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The Week in Internet News: Russia Moves Toward Test of Internet Disconnect

Lun, 25/03/2019 - 15:18

A separate Internet: The MIT Technology Review looks at the implications of Russia’s test to cut itself off from the rest of the Internet, scheduled for early April. The shutdown is a test of an Internet sovereignty law being considered in Russia, but it’s unclear how the country will actually accomplish the disconnect.

Clamping down: Egypt is cracking down on fake news with new rules that critics say are meant to curb dissent and restrict information the government believe is a threat to national security, The Hill reports. The country’s Supreme Media Regulatory Council can now block websites and some social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers for what it believes is “fake news” and can fine operators up to US$14,400 without getting a court order. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed two bills that critics say amount to censorship, Ars Technica says. One bill allows stiff fines for disseminating what the government determines is fake news, and the second allows fines and jail time for insulting government officials, including Putin.

Encrypting the IoT: The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is looking at encryption methods to protect the Internet of Things and other computing devices against future encryption-cracking technologies, GCN.com reports. Over the past year, NIST has been evaluating 69 algorithms for its Post Quantum Cryptography Standardization program.

No encryption here: Facebook has stored millions of user passwords in plain text, meaning without using encryption, in some cases, going back to 2012, Krebs on Security reports. An internal Facebook investigation indicated that between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable the social network’s employees.

Better than nothing: In parts of Africa, nations are embracing networks created with technology from Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, despite U.S. concerns about the provider’s links to the Chinese government, Foreign Policy says. In many cases, Huawei is the only option. “While concerns about Huawei are shared by other countries around the world, in Africa they are largely overshadowed by the imperative for greater Internet access,” the story says.

Artificial music: Google’s Doodle on March 21 included an Artificial Intelligence-powered game that allowed users to create music that mimicked the compositional style of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, Phys.org notes. March 21 was Bach’s birthday under the old Julian calendar.

Community networks work! Join the movement to help close the digital divide.

The post The Week in Internet News: Russia Moves Toward Test of Internet Disconnect appeared first on Internet Society.

Internet Resilience Discussions at IETF 104

Ven, 22/03/2019 - 10:09

Let’s look at what’s happening in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the upcoming IETF 104 meeting in the area of Internet infrastructure resilience. As usual, my focus here is primarily on the routing and forwarding planes, and specifically routing security and unwanted traffic of Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) attacks. There’s interesting and important work underway at the IETF that can help addressing problems in both areas.

This time there are a lot of new ideas, especially of an operational nature, that people bring to the IETF in the form of Internet Drafts that aim to improve the security and resilience of the Internet infrastructure. So I’d like to introduce some of them to you, but keep in mind that an Internet Draft (I-D) does not necessarily indicate IETF endorsement. It also does not constitute a standard and may even not result in any work at the IETF.

So let’s look at what’s happening in BGP land.

Can BGP Communities be harmful? 

In the recent paper “BGP Communities: Even more Worms in the Routing Can“, the authors demonstrated that Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) communities can be exploited by remote parties to influence routing in unintended ways. Due in part to their ill-defined semantics, BGP communities are often propagated far further than a single routing hop, even though their intended scope is typically limited to nearby ASes. As a consequence, remote adversaries can use BGP communities to trigger remote blackholing, steer traffic, and manipulate routes even without prefix hijacking.

The problem of ill-defined semantics is aggravated by the fact that BGP communities, and especially well-known communities, are manipulated inconsistently by current router implementations. There are differences in the outcome of the “set” directive in several popular BGP implementations. For example, in Juniper Network’s Junos OS, “community set” removes all received communities, well-known or otherwise, whilst in Cisco Systems’ IOS XR “set community” removes all received communities except a few.

An I-D “Well-Known Community Policy Behavior” describes the current behavioural differences in order to “assist operators in generating consistent community-manipulation policies in a multi-vendor environment, and to prevent the introduction of additional divergence in implementations.”

The document also urges network operators never to rely on any implicit understanding of a neighbor ASN’s BGP community handling.  For instance, “before announcing prefixes with NO_EXPORT or any other community to a neighbor ASN, the operator should confirm with that neighbor how the community will be treated.”

BGP Large Communities in the IXP environment

Some networks peer at multiple IXPs in order to improve redundancy and geographical optimization.  It is also common that, in the case of using a Route Server (RS) to implement multilateral peering relationships, Large Communities are used to instruct the RS on how to handle an announcement (e.g. not to advertise to a particular ASN), or to send additional information to the peer, e.g. the status of the validation.

The I-D “BGP Large Communities applications for IXP Route Servers” attempts to document commonly used Large Communities to facilitate consistency of use across multiple IXPs.

Building a more robust routing policy with maximum prefix limits

Has your network experienced a situation where a peer suddenly floods your border router with many more routes than expected, sometimes causing resource exhaustion and other troubles? 

The I-D “BGP Maximum Prefix Limits” describes mechanisms to reduce the negative impact of these types of misconfigurations. Instead of a general limit on the number of prefixes received from a BGP neighbour, as defined in the BGP specification, it proposes a more granular scheme with three control points to mitigate the impact:

  • Pre-Policy Inbound Maximum Prefix Limits – when the limit is checked before any policy is applied (e.g. filtering). These limits are particularly useful to help dampen the effects of full table route leaks and memory exhaustion when the implementation stores rejected routes.
  • Post-Policy Inbound Maximum Prefix Limits – checked after the import policy is applied. They are useful to help prevent FIB exhaustion and prevent accidental BGP session teardown due to prefixes not accepted by policy anyway.
  • Outbound Maximum Prefix Limits – trigger termination of a BGP session with a neighbor when the number of address prefixes to be advertised to that neighbor exceeds a locally configured upper limit. These limits are useful to help dampen the negative effects of a misconfiguration in local policy.  In many cases, it would be more desirable to tear down a BGP session rather than flooding the neighbors with misconfigured announcements.

These recommendations are distilled from a broader framework, presented by Job Snijders at the RIPE 77 meeting last year.

Leveraging RPKI for proven operational practices

A common best practice to ensure that one’s customers only announce their own networks and the networks of their customers, is to build prefix filters. 

In the case there are only direct customer relationships (i.e. the network operator’s customers are ‘stub networks’), the task is relatively easy. One needs to collect prefixes, legitimately originated by these networks, and this is most commonly done by using an IRR of choice and collecting corresponding “route” objects. But with the proliferation of RPKI, it can become a more robust alternative, providing a cryptographically verifiable ROA object that serves a similar purpose.

If you are a bigger network and some of your customers also provide transit services for smaller networks, the task is more difficult. How to determine who are the customers of your customers and so on? 

