Advocacy

Review of Trusted Community Representation in Root Zone DNSSEC Key Signing Ceremonies

The ICANN Affirmation of Commitment describes the Internet as a transformative technology that empowers people around the globe, spurs innovation, facilitates trade and commerce, and enables the free and unfettered flow of information. One of the elements of the Internet’s success is a highly decentralized network that enables and encourages decision-making at a local level. Notwithstanding this decentralization, global technical coordination of the Internet’s underlying infrastructure – the Domain Name System[2] (DNS) – is required to ensure interoperability[3].

DNS Security Extensions [4] (DNSSEC) is a protocol that is currently being deployed to secure the Domain Name System (DNS), the Internet’s global phone book. DNSSEC adds security to the DNS by incorporating public key cryptography into the DNS hierarchy, resulting in a single, open, global Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for domain names.

In DNSSEC a secure response to a query is one which is cryptographically signed and validated. An individual signature is validated by following a chain of signatures to a key which is trusted for some extra-protocol reason. ICANN, as IANA Functions Operator, is responsible for the publication of trust anchors for the root zone of the Domain Name System. There are 13 root zones in the world labelled A-M. There are ten root zones in the United States; one is located in Japan, another in Sweden and the other in Netherlands. These root zones are mirrored and replicated across the world through the Anycast to ensure redundancy, resiliency and efficient resolutions.

Since July 2010, the DNS Root Zone has been secured using DNSSEC. The model of using DNSSEC in the DNS Root Zone revolves around a “key signing key” (KSK) that is managed by ICANN in two secure facilities. Four times a year, a ceremony is conducted at these facilities to perform operations involving the KSK. As a key part of this process, a minimum of three from a pool of 21 trusted community representatives (TCRs) attend each ceremony to enable access to the secure materials, to witness the procedure, and to attest that the ceremony was conducted properly.

The ICANN At Large community recently contributed to TCR Review where contributions were made by members of the At Large community. A Statement was finalized and put to the ALAC for their vote before it was sent to the Review Team.

[1] http://www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/aoc/affirmation-of-commitments-30sep09-en.htm
[2] [RFC 1034] and [RFC1035]
[3] ibid
[4] [RFC4033], [RFC4034], [RFC 4035]
[5] http://data.iana.org/root-anchors/

 

 

Digital Rights Management #EME #HTML5 Threatens Pacific Internet Users Rights to Access and Open Source Developers Rights

SUVA June 14 2013 – The landscape within the Pacific has changed dramatically in the last decade with the advent of Information Communication Technology (ICT) through diverse media like the Telephone, Internet etc. Access to knowledge and information has transformed the diverse cultures within the 22 countries and territories within the Pacific and influenced how we disseminate information. The sharing of cultural experiences through songs and art, knowledge through television, internet, radio and mobile phones has brought the Pacific closer together in ways that no one would have dreamt of in the last two decades.

There are aspects to simple things like access whether it is through the development of architecture, infrastructure or standards that have an impact on how we as ordinary users are able to readily access and enjoy communication. There are many bodies that participate in the development of the “behind the scenes” work that allows us to enjoy the fruit without regard for how systems were built and constructed and most often the average ordinary user would not need to be involved in the intricacies of the discussions, design or behind the scenes work. However, there are certain and rare instances when users should care and under those circumstances when their rights can be challenged or where their access is threatened. This is one such instance where we as ordinary users from the Pacific should care.

There are aspects of Digital Rights Management which are threatening to encroach on our ability to access information freely and readily. Ordinarily, users are free to access content. There may come a time when an individual’s access to content will no longer be private or where certain information may be restricted due to evolution in technology attributed to Digital Rights Protection.

Pasifika NEXUS endorses the objections raised by the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (IGC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The inclusion of digital rights management (DRM) in HTML5 has the potential to stifle innovation and seriously compromise the rights of end users.

It is our belief that there are existing mechanisms to protect Intellectual Property Rights of owners of content without resorting to introduce protection mechanisms using technology.

