Sebastián Bellagamba: “LACNIC amalgamates the different spaces that exist in the region”

Known for his constant defense of multistakeholder participation in global Internet governance, Sebastián Bellagamba is a relevant actor in the regional Internet community.

As Internet Society (ISOC) Regional Bureau Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bellagamba makes his voice heard at regional and international forums.

With 25 years of experience in the world of the Information Society, Bellagamba highlights that LACNIC was able to amalgamate the different Internet-related spaces that existed in the region and reduced existing tensions among various stakeholder groups. groups. In Bellagamba’s opinion, LACNIC brings together the different actors because the organization serves as an umbrella under which the different actors can feel comfortable.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

Fifteen years ago, in 2002, I had been in the Internet market for about 10 years.

At the time, I was president of CABASE (the Argentine Internet Chamber), I was working with an ISP in Argentina, and also collaborating with the Internet Society chapter.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

CABASE is one of LACNIC’s founding members. I was not directly involved in the creation of LACNIC, but the people I was working with at the Chamber were. This means I have been directly or indirectly involved with LACNIC even before the organization existed, since the early days of its creation process.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations?

I was a member of LACNIC’s Fiscal Commission. I also served as LACNIC community representative to the ASO AC (Address Supporting Organization Address Council); in fact, I chaired the Address Council for a few years. I believe I served two terms – three or four years – on the Fiscal Commission, after which, during the LACNIC 7 event in Costa Rica, I was elected to the ASO to replace Raimundo Becca who had been elected to the ICANN Board.

I was very much involved in the early days of the organization and my expectations were always met and exceeded. The creation of LACNIC and developing a regional community was a project many people wanted to bring to life. 

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

The LACNIC community has been essential, particularly in promoting Internet development throughout the region.

I remember the first block of IP addresses I managed was provided by ARIN, before LACNIC existed. This was quite a different experience, as our interaction with ARIN was strictly limited to the assignment of the block.

However, in addition to providing number resources, LACNIC provided us with the opportunity to get to know and interact with different stakeholders, share best practices, exchange knowledge… All in all, it was a much richer experience. When LACNIC was created, we all began to understand the entire process and were able to better use our resources to continue to grow. That’s when the community started to grow and become involved in the resource assignment process. 

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

In my opinion, a key aspect of LACNIC’s creation has to do with establishing cooperation mechanisms among the community, in other words, generating a community that collaborates. The process for creating LACNIC was not an easy one. Looking back, I think that the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community was not as collaborative back in the ’90s. It seems to me there were more tensions, more interests, more sectors; the community was more fragmented, something which later changed thanks to LACNIC.

LACNIC amalgamated the various spaces that already existed and brought us all together in a place in a place where we could feel comfortable and begin to cooperate.

The level of coordination that exists among the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community at international spaces is evident, and this has to do with LACNIC, the place where we were all able to converge, feel comfortable and coordinate on matters exceeding our region.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

I hope it will be more inclusive, that more actors will become involved. I also hope that those who are marginally involved will increase their level of participation.

In my opinion, Internet governance should remain a collaborative space. The Internet itself is a collaborative space, and we all decided to build the Internet voluntarily. Collaboration is needed to keep Internet governance going. It is important for the role of governments, the private sector, non-government stakeholders and the technical community to continue to grow, and that spaces for collaboration continue to exist.

How will things turn out? Anything can happen, the jury is still out on this question. What is important is for each of us to continue to work on what we are currently involved in so we can achieve the best possible outcome.

 

Internet Exchange Points reduce Internet prices and increase Internet speed

“More than 55 Internet exchange points – also known as IXPs – installed in Latin America and the Caribbean have allowed bringing content closer to end users and led to a reduction in rates while allowing an increase in speed,” said Ariel Graizer, president of Cabase and LAC IX, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet IXP Association (http://www.lac-ix.org/).

LAC IX’s members are traffic exchange point operators, joined by adhering members who contribute to the development of traffic in the region.

IXPs improve Internet speed for end users and the availability of wholesale bandwidth, so “a major improvement is perceived in terms of quality and end users benefit from a reduction in costs,” added Graizer.

The region is home to more than 55 Internet exchange points, led by Brazil and Argentina with more than 20 each, while the remaining countries have one, two or even three IXPs.

An Internet exchange point is physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks. According to Graizer, IXPs benefit access and content providers, but the major beneficiaries are the people in each region who connect to such operators and content providers.

By way of an example, he recalled the first experience of Cabase (Argentina) installing an exchange point between Neuquén and the telephone service provider for San Martin de los Andes, in the middle of the Andes in the Argentine Patagonia, 400 kilometers from Neuquén. “When the IXP started operating, the monthly wholesale cost was 1,200 dollars per megabit. Today, this cost is less than 20 dollars, a major price reduction. Likewise, broadband bandwidth has also improved, as back then they were paying 1,200 dollars for just 20 megabits and today they have almost 4 gigabits,” noted Graizer. This IXP resulted in a substantial improvement of Internet quality and availability.