To help with this task, there is a special IRR object – “as-set”. This object is a list of ASNs or other “as-sets” that defines the customer cone of a particular AS.

However, when it comes to RPKI, there is no way for an operator to assert the routes for its customer networks, making it difficult to use the information carried by RPKI to create meaningful prefix filters without relying on RPSL “as-sets”.

The I-D “RPKI Autonomous Systems Cones: A Profile To Define Sets of Autonomous Systems Numbers To Facilitate BGP Filtering” attempts to fix that problem by introducing a new attestation object called an AS-Cone.  An AS-Cone is a digitally signed object with the goal of enabling operators to define a set of customers that can be found as “right adjacencies” or transit customer networks, facilitating the construction of prefix filters for a given ASN, thus making routing more secure.

By leveraging RPKI, AS-Cone also addresses two fundamental problems with the RPSL “as-set”. The same AS-SET name can exist in multiple IRRs, and a relying party does not necessarily know which “as-set” belongs to which ASN, and which as-set to use. 

Improving AS-PATH validation

The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) was designed with no mechanisms to validate BGP attributes. The ability to manipulate one of them – AS_PATH – creates one of the most serious vulnerabilities of the Internet routing system. BGPsec was therefore designed to solve the problem of AS_PATH correctness.  

But according to the authors of a new I-D “Verification of AS_PATH Using the Resource Certificate Public Key Infrastructure and Autonomous System Provider Authorization” even leaving aside the complexity, its backward support for ‘insecure’ BGP allows an attacker to mount a downgrade attack to nullify all the work of AS_PATH signing. 

The authors suggest a more pragmatic approach that can help leveraging the benefits of RPKI without the need for the ubiquitous deployment of BGPsec. The idea is that any AS can declare its upstream providers and peers – the networks that can propagate its prefix announcements. The more networks that do that, the more chances to detect misconfigurations whether malicious or not.

The draft defines the semantics of Autonomous System Provider Authorization (ASPA) objects that should become part of RPKI. ASPAs are digitally signed objects that bind in a selected AFI Provider AS number to a Customer AS number (in terms of BGP announcements not business), and are signed by the holder of the Customer AS. An ASPA attests that a Customer AS holder (CAS) has authorized a particular Provider AS (PAS) to propagate the Customer’s IPv4/IPv6 announcements onward, e.g. to the Provider’s upstream providers or peers.

Mitigating DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks are a persistent and growing threat on the Internet.  As they evolve rapidly in the terms of volume and sophistication, a more efficient cooperation between the victims and parties that can help mitigate such attacks is required. The ability to quickly and precisely respond to a attack when it begins, and communicate precise information to a mitigation service provider is crucial.

Addressing this challenge is what keeps the DDoS Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) Working Group busy. The aim of DOTS is to develop a standards based approach for the real-time signaling of DDoS related telemetry and threat handling requests and data between elements concerned with DDoS attack detection, classification, traceback, and mitigation. This protocol should support requests for DDoS mitigation services and status updates across inter-organizational administrative boundaries. Specifications outlining the requirements, architecture and the use cases for DOTs are maturing, and there is a hackathon planned at IETF104 to conduct further interoperability testing of DOTS protocols.

Another interesting case getting more importance, especially with the advent of consumer IoT devices, is mitigation of outbound DDoS attacks originating in a home network. The I-D “Denial-of-Service Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) Signal Channel Call Home” proposes a solution to these cases by proposing a DOTS signal channel Call Home extension that enables the DOTS server to initiate a secure connection to the DOTS client. The DOTS client then conveys the attack traffic information to the DOTS server. 

In a typical deployment scenario, the DOTS server is enabled on a CPE, whilst a client resides in an ISP network. In this case the DOTS server in the home network initiates the Call Home during peace time, and subsequently the DOTS client in the ISP environment can initiate a mitigation request whenever the ISP detects there is an attack from a compromised device in the DOTS server’s domain. Subsequently, the DOTS server would use the DDoS attack traffic information to identify the compromised device in its domain launching the DDoS attack, notify the network administrator, and take appropriate mitigation action such as quarantining the compromised device or block its traffic to the attack target until the mitigation request is withdrawn.

The meeting in Prague is certainly going to be interesting regarding Internet infrastructure security and resilience, and will hopefully have a positive impact in this area.

Relevant Working Groups at IETF 104 SIDROPS (SIDR Operations) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/104/materials/agenda-104-sidrops
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/sidrops/charter/ GROW (Global Routing Operations) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/104/materials/agenda-104-grow
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/grow/charter/ IDR (Inter-Domain Routing) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/104/materials/agenda-104-idr
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/idr/charter/ DOTS (DDoS Open Threat Signaling) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/104/materials/agenda-104-dots
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dots/charter/

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Coming Togther for an All-Inclusive and Accessible Internet in South Asia

Mer, 20/03/2019 - 17:24

Last year, at the Internet Society Asia-Pacific and Middle-East Chapters Meeting, I was introduced to the series of easily-digestible and thought-provoking issue papers published by the Internet Society. Particularly, the one on digital accessibility had me shaking in disbelief. It stated that one in six people in the Asia-Pacific region lives with disability – that is a total of about 650 million people.

The Internet Society Pakistan Islamabad Chapter had always been active in promoting digital accessibility, but I realized that we need to do more, especially at the transnational level. Thus, the idea of organizing a regional forum on digital accessibility was born, and with support from the Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau, it became a reality.

The Regional Forum on Digital Accessibility was successfully held on 7 February in Islamabad. It brought together 120 participants, including Internet Society Chapter leaders from Afghanistan and Nepal, fellows from Sri Lanka, and speakers from India.

A major achievement emerging from the forum was the vow from Pakistan’s high-level government officials to include representation of persons with disabilities in the recently-established Prime Minister’s Task Force on Information Technology (IT) and Telecom that is developing a roadmap for Pakistan’s digital transformation. There was also an affirmed commitment by Pakistan’s Ministry of IT and Telecom to ensure implementation of the provisions for accessibility in the Digital Pakistan Policy.

At the forum, participants discussed the policies and best practices for removing barriers to digitial accessibility for persons with disabilities throughout South Asia. The forum also featured case study sessions on plausible and replicable solutions from the region, as well as panel discussions on the various paradigms of accessibility.

There was immense interest from the audience to learn about the various digital accessibility initatives undertaken by countries in the region. The regional forum unanimously agreed that a whole-of-government approach is the best way forward to safeguard the accessibility rights of persons with disabilities. We can only have an “all-inclusive” digital transformation if we make the Internet accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Internet is for everyone. Visit the Accessibility Toolkit page to learn how you can contribute to a more accessible Internet.

