2018-08-31

Microsoft Democratizing Artificial Intelligence (video)

Democratizing Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, tells CNBC why the company is on a mission to democratize AI and the role of ethics in this new generation of computing. CNBC Life video above published Aug 30, 2018. See also: https://aidemos.microsoft.com/.

Microsoft AI
@zochats & @microsoft
Domain: zo.ai


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2018-08-30

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai, World's Largest Starbucks

Inside the world's largest, fanciest Starbucks

CNBC International video above published Aug 22, 2018: Starbucks Reserve Roastery in China has it's own roasting facility and innovation lab which offers beer-infused with coffee. CNBC's Uptin Saiidi recently visited it in Shanghai.
Principal domain: starbucks.com
Stock Market: Symbol -- NASDAQ: SBUX
$SBUX
Starbucks Is Closing 150 U.S. Stores

Fortune.com video published Jun 20, 2018: Starbucks has so many stores, some are starting to cannibalize each other’s sales, so the company is closing 150 U.S. stores.


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2018-08-29

Salesforce $CRM Q2 FY19 Earnings, LIVE Webcast, Aug 29, 5pm EDT

$CRM
Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE: CRM ), second quarter fiscal 2019 results will be released on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, after the market close.  The company will host a conference call at 5:00 p.m. EDT to discuss its financial results with the investment community.

Principal domain: salesforce.com
Investor Relations: salesforce.com/investor

LIVE webcast of the conference call.
A live dial-in is also available domestically at 866-901-SFDC or 866-901-7332 and internationally at 706-902-1764, passcode 1193487.  A replay will be available at (800) 585-8367 or (855) 859-2056 until midnight (ET) September 28, 2018.

UPDATE financial results release:
About Salesforce:
Salesforce, is a global leader in CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. Salesforce has its headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia. Source: Salesforce.com


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2018-08-28

Brian Lynch, Co-Founder and CEO, RegTek Solutions (video)

Tech Talk: interview with Brian Lynch, RegTek Solutions

TheBanker.com video above published Aug 13, 2018: Brian Lynch, co-founder and CEO, RegTek Solutions, talks to Joy Macknight about the state of play in terms of reporting obligations and the cost of compliance, and how ‘regtech’ is addressing the pain points. #RegTech

"At the heart of the market’s transformation to sustainable compliance."--RegTek Solutions
  • RegTek Solutions, Inc., New York, London
  • Domain: regteksolutions.com


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2018-08-27

Amazon HQ2, Which City Will Win? Follow the Money (video)

Amazon HQ2: Which City Will Win Jeff Bezos' Heart?

Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) video above published Aug 9, 2018: As Amazon searches for a location for its new second headquarters—dubbed HQ2—cities across the country have been trying to woo the tech giant. At stake: 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investments.

Amazon HQ2: Top Twenty Finalists
See also on Domain Mondo:

The below infographic may be the kind of data Amazon is looking at: the 22 Cities With the Most $1 Million Homes in the U.S. and the median value of all homes in each of those cities--
Courtesy of: VisualCapitalist.com


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2018-08-26

News Review: ICANN & GDPR, 'WHOIS Is Mostly DEAD' Says Paul Vixie

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-08-26) with analysis and opinion: Features • 1) ICANN & GDPR EPDP Meetings this week, 'WHOIS Is Mostly DEAD' Says Dr. Paul Vixie2) a. KSK Rollover, What to Expect, b.New gTLD .AFRICA, c. Public Comment at ICANN,  3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: a. France.com, b.China, c. Transfers, 4) ICYMI, 5) Most Read.

1) ICANN & GDPR EPDP Meetings this week, 'WHOIS Is Mostly DEAD' Says Dr. Paul Vixie
ICANN EPDP Team Meetings* this week: Tuesday Aug 28, and Thursday Aug 30, 13:00 UTC, 9am EDT. Non-members of the EPDP Team can follow the EPDP meetings via Adobe Connect: https://participate.icann.org/gnso-epdp-observers, or audio cast via browser or application (e.g., iTunes).

*Each EPDP meeting's links to documents, transcripts, MP3 audio and Adobe Connect recording, will be posted here, as made available by ICANN (links to EPDP meetings' transcripts are usually posted on the GNSO calendar within 24 hours). See also EPDP Team wikimail listTemp SpecEPDP Charter (pdf), and AC/SOs responses to request for early input.

UPDATES 29-30 Aug:
a. Editor's note: the core questions completely missing thus far in the EPDP: Specifically, WHAT registrant data does ICANN need registrars to collect from registrants, and WHY? My answer  (which I have given before): NAME of the legal entity or person registering the domain name (i.e., the "registrant"); ADDRESS of the registrant (for contacting registrant concerning the domain name); EMAIL address for contacting the registrant concerning the domain name; PHONE number for contacting the registrant concerning the domain name. Anything more (for ICANN's purposes), is redundant, unnecessary, violative of the GDPR, including data minimization requirements (see ICANN vs EPAG), and in the case of fax numbers, an even more serious cybersecurity risk. The registrar may collect billing and other data in compliance with the GDPR, but that is none of ICANN's business, and should be beyond the scope of the EPDP, Temp Spec and policy. Frankly, the faster the EPDP can reach consensus on the above, the faster they can begin addressing access & accreditation issues.

