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Nominet puts its future on the line

UK registry owner Nominet is this morning holding its second extraordinary general meeting in a year in Oxford in an effort to expand its business and modernise its processes. Following a disastrous attempt eight months ago to rewrite its corporate make-up, where the company faced a revolt by members of its own advisory board …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Nov 2006
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A glimpse inside the real IGF

You've seen the show, read the reviews, bought the t-shirt, but now it's time to reveal the real Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the kind of IGF that only photographs with pleasingly childish captions can provide... Desai and net fathers The two special guests (aside from the Greek PM and EC rottweiler Viviane Reding) at the …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Nov 2006
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United Nations lauds internet's 'arranged marriage'

The closing day of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has ended on a high note with attendees from across the world (from business, government, international organisations and civil society) all expressing their delight at the experimental forum. When the forum opened its doors in Athens four days ago it was uncertain whether …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Nov 2006
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The gossip issue

I got some good advice once. It was: "Make sure you never take yourself too seriously." That has stuck with me despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it was delivered by an old French drunk sitting on a Paris bench facing a lit-up Notre Dame over the Seine at 2am. It is with that wisdom in mind that this blog post will …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Nov 2006
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IGF: The good, the bad and the psycho cleaners

The Greeks drove me to it. Last night, under the cover of conference quietness, I sneaked into the Apollon hotel store room and stole a waiter uniform. I’m not proud of it, but I am proudly wearing it today one for simple reason - I want my own coffee and water, and I don't want to have to wait 10 minutes for it to be served to …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Nov 2006
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United Nations Internet forum goes titsup

The website of the United Nations' Internet Governance Forum has been suspended and replaced with a cartoon dog pulling wires out of a PC. The site at igf2006.info was taken down with 20 minutes left of the main speaking session after the hosts complained that demand from a collaborative website set up to elicit views from the …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Nov 2006
channel

Open standards group to beat Microsoft at its own game

The first "dynamic coalition" resulting from the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has vowed to get governments interested in adopting open standards for both hardware and software. A panel, which included academics, business, and standards bodies argued its case in Athens, where one of the aims of open discussions between …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Nov 2006
For Sale sign detail

Net forum produces anti-spam plan

Six of the world's largest anti-spam organisations have set up a new website aimed at killing the online menace. Timed to coincide with an anti-spam workshop at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Athens, the OECD has started StopSpamAlliance.org, along with Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), the EU Contact Network …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Nov 2006
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Moderation, frustration, and making people uncomfortable

You reach a certain level of frustration and then, suddenly, you relax. The struggle becomes impossible and then you realise that, ultimately, it's not that important. You're still breathing air, you still have legs, this will come to an end. What on earth am I talking about? The mild insanity of hosting a global, revolutionary …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Oct 2006
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Internet forum promises democracy to the masses

The inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was opened in Athens yesterday morning by Greek prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis amid proud claims that the forum represented a new level of democratic thinking at the top of the internet. In a webcast opening ceremony, Karamanlis joined other high-profile …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Oct 2006
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IGF: Why you should care

The inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be opened today at 10am by the Greek prime minister in Athens, starting the gun on four days of discussion that many hope will provide answers to some of the internet's biggest problems. With even the speakers and moderators only agreed upon at the last minute, …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Oct 2006
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Global net forum opens its doors - online and off

Ordinary internet users will have a chance to make points and ask questions of the world's governments, not to mention business, engineers and media, over the next four days as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) opens its doors - both physically and online - for the first time. The IGF, beginning tomorrow in Athens and …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Oct 2006
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Greek blogger arrest infuriates world

The arrest of a blogger by Greek police just days before Athens hosts the inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum has left the blogosphere in uproar and the authorities with egg on their face. Antonis Tsipropoulos was arrested at home on Tuesday by the Greek police following a complaint from a controversial Greek …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Oct 2006
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ICANN votes on domain tasting solution

Internet overseeing organisation ICANN will vote later today on whether to introduce a new system aimed at closing a loophole in domain name rules that enables speculators to register thousands of domain names effectively for free. The method, called "domain tasting", has proved highly controversial in the past year and, its …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Oct 2006
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Rooney scores!

Wayne Rooney has won back his domain namesake, WayneRooney.com, from disgruntled Everton fan and Welsh soap actor Huw Marshall. The World Intellectual Property Organisation decided that Marshall registered the domain in bad faith and ordered it handed over to the England and Manchester United football star and his agent's …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Oct 2006
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Bloggers unite! Governments ask for advice on future of net

A meeting of the internet's top brass as well as UK politicians, businessmen, and academics will take place in London at 2pm today - and bloggers have been asked to make their voices heard. Discussion will cover the future of the internet and seek answers to the problems the medium has thrown up, including spam, phishing, …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Oct 2006
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US government steps back from internet control

The US government has taken a step back from control of the internet with a new contract between it and overseeing organisation ICANN that came into effect yesterday. The three-year contract, with an apparently significant halfway review point, has been heralded by both ICANN and the Department of Commerce as a sign that the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Oct 2006
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Nominet rides election storm