The post Coming Togther for an All-Inclusive and Accessible Internet in South Asia appeared first on Internet Society.

Célébration du 1er anniversaire du chapitre Guinéen de l’Internet Society

Mer, 20/03/2019 - 16:45

Le Chapitre Guinéen de l’Internet Society (ISOC Guinée) a célébré son 1er anniversaire le 9 février 2019 dans la salle de conférence de l’université de Simbaya (UniSim) sous le thème «A la découverte de l’Internet, Histoire et perspectives de l’Internet et de son écosystème en Guinée». Cet important événement a réuni 150 personnes pour marquer la présence de l’Internet Society en Guinée à travers le chapitre et mutualiser les efforts pour la promotion et le développement d’un Internet ouvert, globalement connecté, sécurisé et digne de confiance pour tous en Guinée. L’opportunité a aussi été donnée aux participants et membres du chapitre ISOC Guinée de découvrir le plan d’action 2019 de l’Internet Society et voir comment cela peut se décliner en projets et activités concrètes au niveau local.

La célébration de ce 1er anniversaire du chapitre ISOC Guinée a été soutenue financièrement par le programme de financement Beyond the Net de l’Internet Society et autres partenaires locaux du chapitre dont l’université de Simbaya (UniSim).

Au cours de cette célébration, il a décidé de rendre la date du 30 décembre de chaque année comme une date historique pour le chapitre afin de renforcer les relations d’amitié et de fraternité entre les membres, acteurs et partenaires du chapitre Guinéen de l’Internet Society.

Le Chapitre Guinéen de l’Internet Society a profité de la célébration de ce 1er anniversaire pour lancer une campagne de sensibilisation et de recrutement de nouveaux membres via les médias traditionnels (radio, Télévision) et les médias sociaux (Facebook, Twitter) qui vise à atteindre 2000 personnes d’ici la fin de l’année 2019. 

Rejoignez le chapitre Guinéen de l’Internet Society pour connecter les non-connectées et faire de la vision « Internet est pour tout le monde » une réalité en Guinée.

TV Reportage

Reportage Radio

Reportage Web

The post Célébration du 1er anniversaire du chapitre Guinéen de l’Internet Society appeared first on Internet Society.

Join a Local IETF Viewing Hub in Africa

Mer, 20/03/2019 - 01:34

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the premier Internet standards body, developing open standards through processes to make the Internet work better. It gathers a large, international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. Core Internet technologies such as DNS, routing and traffic encryption use protocols standardized at IETF.

The IETF holds three meetings yearly which are livestreamed and can be followed individually, or with others sharing similar interest at a common venue. The next IETF meeting will be held from 25-29 March 2019 in Prague. The usual audience for an IETF meeting is network engineers, system engineers, developers, and university students or lecturers in information technology fields.

The Internet Society Africa Regional Bureau is running an initiative to encourage remote participation in IETF meetings that aims to promote the work of the IETF. IETF Remote Hubs aim to raise awareness about the IETF and allow those who cannot travel to a meeting to participate in the meeting remotely. The meetings are streamed in English only.

Join one of the following IETF Remote Hubs in your area, raise your awareness about the IETF and engage in the various topics of your interest!

Internet Society Gauteng Chapter
Venue: Tshimologong Precinct Wits Link center
Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Home Networking (homenet)
  • Using TLS in Applications
  • dns over https (doh)
  • quantum Internet proposed Research group (QIRG)
  • Network Time Protocol
  • Messaging Layer Security
  • Transport Layer Security (tls)
  • Thing-to-Thing

ETHNOG Ethiopia
Venue: HiLCHO
Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019
Topic of discussion: Network Time Protocol

Mozambique Research and education Network – MoRENet
Venue: Ministry of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Vocational Training
Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Dns over https (doh)
  • Quantum Internet proposed Research group (QIRG)

Internet Society Benin Chapter
Venue: University
Date: Tuesday 26 and Thursday 28 March 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Using TLS in Applications (26 March morning)
  • Dns over https (doh)  (26 March morning)
  • Messaging Layer Security (28 March morning)

Coded Club Ghana
Venue: University of Professional Studies, Accra
Date: Thursday 28 March 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • GitHub Integration and Tooling  (morning)
  • Human Rights Protocol Considerations (Afternoon)

ISOC Mali Chapter
Venue: AGETIC, ACI 2000 Hamdalaye
Date: Tuesday 26 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Home Networking  (homenet)- Morning
  • Dns over https (doh)- Morning
  • Thing-to-Thing- Afternoon

ISOC Botswana
Venue: University of Botswana
Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019
Topic of discussion: Thing-to-Thing- Afternoon

ISOC Ghana Chapter
Venue: Ghana-Korea Information Access Center, University of Ghana Legon
Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Software Updates for Internet of Things (Morning)
  • Crypto Forum (Morning)
  • Automated Certificate Management Environment (Morning)
  • Technology Deep Dive – Modern Router Architecture BOF (Afternoon)

ISOC Namibia
Venue: NBII/IUM
Date: Tuesday 26 and Friday 29 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Thing-to-Thing (26 afternoon)
  • IP Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (29 morning)

Youth4Internet Cote Ivoire
Venue: Bingerville
Date: Monday 25- Friday 29 2019
Topics of discussion:

  • Transport Layer Security (tls)- (25 morning)
  • Network Time Protocol – (25 afternoon)
  • Transport Layer Security (tls)- (25 afternoon)
  • Quic- (27 morning)
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (httpbis)- 28 afternoon)
  • Global Access to the Internet for All- (29 morning)
  • IP wireless Access in Vehicular environment- (29 morning)

This page will be updated with info on the hubs and the contact persons at each of the hubs:  https://trac.ietf.org/trac/ietf/meeting/wiki/104remotehubs

The post Join a Local IETF Viewing Hub in Africa appeared first on Internet Society.

Concluding the IETF Rough Guide, Long Live the IETF Blog

Mar, 19/03/2019 - 14:24

For many years we have produced a series of blog posts as a Rough Guide to each upcoming IETF meeting usually in the week prior to the meeting. The Rough Guides were intended to provide a snapshot of IETF activity of interest to the Internet Society because of programmatic activity that we were engaged in. They were also an opportunity to highlight the activities sponsored directly by the Internet Society that were happening adjacent to the upcoming IETF meeting.

Rough Guides were intended to help guide a non-specialist but technically minded audience to the hot topics and debates of interest at each upcoming IETF meeting with pointers to the agenda and remote participation possibilties. Originally intended to help spur meeting attendance by those interested in the key topics, they became a way to highlight important discussions taking place and ways to get involved in person or remotely.