b. Special interests push U.S. Congress to override ICANN’s WHOIS policy process--internetgovernance.org 29 Aug 2018--copy of the draft legislation (pdf) embed in full below:

c. EPDP Meeting #9 (Agenda in slides embed below), Thursday, 30 August 2018, 13:00 UTC, 9am EDT:

Notes:

UPDATES 28 Aug 2018: 
Slides of Aug 28 EPDP Meeting #8 (includes Agenda and "Project Plan"):

Note: input received on Triage Report and  section category allocation (pdf). Aug 28 chat transcript:

UPDATE from the EPDP mail list 27 Aug 2018:
"... The basic task of ePDP is to ratify or modify the temp spec. Here is the relevant statement from the charter:
"This EPDP Team is being chartered to determine if the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data should become an ICANN Consensus Policy, as is or with modifications, while complying with the GDPR and other relevant privacy and data protection law." 
"Regarding access, the charter says, 'Work on this topic shall begin once the gating questions above have been answered and finalized in preparation for the Temporary Specification initial report'
"So: 1) temp spec first; 2) "other relevant privacy and data protection law" is applicable, not just GDPR; 3) we deal with access to redacted Whois data after we have resolved the status of the temp spec."--Professor Milton Mueller (NCSG)

Editor's note: For info and updates on last week's meetings, go to last week's News Review, here's a peek:
EPDP Dysfunction: EPDP Chair Unilateral Rule Change (text graphic)
Little of substance has been accomplished thus far, as the EPDP Team has essentially wasted the month of August preparing a "Triage Report" for the GNSO Council that could have been completed in the first week with a simple survey, or even better, eliminated from the Charter altogether. EPDP Team Chair Kurt Pritz continues with his long, rambling monologues, mostly ignoring suggestions and comments from the more functional, and definitely brighter, EPDP team members. A face-to-face EPDP meeting has been scheduled for September 24-26 in Los Angeles, but at this rate, it's looking increasingly doubtful whether much will get done.

I've yet to see a cogent work plan that first addresses the fundamental questions which ICANN org glossed over or failed to grapple with BEFORE slapping together the Temporary Specification in a rush due to the incompetent ICANN management team wasting 2 years and failing to properly prepare for the GDPR, which became enforceable May 25, 2018 (ICANN management, as late as April, 2018, were laboring under a delusional fantasy that ICANN and its contracted parties would be granted a moratorium from GDPR enforcement.)

The EU GDPR was adopted on 27 April 2016 and published in the EU Official Journal on 4 May 2016. ICANN has had an office in Brussels for more than 10 years (pdf) and European Data Protection authorities have been warning ICANN about its public WHOIS data since 2003, and yet, neither ICANN nor the U.S. government's NTIA warned the "global multistakeholder community" about the ramifications of GDPR for ICANN and its public WHOIS directory, before the IANA transition was completed October 1, 2016. Neither the dysfunctional "ICANN Community" nor their expensive law firms, which received $15 million in legal fees preparing for the IANA transition, ever mentioned the GDPR as a "risk factor" or otherwise.
ICANN's GDPR Train Wreck (graphic) ©2018 DomainMondo.com
Definition: "train wreck" (noun) a chaotic or disastrous situation that holds a peculiar fascination for observers.
Dr. Paul Vixie of FarSightSecurity.com on the Uncertain Fate of WHOIS, & Other Matters of Internet Accountability at Black Hat 2018 USA, "WHOIS is mostly DEAD" (video below): Dr. Paul Vixie discusses the uncertain fate of WHOIS in the age of GDPR, the risks of domain name homographs, and other underpinnings of the internet that are hard to trust and harder to fix. Video provided by, and also available at darkreading.com if the above does not play in your browser, recorded at Black Hat 2018 USA.

Note also:
  • ICANN Board reaffirmed Temporary Specification for an additional 90-day period on Aug 21.
  • ICYMI: ICANN's ePDP - An Insider's Perspective | circleid.com"... There really is no clear path forward if this group is unable to produce a final report with specific policy to replace the temporary specification when it expires in May of 2019. If that were to happen, it's not a stretch to think it would call into question the overall ability of ICANN (and the community) to manage the global DNS ..."--EPDP Team member Matt Serlin.

