#353 March 17, 2014 – US Hands Over Internet Governance

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This week’s headline story: US Hands Over Internet Governance

icannThe United States is giving up its role overseeing the system of Web addresses and domain names that make up the Internet. The U.S. subcontracted the management of Internet addresses to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, back in 1998. The responsibility will gradually be turned over to an international group whose structure and administration will be determined over the next year. Businesses around the world, dependent on the smooth functioning of the Internet for their livelihood, have expressed concern about what form the new organization will take. However, since revelations of the National Security Agency intercepting Internet traffic as part of its global spying efforts, there has been increasing pressure on the U.S. to cede its oversight of Internet addresses.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Zuckerberg responds to ‘frustrating’ reports of NSA spoofing Facebook, while the agency denies them [Engadget]

    More secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest that the NSA utilizes servers designed to masquerade as Facebook servers in order to spy on people. The NSA’s Public Affairs office posted a statement calling the reports inaccurate. According to the agency: “NSA does not use its technical capabilities to impersonate U.S. company websites. Nor does NSA target any user of global Internet services without appropriate legal authority.” Meanwhile Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted his response to the news stating how important trust is on the Internet, calling the reports confusing and frustrating, and said he called President Obama directly to express those feelings.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Web Browsers and Chromebook Fall in Hacker Contests [NewsFactor]

    The annual Pwn2Own contest took place this past week in Vancouver. The contest, which provides over $1 million in prizes, is designed to test the security of browsers and browser plugins. This year every one of the browsers, Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and Mozilla’s Firefox, plus Adobe’s Reader and Flash plug-in, were successfully hacked as was Chromebook computers. The contest provided browser developers with valuable insight into vulnerabilities which they will no doubt will quickly patch.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Will Amazon Prime Price Hike Drive Mass Exodus? [NewsFactor]

    Amazon is raising the price of Amazon Prime from $79 to $99 a year. Amazon Prime service provides free two-day shipping, unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows, and free Kindle books. The company says that the price hike is necessary because of rising fuel and transportation costs. Analysts estimate that Amazon will lose 10 – 15 percent of its more than 20 million Prime members.

  • Google Cuts Drive Prices, Targets Cloud Storage Competitors [NewsFactor]

    Google is cutting prices on Google Drive. Now 100 GB of storage costs just $2 a month, down from $5 per month and the 1 TB plan is now $10 monthly, compared with the previous $50. The new reduced pricing undercuts every major competitor on the market.

and finally…

  • Google Will Release Android SDK for Wearables [NewsFactor]

    Having dominated the mobile market, Google is now targeting wearables. The company has announced that an Android software development kit (SDK) for wearables will be released soon. Google will be releasing its own LG-manufactured smart watch in June at the Google I/O conference. In addition to watches, the category of wearables could also include glasses, like Google Glass, intelligent hearing aids, clothing with sensors and connectivity, sensor-embedded shoes, intelligent jewelry, and other clothing and accessories.

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