As we are now less than a week away from the IETF 104 meeting in Prague it seemed like the right time to share an update regarding our plans for writing about IETF activity. We have decided to discontinue producing the Rough Guides. Instead, we will be helping to supply relevant, high-quality content for the IETF Blog.

News about upcoming meetings, post-meeting wrap-ups and articles about work on specific technical topics taking place at IETF are now regular features of the IETF blog. It is providing an excellent resource for the wider audience interested in the work of the IETF and ways to get involved. Recent posts on the IETF Blog have included a summary of potential new work being discussed at IETF 104; an update on ACME  a technology that is automating steps towards increased encryption on the Internet; and an introduction to MUD  a new protocol which addresses the challenge of managing an increasing number of Things on our networks.

We will continue to write about the IETF and the technical work taking place in the many working groups through the Internet Society’s regular channels. We may also help to curate content from the IETF community for publication on the IETF blog, as needed.

The post Concluding the IETF Rough Guide, Long Live the IETF Blog appeared first on Internet Society.

The Week in Internet News: Four Visions of the Internet

Lun, 18/03/2019 - 17:10

Competing visions: The World Economic Forum’s blog looks at four competing visions of the Internet that it sees emerging. These include Silicon Valley’s open Internet, Beijing’s paternal Internet, Brussels’ bourgeois Internet, and Washington’s commercial Internet. Will one vision win out?

Searching for fakes: WhatsApp, the popular messaging app owned by Facebook, is testing reverse image search in its efforts to battle fake news, TheNextWeb reports.  The chat app may use Google APIs to compare the targeted image with similar pictures as a way to filter out doctored images.

Working against itself: An Artificial Intelligence that can right fake news articles may also be useful for spotting them, the MIT Technology Review says. Recently, OpenAI withheld the release of its new language model on fears that it could be used to spread misinformation, but researchers say the tool may be useful for the opposite effect.

Privacy laundering: Lawfareblog.com take a hard look at Facebook’s recent announcement that it was moving to end-to-end encryption. The social media giant won’t fix its privacy problems with the move, however, the article says. “Facebook’s business model is the quintessential example of ‘surveillance capitalism,’ with user data serving as the main product that Facebook sells to its advertisers.”

WWW warning: As the World Wide Web turns 30 years old, its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, is raising concerns about digital harassment, an “outraged and polarized” online discourse, and “state-sponsored hacking and attacks,” Quartz notes. Berners-Lee is calling on public officials to defend the open Internet.

Paid for surfing? The blockchain revolution will enable Internet users to make their data more private and demand that companies pay for access to it, MarketWatch suggests. While the article says companies like Facebook and Google are moving toward a model where they pay users for use of their data, we’ll believe it when we see it.

A bad anniversary: An Internet shutdown in the central African country Chad is now about a year old, Business Insider’s Pulse notes. Access to large social media platforms in Chad is only possible through the use of VPNs.

What does the Internet’s future look like? How will consolidation impact its technical evolution and use? Explore this question in the Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy.

The post The Week in Internet News: Four Visions of the Internet appeared first on Internet Society.

Seeking Canadian Feedback: Draft Report on Securing the Internet of Things in Canada

Ven, 15/03/2019 - 18:05

Trying to remove cyber security risks from the growing world of connected things is not an easy task. That said, there’s no time like World Consumer Rights Day to give Canada a shout out for its global leadership to champion a safer digital future for all.

Recognizing the need to secure the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet Society, in partnership with the Ministry of Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED), the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and CANARIE, led a voluntary multistakeholder process to develop a broad-reaching policy to ingrain security at the core of innovation in Canada.

Over the past year, we led a series of meetings with business leaders, technical experts, government representatives, civil society, and academia to discuss challenges and recommend the best ways to address them. We gathered feedback through in-person and online attendance. Collectively, these efforts, combined with well-rounded research and documentation, formed the Canadian Multistakeholder Process for Enhancing IoT Security.

Rather than a top-down, government-imposed regulatory model, our multistakeholder approach helped us balance roles and contributions among the group. By working in a way that includes feedback from all participants, we are developing IoT security frameworks that will be more resilient and flexible as technology evolves. IoT security is complex, and this bottom-up, organic process will help us develop a solid yet flexible strategy to address existing and potential challenges and issues. As a result, the approach continues to be fluid in nature, and is being defined and refined through discussion with stakeholders.

As a result of this process, I am pleased to announce the recent release of the multistakeholder group’s draft report on securing the Internet of Things, which is now open for comment.

To tackle the key issues surrounding IoT security, the Canadian Multistakeholder Process formed three sub-groups, including the Network Resiliency Working Group (NRWG), the Device Labelling and Trustmarks Working Group (DLTWG), and the Consumer Education Working Group (CEWG). Each had a different mandate of issues to address and produced preliminary conclusions and recommendations.

Do you have ideas on how to help make sure security is at the heart of our connected future? If so, I invite you to comment on the draft report. We’ll be accepting responses until 11:59:59pm on March 29, 2019.

What’s needed:

A complete comment should include:

  • Some level of agreement with the conclusions of the three working groups.
  • If you disagree with any of the conclusions, please say why and provide concrete information to support your opinion.
  • Any additional resources that this group, and other Canadian stakeholders, should consider.
  • Your assessment of what conclusions should be prioritized as the main recommendations.
  • Your view of how the overall report should be framed in terms of audience, themes, Canada’s role in the global conversation, or any other suggestions.
  • A willingness and/or capacity to contribute to this work going forward.

To submit, please send your comments as a PDF along with the name of the submitting individual or organization to Katie Jordan at jordan@isoc.org

The Internet Society would like to thank all individuals and organizations who participated in this process so far. We look forward to continuing this dynamic national conversation on IoT security to help shape a safer connected future for all Canadians.

The post Seeking Canadian Feedback: Draft Report on Securing the Internet of Things in Canada appeared first on Internet Society.

DNS Privacy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Ven, 15/03/2019 - 15:00

We previously posted about how the DNS does not inherently employ any mechanisms to provide confidentiality for DNS transactions, and mentioned some of the protocols that have been recently developed to improve user privacy.

To complement this, we are publishing our DNS Privacy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). This highlights and provides answers to the most important aspects of DNS privacy.

Please also check our DNS Privacy page for more information!

Further Information

The post DNS Privacy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) appeared first on Internet Society.