2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. Internet Root KSK Rollover 11 October 2018, What To Expect
 What to Expect During the Root SKS Rollover
 What to Expect During the Root SKS Rollover (pdf)
"... the user will start seeing failure sometime in the 48 hours after the rollover. Users will see different symptoms of failure depending on what program they are running and how that program reacts to failed DNS lookups. In browsers, it is likely that a web page will become unavailable ... In email programs, the user might not be able to get new mail, or parts of message bodies may show errors. The failures will cascade until no program is able to show new information from the Internet. Note that the term “users” here does not just indicate humans. Automated systems that are also using unprepared resolvers for their DNS resolution will start to fail, possibly catastrophically."--What To Expect During the Root KSK Rollover, supra, p. 5, (emphasis added).
Root KSK Rollover--SSAC: Let's 'Roll the Dice' on Crashing the Internet!--SAC102SSAC Comment on the Updated Plan for Continuing the Root KSK Rollover English [PDF] excerpt from the dissenters*:
"The decision to proceed with the keyroll is a complex tradeoff of technical and non-technical risks. While there is risk in proceeding with the currently planned roll, we understand that there is also risk in further delay, including loss of confidence in DNSSEC operational planning, potential for more at-risk users as more DNSSEC validation is deployed, etc. While evaluating these risks, the consensus within the SSAC is that proceeding is preferable to delay. We personally evaluate the tradeoffs differently, and we believe that the risks of rolling in accordance with the current schedule are larger than the risks of postponing and focusing heavily on additional research and outreach, and in particular leveraging newly developed techniques that provide better signal and fidelity into potentially impacted parties. We would like to reiterate that we understand our colleagues' position, but evaluate the risks and associated mitigation prospects differently. We believe that the ultimate decision lies with the ICANN Board, and do not envy them with this decision ..."--SAC102 Dissent, p.4
*Dissenters:
  • Danny McPherson (Chief Security Officer for Verisign); 
  • Warren Kumari (Senior Network Engineer/Senior Network Security Engineer with Google);
  • KC Claffy (founder and director of the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), based at the University of California's San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at UCSD); 
  • Jay Daley (techobscura.com, interim President & CEO PIR.org );
  • Lyman Chapin (co-founder and partner at Interisle Consulting Group).

b. DotConnectAfrica Trust v. ICANN (Trial Court Proceeding) 1 August 2018 
Court Order: Trial date vacated; Status Conference scheduled for 25 September 2018. 

c. ICANN Public Comment Periods closing in September (on each date indicated at 23:59 UTC) subject to change by ICANN:

d. ICANN Global Domains Division (GDD) General Operations Handbook for Registrars 21 Aug 2018: registrar-handbook-21aug18-en.pdf [421 KB], and Registrar Billing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 21 Aug 2018 registrar-billing-faq-21aug18-en.pdf [323 KB].

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. France.com: Miami Man Sues France For Seizing His Domain Name--Marketplace.org podcast (MP3) also available here. Includes commentary by University of Miami Law Professor Michael Froomkin.

b. China's first internet court handles over 10,000 cases | xinhuanet.com: mainly civil cases such as contract disputes involving online shopping, service and small loans, copyright and infringement lawsuits, domain name disputes, internet defamation, and some administrative lawsuits.

c. Post GDPR gTLD Domain Name Transfers--realtimeregister.com.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. US: 
  • Congress should consider small-business exception to internet sales tax--TheHill.com.

b. China: 
  • From laboratory in far west, China's surveillance state spreads quietly--reuters.com.
  • Google is welcome to return to Chinabut only if it complies with the censorship regime enforced by the government of China’s internet regulator, according to a report in Chinese state media (the People's Daily)--Newsweek.com.

c. Russian hackers targeted U.S. conservative think-tanks, says Microsoft--reuters.com.

d. AI: New genre of artificial intelligence programs take computer hacking to another level | trust.org.

e. India: India Steps Towards Internet Freedom: DoT Bars ISPs From Blocking Internet Content | inc42.com.

5) The Most Read Post this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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2018-08-25

Tech Review: 1) Digital Fashion Models, 2) Dating in the Digital Age

graphic "Tech Review" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tech Review (TR 2018-08-25)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech investing news with commentary, analysis and opinion: Features • 1) Digital Fashion Models, 2) Dating in the Digital Age3) Investing: The Week, Investing Notes: Bull Market, Emerging Markets, Turkey, Venezuela, China, EU, US4)ICYMI Tech News: Apple, Google, Tesla, Microsoft, Huawei, ZTE, Alibaba, Tencent, Nordstrom.

1) Miquela, Shudu, And The Rise Of Digital Fashion Models 

There are an increasing number of digital fashion models. Some have thousands and even millions of Instagram followers and brands and retailers are starting to show interest. A look at the growing trend. CNBC.com video published Aug 21, 2018

2) Dating in the Digital Age

Over 200 million people worldwide use online dating platforms and about one-third of married couples in the U.S. meet online. In this Economist cover story, an examination of the way online dating has changed and the way people now search for love. Economist.com video above published Aug 17, 2018.

3) Investing
graphic: "INVESTING"  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
The Week: NASDAQ Composite +1.7% | S&P 500 Index +0.9 | DJIA +0.5%

"The data still points to U.S. equity markets as being the better asset class. Look around the world. We're the best game in town ... If someone calls telling you to take money out of the U.S. and put it in emerging markets because they are cheap, HANG UP. Dead money for 12 years. Cheap for a reason."--Belpointe Asset Management chief strategist David Nelson.
"The main reason why Stay Home has been outperforming Go Global since the start of the bull market is that the forward earnings (i.e., the time-weighted average of consensus estimates for this year and next year) of the US MSCI stock price index has outpaced the forward earnings of the All Country World ex-US MSCI (in local currencies). The former is up 172% since it bottomed during the 4/30 week of 2009 through the 8/2 week this year, while the latter is up 78% over the same period"--Dr. Ed Yardeni.
Wall Street's Charging Bull
graphic of Charging Bull | DomainMondo.com
Investing Notes:
Goldman Sachs "cut its bond yield forecasts for all the G-10 countries based on changes in the outlook for monetary policy and inflation in several regions and less recovery in term premium in the U.S." Goldman lowered its end-2018 forecast for the 10-year (US) Treasury yield to 3.10% from 3.25%, and still expects 6 more rate hikes, or one per quarter until the Fed funds rate rises to 3.25%-3.5%--ZeroHedge.com.
Emerging Markets: 
  • Turkey's lira still under pressure, Trump resolute--reuters.com 
  • Venezuela devalues its currency, the bolívar, by 95% and pegs it to a cryptocurrency--trying to contain "rampant inflation of more than 1 million percent a year."--businessinsider.com.
China: In their IPO filings, Chinese startups are warning investors about Tencent and Alibaba--Startups Struggle to Escape the Shadows of Alibaba and Tencent | Bloomberg.com: "the startups benefit from the cash and customers Alibaba and Tencent provide, [but] the deals can also feel like a trap. They can give Alibaba and Tencent inordinate voting power through board seats and veto rights; come laden with conflicts of interest over hiring, mergers and acquisitions, and other strategic decisions; and deepen the startups’ dependence on traffic from the larger companies to life-and-death proportions."