UK registry owner Nominet has dismissed requests for a re-election of two of its Board members, announcing that the two incumbents, Gordon Dick and Fay Howard, would return to their positions. Controversy hit the election process when it was revealed that a miscalculation in members' voting rights had only been noticed at the …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Oct 2006
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Nominet election shambles sparks call for re-vote

Prospective board candidates for UK registry Nominet have called for a re-run of the election - just hours after the ballot closed and before the votes have even been counted. Andrew Bennett and Angus Hanton are among six up for the two non-executive positions at the company that runs all .uk internet domain names and have …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Sep 2006
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Buy your piece of the .mobi internet today

The latest addition to the internet - new .mobi domains - will go on sale from 3pm today (GMT). The .mobi top-level domain will be exclusively for use with mobile phones and other mobile devices, rather than relying on cut-down versions of normal websites, and so will "revolutionise the use of the internet on mobile devices" …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Sep 2006
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Nominet board candidate interviews

Two spaces on the board of UK registry owner Nominet will be decided at the company's annual general meeting this Wednesday. All registered Nominet members are entitled to vote, although postal votes have to be with the company by today. We got in touch with each of the six candidates and asked them to explain why you should …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2006
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Today is OneWebDay

Today has been designated One Web Day - a day of celebration of the internet - with a number of celebrations planned across the world tonight, including the appearance of the man that invented the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, expected in London. The holiday is the brainchild of net luminary and law professor Susan Crawford …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2006
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ICANN free in two years

Internet overseeing organisation ICANN will become an autonomous body, free from any form of government control, on 1 October 2008, if plans drawn up between it and the US government go according to plan. The current agreement between ICANN and the US Department of Commerce (DoC) is due to expire next week, but speculation has …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Sep 2006
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Banned spy novel published on net

Sacked spy Richard Tomlinson has defied the UK's secret services by posting the first chapter of his spy novel online. The ex-MI6 officer was fired in 1995 after four years in the foreign arm of British secret intelligence and spent a year in a maximum security prison for publishing a book about his time in the organisation. …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Sep 2006
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Internet head honchos prepare for election

Board selections for two of the internet's most important companies are to be decided later this month. Two directors of UK registry owner Nominet will be chosen on 27 September at the company's annual general meeting in London, while three board members for US company and internet overseeing organisation ICANN will be …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Sep 2006
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Nominet solves rogue domain seller problem

Nominet has gone a long way toward solving the problem of rogue domain sellers in the UK by reducing transfer fees. From 1 October, the company that oversees the .uk registry will slash the cost of moving .uk domain names both between agents and actual owners. The result will not only improve competition within the domain name …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Sep 2006
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Blueprint for first global internet forum laid out

The blueprint for the world's first Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to be held at the end of October in Athens has been thrashed out. The IGF's advisory group of governments, business, and civil society agreed at the end of last week to hold four main three hour sessions covering the broad subjects of openness, security, …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Sep 2006
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ICANN awarded net adminstration until 2011

The US government has awarded net overseeing organisation ICANN the contract to administer changes at the top of the internet until 2011. The contract covers what is commonly referred to as the IANA function, a traditional bundle of technical operations that includes the allocation of IP addresses, management of the internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Aug 2006
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United States cedes control of the internet - but what now?

In a meeting that will go down in internet history, the United States government last night conceded that it can no longer expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over the internet. Having been the internet's instigator and, since 1998, its voluntary taskmaster, the US government finally agreed to transition …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2006
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Want to show the world what you're doing with the net?

If you are using the internet to change the world and you want the world to know it, today's your lucky day. The inaugural meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) - a new, open meeting agreed to by the world's governments in November - will be held at the end of October this year and the organisers are looking for people …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jul 2006
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Future of the net to be decided tomorrow

The future of the internet and the US government's role within it will be debated at a public meeting tomorrow in Washington DC. Starting at 1.30pm local time, officials from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will discuss "issues associated with the continuation of the transition of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2006
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74,000 .eu domains suspended

Over 74,000 .eu domains have been suspended and 400 registering companies sued by the company in charge of the European Union's top-level domain. Non-profit organisation EURid has taken legal action after a review of the system for .eu domains (which went live in April) revealed a small number of companies had registered …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jul 2006
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Tom Cruise wins TomCruise.com

Tom Cruise has won his domain namesake, TomCruise.com, from notorious cybersquatter Jeff Burgar. Burgar contested the complaint and paid for a three-person panel at domain name arbirtrator WIPO to decide the issue. In the end though, they decided for the movie star and against Burgar - who is a regular at WIPO judgments, having …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Jul 2006
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US government urged again to end net role

The United States government is under pressure again, this time from two high-profile insiders, to end its overseeing role on the internet and transistion its role to an international body. A paper [pdf] co-written by the ex-government lawyer that originally drew up the contract between the US government and internet overseeing …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2006
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Wayne Rooney sees red over domain namesake