Graizer admitted that for Latin American and Caribbean IXPs IPv6 traffic is still significantly lower than IPv4 traffic, though he noted that IPv6 traffic is growing. “As more content is made available over IPv6, more traffic will be generated,” commented the president of LAC IX. “While not at the speed we’d like, the trend continues to grow,” he added.

To watch the interview, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3yDRQkjYRc

 

Smart Cities: Much more than an algorithm

LACNIC organized a workshop on Smart Cities in the Americas, Innovation and Sustainability, which was held in Mexico City within the framework of the XXXI Meeting of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission’s PCC.I.

More than ninety participants attended the meeting, where professionals from LAC and other regions shared ideas and projects with OAS member countries, academia and business organization representatives.

“Smart and sustainable cities involve various social, economic, structural, technological and regulatory contexts, the purpose of which is to satisfy the needs of citizens and improve their quality of life. To do so, using the technological standards on which the Internet is based is key. And IPv6 is undoubtedly one of those standards, as it allows these projects to achieve sustainability and innovation for the benefit of all,” noted Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO.

Smart Cities face the challenge of integrating innovative services and platforms that will facilitate citizens’ daily activities. In this sense, cooperation and collaboration among the various sectors (governments, the technical Internet community, manufacturers, academia, and others) is required to allow open debate and the discussion of different ideas, through non-disruptive regulations and open, inclusive and participatory processes. “Smart Cities should not be solely based on technical algorithms; decision-making requires everyone to be involved, as we cannot afford to be wrong,” added Robles.

The workshop highlighted the need to create awareness on the protection of personal data as well as techniques and policies for processes that will ensure privacy and trust through the use of an open, stable and secure Internet.

Smart Citizens. Gustavo Mercado, an expert representing the University of Mendoza, stated that smart cities are usually born of the municipal authorities’ interest in improving the habitability, sustainability and efficiency of their city. “First, an analysis of the city’s strengths and weaknesses must be conducted. The next step is to determine how problems can be solved. If it is determined that the city’s problems have a ‘technological’ solution, we will witness the birth of a smart/technological/digital city,” said Mercado.

However, the government’s decision and the availability of technology are not enough to promote a smart city – without citizen participation, such a project is impossible to achieve.

“Citizens should be part of the definition of a smart city and their opinion should be taken into account when selecting solutions and technologies. This means that a vision and a plan are needed in order to develop the services that will make the city livable, sustainable and efficient,” Mercado added.

A city’s services can be improved through the use of Information Technology (ICT), including the Internet of Things. At first, city utilities and services such as electricity, water, transportation and gas were treated and managed independently. “ICTs now allow us to combine management of these services to increase their efficiency,” concluded the Argentine expert.

A different way of seeing and studying

More than 500 Uruguayan primary and secondary education books have already been digitized and are available online so the visually impaired can continue their studies and remain within the formal education system. The initiative is part of the first Accessible Digital Library created within the framework of the Marrakesh Treaty. This library is an initiative of Uruguay’s National Union of the Blind (UNCU) and the University of the Republic of Uruguay, and has received funding from the FRIDA project supported by the IDRC, Canada.

According to Gabriel Soto, President of UNCU and leader of the project, the library created this system and makes digitized books available online to encourage the reinsertion and permanence of all visually impaired people within the formal education system, thus guaranteeing equal opportunities.

In Uruguay, average secondary education dropout rates among the visually impaired is more than 78%, only 20% of this population completes their secondary education, and barely 12% go on to pursue third-level and/or university education.

One of the main reasons for this dropout rate is the limited availability of study materials in braille, audio or electronic support for students with visual impairments.

Soto acknowledged that FRIDA’s support allowed him to realize “this dream.”

What is the Uruguayan Accessible Digital Library and what is the story behind the initiative?

The Library was born out of an alliance between Uruguay’s National Union of the Blind (UNCU) and the University of the Republic (UDELAR), through the Center of Open and Accessible Educational Resources (Núcleo REAA), with the goal of developing the first Accessible Digital Library under the Marrakesh Treaty. This alliance focused on facilitating access to textbooks in accessible formats for the visually impaired.

The library was developed using a system for digitizing books, adapting them and making them available online through a repository of books and other accessible materials, and is part of the COLIBRI Institutional Repository of the University of the Republic of Uruguay.

How does BIDYA work?

BIDYA is a digital library which any person with a disability can access with a username and password we provide to all interested parties protected by the Marrakesh Treaty. There, they will find educational materials classified in different categories, along with their corresponding data.