EU: Denmark targets U.S. and British companies and individuals in its global campaign to recoup billions of crowns allegedly paid out in fraudulent tax refunds between 2012 and 2015--reuters.com.

US: 
  • SEC rejects bitcoin ETFs--expressing concern about fraud and manipulation of bitcoin markets--cnbc.com.
  • Student loans are now the second-largest category of household debt in America, topping $1.4 trillion, trailing only mortgages at $9 trillion--zerohedge.com.

4) ICYMI Tech News:
graphic: "ICYMI Tech News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
  • Apple and Google Face Growing Revolt Over App Store ‘Tax’--Bloomberg.com: "pushback from devs like Valve, Netflix and regulatory scrutiny."
  • Tesla $TSLA: "The Hype is No Longer with Tesla: Suppliers & Creditors Start to Fret"--WolfStreet.com  Aug 20, 2018: "18 of 22 suppliers believe Tesla is now a financial risk to their companies."
  • Australia bans Huawei and ZTE from providing 5G wireless network equipment to support the country's new telecom networks, citing risks of foreign interference and hacking--NYTimes.com.
  • Alibaba joins Google, others in making custom AI chips--CNBC.com.
  • Online vs Brick-and-Mortar Retail: Nordstrom  NYSE: JWN shares were up 12% after it reported better-than-expected results, but the results were due to ecommerce online sales, not brick-and-mortar store sales. Sales from Nordstrom.com soared 50% year-over year to $897 million, and including its other e-commerce sites, total online sales jumped 23% to $1.35 billion, or to 34% of its total sales--WolfStreet.com.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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2018-08-24

Space Startup Accion Systems, Ion Thrusters & Satellites (video)

This 31-Year-Old Is Changing Space Travel

Rocket Scientist Natalya Bailey owns a space startup called Accion Systems that specializes in making wafer thin engines that require a tiny fraction of energy that conventional rockets use. If successful, these ion thrusters could revolutionize how we will move through the final frontier. Video by Matt Goldman and Christian Capestany. Bloomberg.com video above published Jul 26, 2018.

Accion Systems Inc. The In-Space Propulsion Company 
Headquarters: Boston, MA
Domain: accion-systems.com

@AccionSystems


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2018-08-23

Alibaba $BABA Q2 2018 Earnings, LIVE Webcast August 23, 7:30am EDT

$BABA
Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) June Quarter 2018 Results
August 23, 2018 Conference Call: 7:30 a.m. U.S. EDT (details below) LIVE Webcast here (replay).
Investor Relations: https://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/home

(Q1 FY19) June Quarter 2018 Results: Press Release (pdf, excerpts below) and Presentation (pdf).
"Revenue was RMB80,920 million (US$12,229 million), an increase of 61% year-over-year.  
"Mobile MAUs on our China retail marketplaces reached 634 million in June 2018, an increase of 17 million over March 2018. 
"Income from operations was RMB8,020 million (US$1,212 million), a decrease of 54% year-over-year due to a one-time increase in share-based compensation expense related to Ant Financial’s awards to our employees, which was the result of a significant increase in the valuation of Ant Financial in its most recent round of equity fundraising (see “Costs and Expenses – Shares-based Compensation Expense” and “Business and Strategic Updates—Updates on Ant Financial” below). Excluding Ant Financial-related share-based compensation expense, our income from operations would have increased by 9%. "
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) had previously announced it would report its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 before the U.S. market opens on Thursday, August 23, 2018, and would hold a conference call to discuss the financial results at 7:30 a.m. U.S. EDT (7:30 p.m. Hong Kong Time) the same day.

LIVE webcast of the earnings conference call can be accessed at https://www.alibabagroup.com/en/ir/earnings. An archived webcast will be available through the same link following the call. A replay of the conference call will be available for one week (dial-in number: +61 2 8199 0299; conference ID: 5096826).

Details of the conference call via phone are as follows:
International: +65 6713 5090
U.S.: +1 845 675 0437
U.K.: +44 203 621 4779
Hong Kong: +852 3018 6771
Conference ID: 5096826

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (Chinese: 阿里巴巴集团控股有限公司; pinyin: Ālǐbābā Jítuán Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī) is a Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, internet, AI and technology conglomerate founded in 1999 that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales and services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines, and cloud computing services. See also: Starbucks and Alibaba Group Form Strategic Partnership to Transform the Customer Experience in the Coffee Industry in China.


