#480 October 3, 2016 – The Big Internet Handoff

This week’s headline story: The Big Internet Handoff

icannThe past Saturday was the day that Internet governance was passed from the US Department of Commence to a nonprofit organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN has been managing Internet names and addresses since 1998 with oversight by the US government. This past Saturday, its contract expired and a new contract was signed giving ICANN full power to manage Internet names and addresses. Some republican senators attempted to block the move. Sen. Ted Cruz stated that “When ICANN escapes from [US] government authority, it escapes from having to worry about the First Amendment, from having to worry about protecting your rights or my rights.” Attorneys general of Arizona, Nevada,Oklahoma, and Texas filed a lawsuit to block the turnover. But a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas denied that request for a temporary restraining order.

ICANN says that these fears were uninformed. It said that the handoff would ensure an open internet. “This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality,” ICANN Board Chair Stephen D. Crocker said in a statement. “This community validated the multistakeholder model of internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the internet of today.” The Internet Governance Coalition, a group of companies that includes Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Verizon, also expressed approval of the move.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft form AI non-profit [ZDNet]
    Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft have announced they are forming a non-for-profit organization to educate the public about artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, as well as alleviate anxieties around its application. The organization, called Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI), will address legal and ethical challenges that AI presents, encourage public discourse, and identify opportunities to use AI to bring improvements to society.

in Information Security News…

  • The Internet Is No Place for Elections [MIT Tech Review]
    A Close Election Could Expose Risky Electronic Voting Machines [MIT Tech Review]
    There is much concern over voting systems that are connected to the Internet. Computer security experts warn that such systems are vulnerable to hacking and might create a shadow of doubt over the upcoming election. MIT Technology Review states that 32 states and the District of Columbia allow at least some absentee voters to return their completed ballots using poorly secured e-mail, Internet-connected fax machines, or websites. Additionally, Voters in 15 states, including several battlegrounds, will be voting on systems that lack an important safeguard against software errors and tampering.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • What to expect from Google’s October 4 Pixel and hardware event [Tech Crunch]
    Google’s new Pixel Smartphones are set to launch at a Tuesday press event. Much information has been leaked about the new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones that look to be iPhone quality (and price) running the stock Android OS. Google is also expected to talk about Google Home, Chromecast Ultra, Daydream VR and Google WiFi. Read about all that is expected at Tech Crunch or just wait until tomorrow and see for yourself!

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