What tools will BIDYA offer the visually impaired?

The library will offer primary, secondary and tertiary level educational texts in accessible formats, so people can choose the format they prefer: they can either use the digital format or adapt it to braille, audio or macro-type.

Who can access the Library?

All persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled, as specified in the Marrakesh Treaty. Access to the Library is free.

What impact can the project have among visually impaired students?

The Library can have a major impact. We want young students who are visually impaired to be able to access their textbooks just as their peers do, and thus have the chance to complete their curricular subjects without the additional difficulty of the lack of available study materials as a barrier for continuing their education.

What has your experience with FRIDA been like?

Our work with FRIDA has been outstanding. In addition to the program’s financial support which allowed us to realize this dream of an Accessible Digital Library, the human interaction and guidance we received for developing this project gave us the possibility of strengthening an area we had not previously been able to address due to a lack of support. It allowed us to bring down to earth and materialize this idea we’d had for years.

We recommend working with FRIDA, as it opens new horizons to develop projects that would otherwise be difficult to consolidate.

Immediate results in IPv6

As the number of end users of IPv6 in Latin America and the Caribbean continues to grow, so does the number of professionals trained by LACNIC to meet the growing demands of organizations seeking to deploy this Internet protocol.

During the first eight months of 2017, LACNIC’s Training Center offered on-site workshops in Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia, as well as five webinars for the entire region. In addition, LACNIC’s online Campus offered six editions of its Basic IPv6, Advanced IPv6 and BGP courses.

Nine hundred and seventy-five IT experts from public and private organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean received training on IPv6 through face-to-face training activities and online workshops.

All in-person workshops include a section on the theory of IPv6 followed by hands-on practice presented by LACNIC instructors. “We are training professionals to contribute to IPv6 deployment throughout the region. Building capacity among the regional community by providing training is part of our mission,” stressed Laura Kaplan, Development and Cooperation Manager at LACNIC.

Immediate results. Many participants immediately apply the knowledge they acquire within their organizations. This is the case of Marcel Rodriguez of CIX Broadband Venezuela. Rodriguez attended the IPv6 course early this year in Caracas (Venezuela) and “thanks to the instructions I received, CIX was able to implement the protocol on its network, browsing mostly over native IPv6,” he said.

At this time, 55% of CIX subscribers receive IPv6 addresses and their office is browsing over native IPv6. In addition, their DNS and content servers are IPv6-ready.

LACNIC Campus. This year, the LACNIC Campus has planned six editions of the Basic IPv6 course, four editions of the Advanced IPv6 course, and two editions of BGP Basics and Introduction to RPKI.

So far, three Basic IPv6 courses have been offered with 1,184 registrations.

Likewise, 158 persons registered for the first edition of the Advanced IPv6 course. The second edition is being offered at the moment of writing.

Finally, 122 participants registered for the BGP Basics and Introduction to RPKI course and we expect a significant number of applicants for the second edition to be held before the end of the year.

For more information, contact training@lacnic.net

2017 FRIDA Winners Announced

The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) is pleased to announce the three projects selected as the winners of the program’s 2017 edition. This year, three innovative initiatives designed to address different educational and environmental challenges in the LAC region will receive FRIDA funding: a platform for the development of digital educational media for rural communities in Cuba, a Brazilian initiative that promotes the adoption of a gender perspective in the digital rights ecosystem, and a proposal to install weather stations in schools using the Internet to deal with natural disasters in Dominica.

The winning proposals were selected among 312 initiatives received this year from 23 different countries: 149 projects in the FRIDA Awards category, 163 in the FRIDA Grants category.

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico topped the list of countries with the highest number of submissions.

The Winners. Jurors selected Armonía, an education project by Universidad de Oriente de Cuba as the winner of a FRIDA Award. The project will receive a cash prize of US $5,000 as well as a sponsorship to attend the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Switzerland. This initiative was implemented in more than 20 rural settlements and sought to address the problems identified by the community by developing digital educational material, including multimedia, websites and e-books, in primary schools and other higher-level learning institutions.

Jurors highlighted the fact that Armonía seeks to promote the production of content within the education sector in order to address the challenges faced by rural communities, in the context of the Cuban Internet. In the committee’s opinion, Armonía‘s efforts to incorporate technology in the school system and rural environments despite existing limitations are exemplary.

The FRIDA Award to Women in Technology was presented to Coding Rights, a Latin American women’s group based in Brazil. Coding Rights was honored for their work in promoting a critical use of digital technologies, including an understanding of data collection and consent from the users’ perspective, specifically that of women and members of the LGBTTQI community. The group will also receive US $5,000 in cash and funding to attend the Global Internet Governance Forum in Switzerland. Jurors observed that this organization has a clear view of how the gender perspective should be incorporated into the discussion of digital rights.

