Today’s blog post reflects on two recent industry events, the Internet Society Asia Pacific webinar and ICANN’s ccTLD News Session 1, and looks at current insights into digital transformation.
ISOC Asia Pacific (20 May 2020)
As explained on their website, ‘The Internet Society (ISOC) is a global cause-driven organization governed by a diverse Board of Trustees that is dedicated to ensuring that the Internet stays open, transparent and defined by you.’
In an ISOC Asoa-Pacific webinar on 20 May 2020, 3 panelists discussed current issues relating to the internet in the region including Ellen Strickland, Chief Advisor, InternetNZ New Zealand, Osama Manzar, Founder/Director of the Digital Empowerment Foundation, India and Sumon Ahmed Sabir, Chief Technology Officer at Fiber@Home, Bangladesh.
Panelists discussed opportunities that have been realised as a result of COVID-19, such as the ability to work from home and the capacity of our online systems. It was acknowledged that while in Australia and New Zealand people have remained connected through services like telehealth and education, this is just not something that is realistic for everyone in other countries. Osama Manzar and Sumon Ahmed Sabir explained that accessibility and connectivity in India and Bangladesh continues to be a big issue.
ccTLD News Session 1 (2 June 2020)
In the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ccTLD News Session 1 held almost two weeks later, policy and security related issues surrounding the Australian Bushfire crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic were brought to light. Panelists included Bruce Tonkin (.au), Anna Karakhanyan (.am/.հա), Dejan Djukic (.rs/.срб) and Eleanor Bradley (.uk).
Bruce Tonkin of .au Domain Administration (auDA) reflected on lessons learned from an initiative to support .au registrants in areas affected by bushfires in Australia earlier this year. Bruce gave an overview of how the .au disaster relief policy was implemented and how it has helped businesses and individuals in these areas by extending the expiration date of their domain names.
The impact of malicious COVID-19 related domain name registrations in countries including Armenia (.am) and the United Kingdom (.uk) was also a discussion point, and it was interesting that the results have been quite different. While .am has had no illegal activity traced back to COVID-19 registered domain names, .uk now has enhanced registrant checks in place, to check the validity of these domain names, which is largely due to the size of each namespace.
Bringing it all together
After attending these sessions a recurring theme was apparent; the rise in digital transformation as these technologies change the way we do things.
As society grapples with distancing restrictions and as we become more accustomed to running our lives this way, we can appreciate that a significant tranformation is taking place. On a global scale, attending medical appointments, grocery shopping, working from home and accessing education online has simplified the way we do things. This is something that is likely to be around for the long haul and the role internet registries play in enabling reliable, secure infrastructure is paramount.
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