Fact or Fiction? With IoT It’s Not Always Clear

Ven, 15/03/2019 - 09:00

Recently, owners of expensive smart shoes found themselves at loose ends. Unable to pair the shoes to their smart phone app, they couldn’t tighten their self-lacing sneakers. It sounds like science fiction, but this really happened.

From dental sensors that can monitor what a person eats to kitty litters that can track a cat’s every movement, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). Can you tell which is real and which is not?

Fact or Fiction? The voice came from inside the Arizona man’s home – his home security camera to be exact. “You’ve never met me. I’m just a hacker.” Fortunately, it was a friendly hacker, alerting the household to a vulnerability in their home security system.

Fact: The hacker had a solution: turn on two-factor authentication. When using IoT devices, consumers can take this simple step, plus a few others, to help protect their privacy and security.

Fact or Fiction? A couple returned home to find that their carpet had been worn through by their overzealous Internet-connected vacuum cleaner. A hacker had programmed it to clean one square foot of their carpet for several hours.

Fiction: While there are plenty of robot vacuums on the market – and at least one has been found to have vulnerabilities that could allow its owners to be spied on – we have yet to learn of one that channels Lady Macbeth: “Out, damned spot!”

Fact or Fiction? FlushSmart is disrupting the plumbing industry. The WiFi-enabled product attaches to your bathroom infrastructure, scans everything you flush, and analyzes the contents.

Fact and Fiction: It seems like fiction, but you can buy an “intelligent toilet,” which features a heated seat, built-in speakers, and voice control. When it comes to its security features, let’s hope the manufacturer takes privy-cy seriously. They can stay one step ahead with the OTA IoT Trust Framework, which provides manufacturers and others with a simple risk assessment guide for connected devices and systems.

Fact or Fiction? In a ski resort in Austria, guests found themselves locked out of their rooms, which were secured via an electronic key system. The doors were unlocked only after the hotel agreed to pay hackers two bitcoins (about $1,800 USD).

Fact: When this happened in 2017, a spokesperson said the hotel was considering a return to old-fashioned locks and keys.

The good news is that we don’t have to return to the past. Everyone can take steps to make their IoT products more secure, starting with Top Tips for Consumers. We’re asking manufacturers to take action, too, by baking privacy and security into their products – Trust by Design.

March 15th is World Consumer Rights Day, and this year’s theme is Trusted Smart Products. When it comes to making IoT secure, we can all make a difference.

  • Explore #GetIoTSmart, which includes resources for consumers and manufacturers
  • Participate in the tweet chat with the hashtag #IOTsAwareness2019
  • Join us at the Consumers International Summit, which takes place 30 April to 1 May in Estoril, Portugal

The post Fact or Fiction? With IoT It’s Not Always Clear appeared first on Internet Society.

IXDO Project: An Internet Exchange Point in the Dominican Republic

Mer, 13/03/2019 - 17:14

For more than a decade, different organizations from civil society and the private sector have been involved in efforts to establish an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in the Dominican Republic, with no success. Possible causes were either lack of interest at the time, the maturity level of the ICT sector, or even lack of financial support. The Internet Society Dominican Republic Chapter decided to discuss those outcomes with different stakeholders and promote an atmosphere to proceed when the moment was right.

Among efforts from the past, it is important to mention two of them, which made important advances: (1) the datacenter firm NAP del Caribe (NDC), invited interested local Internet Service Providers (ISP) to establish either an IXP or private peering; (2) the academic sector worked to establish a local research network, Red de Avanzada Dominicana de Estudio e Investigación (RADEI), which sought the support of the local regulator Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones (INDOTEL).

In 2017, the Internet Society Chapter Dominican Republic (ISOC-DO) board, after considering past efforts and brainstorming on different approaches to succeed in the IXDO initiative, taking inspiration on the regional trends, and locating experts to support our goal, decided to design the annual local Internet Governance Forum (IGF-DO) around the topic of IXPs, using the slogan “From infrastructure to human rights.” The IGF-DO-2017 focused on different high-level discussions about IXPs, with a multistakeholder approach that included different perspectives from representatives of sectors such as regulation, the private sector, the public sector, academia, technical communities, and civil society.

IGF-DO-2017 also included a low-level special workshop in collaboration with LACNIC, Columbus Networks, and the Internet Society. It focused on technicians and network specialists representing different ISPs as well as academics and other stakeholders with a technical scope on different IXP subjects such as evolution, emerging operation models, best practices, benefits, and trends in its global adoption.

The results of the discussions and interactions enabled a good environment where the different stakeholders agreed and expressed interest to support and collaborate in launching the IXP of Dominican Republic (IXDO) initiative in 2018.

In 2018, the ISOC-DO board met to design the 2018-2019 plan and decided to include, as one of the main goals, development of the IXDO project. We took advantage of the enthusiasm of the past event and called for an immediate meeting to create an IXDO task force (IXDO-TF) to stimulate the collaboration of legal and technical representatives of the different interested stakeholders. Different proposals were discussed to bootstrap the IXDO operation model, the place to establish it, and the required resources based on a bottom-up orientation. A formal proposal was presented by NDC which offered its ICT infrastructure to support the IXDO operation, based on investments made in the past for the same purpose, a co-location service, a meeting room, and other important required resources. The proposal acknowledged the neutrality which must prevail to manage the resources. This was based on the decision to adopt the governance model.

The board of ISOC-DO, with support from LACNIC and the Internet Society, participated in the proposal’s assessment, considering: the alignment of the proposal to the goals of the project; the strategic presence of the different ISPs which amounted to 99% of Internet provision in Dominican Republic (DR); the strength and quality of their infrastructure; and other elements of value. Some adjustments were suggested by the board to align the offer to assure neutrality, long-term scope, viability, and support. The adjustments were immediately accepted by the NDC.

That is how the ISOC-DO board decided to contract a consultant to act as the project manager, who immediately defined the project charter, the budget, and all paperwork to be submitted to the Internet Society Beyond the Net grants program. By August 2018 we were contacted by Beyond the Net to inform us that our grant was approved. The support, expertise, and collaboration from the Internet Society, LACNIC, LAC-IX, and Packet Clearing House (PCH) were fundamental in the quick advance of the IXDO project to reach its current stage.

In the meantime, we decided to initiate a process to formalize and incorporate ISOC-DO as a non-governmental, non-profit organization to strengthen the credibility and commitment of the project, as well as the governance, the organizational management, financial transparency, and related issues. This process is in its final stage.

By September 2018 we called a meeting with the IXDO-TF, for a progress update and to ask a formality from the different stakeholders. It was agreed to create a non-binding multilateral Letter of Intent integrating non-disclosure clauses to have an open discussion of the different subjects, guarantee the collaboration of the participants, customize the operation model, and define the IXDO terms and conditions to be signed when agreed. We also agreed to create a letter of adhesion to accept new interested parties wishing to join the initiative.