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2018-08-22

Fintech Regulation in the UK: What It Can Teach The World (video)

Fintech Regulation in the UK: What It Can Teach The World

FT Transact (ft.com) video above published Aug 13, 2018: "The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (fca.org.uk) has won praise around the world with a so-called sandbox, where UK fintech companies can test products with temporary authorisation. Now, it's being widely copied and there are plans to start a global sandbox. It has even caught the eye of major players, with Microsoft urging the US regulator to be more like its UK counterpart. counterpart. But should we be worried that the twin forces of big tech and banking are now praising the body that is their watchdog?"

Project Innovate: fca.org.uk/firms/fca-innovate

See also: UK is expected to keep the door open for European Union banks and investors after Brexit--reuters.com.

"Through our Innovation Hub we want new and established businesses - both regulated and non-regulated - to be able to introduce innovative financial products and services to the market."--FCA





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2018-08-21

Estonia e-Residency, 99 Percent of Estonia's Public Services Are Online

99 percent of Estonia's public services are online

CNBC Life video above published Aug 14, 2018: Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid explains how Estonia has transformed itself into a hi-tech society.


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2018-08-20

Three Causes of China's Stock Market Plunge: Trade, Debt, Uncertainty

Three Causes of China's Stock Market Plunge

Emma Dunkley, the FT.com's Asia markets correspondent, blames the threat of a trade war, economic uncertainty and debt levels for the steep fall in Chinese equities this year. Financial Times (ft.com) video above published Aug 8, 2018.

See also:
Tech Review: 1) Collapsing Chinese Tech Stocks, 2) Tesla Turbulence | DomainMondo.com



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2018-08-19

News Review: 1) ICANN EPDP & GDPR, 2) ICANN vs EPAG (Again)

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-08-19) with analysis and opinion: Features • 1) ICANN EPDP & GDPR re WHOIS Data, 2)a. ICANN vs EPAG (Again), b. ICANN GDPR Update Callc. Delaware Secretary of State, d. Registry Operators Handbook, e. .New gTLD .PHARMACY, 3) a. GoDaddy $GDDY, b. Tucows $TCX, c.Verisign $VRSN, Domain Brief Q2 20184) ICYMI: When China Rules The Web, Censorship & InfoWars,  5) Most Read.

UPDATE Aug 20, 2018: Possible Unified Access Model Published for Community Input | ICANN.org
 Draft Framework for a Possible Unified Access Model for Continued Access to WHOIS Data - ICANN.org
Draft Framework for a Possible Unified Access Model for Continued Access to Full WHOIS Data – For Discussion [PDF, 521 KB]
"This proposal is a working draft intended to facilitate further discussions with the EDPB [European Data Protection Board] and the ICANN community. It outlines basic parameters based on ICANN org's current understanding of the GDPR, so that we can continue to seek input from the EDPB."--ICANN CEO Goran Marby (more here).
Original Post (with additional UPDATES):
1) ICANN EPDP & GDPR re WHOIS Data
ICANN EPDP Team Meetings this week: Tuesday Aug 21, and Thursday Aug 23, 13:00 UTC, 9am EDT. Non-members of the EPDP Team can now follow the EPDP meetings via Adobe Connect: https://participate.icann.org/gnso-epdp-observers, or audio cast via browser or application (e.g., iTunes).

Each EPDP meeting's documents, including agenda, slides and chat transcript, as well as links to the MP3 audio and Adobe Connect recording, when available, will be posted on each meeting's respective wiki page (click on each respective date above). Links to EPDP meeting transcripts will be on the GNSO calendar approximately 12 hours after each meeting ends. Other useful EPDP links: EPDP Team wiki, mail list, and Temporary Specification.

Thursday, 23 August 2018 EPDP Meeting #7: Chat transcript (pdf); Recordings: Mp3 and Adobe ConnectMeeting transcript (pdf); High-level notes and action items here.
Agenda 
1. Roll Call & SOI Updates;
2. Welcome and Updates from EPDP Team Chair;
3. Preliminary input on Triage Report (deadline for input: Friday, 24 August at 19:00 UTC);
4. Proposed approach for moving forward, including review of proposed project plan;
5. Commence deliberations and review of Appendix D – Uniform Rapid Suspension (pdf) (a/k/a "scorecard");
6. Commence deliberations and review of Appendix E – Uniform Domain Name Resolution Dispute Policy (pdf);
7. If time allows, commence deliberations and review of Appendix G: Supplemental Procedures to the Transfer Policy - AppendixG-P1 (pdf) and AppendixG-P2 (pdf);
8. Wrap and confirm next meeting to be scheduled for Tuesday 28 August at 13.00 UTC.
August 23 Meeting Slides embed below:


UPDATE 21 Aug 2018--Editor's note: the EPDP Team meeting on August 21st got off to a very rough start, with the EPDP Team Chair Kurt Pritz rearranging the agenda and bringing up an administrative matter at the beginning and sidelining the meeting for over half an hour with his proposal, allowing (e.g., the IP Constituency and/or Business Constituency and/or GAC) to double-up their presence at the Face-to-Face (F2F) meeting scheduled for the last week of September in LA, by unilaterally 'changing the rules' on "balance" by permitting EPDP members and alternates who come to LA for the meeting, inside the meeting room at the same time (i.e., "tag teams")--thereby destroying the group dynamics, room dynamics, and balance of respective interests which was so laboriously dealt with by the GNSO Council in drafting the EPDP Charter. That Kurt Pritz saw nothing wrong with this, and was willing to subvert the group dynamics and process in this way, indicates how unqualified and what a poor choice he was to be EPDP Team Chair.
"I just think it's not fair what's going on here in terms of this positive attitude and somebody is causing a delay. We're not the ones proposing a rule change here, are we? We had an established set of rules regarding the participation of alternates. I was told that (unintelligible) attend the telephone meeting, I was cut off from the email list. I was not allowed to get into the meeting even though I could have attended 20 minutes of it. And now, people are proposing to change the rules in ways that are indeed wasting a lot of time. And yes, of course it's going to make a difference if people have five - people who are supposed to have three representatives at the meeting have six representatives there shuffling back and forth. It's going to make a difference in the overall tenor, and balance, and they're going to go to dinner, and they're going to lobby. So don't pretend like these concerns that we have are not real and stop putting the onus for this change on us. We didn't propose the rule change. You did. So if your proposed rule change is causing us to waste a lot of time, then own up to it. Withdraw your proposed rule change and let's get on with the business. But let's just stick to the existing rules, which is that if you can't attend, your alternate attends. End of story."--Milton Mueller (NCSG) Aug 21 transcript, pp. 10-11.
The EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz confirmed his unilateral rule change over objections, after the EPDP meeting concluded on Thursday, Aug 23, 2018. It will be interesting to see who shows up in Los Angeles for the face-to-face meeting Sept 24-26.
August 21 meeting: spreadsheet and slides (pdf) (embed below), Adobe Connect Recording, MP3 audio, chat transcript (embed below), high-level notes and action itemsnote on the ICANN Procedure for Handling WHOIS Conflicts with Privacy Law, meeting transcript (pdf).

Chat transcript Aug 21 2018 below:


Highlights from the EPDP Team meetings Aug 14 & 16 (emphasis added):
"Frankly, I think ICANN, the organization, is going ahead and creating an access model. So I think we want to sit with them and understand what they're doing and what we think our remit is. And so anything that's provided by ICANN to the community doesn’t land with a thud and everything we do takes advantage of the work that they’ve already done."--Kurt Pritz, EPDP Team Chair, Aug 16 transcript, pp 4-5.
Farzaneh Badii (NCSG): "... I just wanted to make a very first comment about [the] Goran [Marby, ICANN CEO] letter about the access model. I never understood what [the] ICANN plan is, ICANN Org, for providing this access model, why it's asking for comments, do they want to come up with an access model and receiving comments from us. And are they going to implement it? Is there a timeline for implementation? ..." (Aug 16 transcript, supra at p.5)
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "... I'm kind of disagreeing with what you said, Kurt, about there being this kind of coupling of the temp spec with the issues related to URS. I haven't heard any specific evidence as to how there is a problem or conflict caused by the temp spec in terms of the execution of URS ... I heard both of the registry operators saying that there is no problem and that these issues should be resolved in the RPM working group. So I'm not quite understanding. I know that certain stakeholders really want to talk about access and they want to turn this temp spec proceeding into an access proceeding but if that's the agenda, we're going to have to resist it because I don't think there is an access issue here that is not already handled by existing procedures ..." (Aug 16 transcript, supra at pp. 10-11)
Theo Geurts (RrSG): "... I guess I’m not understanding the discussion completely here. From my point of view, I think the URS and the UDRP are working out. I mean, trademark holders can file a complaint and the process is being kicked off and it’s working. So, I wouldn’t spend too much time on this on something that is working. Every contracted party has to balance the rights of the data subject compared to the interests of the trademark holders. So, I think the balancing act is there and it’s pretty much a safeguard for abuse on a couple of levels ..." (Aug 16 transcript, supra at p. 14)
Stephanie Perrin (NCSG): "... I just wanted to recall Thomas Rickert’s excellent question about whether ICANN has an overall plan for compliance with GDPR because this discussion is a pretty good illustration of what we were worried about when the NCSG basically tried to limit the scope of the EPDP to a very narrow one ... I would recommend that we start a parking lot for issues that need to be resolved as a result of GDPR implementation but are not necessarily part of this particular spec. Because if we dragged everything and, unfortunately, we will have to examine all of the details surrounding all of the policies. And unfortunately, many ICANN policies will have to be rejigged as a result of GDPR compliance ... So, let’s start a parking lot, and if we have time we can fix all of these things. And if not, we leave them to the next PDP." (Aug 16 transcript, supra at pp. 14-15)
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "... So, let’s just clarify this. It’s all in writing about reasonable access. Registrars are already required to provide reasonable access under the temp spec. Now, the leap that (Alex) and (Mark) were making is that, oh, it’s part of our mandate that we have to have a policy to define what reasonable access means. That is actually not necessarily the case. If we agreed that this is going - reasonable access is going to be defined by registrar by registrar basis based on what jurisdiction they are in, what policies there are, that would be the status quo under the temp spec. Now, I know that a lot of people don’t want that ... But the question of whether we get or need a uniform access policy is not demanded by EPDP’s charter. Instead, the charter says ... we have to answer a bunch of gating questions before we decide whether and what the uniform access policy would be. So, yes, I think this issue seems to be a sticking point and it doesn’t need to be. If you want to talk, you know, what we do first is we decide what parts of the temp spec we’re going to keep and what is now a consensus policy. And then we answer the gating questions and then we get into the issue of, do we need a uniform access policy or how to redefine reasonable access. I think the sequence is very clear. And we can avoid going over this again and again if people simply recognize the sequence and the question of defining reasonable access is, indeed, an open question, not one that we must do." (Aug 16 transcript, supra at pp. 17-18)
Mark Svancarek (BC): "Well, as promised five minutes ago, if we’re going to state that access is not an appropriate topic, then I will have to, of course, intervene and say that I think it is. So, thank you to Dr. (Mueller) for clarifying his position. I have to say, I feel like this is - I’ve not really understood where he’s coming from. So my understanding is that he’s saying that there is no requirement that we will eventually end up on a particular unified access model. And I suppose that’s correct. But I think perhaps we should be very careful about the words we use when we talk about this because many of us are saying the word reasonable access and other people are perhaps making much broader, more sweeping statements that could be interpreted as we don’t have to talk about access at all. And I think those sort of disconnects are resulting in a lot of overhead in the discussions and confusion and concern." Kurt Pritz: "Thanks, (Mark) and if it’s okay with everybody, I’ll bring this part of the overhead discussion to a close." (Aug 16 meeting, supra at pp. 19-20)
The CyberSecurity Risks of an open, public WHOIS directory: 
Theo Geurts (RrSG): "... And I wanted to respond on a couple of things that are happening in the chat regarding security, transfers, domain name hijacks and I would like to point out that now that WHOIS [registrant data] by most registrars is redacted that one of the biggest attack vectors used by criminals and hacking folks is now gone because now there’s no details that give a hacker the ID on which email address or which email account he has to hack. It’s no longer visible. It makes it a lot harder for a criminal to hack such accounts because it’s no longer displayed ... we do have the feeling that domain hacks actually have gone down ... So having the email address no longer in the ... WHOIS ... is like making it 50% more secure, that I’m not sure I’m correct in the percentage but it makes it a lot more difficult to hijack or steal a domain name . . . .  we’re getting less complaints, the transfer process got easier, our resellers are more happier so that simplification in the process I was kind of amazed how that worked out on an operational level. So, so far we are pretty positive ... so for us it’s working out really, really great." (Aug 16 meeting, supra at pp. 28-30)
Editor's note: see also the note further below about the cybersecurity risks of fax numbers and fax machines.

