Kieren McCarthy

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EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade

easyGroup is at it again. Despite having been told repeatedly that it does not own everything that includes the word "easy," the budget company took the owner of the domain 'easygroup.com' to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arguing that it violated its trademark. The domain was registered by a company called …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Mar 2015
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

ICANN switches off dot-word admin portal amid security leak scare

Global domain-name overlord ICANN has found another security hole in its systems. This time, confidential data on companies vying for new dot-word domains may have been snooped on by rivals logged into ICANN's catch-all portal – meaning commercially sensitive information as well as important technical details on the internet's …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Mar 2015

Watch out hipster nerds – Granny Beskind's behind you!

In a push back against the twenty-something, misogynistic Silicon Valley culture – along comes nonagenarian Barbara Beskind. Barbs was featured on NBC's Today show – one of those Friday human interest stories that is fun but risks dragging on a bit too long and so gradually loses your interest [uh-huh -Ed]. Well, Barbara always …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Mar 2015
Github octodex

FORK ME! Uber hauls GitHub into court to find who hacked database of 50,000 drivers

Uber has subpoenaed GitHub to unmask netizens suspected of hacking its database of thousands of taxi drivers. The ride-booking app vendor is trying to force GitHub [PDF] to hand over the IP addresses of anyone who visited a particular gist post between March and September 2014. That gist is believed to have contained a login …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Feb 2015
Icelandic chasm

FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

Analysis A decision by the FCC has opened up a partisan chasm by quashing US state laws that hamper the rollout of city-owned broadband. The commission declared on Thursday that laws passed in North Carolina and Tennessee were unfair barriers to broadband deployment. In so doing, it has put itself in the middle of two classic American …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules

Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his "open internet" regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules. Here, we see a historic debate …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2015
Google UK office logos

Dot-word sensation: Google forks out $25m for a fist of .app-y pills

Google has spunked $25m on the rights to sell domains ending in ".app", beating off competition from 12 other bidders, including Amazon and almost every large internet registry. The new generic top-level domain (gTLD) was notable for being the most hotly contested extension amid more than 1,000 others that vary from brand names …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2015

Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

Analysis US watchdog the FCC formally approved new net neutrality rules on Thursday for America. But you're out of luck if you want to know exactly how your access to the internet will be now be governed. Despite getting the green light, the exact rules have not been revealed and will remain a mystery for some unspecified length of time …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Feb 2015

Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

US watchdog the FCC today approved its strongest ever rules governing internet access. The regulations were passed in a 3-2 vote by commissioners. "It's a red letter day for the internet," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler just prior to calling the vote. "Today history is being made." The vote fell along partisan lines, with the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Feb 2015
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Who's un-dot-pressure? .com overlord Verisign sues .xyz kingpin

Dot-com registry operator Verisign is suing the largest new gTLD registry, dot-xyz, alleging false advertising. In its lawsuit filing [PDF], submitted to the eastern district court of Virginia, Verisign claims the biz behind .xyz has violated the Lanham Act, which outlaws trademark infringement and false advertising. Dot-xyz is …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Feb 2015

Wanna free web domain for a year? Hey, it's not rocket .science

This morning has seen the launch of the dot-science top-level domain – and one registrar at least is offering them for free. That's right, AlpNames is offering one year's registration for zero dollars. The typical price for a dot-science domain will be $40 per year, but in order to give the launch a boost the registry owners, …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2015

Internet industry lends support to IANA transition

The internet's largest companies and providers, including Amazon, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Time Warner and Verizon, have given a thumbs-up to plans to move the critical Internet Assigned Numbers Authority contract away from the US government. In testimony this Wednesday to the Senate commerce committee, former US …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2015

FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

The two Republican commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have formally called for this week's vote on net neutrality to be delayed. The US watchdog's panel of commissioners are due to approve or reject FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's secret proposals to regulate internet access in America as if it is a phone …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2015

Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

Analysis With commissioners at US watchdog the FCC due to vote on proposed net neutrality rules next week, a poll of Americans has revealed two interesting and important aspects: Most of them don't know what on Earth net neutrality actually is. Most of them want to see the rules before they are approved. This is unlikely to stop the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 2015