Some benefits we expect from deploying the IXDO are:

  1. Local interchange of traffic among ISPs, so that all Internet traffic originated and terminated within the country flows efficiently.
  2. Improve quality of traffic, reducing latency, operating costs of local and international connections, and gradually achieve efficiency.
  3. Promote the development of local digital content, including research networks from universities, and attract international content delivery networks for establishment in the country.
  4. Operational coordination between ISPs to improve Internet access services.
  5. Articulate planning among different ISPs for the adoption of different initiatives such as new communication standards (such as IPV6), routing best practices to strengthen security (such as MANRS), and other related initiatives.
  6. Promote inclusion by allowing new interested parties to join.

As I am writing this note, the technical committee of IXDO-TF is scheduling a new meeting to adjust the bootstrapped model according to the team’s discussions, available resources, scope, deadlines, and complementary matters.

For further information about the project, and to keep you updated, we have created the official website of the project https://ixp.org.do (written in Spanish). We have a enabled a contact form, located in the section Contáctanos,” where you might send us feedback or comments about our project.

Read the Internet Society’s policy brief on IXPs.

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IPv6 Security for IPv4 Engineers

Mer, 13/03/2019 - 03:00

It is often argued that IPv4 practices should be forgotten when deploying IPv6, as after all IPv6 is a different protocol! But we think years of IPv4 operational experience should be leveraged as much as possible.

So we are publishing IPv6 Security for IPv4 Engineers as a roadmap to IPv6 security that is specifically aimed at IPv4 engineers and operators.

Rather than describing IPv6 in an isolated manner, it aims to re-use as much of the existing IPv4 knowledge and experience as possible, by highlighting the security issues that affect both protocols in the same manner, and those that are new or different for the IPv6 protocol suite. Additionally, it discusses the security implications arising from the co-existence of the IPv6 and IPv4 protocols.

Be sure also to check our IPv6 Security page as well!

Further Information

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Making the Internet Better Together at APRICOT 2019

Mar, 12/03/2019 - 19:38

Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT) 2019, said to be the largest technical conference in the region, drew hundreds of the world’s leading Internet engineers from over 50 countries to Daejeon, South Korea last week.

The Internet Society, a long-time partner of the event, contributed to the event by not only sponsoring over a dozen of fellows to travel there, but also made multiple high-profile appearances in various sessions, including the opening keynote speech.

The Internet Society’s President and CEO Andrew Sullivan delivered the keynote Up and Down the Stack Through a Nerd’s Eyes: Making the Internet Better the Internet Way with hundreds of people present, including Tae-Jeong Her, Mayor of Daejeon, and Dr Hee-yoon Choi, President of organiser the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), a government research institute.

Now that so many people depend on the Internet, it is no surprise that businesspeople, policymakers, regulators, and politicians all want a say in the way the Internet evolves. But some of the proposals for the future of the Internet, Sullivan said, betray fundamental misunderstandings of the way the Internet works. The talk urged us all to continue to engage with the big questions that affect the future of the Internet, and to bring to that engagement the technical understanding of how the Internet depends on the community of independent network operators in order to remain healthy and strong.

The Internet Society delegation this year also included Rajnesh Singh, Regional Director of the APAC Bureau; Aftab Siddiqui, Technical Engagement Manager, APAC; Salam Yamout, Regional Director, Middle East; Andrei Robachevsky, Senior Technology Programme Manager; Sally Harvey, Director, Membership and Partnership Development; and me, Outreach Manager, APAC.

In line with the Internet Society’s 2019 Action Plan, our message at APRICOT 2019 was to give voice to the need to improve the Internet’s technical security, specifically routing security. That was why in different sessions we promoted the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), a global initiative of the Internet Society that provides operators with steps to mitigate the most common routing threats.

We undertook a variety of roles at the conference and side events, including chairing and speaking at the AP* Meeting, speaking at the APNIC Global Reports, speaking at the APNIC Cooperation SIG, as well as several other speaking and moderation roles. We also had a number of bilateral meetings with other Internet organisations throughout the week.

I had the pleasure to moderate the ISOC@APRICOT session, in which we introduced the community to our work plans and invited them to exchange views on broad Internet issues in the region with us. We were much encouraged by the support of some Internet Society Chapter leaders and members who told us more about their local communities.

In the session, Sullivan introduced the 2019 Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy, which explores the growing influence of a few powerful players in the Internet economy.

The study is the beginning of a conversation about the implications of concentration in the Internet economy. Our analysis shows the questions surrounding these trends are very complex, and hasty interventions could lead to unintended consequences and harm for the Internet and its users. More work must be done to understand this important issue.

“I hope you’ll join us and help identify gaps that we haven’t done or suggest ways to improve the study,” Sullivan concluded the session by introducing our research funding opportunities.

Read the 2019 Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy to understand key features of consolidation, the impact of emerging trends on the Internet, and explore the questions it raises.

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Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web

Mar, 12/03/2019 - 15:15

Back around 1991, I was traveling throughout the eastern USA teaching an “Introduction to the Internet” course I had written. The students were mainly from telecom, financial, and software companies wanting to know what this Internet thing was all about. I taught about IP addresses and DNS, using email, sending files with FTP,  using archie and veronica to find info, engaging in USENET discussions, and using Gopher to explore “gopherspace”.

At the end of the course, one of the final sections was on “emerging technologies”. And there, nestled in with HyTelnet and WAIS, was one single page about this new service called the “World-Wide Web”.

And all the page really said was: telnet to info.cern.ch, login as “www”, and start pressing numbers to follow links on the screen.


That was it! (and you can still experience that site today)

We had no idea in those very early days that what we were witnessing was the birth of a service that would come to create so much of the communication across the Internet.

In only a few short years, of course, I was teaching new courses on “Weaving the Web: Creating HTML Documents” and “Navigating the World-Wide Web using Netscape Navigator“. And all around us there was an explosion of content on the Internet as “everyone” wanted to create their own websites.

The Web enabled anyone to publish and to consume content (assuming they could get access to the Internet). Content finally broke free from the “walled gardens” of the proprietary commercial online services such as CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy, and others. The Web brought an open layer of publishing, communication, and commerce to the gigantic open network of networks that is the Internet. It was a perfect example of the “permissionless innovation” allowed by an open, globally-connected Internet, where no one has to ask permission before creating new services.