Finally, the winner of the FRIDA Grant in the program’s most technical category – Innovation for Internet Development – was a project by the National Telecommunications Commission of Dominica for building weather stations in local schools and developing a web platform with freely available meteorological data. Schools Internet of Things (IoT) Weather Monitoring Stations seeks to use the Internet of Things to combat the challenges posed by climate change and the natural disasters faced by this Caribbean island state. This project will receive US $18,500.

According to FRIDA jurors, Schools Internet of Things (IoT) Weather Monitoring Stations is an experimental and innovative project that combines the Internet of Things and training students to respond to the challenges of climate change and Caribbean countries’ exposure to natural disasters.

Since 2004, FRIDA has distributed more than US $1.67 million among more than 120 innovative initiatives and projects in 19 countries throughout the region, contributing to the promotion of Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Celebrating 15 Years with the Community

Highlights of the LACNIC 28 – LACNOG 2017 event include keynote presentations, a hackathon on innovation, and the presence of Steve Crocker, Chairman of the ICANN Board.

LACNIC 28 – LACNOG 2017 will be held in the city of Montevideo, and its goal is to promote and strengthen an open, stable and secure Internet for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The event will bring together regional and global Internet leaders and will meet at the Hotel Radisson Victoria Plaza on 18-22 September.

The presence of noted regional Internet experts who will address the most relevant current issues (security, privacy, IPv6 deployment, Internet Governance) means that it will provide a unique opportunity to learn, share experiences, create synergies and take part in the debates.

Particularly noteworthy is the presence of Steve Crocker, Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and one of the experts who laid the foundations for the Internet as we know it today. Crocker will offer a keynote presentation on Wednesday 20 September and will visit Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean, where he will meet with the LACNIC Board.

Celebrating LACNIC’s 15th anniversary, the panel titled 15 Years of Building Community is another activity not to be missed. Presenters will focus on the work of the community as the driver of the process for strengthening an open, stable and secure Internet. The panel will be made up by Mariela Rocha, Cristine Hoepers, Oscar Messano, Clara Collado, Vivian Valverde and Edmundo Vitale, and moderated by Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO.

Along with the LACNIC meeting, Montevideo will also welcome the annual meeting of LACNOG, the Latin American and Caribbean Network Operators Forum, where participants will discuss and share technical information and experiences in network operation and infrastructure development.

The LACNIC 28 – LACNOG 2017 program includes a space for the Internet Society (ISOC) to discuss the future of the Internet within the framework of its 25th anniversary celebrations and announce the new Internet Hall of Fame inductees.

In addition, LACNIC will present the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors outstanding members of the Internet community for their contribution to the development of the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Among other relevant topics, this meeting will address current cybersecurity challenges and include panels on the Internet of Things, infrastructure, and successful IPv6 stories.

Montevideo Hackathon. Taking advantage of the event, LACNIC and AGESIC —the Uruguayan Agency for the Development of e-Government and the Information and Knowledge Society— are organizing a hackathon where network operators will work with coders and other users to develop innovative tools.

This two-day meeting (23-24 September) seeks to bring together network operators, researchers and other users with specific R+D needs, and designers, coders, developers and testers who can find solutions to these needs within a short period of time. A panel of jurors will evaluate the work of the different groups and present prizes to the team which attains the highest number of goals.

Adriana Ibarra “Over the next 15 years we should see a more active community”

Increased participation of women in Internet-related issues – particularly in the spaces promoted by LACNIC – has revitalized the role of women in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) at regional level.

Driven by the LACNIC community itself, this phenomenon has had different protagonists, among them Adriana Ibarra, a Mexican lawyer specializing in Intellectual property and electronic media who has been involved in LACNIC’s activities practically since the organization was created.

Ibarra, however, chooses not to look back and instead imagines the future. The next 15 years should be marked by greater participation of the community and civil society organizations, with a focus on protecting basic rights such as privacy.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

In 2000 I began working in the intellectual property department of ​​Mexican university Tecnológico de Monterrey and as legal adviser to NIC.MX. That was the start of my involvement with domain names and IP numbers, and my introduction to the world of ICTs.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I believe it was in 2002, when LACNIC and the ccTLDs started to formalize their relationship. Back then, I had the chance to review and negotiate several legal documents, including the agreements between LACNIC and NIC.MX. I was later invited to run for a place on the Fiscal Commission.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

I’ve been serving on the Fiscal Commission, LACNIC’s control organ, since 2003. My role includes supervising that all accounting and administrative standards are met, and ensuring compliance with LACNIC’s legal and statutory framework. The Fiscal Commission is responsible for submitting before the Member Assembly a report on the organization’s financial statements and their approval. It has been a great experience. My expectations have been more than exceeded. I am thankful to the community for their trust and for the opportunity to interact with professionals from different countries and different backgrounds, and especially for allowing me to play a part, however small, in Internet development in the LAC region.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

The LACNIC community has been essential for the development and protection of the Internet in our region. Its leadership within the community and at international level have made LACNIC a key promoter of training activities and projects throughout the region.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

Leadership, transparency, great technical capacity and —above all— the warmth of its community.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

I envision greater participation of society and civil society organizations, and a balance between continued Internet development and the protection of basic rights including privacy. I also envision specific projects to provide access to infrastructure and training. An inclusive Internet with greater participation of women and minorities.

