Ted’s Tubes: ICANN, Online Dating, Passwords and Cyber-Censorship

 Commerce Department Rejects
ICANN Bid for Long-Term Contract

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which has managed internet domains since 1998 under contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce has failed in its bid to win a long-term extension but instead won only a six-month reprieve as DOC announced it had “received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community.”.  This move is viewed as a signal from the US government over recent unhappiness with ICANN’s push to expand top level domains and, according to the National Association of Advertisers, “a clear message to ICANN that it must seriously address concerns” of its critics.

Cal AG Brokers Online Dating Sites Agreement to Screen

Under an agreement brokered by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, eHarmony, Match.com and Spark Networks (operator of such websites as JDate and ChristianMingle) agreed to the following principles

  • Sites will provide safety tips for meeting someone in person.
  • Sites may send customers emails warning them about the latest online financial scams.
  • Sites will review profiles (either automatically or manually) to find fake profiles that may be linked to financial scammers.
  • Sexual predators will be identified when requisite information is available, and removed from fee-based services
  • Sites will maintain rapid abuse-reporting systems that allows users access to “a website, email address and/or phone number to report any suspected criminal activity, including physical safety concerns and fraud.”

Match had previously agreed to screen for sex-offenders as part of a settlement with a Match user who had been raped by a sex-offender she met through Match.

World Day Against Cyber Censorship Targets Some US Allies

Reporters Without Borders used the World Day Against Cyber Censorship to release its annual Enemies of the Internet report.  The Enemies list included repressive regimes of Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam for their policies .  The report also featured a list of countries under surveillance that included allies such as Australia, Egypt, France, India, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey for filtering and other activities.

DARPA Exploring Password-less Authentication Relying on Typing Method

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which was the incubator for the internet, will be issuing grants to test software that identifies a user based solely on the manner in which they type.  Pace University currently is working on such a project and has a 95% success rate.