The millionaire former playboy, Hugh Hefner, and a crucial fight over playboy.london

Analysis When Michael Ross registered the domain playboy.london in August, it was supposed to be a bit of a laugh. The Brit once dated a Playboy Bunny, visited the mansion in Beverly Hills, and has a "colorful past" as they say on Fleet Street. Ross, today a settled-down 50-year-old property developer, was featured in the Daily Mail a …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 2015
gTLD graphic

What's the hot domain dot-news? Er, it's .news

Domain specialist Rightside has won the fight for the generic top-level domain dot-news and will roll it out in the middle of the year. The company acquired the rights to sell all domains ending in .news through an auction and its partner domain company Donuts – beating Amazon as well as several other specialist registry …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Feb 2015

What does America need right now? Data science! (says, er, the first Chief Data Scientist)

The White House has created the post of Chief Data Scientist and hired the guy who coined the term as its first incumbent, DJ Patil. Patil lives in California and has worked for a number of Silicon Valley giants, including LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal and Skype. Now he's moving to Washington DC for the role and report to Chief …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Global DNS power grab: US senators want a word with ICANN next week

The process to move oversight of the world's DNS system away from the US government is heading to Congress with a hearing scheduled for later this month. On 25 February, the Senate's commerce committee will run a session called "Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance". The session will feature the man in …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
John Legere

AT&T, Verizon will nuke rivals in next US mobile auction – and it's the FCC's fault, says Legere

The CEO of T-Mobile US has called the sell-off of Uncle Sam's radio space to mobile networks "a success for the US Treasury [but] a disaster for American wireless consumers." In a scathing blog post, John Legere calls the $42bn raised by the FCC-run auction "insane," and complained that the two biggest wireless companies – AT&T …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Wanna cheerlead open internet standards, help out the peeps at IETF? Enter the ISoc Maze

The political arm of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Society, has posted its approved slate of candidates for two board positions – and invited everyone else in the world to parachute into the process. The IETF will be best known among Reg readers as the volunteer developers and maintainers of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

Vid Former Florida governor, brother of former President George W Bush, son of former President George H W Bush, and Republican frontrunner for the 2016 US presidential election, Jeb Bush ... has strongly defended the NSA's mass surveillance of innocent people. Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as part of his run for …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

'Net neutrality will turn the internet communist – and make Iran's day'

Former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell has attempted to revive the argument that proposed net neutrality rules in the US will lead to a UN-run (read, Chinese-run) internet. These draft rules are due to be voted on by FCC commissioners next week. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled "Dictators Love the FCC’s Plan to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015

SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Despite the outcome of last year's referendum on Scottish independence – namely, keeping the union together – Scotland's politicians have declared independence from the UK ... online. On Tuesday, the Scottish Government shifted its internet presence from 'scotland.gov.uk' to 'gov.scot', redirecting the old domain to its new home …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015
Grumpy cat

NetMundial consultation produces collective, apathetic 'meh'

Efforts to reboot a controversial new internet governance body have been met with a resounding note of apathy. In all, just 23 people responded to a call to define the NetMundial Initiative's (NMI's) future role - the same number that sit on the body's coordination council - over a two-week public comment period. All those …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015

So who just bought the rights to .blog for $30m? A chap living in Panama

Exclusive The rights to sell .blog domains – one of the most sought after new dot-word gTLDs – have been won at auction by an unknown Colombian working out of Panama. Gerardo Aristizabal and his company Primer Nivel paid an estimated $30m for the premium piece of internet real-estate, beating out industry giants Google, Afilias, Donuts as …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: Growing flames of criticism lick FCC chief's secret plans

As the big vote on new net neutrality rules draws close, opposition to the FCC chairman's plan to reclassify broadband under so-called Title II legislation is growing. On Thursday, the Washington Post formally came out against the idea, arguing that such an approach would "expose broadband providers to a new world of federal …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