Cristine Hoepers “Discussing security in terms of ‘National Security’ can result in a fragmented Internet”

Cristine Hoepers is one of the LACNIC region’s most prominent and experienced computer security experts. Senior information analyst and general manager at CERT.br (Brazil), Hoepers has been involved with the Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean since its creation.

In Hoepers’ opinion, in addition to number resource coordination, LACNIC has provided a Regional Forum where participants can share their experiences, discuss new technologies and propose initiatives aimed at achieving a better Internet.

She notes that security has become increasingly prominent in Internet governance discussions, and that the community should increase its participation and present practices that will allow an open and stable Internet. She also warns us that discussing security in terms of ‘National Security’ can lead to “a fragmented Internet.”

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

I have been part of the NIC.br team for 18 years. My work at CERT.br involves security and incident handling. Fifteen years ago, I was already working on the challenges of detecting and responding to security incidents in Internet-connected networks.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

Although NIC.br has been involved with LACNIC since its creation, I first participated at LACNIC II, an event held in São Paulo.

I am very proud to have been present at the event during which the formal recognition documents for LACNIC were presented to ICANN.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

My relationship with LACNIC became closer in 2006, when, together with Juan Carlos Guel, I was chosen to serve as the first co-moderator of the <seguridad@lacnic.net> mailing list and co-chair of the First Security Event for Latin American and the Caribbean, held within the framework of LACNIC IX in Guatemala (http://lacnic.net/pt/eventos/lacnicix/seguridad_en_redes.html).

A few years later, the names of these initiatives changed. Today they are known as LACSEC.

For the Guatemala event, I worked hard to share with the community the state of the art of incident handling and managed to combine the participation of Carnegie Mellon’s CERT/CC with a keynote presentation on incident management. After this event, many participants expressed their interest in learning more about security incident management. To meet this demand, I secured CERT/CC’s authorization to offer the ‘Overview on Creating and Managing CSIRTs’ tutorial at the LACNIC XI, XII and XIII meetings, free of charge.

I continued to promote the creation of CSIRTs and their cooperation, more specifically, helping LACNIC create and formalize LAC-CSIRTs, the regular meeting of the region’s CSIRTs. This group met for the first time in Buenos Aires during LACNIC XVI and continues to meet to this day thanks to the support LACNIC offers this community, which, while small, is essential for the regional Internet’s security and stability.

In what ways do you think LACNIC has contributed to the community’s development?

LACNIC has provided a Regional Forum where we can share our experiences, discuss new technologies and propose initiatives for a better Internet.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

Security has become increasingly prominent in Internet governance debates and a central topic at various forums. To maintain an open and innovative Internet, our community must participate in the discussion. There is a tendency to discuss security in terms of ‘National Security,’ yet this could result in a fragmented Internet, one that is closed to innovation and —paradoxically— less secure. In order for us to have a more secure, stable and resilient Internet, we must discuss what we mean by ‘Internet Security’ and openly debate each party’s responsibilities.

Ida Holz “LACNIC played a major role in the creation of Casa de Internet”

Ida Holz is a noted Uruguayan engineer who pioneered the construction of the human network that would later allow developing the Internet in Latin American and the Caribbean.

With her deep knowledge of the region’s digital community, Holz speaks with authority when reviewing the 15 years of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Address Registry (LACNIC).

In the 1990s, this scientist helped gather the critical mass of engineers who were to lead the development of the first national networks that served as the basis for the Latin American Internet we know today.

Recipient of the 2009 LACNIC Lifetime Achievement Award and 2013 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Holz’s review of the past 15 years highlights the creation of Casa de Internet as an umbrella for the region’s major Internet organizations.