Note also: GNSO Council meeting 16 Aug 2018, excerpts from Chat transcript (pdf) re EPDP:
Keith Drazek (RySG): Thanks for the EPDP update Rafik. On the point of the EPDP Vice Chair/Council Liaison roles, I am ok with you doing both. This is a unique situation where the size of the group is limited in size .... I think the next step in the Charter is to focus on the list of questions related to the Temp Spec and gating for the other discussions. Marika Konings: The triage is expected to help inform priorities and the detailed work plan going forward. And as Rafik mentioned, we do have a high level timeline that outlines the different milestone delivery dates ... Pam Little, RrSG: Have we seen a work plan developed by the EPDP Team? Marika Konings:@Pam - that is still in development. As said, the triage effort is expected to help inform how to tackle the Temporary Spec / Charter questions ... Ayden Férdeline: Yes, the EPDP is not making much progress, if any ... Some participants from Advisory Committees spend time on calls asking for things that could be resolved over email, i.e. please can you call out to our Observer who has poor Internet ... A lot of time is being spent relitigating what is in the charter, too, particularly as it relates to access."
More information (links to recordings, transcripts, documents) re: the Aug 14 and Aug 16 EPDP Team meetings on last week's News Review
ICANN's GDPR Train Wreck ©2018 DomainMondo.com (graphic)
Definition: "train wreck" (noun) a chaotic or disastrous situation that holds a peculiar fascination for observers.
See also:
  • ICANN CEO Goran Marby (in photo above) and EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz's emails.
  • EPDP & ICANN's Picket Fence (pdf): ICANN's 'Picket Fence' circumscribes ICANN's authority with regard to domain names.
  • Why ICANN Should Not Require Collecting, Much Less Publishing, Registrants' Fax Numbers--FAX HAX: fax machines pose a huge vulnerability to the cybersecurity of businesses and other organizations, according to a new studyA fax number is the only thing required to carry out the attack. Many fax machines run on decades-old protocols that are easy for hackers to penetrate, says Israel-based soft­ware com­pany Check Point. Most fax lines are connected to an organization's larger IT network, so after a cyber intruder makes their way into an insecure fax machine, everything else, regardless of what other cyber protections are in place, can become easy targets--TheHill.com.
  • Working Paper (pdf) on standards for data protection and personal privacy in cross-border data requests for criminal law enforcement purposes (Budapest, Hungary, 9/10 April 2018)--datenschutz-berlin.de.