Watch: China has made an internet censorship THEME SONG

Video Creating patriotic songs is an age-old solution to difficult problems, albeit one that is out of fashion in the Western world. Not so in China, which has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

World's governments emerge enraged from mounds of red tape, screaming at ICANN

The world's governments have told domain name overseer ICANN that its processes are "complex, lengthy and ambiguous" and warned that they may be ineffective at dealing with domain-name abuse or fraud. The extraordinary statement comes in the official communiqué [PDF] of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

City broadband ISPs: PLEEEEASE don't do 'Title II' net neutrality

No less than 43 small ISPs have written to US watchdog the FCC [PDF] asking that it not introduce Title II legislation later this month. According to the broadband slingers, who hail from 16 states of America and have on average just over 4,000 subscribers each, reclassifying internet providers as common carriers will cause them …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015
Taylor Swift

You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

In one of the most unlikely but intriguing domain registrations in recent years, pop star Taylor Swift has, it appears, registered ITaughtTaylorSwiftHowToGiveHead.com. No, really. The registration was sparked by Swift's lawyers threatening the owner of ITaughtTaylorSwift.com, run by, um, the man who taught Taylor Swift how to …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

Kanye West: Yo, DNS... Imma let you finish, but this gTLD is one of the best of all time

Fresh from insulting award-winner Beck in favour of Beyoncé at the Grammys, walking headline Kanye West has got the internets a-quiver with a series of tweets highlighting a new website that will sell shoes. And by series, we mean no less than six tweets all featuring an unnecessary long countdown clock. Here's one: vacuum …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

US plots to KILL hackers – with bureaucracy!

A new US government "cyber threat" agency will take information on computer security breaches at private companies, pair it with classified intelligence – and put it back out to businesses so they can learn how to beef up their defences. That's the dream, anyway, according to President Obama's homeland security and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

'Worse than I imagined': FCC commish slams chief's net neutrality bid

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai used a Tuesday press conference to slam net neutrality rules that are expected to be approved by the regulator later this month. "I have studied the 332-page plan in detail, and it is worse than I had imagined," Pai told the room of reporters and tech policy analysts before giving six reasons why he won …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

Back off – it is ILLEGAL to make us accountable, claim ICANN lawyers

A row has blown up at global domain-name overseer ICANN, after the group looking into improving the corporation's accountability was told many of its ideas were illegal. At issue is the power of the board versus the power of ICANN's members – should the board always have the power to overrule its membership? It's proposed that …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015

Net neutrality in the US: Look out! It's Neut-gate! Or is that Net-ghazi?

Comment In what promises to be the latest version of an unreasonable and largely pointless pissing match between Congress and the White House, the House and Senate have sent document requests to find out just how much pressure the White House put on the FCC over net neutrality rules. On Friday, chair of the House Oversight Committee, …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015

'Kickass' Somali pirates get their asses kicked by Japanese ass-kickers

KickassTorrents clearly thought Somalia would be a good place to set up shop, given the ungovernable country's long association with pirates. But just two months after the hugely popular file-sharing site shifted from its kickass.to address to kickass.so, the team has had to go back to its previous domain – after kickass.so was …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Feb 2015
gTLD graphic

Industry research claims over half of internet users open to new domains

A survey by industry group, the Domain Name Association (DNA), shows that people are open to the idea of new internet extensions, with more than half of respondents expressing a preference for new names. More than 5,000 users in 10 countries took part in the survey, whose broad methodology was also published [PDF] to build …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Feb 2015

Taking a look at Luna: the smart bed that knows your sleep secrets

If you've not been to San Francisco's SoMA (South of Market) district for a while, it may come as a shock. In the underpass where drug addicts once gathered in force, you will now find astroturf and food trucks; the pile of battered shopping carts replaced by cocktail tables. Walking down 2nd street used to involve sidestepping …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Feb 2015

FCC chair refuses to make net neutrality rules public before approval

FCC chair Tom Wheeler has refused to release the net neutrality rules that the regulator will vote on later this month. The decision whether to make a document public before it faces formal approval rests with the FCC chair but, despite requests from Congress and two of his own commissioners, Wheeler has refused to do so, …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Feb 2015
Protesters outside FCC headquarters

Net neutrality: Someone WILL sue. So will the FCC's rules hold up?

