuals who purchase a .CA domain and host relevant content. Policing content is not what we do.

I've written before about an open and free Internet, and I stand firm in this belief. I must take this stance even when it supports content that differs from my personal beliefs. Open means open for all.

This doesn't mean that I don't struggle with it. I find many of the websites in question repugnant — websites that express derogatory views of people based on their religious beliefs, race, gender or sexual orientation. They go against everything I believe in and the values I teach my children.

But I stand firm that the Internet must remain free and open, and taking actions to remove websites, regardless of how repellent the content, would go directly against this approach. A free and open Internet precludes my personal beliefs related to its content, and I couldn't continue to lead CIRA, an organization committed to managing Canada's domain, if I didn't support this viewpoint for all Canadians, even those I disagree with. One individual should not have the power to make these decisions based on personal beliefs or as an emotional reaction. CIRA has policies in place to ensure this can't happen.

There is, however, a clear line to this open and free Internet: when laws are broken.

CIRA will assist authorities to remove sites that are breaking the law, be that through hate speech, fraud and others, when presented with a Canadian court order or other judicial instrument. For example, a .CA domain was recently seized by the Edmonton Police Service. This fraudulent site was stealing financial information and money from people, and through a court order, CIRA assisted the Edmonton Police. This is a prime example of a line that was crossed. The proper authorities were involved, a judicial order was sent, and CIRA took appropriate action. We support the ideals of an open Internet but not at the expense of the laws of the land.

To those who reached out to us concerned that we may be participating in what they feel is censorship, you can rest assured we are not. And to those who would like to see us engage in this more heavily by taking down hateful sites, we would ask you to examine these sites and if you feel they are promoting hate speech or breaking the law, contact your local authorities and work with them first. The processes exist for CIRA, as well as our channel partners and Canadian hosting companies, to work with the legal system to prevent criminal activities in our digital space.

An open and free Internet includes the zealots that spout outlandish ideas, and on the other end of the spectrum, cat videos. More importantly, it includes helpful information, art, science and transformative, democratizing thinking. And that is worth protecting, even it if means protecting the others as well.

While I don't agree with the content of all websites that hold a .CA, I support their right to exist as long as they remain within the bounds of Canadian law. Sites that are racist, sexist or homophobic make sense to many of us to take down. But just because that makes sense to you or me it doesn't make it right.

Take the Miller test (read up on it here), which is the United States Supreme Court's three prong obscenity test. One of those prongs relates to the community within which the content exists. The Internet muddies the water here. While content may be published in one community, it can be consumed in another. So how do you define "community" in the Internet age? What is offensive to some, is not to others.

The Internet connects us all, across Canada and beyond. It includes divergent opinions and perspectives on many different issues. It is not for me or CIRA as a whole to decide which opinions are right or wrong, but rather, it is our responsibility to stand by the continuation of an open and free Internet — while also working to protect the .CA space by working within — and helping enforce — Canadian law.
Written by Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRAFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Censorship, DNS, Domain Names, Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation

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Boeing’s Satellite Internet Project

CircleID CircleID: 2,956 satellites orbiting at altitudes of 970, 1,034 and 1,086 km at inclinations of 45°, 55° & 88° (Source).I recently posted updates on the satellite Internet service projects of SpaceX and OneWeb. OneWeb and SpaceX have received a lot of publicity, but there is a third entry in the global satellite Internet race — Boeing.

Boeing has applied for a license to launch a constellation of 2,956 Internet-access satellites orbiting at an altitude of 1,200 km. (In a subsequent amendment, the orbits were lowered to three different levels). They outlined a two phase plan — the first 1,396 satellites would be operating within six years, and another 1,560 would be launched within 12 years as demand justified.

There has also been speculation that Apple may be funding and collaborating with Boeing on satellite Internet-service provision. (If you follow this link, read the comments).

Small cells around Washington DCBoeing will use beam-forming, digital processing and instantaneous handoff between overlapping satellite footprints to generate thousands of narrow spot beams, dividing the Earth's surface into 8-11 km diameter (50-95 km2) cells as illustrated here. Each cell will have 5 GHz bandwidth and, if a cell contains both user terminals and Internet gateways, time-division algorithms will enable frequency re-use to serve both. These are very smart radios!

In reviewing the FCC filings, I was struck by the degree of cooperation between the competitors. When Boeing proposed 1,200 km orbits, OneWeb filed a comment saying that would interfere with their design which also called for 1,200 km orbits. In response, Boeing met with OneWeb and altered their plan, lowering altitudes to 970, 1,082 and 1,030 km.

There were also concerns that waivers Boeing requested might lead to radio interference and SpaceX responded by stating that:

The Commission should encourage systems that facilitate spectrum sharing among licensed users. The waivers Boeing seeks will help to build a sensible regulatory environment for NGSO operations while honoring the goals of the rules at issue.

These companies value engineering as well as business. (Tesla has shared their patents — might SpaceX do the same)?

In researching this post, I came across two other Boeing filings — one for 60 high-altitude satellites (shown here) and another for a low-Earth constellation of 132 satellites and 15 high-altitude satellites. I imagine these smaller constellations will complement the larger constellation somehow but have not been able to learn how they will interact.

Sixty high-altitude satellites launched in three phase: the Amercas, Europe and Africa and Asia and Australia. Click to enlarge. (Source)

Boeing, OneWeb and SpaceX are from different generations. OneWeb and SpaceX are relatively recent startups and Boeing is venerable. The startups may have less legacy overhead and have gotten off to a faster start, but Boeing has been thinking about providing Internet service using a satellite constellation for over twenty years — they were the prime contractor for Teledesic's failed attempt in the late 1990s.

We have three potential global Internet service providers — SpaceX, OneWeb and Apple(?)/Boeing. I hope they all succeed, giving us some competition in the Internet service market. That might one day help current Internet customers who have only one choice for their service provider (like me), but it would surely be a boon for people with no terrestrial Internet access today.
Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State UniversityFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Access Providers, Broadband, Wireless

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Company Domain Movers: mPlatform.com, BroadCity.com + More

dotWeekly dotWeekly: Welcome to Domain Movers. We keep track of company domain name transactions and report these early findings to you. This information is often very early and gives insight into activity relating to new brands, future advertising and marketing efforts, domain upgrades and much more. The following is a very small sampling of daily activity.
MummyDog.com which I mentioned yesterday that was acquired but whois was generic, has updated to General Mills as the buyers.
Carrot.co which I also mentioned earlier … Read the rest
Company Domain Movers: mPlatform.com, BroadCity.com + MoreJamie Zoch

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