Whole new industries were born, while others faded away. New words entered our vocabulary. (ex. before the Web, who used the word “browser”?) New opportunities emerged for so many people around the world. Lives were changed. Education changed. Economies changed. The very fabric of our society changed.

While it is true that the Web could not exist without the Internet, the Internet would not be as amazing as it is without the Web.

And so on this momentous day, we join with the people at CERN, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the World Wide Web Foundation, Tim Berners-Lee, and so many others in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Web.

The path forward for the next 30 years of the Web, which relies on the Internet to flourish, is not so clear. It is a challenging time for the Internet. And the intensity of the consolidation and centralization within the Internet economy has caused Tim Berners-Lee himself to issue a call to re-decentralize the Web

But for today, let us focus on all the good the Web has brought to the Internet, all the people it has helped, all the lives it has transformed.

Happy 30th birthday to the Web!

The British Council collaborated with the Internet Society, the World Wide Web Foundation, Mozilla, Nesta, and the Barbican to create Anyone//Anywhere, which celebrates how the Web has benefited society and raises questions about its future. Read about the women who are using the Internet to change the world and explore the questions in Anyone//Anywhere:

Image credit: CERN’s re-created info.cern.ch.

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IPv6 Security Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Mar, 12/03/2019 - 02:00

The Internet Society recognises that global deployment of the IPv6 protocol is paramount to accommodating the growth of the Internet. Given the scale at which IPv6 must be deployed, it is also important that the possible security implications of IPv6 are well understood and considered during the design and deployment of IPv6 networks, rather than as an afterthought.

We are therefore publishing our IPv6 Security Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which highlights and provides answers to the most important aspects of IPv6 security.

Be sure also to check our IPv6 Security page as well!

Further Information

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The Week in Internet News: Companies Encouraged to Conduct Q & AI

Lun, 11/03/2019 - 14:11

Uncomfortable AI: Inc.com has a story asking 16 “uncomfortable” questions that companies should ask about Artificial Intelligence. Among them: Are your reasons for deploying AI in the best long-term interests of humanity? And, how can we ensure that our behavior is inclusive?

Russia attacks fake news: Russian lawmakers have passed two bills, one that outlaws the spreading of fake news, at least as determined by the government there. Another bill makes it illegal to “disrespect” authorities in Russia, the BBC reports. Both bills come with heavy fines, and critics said the laws will limit the ability of journalists to report critical information.

The way forward: Facebook believes encrypted communications and privacy are its future, Recode reports. CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined the website’s commitments to private messaging in a lengthy blog post.

The way backward: A teen who decided to get himself vaccinated said his mother got misinformation about the dangers of vaccines on Facebook, USA Today says. Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old from Ohio, asked Reddit users if he should get vaccinated as an adult. There’s never misinformation on Reddit, of course.

Break ‘em up: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president in 2020, wants to break up tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google, the New York Times reports. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrats, argues those tech companies have become too powerful and too ubiquitous.

Blockchain elections: The city of Denver is planning to use blockchain technology to track and secure voting by smartphone in a municipal election, Coindesk says. Smartphone voting in the pilot program would be available for overseas voters, including members of the military.

Encrypted negotiations: Arguments between many tech companies and U.S. law enforcement agencies about encrypted devices have been less public in recent months, but are still going on behind closed doors, Gizmodo reports. FBI Director Christopher Wray called for ways for law enforcement agencies to work around encrypted devices, and a Silicon Valley crowd at the recent RSA conference often cheered him.

It’s not over: Democrats in the U.S. Congress have introduced a bill that would restore the net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission passed, then later rescinded, Ars Technica reports. The net neutrality fight at the FCC and in Congress has been going on for more than a decade now.

How will consolidation impact the Internet’s technical evolution and use? Explore this question in the Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy.

The post The Week in Internet News: Companies Encouraged to Conduct Q & AI appeared first on Internet Society.

How IPv6 SLAAC responds to Renumbering Events

Lun, 11/03/2019 - 03:00

If you follow the IPv6 Maintenance (6man) Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), you may have noticed the 300+ message email thread on an Internet Draft that was recently published on the “Reaction of Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC) to Renumbering Events”. This was prompted by the experiences of developing Best Current Operational Practice on IPv6 prefix assignment for end-users, an activity led by ISOC’s Jan Žorž and published as ripe-690.

SLAAC is used to automatically assign an IPv6 address to a host, but there are a number of scenario where hosts may end up using stale configuration information and thereby leading to interoperability problems.

For example, a typical IPv6 deployment scenario is when a CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) router requests an IPv6 prefix to an ISP via DHCPv6-PD, and advertises a sub-prefix of the leased prefix on the LAN-side via SLAAC.

In such scenarios, if the CPE router crashes and reboots, it may lose all information about the previously leased prefix. Upon reboot, the CPE router may be leased a new prefix that will result in a new sub-prefix being advertised on the LAN-side of the CPE router. As a result, hosts will normally configure addresses for the newly-advertised prefix, but will normally also keep (and use) the previously-configured (and now stale!) IPv6 addresses, leading to interoperability problems.

ripe-690 had tried to address this problem by recommending that operators lease stable IPv6 prefixes to CPE routers, but for various reasons, ISP may not be able or willing to do this, and may instead lease dynamic prefixes. In fact, a recent survey of ISPs indicates that 37% of the surveyed ISPs lease dynamic IPv6 prefixes to their customers, as opposed to the stable prefixes recommended by ripe-690.

Most of the input on the 6man mailing list fell into one of the following camps:

  • “ISPs should be leasing stable prefixes — if they don’t, they are asking for trouble!”
  • “CPE routers should record leased prefixes on stable storage, such that they can deprecate such prefixes upon restart — if they don’t, they are asking for trouble!”
  • “No matter whose fault is this (if there is any single party to blame in the first place), we should improve the robustness of IPv6 deployments”

This Internet Draft therefore tries to improve the current state of affairs through the following improvements:

  • Allow hosts to gracefully recover from stale network configuration information — i.e. detect and discard stale network configuration information.
  • Have SLAAC routers employ more appropriate timers, such that information is phased-out in a timelier manner; unless it is actively refreshed by Router Advertisement messages.
  • Specify the interaction between DHCPv6-PD and SLAAC — which was rather under-specified.
  • Require CPE routers to store leased prefixes on stable storage, and deprecate stale prefixes (if necessary) upon restart.

Based on the mailing list discussions, there would seem to be consensus this is a problem that needs to be addressed by the 6man Working Group.

The topic is therefore likely to be on the working group agenda at the IETF 104 Meeting at the end of this month in Prague, Czech Republic. So if you’re a network operator, vendor or otherwise have operational experience of this issue, you’re strongly encouraged to contribute to the discussion.