Analysis More details about what is contained within new net neutrality rules outlined yesterday by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler have made it a virtual certainty that they will be approved by the watchdog later this month. But that will not be the end of the matter. US cable companies are fiercely opposed to being regulated, so there will …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Feb 2015

SPITTLE SPATTER as America weighs into FCC net neut shoutgasm

Roundup This morning, FCC bigcheese Tom Wheeler outlined his plans for firm net neutrality rules - and hence, the regulation of internet access. The issue has long been a source of argument and wrangling, and the responses to the news have demonstrated what we already knew: there is seemingly no middle ground on the issue. Verizon …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Feb 2015
Tom Wheeler, Chair of FCC. Image by DonkeyHotey

Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

FCC chief Tom Wheeler has confirmed he will put forward strong rules enforcing net neutrality this month. These protections, if approved, will try to ensure all traffic across the internet is treated equally, with no one able to build so-called "fast lanes" for rich websites. It's feared these expensive web toll roads could be …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Feb 2015

China and Russia start again with this UN internet takeover bull****

A new submission to the UN's General Assembly from China, Russia and the 'stans may reignite fears of a government takeover of the internet. Dated 13 January but only appearing now in English, the document (A/69/723) [PDF] is an "update" of the countries' "international code of conduct for information security." That code of …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Feb 2015

Dish, the FCC, and a sly trick to leave American taxpayers $3bn short

Analysis A row has erupted over the $3bn discount Dish Networks hopes to bag on the slice of US government radio space it bought for wireless broadband. It's put a spotlight on the process of auctioning frequencies to private biz – and thrown the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the hot seat. One of the regulator's five …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Feb 2015
Blackmail

'Revenge p0rn' kingpin Kevin Bollaert faces 20 years in jail

"Revenge porn" website operator Kevin Bollaert has been found guilty of 27 out of 31 counts, including identity theft and extortion, and faces up to 24 years in prison. Bollaert made at least $30,000 from the website UGotPosted.com which hosted thousands of nude photos, mostly women and usually uploaded by ex-boyfriends. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Feb 2015

Wannabe Rulers of the Internet hit control-alt-delete on power plan

The NetMundial Initiative – ICANN and Brazil's plan to wrest the internet from the US and the NSA – is attempting a reboot by asking everyone what it should actually do. An online survey, opened on Monday for two weeks, will be used to develop new "terms of reference" including what its focus should be, what work it should …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Feb 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Dish, AT&T, Verizon's mobile broadband bids slash US debt by 0.13%

AT&T was the biggest spender in the auction for wireless broadband frequencies that closed yesterday – spending $18.2bn to get access to every corner of the US. Of the remaining $23.1bn spent by telcos, Dish Network was the unexpected second largest shopper with $13.3bn blown on spectrum licenses, followed by Verizon with $10. …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jan 2015
Protesters outside FCC headquarters

US Ambassador: No, net neutrality will NOT allow the UN to seize control of the internet from us

Analysis US Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda has blown up hyperbolic claims that enforcing net neutrality rules in America could lead to the United Nations taking control of the internet. Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, is strongly in favor of net …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2015

Hey, America. Canada's watchdog just slapped net neutrality rules on wireless internet

A decision by Canadian telecoms regulator CRTC may have significant implications after it applied net neutrality rules to wireless connections. In the ruling, the country's largest telco Bell was ordered to stop offering a mobile app that for $5 per month allowed customers to watch 10 hours of video from television channels …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2015

'Revenge porn' bully told not to post people's nude pics online. That's it. That's his punishment

Notorious "revenge porn" tormentor Craig Brittain has been banned from posting people's nude photos on his website or anywhere else online – and ordered to destroy thousands of pictures in his possession. However, the 30-year-old from Colorado will escape a fine despite having made $12,000 from his IsAnybodyDown.com website …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2015