Category Archives: Internet

Coral Gables Cops Offer Their Lobby as Transactional “Safe Space”

Coral Gables Central reports that the Coral Gables Police are offering their main lobby as a “safe haven” for people to meet to consummate internet-negotiated transactions. Think Craigslist deals.

The goal is to reduce the likelihood of a criminal act being committed. The Coral Gables Police Department is located at 2801 Salzedo St., Coral Gables, 33134

The department will not be involved in setting the meetings, but the lobby can be used for this transaction any day of the week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

This is a good thing, and the Police should be congratulated for doing it. But note that the cops say they only welcome legal transactions, so unsurprisingly this may not be the place for drug deals, escorting meets, and, they warn, nothing lasting more than 15 minutes. And I’m betting it’s not just watched by a bored desk Sargent, but all taped on camera.

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I Love Eduroam

One of my few achievements was getting UMiami to join Eduroam, the nifty university consortium that allows visiting academics to log in automatically to the internet supplied by all other member institutions. European universities were early adopters; the US is catching up. Once you get it set up on your devvice, it’s seamless; I’m using it now via the University of Amsterdam.

Posted in Internet, Talks & Conferences, U.Miami | Leave a comment

High Noon at ICANN’s Accountability Gulch

Deja vu all over again?

Basically, ICANN is up to its bad old tricks to escape accountability. It hates that stuff. The problem is getting so bad that heresy is being spoken,

So the choice being faced in Los Angeles is a stark one: do we want to make ICANN accountable or not? And if not, can we actually have an IANA transition? Will there be any support for it? A growing number of people would prefer the status quo (U.S. oversight) to an ICANN without a membership and the CCWG-proposed community empowerment mechanisms.

Let the record show that I said years ago that US government involvment was likely better than cutting ICANN loose without adult supervision. I confess that the CCWG had me thinking they might have done the near-impossible. But now it appears we see regression to the ICANN mean.

Posted in ICANN | 1 Comment Indeed

The new Ashley Madison Hack lookup tool is at

As the site notes, just because an email is in there doesn’t prove the person who uses it signed up. But I would find it at least suggestive once we have some evidence that the DB itself is the real thing. (I suppose this doesn’t suffice.)

Thirty-six million — 36 million! — names in the hacked Ashley Madison database? Perhaps North Americans really are not that different from the French when it comes to affairs, just sneakier.

That said, (unlike some and some more) I don’t look forward to an orgy of outing with much pleasure, and think it likely will hurt more people than it helps. I guess I believe that at least in some cases, although certainly not all, the pig really is happier than Socrates.

Posted in Internet, Law: Privacy | Leave a comment

Time for Your Annual Privacy Checkup

Privacy Checkup – My Account – Google

Posted in Internet, Law: Privacy | 2 Comments

ICANN Is Up to Its Old Tricks

Must read: Kieren McCarthy, ICANN’s leaving the nest, so when will it grow up? The org that will run the internet still acts like a teenager.

Protected by its important father, the US government, ICANN has become a surly, entitled, and vain figure. It will want for nothing. It will listen to no one. It is always right. …

Unfortunately, the real ICANN has a visceral loathing of anything decided by its “community” – the people it is supposed to be serving. …

Despite ostensibly being a community organization, at its thrice-yearly conferences ICANN corporate tightly controls the agenda. There are no “unconferences” or even community-led sessions. All sessions – and frequently panelists – are chosen and controlled by the staff. Sessions are added and removed according to whim.

Just as ICANN was showing real signs of maturity, it lapsed. Rather than using its greater autonomy to step up to the plate, the prevailing atmosphere within the organization was that it couldn’t believe its luck. And then, with the arrival of a new CEO and the approval of the money-minting new gTLD program, ICANN more than quadrupled its own budget. It’s now a child with both fewer constraints and more money to spend.

Now in 2016, with the transitioning of the IANA contract, ICANN is finally coming of age and the US government can no longer expect to keep it in its house. Rather than sending forth a well-prepared and mature young adult, however, we’re letting loose a know-it-all teenager with a chip on its shoulder and a determined belief that it doesn’t have to listen to anyone.

Milton Mueller’s ICANN Accountability – Present, Future and Past is good too, but more polite. (Which, if you know Milton, is quite an amazing thing to be writing!)

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Should I Surrender?

There’s this company that calls my office over and over. And over. And leaves messages asking me to go on their site and ‘claim my profile” that they have already concocted for me. It’s been going on for weeks, always at times I happened to be out. Note that it never sounded like robo-calling, but rather like call-center humans.

Finally, I happened to be in the office recently and answered a call from them (it was a human). I asked, begged, pleaded, to be put on their Do Not Call list.1

Begging didn’t work. There’s a message from them on my voice mail again today.

So far, I’m standing strong, not giving in, not registering on their web site. Even if would shut them up. But I’m also a bit afraid to name them here, because it seems to me that that given their less-than-perfect authentication methods–which include linking to social media on which I do not have accounts–there is a substantial impersonation risk.

Should I just give in and ‘claim my profile’?

  1. This leaves aside the question whether the calls violate state or federal ‘do not call’ rules; I’m signed up for both, but since they are not actually selling anything or asking for money, they might be off the hook? 

Posted in ID Cards and Identification, Internet | 1 Comment