Further Information

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Seven Women Using the Internet to Make a Difference

Ven, 08/03/2019 - 21:08

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day this year with great news: The Internet Society welcomes a new Chapter in Lesotho – and the Chapter’s president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, as well as a board member are all talented tech women.

Lesotho is a small landlocked country within South Africa, where less than a third of its population is connected to the Internet. One of the Lesotho Chapter’s key priorities this year is to start an “Internet for Education” project, which aims to encourage five schools to use the Internet to support teaching and to improve the quality of education.

Please join us in welcoming the Lesotho Chapter, then learn about its President Ithabeleng Moreke and other women around the world who are using the Internet to make a difference in their communities!

Ithabeleng Moreke

Ithabeleng Moreke enjoys the world of the Internet and all things networks, the technology behind it, and Internet security – and how they affect our everyday lives. She’s worked as network engineer for the government of Lesotho and is now with Vodacom Lesotho.

Jazmin Fallas Kerr

In Jazmin Fallas Kerr’s hometown, Desamparados, Costa Rica, nearly half of all families with women as head of household are in poverty. To combat that, Kerr made a digital bridge between creation and commerce. Hyena is an Internet-based marketplace which allows women artisans to sell their handiwork online for a fair price. The site now has more than 50 local women courting customers for their crafts.

Juma Baldeh

How do you shift the cultural stigma around technology and gender? As Juma Baldeh has proven in Gambia, you do it one girl at a time. Baldeh founded Hackathon Girls Banjul for girls ages 8 to 18 in her home country, in coordination with the Mozilla Foundation. As the first technology club of its kind there, members receive six months of free weekly classes on web literacy and basic computing skills. More importantly, the club gives more than 40 girls a safe space to collaborate and share experiences as they work together on projects for a tech-savvy Gambia.

Kate Ekanem, the founder of Kate Tales Foundation, has spent her entire adult life promoting education, literacy, and empowerment of girls in her home country of Nigeria. And it started with herself.

Makkiya Jawed

The intersection between technology and medicine is perhaps one of the most important junctions of our time, and, in a world where access is king, many people—in fact, entire countries—can be left behind in the dust. That’s where Makkiya Jawed comes in as the director of social enterprise for Sehat Kahani in Pakistan. The tech wiz joined forces with two doctors who launched the health tech enterprise, which circumvents Pakistan’s tradition of women having to choose family or career. It also caters to populations often overlooked by established medical communities.

Layal Jebran

To call Layal Jebran a multitasker would be an understatement. In the startup world, she’s more like a superhero. “I started as an activist when I was 12 years old,” Jebran said. “And my first startup happened my second year in college.” That successful startup used the Internet to connect freelance advisers to clients who needed them in the Middle East, but like many entrepreneurs, Jebran didn’t stop there. Lyl Big Designs led to other projects, and she continued developing several different ideas into reality, one after another after another. Why does she do it? Because she can, and because someone has to.

kc claffy

kc claffy has been with the Internet from nearly its very beginnings. She’s watched its evolution from military project to government-funded point-to-point communication to its current iteration as a private sector behemoth. claffy is one of the few scientists who measure the Internet. She’s leading the way to the future by opening our eyes to the layers of data beneath the surface along with the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), a group she founded in 1996

Do you want to make a difference? Join SIG Women, which is open to everyone and works toward reducing the gender gap in technology.

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Deutsche Welle Profiles Community Networks Around the World

Mer, 06/03/2019 - 22:33

How can the Internet change lives in rural and remote regions? Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public broadcaster, asks these questions in three stories that explore community networks in Zimbabwe, the Republic of Georgia, and South Africa.

Read about the community networks and listen to their stories!

Murambinda Works started as an Internet café in 2002 in the Buhera District in eastern Zimbabwe. Since then it’s grown to provide training in computer literacy for teachers at nearly 218 primary and secondary schools. Murambinda Works, in partnership with the Internet Society and others, is also working to connect eight schools, one nurse training school, and offices of the Ministry of Education.

Tusheti, a mountainous, isolated region in the Republic of Georgia, had been left unconnected by commercial operators. The Internet Society partnered with its Georgian Chapter and other local organizations to help build access to the Internet, which was completed in 2017. (The Tusheti community network was also profiled in The New York Times.)

The Zenzeleni Network in Mankosi, is one of South Africa’s most economically disadvantaged communities. Zenzeleni – which means “do it yourself” in the local language, isiXhosa – was launched in 2012 to provide affordable voice service to the community. It’s now building a solar-powered WiFi network to provide Internet access.


Learn more about community networks and how you can help #SwitchItOn

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The Week in Internet News: Many Ugandans Quit Internet Services After Tax on Social Media

Lun, 04/03/2019 - 14:51

Taxing the Internet: A social media tax in Uganda has prompted many users to quit those same sites, The Guardian reports. The tax, intended to raise government revenues and discourage “idle talk,” amounts to 200 Ugandan shillings, or about U.S. 5 cents, per day. More than one million people have quit taxed mobile apps, the story says.

Tough measures: A large majority of Europeans support a proposal to require social media companies to direct all users who have seen take news toward fact-checks, Time.com says. A recent poll suggest that more than 86 percent of European residents surveyed support the Correct the Record proposal from advocacy group Avaaz.

Blockchain goes to pot: Blockchain technology can help marijuana dispensaries enforce daily legal limits on individual purchases, Forbes reports. Blockchain could help dispensaries keep track of attempts at smurfing, the practice of purchasing more than the daily legal limit by going to different dispensaries, and looping, purchasing more than the limit by returning later to the same seller, the story says.

Blockchain vs. censorship: A follow-up to a trend we noted earlier this year: China’s residents are turning to blockchain technologies to fight government censorship, The Conversation reports. Some users are beginning to post blocked news, including a report on sexual misconduct at a university, on the Ethereum blockchain. In the latest use of blockchain to avoid censorship, a group of Chinese people used blockchain to preserve an investigative story on inferior vaccines being given to babies.

Cleaning house: A U.S. cyberattack on an alleged Russian “troll farm” last November resulted in a destroyed RAID controller and two wiped hard drives, ZDNet says. The damage was recently confirmed by a Russia news agency. The attack happened the day before the U.S. midterm elections.

Expanding the mission: Tucows, the Canadian domain name registrar, is urging ICANN to take a bigger role in fighting cybercrime, ITworld Canada reports. ICANN could help coordinate international efforts against cybercrime, Tucows CEO Elliot Noss says.

Encryption is under threat around the world. It’s up to all of us to take action to protect encryption, protect our data, and protect one another.

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