 

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

I’ve been involved with the world of ICTs since 1989, when I was in charge of setting up the first email node at the University of the Republic.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I began taking part in preparatory meetings in 1997 and later attended the meeting in Santiago, Chile, during which the agreement for the creation of LACNIC was signed. Since then, I have followed the organization’s successful journey and have always supported its activities. In 2009, LACNIC presented me with its first Lifetime Achievement Award.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

I believe the organization has worked very well and fulfilled its main goals. I also believe that LACNIC played a very significant role in understanding the importance of bringing together Latin American and Caribbean Internet organizations by inviting them to join Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

It’s difficult to say. It was just 23 years ago that the Internet stopped being a means of communication used strictly by academics and started to expand to the general public. This tool accelerated the exchange of information, allowed social networks to be developed, resulted in significant changes in the way people work. Today we are facing the Internet of Things, 3D printing, a changing environment, electronic glasses for the blind, the development of weapons of mass destruction, fundamental political changes, and many other disruptions. We still don’t know what their impact will be. I find it difficult to imagine what the future evolution of technology will look like and how it will affect policy in general.

Hartmut Glaser “I dream of an Internet that is free, affordable and for all”

He’s been part of LACNIC since its inception. Four years before the formal recognition of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, professor Hartmut Glaser was already part of the ad hoc committee working towards the creation of LACNIC and has been the organization’s treasurer since its official creation.

In his opinion, LACNIC is a benchmark in Latin America and the Caribbean and proof that the region stands together. “The South-South connection has been extremely positive,” Glaser observes.

More than reminiscing over the past 15 years, LACNIC’s treasurer and executive secretary of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee prefers to project the future. His dream is that in 10 years 90% of Latin America and the Caribbean will be connected.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

I obtained my degree in Physics from the University of Sao Paulo in 1967; three years later I began teaching at the School of Engineering. My work was always in the field of microelectronics. I was a teacher and researcher for 20 years.

In 1989, I was appointed advisor to the director of the School of Engineering, who in 1996 was elected director-president of a foundation devoted to supporting research and development in the state of Sao Paulo (FAPESP, Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo).

This director then assigned me two projects, one of which was the Sao Paulo State Academic Network, through which we managed to connect more than 120 research and development institutions. The seed for a domain name registry – the seed for NIC.br – was planted in this academic network.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

In 1998, during the first ICANN meeting to be held in Latin America and the Caribbean, we created a temporary ad hoc committee to establish LACNIC as an organization. Among others, Oscar Messano, Raúl Echeberría and I were part of this committee. After three years of intense meetings and discussions, LACNIC was officially created in 2002 during the ICANN meeting held in Shanghai.

Raúl was elected as the organization’s first executive director, Messano took on the position of chairman of the board, and I became its treasurer. I have now been LACNIC’s treasurer for 15 years.

It gives me great satisfaction to see how something that started out as nothing has become what LACNIC is today.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

I feel that today we are a benchmark in Latin America, and this showcases the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean are united. LACNIC brought about a change, placed us on the map.

Over these 15 years, both Raúl Echeberría and Oscar Robles have worked to achieve a position of leadership within the region.

One thing I would like to highlight is the support LACNIC provided for the creation of AFRINIC. A year before AFRINIC was created, the ad hoc Committee working towards its creation was invited to spend a week in Montevideo. The goal was to show them how LACNIC had taken its first steps and the things that had worked for the organization. I feel this is one of LACNIC’s most notable contributions – the South-South connection has been extremely positive.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

Today, LACNIC is a benchmark. As I already mentioned, from the very beginning we were able to bring together the different groups that are part of the Internet ecosystem, including academic networks, LACTLD, LAC-IX and LACNOG. Casa de Internet was the result of this integration.

LACNIC events have never focused exclusively on IP addresses, as is the case in other regions. Instead, they have always incorporated many other topics such as cybersecurity, IXPs, ccTLDs and many others.

The mission we at LACNIC have managed to achieve is to keep Latin America and the Caribbean together. The community clearly recognizes LACNIC as a focal point and benchmark for the regional Internet.

We think of ourselves as collaborators, integrators, and we are very happy to stay together. I really hope this spirit will continue.

Since its inception, LACNIC has been permeated by a multistakeholder spirit which remains to this day.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

The answer is clear: today, half of LAC is included, in 15 years, the region will be included in its entirety.

I dream of an Internet that is free, affordable and for all. Perhaps in 10 years or less, all of Latin America and the Caribbean will be included. If not 100%, at least 90% included as in certain Northern countries.

The Internet is the most efficient tool for education. Children learn thanks to the Internet. The Internet has the power to change people.

I would like to see a digitally inclusive Latin America and the Caribbean. That would be the best outcome of our work.

LACNIC meets organizations and authorities in Suriname and Guyana

Major public and private Internet organizations of Suriname and Guyana are planning to deploy IPv6 by the end of 2017 or early 2018, a service that will be available to end users in both countries, as Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO, and Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at LACNIC, were able to confirm during their meetings with politicians, regulators, officials and directors of telecommunication companies and Internet service providers in these Caribbean countries.

Robles and Swift visited decision-makers in Suriname and Guyana, as well as Caribbean public sector leaders and private operators in early July following their participation in the Suriname Caribbean Cybersecurity & Cyberdrill.