Football star and petulant pug-face Wayne Rooney is seeing red again - this time over his internet domain namesake. The English striker has taken the owner of WayneRooney.com - a Mr Huw Marshall from Wrexham - to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva in order to get the name back. Following in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2006
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US government told to take its hands off internet

The United States government has been told to end its oversight role of the internet during its own consultation exercise over the future of net governance. In a stark result, over 87 percent of those that commented on the US's continued control of the internet's hierachy said that it was time for it to transition toward a new …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2006
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Nominet signs up to ICANN

In a hugely significant move, .uk registry Nominet has signed up to internet overseeing organisation ICANN and put to bed a historic battle between the US not-for-profit company and managers of country-specific internet domains. The decision to go through with an "exchange of letters" where ICANN recognises Nominet as the owner …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jul 2006
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The internet needs YOU!

The US government is asking for comments on how the internet should be run, and anyone is allowed to comment - but you'll need to be quick. The NTIA - an arm of the US government's department of commerce - is holding a public meeting at the end of July over what should happen to the current Internet overseeing organisation …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Jul 2006
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.xxx probes US government interference

The company behind the unsuccessful .xxx bid has filed a third freedom of information act (FOIA) request against the US Department of Commerce in its ongoing bid to discover what pressure was exerted by the US government on internet organisation ICANN to turn the top-level domain down. The new FOIA request from ICM Registry, …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2006
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Tragic death sparks new internet foundation

A new foundation has been created to honour the memory of internet pioneer Liz Dengate-Thrush who died last week in a tragic traffic accident. The Liz Dengate Thrush Internet Entrepreneurship Foundation was announced in an emotional speech in Marrakech yesterday at the tri-annual meeting of internet overseeing organisation …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2006
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Highs, lows and sickos

ICANN Marrakech is over, save the board meeting. And this fact was - as it always is - sufficient reason for everyone to head to the bar and mull things over while consuming (un)healthy quantities of booze. What was the upshot of this week-long meeting in Morocco? Well, the general consensus was that not much had happened. …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2006
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Arguments and gunfire

It's difficult to know if there is anything more frustrating than being unable to get on the internet at an ICANN meeting, but then I'm certain that the greengrocers of Georgia or undertakers of Uxbridge have an anecdote or two to put that in shadow. While it's nice having a much bigger conference venue than usual - no more …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jun 2006
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Bad music and full mouths

"Cause baby, I feel wonderful tonight..." The man singing this is lying. He doesn't feel wonderful at all. He feels like a musician who has been reduced to playing old-favourites to a small bunch of indifferent tourists, sat tapping away behind two sythesisers, only one of which he ever plays, but both of which are bathed in …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2006
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Governments to decide future of net

In an historic shift of power, international governments will this week argue that they should take the lead role in "public policy" issues on the Net - effectively deciding the future course of much of the internet. The request will come in an official communique from the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2006
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Germany registers 10 millionth .de domain

Germany has registered its 10 millionth domain name, making the .de top-level domain the second largest in the world following dotcom. The lucky registrant was huettenberger-case-fabrik.de - unwittingly demonstrating the scarsity of .de domain names - and was taken by a transport case maker from Linden, just outside Frankfurt, …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2006
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The internet's CEO signs up for three more years

The CEO of internet overseeing body ICANN, Paul Twomey, has signed a three-year extension to his employment contract, it was announced this morning in Marrakech. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the tri-annual ICANN meeting in Morocco, father of the internet Vint Cerf surprised the international crowd by saying Twomey has …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jun 2006
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Will the internet die in September?

There will be much to discuss at ICANN's Marrakech meeting which kicks off this Saturday, but one question rises about all others: what will happen to the internet on 30 September 2006? ICANN has its own agenda to discuss, but that agenda and what people actually want to discuss are a little different. As is the fundamental …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jun 2006
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Hard cheese for Stelios in EasyPizza case

Self-proclaimed man of the people Stelios Haji-Ioannou - now Sir Stelios - has been branded a "rich bully" by a London businessman who has obtained a court order against the EasyJet founder to prevent him from interfering any further with his pizza business. Karl Kahn was informed in 2004 that his EasyPizza.co.uk domain was …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jun 2006
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Jeffrey Archer wins JeffreyArcher.com

Politician, novelist, lord and perjurer Jeffrey Archer has won his namesake dotcom - JeffreyArcher.com. The controversial Tory peer took legendary cybersquatter Jeff Burgar to WIPO on 5 April, a single panellist was appointed on 18 May, and the decision made on 1 June after Burgar failed to respond to the complaint. Burgar was …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jun 2006
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Nominet warns on Whois data mining

Nominet has issued a warning about commercial companies that are swiping copyrighted information on domain name owners from its Whois database. Several weeks ago, the UK internet registry owner noticed a sharp increase in the number of people accessing its Whois service, an online searchable database that provides ownership …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Jun 2006