2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. ICANN v. EPAG Domainservices, GmbH: ICANN's Plea of Remonstrance (in German)[pdf, 2.27 MB]. The English Translation [pdf, 276 KB] is embed below (personal identifiable information has been redacted by ICANN) 17 August 2018:

Prior filings in the case are here. See also English Translation of EPAG’s Comment on ICANN’s Submission of Letter from European Data Protection Board [pdf, 517 KB] 1 Aug 2018.

b. ICANN Community Leaders' GDPR Update Call, 13 Aug 2018 (pdf) excerpt below:
GDPR update call 13 Aug 2018 Adobe Connect recording and Audio Recording [MP3, 3.77 MB].

c. 14 Aug 2018 Letter of Delaware's Secretary of State (pdf) to ICANN re: new gTLDs that meet the definition of “company endings” including, but not limited to, .INC, .CORP, .LLP, .LTD, .COMPANY and .LLC (letter embed below):

d. ICANN Global Domains Division (GDD) 
 ICANN GDD General Operations Handbook for Registry Operators
General Operations Handbook for Registry Operators (revised) 15 Aug 2018 gdd-ops-handbook-registry-operators-15aug18-en.pdf [pdf, 429 KB].

e. New gTLD .pharmacy notice of beach of registry agreement (pdf), status as of 17 Aug 2018:
 breach notice .PHARMACY
source: ICANN.org

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Domain Name Registrar GoDaddy $GDDY:
 $GDDY
GoDaddy shares fall after pricing its secondary public offering of 10.4 million shares from selling stockholders--marketwatch.com 15 Aug 2018.

b. UPDATED: Domain Name Registrar Tucows $TCX Q2 2018:  Tucows management posted responses to questions of general interest to the Company’s web site here (pdf) on Wednesday, August 22 at 9:00 a.m. EDT.

c. Domain Name Registry Operator (.COM, .NET et al) Verisign $VRSN--Tracking Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A and NYSE:BRK.B) Portfolio - Q2 2018 Update:
VeriSign Inc. $VRSN shares were first purchased by Berkshire in Q4 2012 at prices between $34 and $49.50. The position was more than doubled in Q1 2013 at prices between $38 and $48. The following quarter saw a one-third increase at prices between $44 and $49. Q1 and Q2 2014 also saw a combined ~17% increase at prices between $47 and $63. $VRSN currently trades at ~$150 and the Berkshire position is ~0.91% of Berkshire's total portfolio, about 10% ownership interest in Verisign. Read more at SeekingAlpha.com 15 Aug 2018.

See also The Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief Q2 2018 | verisign.com:
  • 10 largest top-level domains (TLDs) in the world (.png)--4 gTLDs + 6 ccTLDs--can you name in the correct order, all top-ten TLDs? 
  • The second quarter of 2018 closed with approximately 339.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of approximately 7.9 million, or +2.4% year over year.
  • Total new gTLDsdomain name registrations decreased by approximately 2.5 million domain name registrations, or -10.4%  year over year, ending the second quarter of 2018 with a total of only 21.8 million domain name registrations.
  • Legacy gTLD .COM domain name registrations increased by 6.4 million, or +5.0% year over year.  As of June 30, 2018, the .com domain name base totaled approximately 135.6 million domain name registrations (as compared with 129.2 as of June 30, 2017).  
  • Legacy gTLD .NET domain name registrations decreased by 1.0 million, or -7.0% year over year. As of June 30, 2018, the .net domain name base totaled approximately 14.1 million domain name registrations (as compared with 15.1 as of June 30, 2017). 
  • Total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 149.7 million at the end of the second quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 5.5 million domain name registrations, or +3.8%, year over year.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com

"... given China’s size and technological sophistication, Beijing has a good chance of succeeding—thereby remaking cyberspace in its own image. If this happens, the Internet will be less global and less open. A major part of it will run Chinese applications over Chinese-made hardware. And Beijing will reap the economic, diplomatic, national security, and intelligence benefits ..."
  • "It will be a dark day for internet freedom if Google has acquiesced to China’s extreme censorship rules to gain market access."--Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International--amnesty.org.
  • The Unlikely Activists Who Took On Silicon Valley and Won: Facebook and Google made billions mining personal data, and fought off anyone who threatened to stop them. Then came a challenge in their own backyard--NYTimes.com
"Political power is a malleable thing, Mactaggart had learned, an elaborate calculation of artifice and argument, votes and money. People and institutions — in politics, in Silicon Valley — can seem all-powerful right up to the moment they are not. And sometimes, Mactaggart discovered, a thing that can’t possibly happen suddenly becomes a thing that cannot be stopped."
  • Censorship & InfoWars:
Infowars Website Traffic Explodes After Silicon Valley Blacklists Alex Jones Empire | zerohedge.com"They are using me as a test case to try to bring an EU style web censorship"--Alex Jones. InfoWars Videos, Podcasts, and Social Posts Have Disappeared. Here's Why Its Website Won't Be Next | Fortune.com: Internet infrastructure companies like web hosts, registrars, and CDNs were right to largely remain neutral in Infowars-like debates, civil rights experts say.
Alex Jones is far from the only person tech companies are silencing August 12, 2018, by David Greene, civil liberties director and senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org): "Facebook, Twitter, Apple and other companies routinely silence voices in marginalized communities around the world that struggle to be heard in the first place, replicating their offline repression."
  • Internet Freedom, Free Speech & Free Press: If the US government prosecutes Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, it will mark a point of no return--zerohedge.com.

5) Most Read Posts this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com



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