While in these two countries IPv6 traffic is still in its infancy, the meetings between LACNIC representatives and political leaders and telecommunication sector representatives showed that they have been planning and working towards deploying IPv6 in the near future, Swift commented.

Meetings were held with representatives of Suriname’s Telecommunications Authority; telecommunications company Telesur; Suriname’s National Assembly; Ashwin Adhin, Vice-President of Suriname; Internet Service Provider ParboNet NV; Guyana’s E-Government Agency; Guyana Telephone & Telegraph (GTT); and Catherine Hughe, Guyana’s Minister of Telecommunications.

In each of the meetings, LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles stressed that “IPv6 is no longer a technical debate but a strategic debate as it relates to Internet quality and development in our countries.”

According to LACNIC statistics, the amount of IPv6 space already assigned to most operators in Suriname and Guyana is enough to allow the effective deployment of the protocol.

“A positive takeaway from these meetings is that we have already moved past the financial discussions and that decision-makers now know this is no longer a technical argument but a strategic argument for operators,” Swift added.

During the meetings with public leaders, LACNIC emphasized the actions that public agencies can take to promote IPv6 through internal regulations and public policies for procuring and/or importing IPv6-enabled equipment.

At private level, companies are modifying their core networks and will soon be ready to enable IPv6 access on customer devices. “The news we received were good news,” Swift concluded.

 

New Amparo workshop addresses emerging cybersecurity risks

LACNIC WARP presented a second workshop in the Caribbean to promote the creation of computer security incident response teams in the countries of the region and train the staff responsible for critical infrastructure on major cybersecurity risks.

The training was conducted during the Caribbean Cybersecurity and Cyberdrill organized in Suriname by the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Tourism and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), where LACNIC actively participated both in the training sessions as well as on the panels organized within the framework of the event.

The first day of the forum was devoted to LACNIC’s Amparo workshop, where more than 40 participants representing both public and private organizations in Guayana, French Guiana, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Granada, Saint Vincent, and Suriname learned how to create a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).

The sessions covered both theory and practice and professionals from a wide array of sectors including banks, government agencies and academia received training from LACNIC experts on how to design and organize national teams to address current cybersecurity threats. “Basically, we shared with them information about what a CSIRT does, different types of CSIRTs, possible architectures and organizational structures, as well as staff profiles and the services a CSIRT can offer,” said Graciela Martínez, Head of LACNIC WARP and one of the instructors of the Amparo workshop.

During the workshop, Martínez stressed that national CSIRTs must manage the computer security incidents that occur within their scope and community. “A CSIRT must provide timely information on how to respond to the different types of incidents, determine their impact, scope and nature, and offer support to help the parties involved implement the various response strategies,” Martínez added.

LACNIC also played a leading role in the various panels scheduled for the second day of the Caribbean Cybersecurity and Cyberdrill. LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles addressed the importance of IPv6 in relation to security issues during the event’s opening panel, “IPv6 for decision-makers.”

Graciela Martínez then spoke on the “Cybersecurity in the Caribbean” panel, where she shared LACNIC WARP statistics on the major cybersecurity threats faced by Latin America and the Caribbean. “We must invest in security; to do so, it is important to conduct risk analyses and implement risk management strategies to prioritize which assets need to be protected,” said Martínez.

With its participation in the event organized in Suriname and the year’s second Amparo workshop in the Caribbean (an Amparo workshop had already been organized in Haiti), LACNIC WARP continues to be a leader in terms of cybersecurity initiatives, support and training for governments as well as industry, academia, critical infrastructure operators and service providers throughout the region.

 

LACNIC 27: three IPv6 implementation experiences in our region

 

An increasing number of companies and organizations in the LAC region are deploying IPv6 in their networks, and this has led to a considerable increase in the amount of traffic using this Internet protocol in Latin America and the Caribbean.

LACNIC members know that IPv6 deployment is key for maintaining their level of Internet development.

During the most recent LACNIC event held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, three professionals responsible for different Internet organizations which pioneered IPv6 deployment shared their views on this issue on the panel titled “Cases of Successful IPv6 Deployment in the Region.”

Alejandro D’Egidio, Chief of Backbone Engineering at Telecentro, one of Argentina’s providers with large ipv6 deployments, noted that this had been a strategic decision since the very beginning. “We had been preparing for IPv4 exhaustion for a few years, so we decided to immediately deploy IPv6. We needed to gain experience in order to maintain a very high quality service,” he added.

D’Egidio observed that organizations should not be afraid of transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6, and added that for every obstacle they encountered Telecentro “found a solution.” “Many issues will depend on each company’s specific business. We must work ahead of time on choosing and configuring the technology if we are to avoid the need to replace it in the future. One of the keys is to train every sector so that everyone can participate and be prepared,” said the Argentine engineer.