The World Wide Consortium (W3C) Working Group is responsible for the creation of the next version of HTML where draft specifications concerning DRM and Encrypted Media Extension. We believe that if this continues, this will seriously threaten privacy, access of ordinary internet users around the world. Pacific communities are amongst those who will be marginalized if the work by the Working Group continues.

For Pacific communities, particularly those in remote islands who do not have ready access to physical resources such as physical libraries and rely on the internet to access libraries, the extension of DRM and EME can seriously undermine the ability to access knowledge. Communities must be able to effectively utilize Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve access to knowledge and achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Designers and innovators from the Pacific particularly open source developers may also find their livelihoods threatened in the future should work in this area be allowed to proceed. As such Pasifika NEXUS calls upon the W3C to cease work on the Encrypted Media Extensions specification and revise its decision to include this work in the HTML Working Group charter. The Internet must remain open and free.

Pasifika NEXUS supports the following:

• Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) objection
(see link: https://www.eff.org/pages/drm/w3c-formal-objection-html-wg/)

• Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus’s Support of EFF’s Objection
(see link:  http://igcaucus.org/upload/IGC_Press_Release…..HTML5)

Pasifika NEXUS calls upon the Pacific communities to voice their Objections to the W3C Working Group in lending their support by endorsing this statement. For those who wish to have the names of their organizations or individuals associated with this statement, kindly email your support to sala@pasifikanexus.nu

 

 

 

Pasifika NEXUS current Advocacy initiatives include encouraging communities to set up Internet Exchange Point (IXPs) in Fiji and the Pacific and encouraging girls and women in Information Communication Technology.

Internet Exchange Point Executive Briefing

As part of a side event of the Pacific Youth TechCamp, Pasifika NEXUS in collaboration with APNIC and Packet Clearing House hosted a Side Event which was the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) Briefing for a diverse cross section of stakeholders.

Through the generous sponsorship of APNIC we were able to host the Briefing which was designed towards the advocacy of building an IXP. Packet Clearing House Internet Strategist Mr Bevil Wooding  advocated for IXPs beyond the engineering and appealed to the national development consciousness of all stakeholders.

“Imagine you lived in Suva and wanted to travel to Labasa and you were told the only way such a trip would be permitted is if you travelled by air or sea…via New Zealand or Australia!  This would be expensive and inefficient. It would also be ridiculous.  Yet this is exactly what happens to local Internet traffic between domestic Internet Service Providers.

Consider a typical scenario for Fiji Internet users. Selina, a Kidanet customer living in Suva, decides to send an email to her boyfriend Timothy, a Connect customer who lives in Labasa. The email journeys as data packets that must travel out of Fiji, to a switching point in a foreign country, just to be returned to Fiji.  Such routing comes at a high cost to local Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It also subjects local data to possible inspection in foreign countries. Further, it results in unnecessary hemorrhage of local capital as local ISPs pay to send traffic out only to bring it back in to the country over costly international links.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this madness. It is called an Internet Exchange Point.  Stakeholders in the private and public sectors as well as general Internet users should move with alacrity to ensure that Fiji can bring the proven benefits of Exchange Points to the domestic Internet economy.”

Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist, Packet Clearing House

 

Game Changers: The Role of Girls and Women in Development

As part of the Pacific Youth TechCamp, the  Women in Technology Side Event was hosted by Pasifika NEXUS in collaboration with UN Women and BrightPath Foundation. There was a Panel comprising of women involved in ICT which included Mere Baro a Programmer in Telecom Fiji, Georgina Sakimi, a Senior Web Developer for Fiji Times, Shareen Taiyab an ICT Professional with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Alzima Bano, a Psychology Major, Tutor at the University of the South Pacific and avid Blogger. The Panel spoke about their roles and the challenges that they faced as women. This was followed by our Guest Speaker from UN Women Ms Katalaine Duaibe who spoke to the audience about the power of Technology to transform lives and communities. The Keynote Address was delivered by Mrs Stephanie Danclair from Washington D.C who is the Chief Operating Officer of US based International Organisation, BrightPath Foundation. Mrs Danclair spoke about the important role that girls and women play in development.