 

Aggressive growth. The experience of Telefônica Brasil – one of the largest organizations in the country as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean – was directly linked to the growth of its business.

Fabio Scartoni, Engineering Manager at Telefônica Brasil, said that they had deployed IPv6 to guarantee the growth of their services in light of IPv4 exhaustion. “We were experiencing aggressive growth of our broadband services and wanted to make sure that we would be able to continue to expand. NAT might have been a temporary solution to support sales, but it would have been quite temporary, as IPv6 was the final solution,” Scartoni highlighted.

Telefônica Brasil has been working with IPv6 for six years and currently handles “a very significant amount” of IPv6 traffic, according to its head of Engineering.

According to Scartori, it wasn’t an easy process. First, they needed to convince the company about an extremely technical and important issue that would not generate any new services. “IPv6 is difficult in that it entails changing the network only to arrive at the same starting point. At the time, people would ask me if IPv6 was going to be the new Y2K bug, whether everyone was saying that addresses would run out but in fact this would never happen. I swore that they would run out and asked them to trust me.”

Once deployment had been decided, Telefónica’s Engineering department had to face various technical challenges. “Device compatibility was a major issue. We worked hard with each model and equipment we sell – as well as with each provider – to guarantee their compatibility. We had to go to the lab and perform tests to make sure that when we implemented the service everything would continue to work properly and transparently,” Scartoni noted.

 

Obligation to our customers. Joelson Tadeu Vendramin of COPEL (Companhia Paranaense de Energia) observed that the decline in the number of IPv4 addresses in 2013 – a time when IPv4 exhaustion was already being anticipated – was a driving factor behind the decision to deploy IPv6.

“COPEL had the obligation to serve the retail market and our number of clients started to grow exponentially. The only option was to move to IPv6,” commented Tadeu Vendramin.

The main obstacle faced by COPEL’s Engineering department was adapting every piece of equipment to the new protocol. “Many devices required changes as they did not support IPv6. This was the main obstacle we had to face. Today, we can say that this obstacle has been overcome. In 2017 our equipment is IPv6-ready. Our future challenge will be to take the protocol to the ends of the network, either to end user devices or to the servers they are accessing,” said Vendramin.

 

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCOl-v5rSow

A new security key for the Internet

For the first time in history, the root zone key is being rolled over, a global challenge considering of the size of the network. This process kicked off on July 11, when the new Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) key generated in October last year was published and will take a year to complete.

The rollover process is expected to be completed in August 2018, when ICANN will remove the previous key from the equipment it uses to manage keys in its facilities. By then, every Internet operator should have replaced their old password with the new one.

Currently, 750 million people are using DNSSEC validation resolvers which could be affected by the key rollover. If those systems are not updated with the new key, end users will not be able to access the Internet.

Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO and one of the persons responsible for generating the new global root zone key on behalf of the community, told us that this change will take place in 2017 and that it will be scheduled to avoid any impact for Internet operators. 

What is the Internet root zone and why is it important?

Think of the DNS root zone as a file that contains information about where top-level domain (TLD) servers can be found. TLDs are top-level domain names, such as “com”, “net”, “org”, “uy”, “ar” and those for the rest of the countries.

The root zone is particularly important for the proper functioning of the Internet, as we rely on it to find the names of the websites we wish to access, such as “www.lacnic.net” or “www.riu.edu.ar.” The root zone tells us how to find “net” or “ar” in each case.

Why was the DNSSEC protocol created and what is it used for?

DNSSEC is a set of Domain Name System (DNS) extensions that allow us to protect the contents of the DNS zones (“domains“) and keep them from being maliciously altered. This is achieved by introducing digital signatures and cryptographic keys in the domains themselves.

When accessing a website, a user can verify that the name (“www.lacnic.net“) has been properly signed. We can think of it as a complement to the padlock icon displayed by browsers, but specifically applied to name resolution.

What are the cryptographic keys used in the DNSSEC protocol?

A key – more precisely a “pair of keys” – is a pair of one public and one private number which, in the case of DNSSEC, through the use of encryption algorithms, allows the generation of digital signatures that can be verified by other users.

Cryptographic keys are very long numbers (hundreds of digits) which, through mathematical operations defined in cryptographic algorithms, allow generating digital signatures that can be used to verify the integrity of a domain name.

Why are these cryptographic keys important?

Because they allow verifying the integrity of the information provided by the DNS. What is more, the longer the key (the more digits it has) the more secure it is.

Keys allow verifying the signatures and thus knowing whether a name has been maliciously altered or not.

How do these keys affect Internet end users?

End users have no direct contact with these keys, but they are used by the DNS servers that offer services to end users.

Known as recursive servers, these servers validate digital signatures and, if they find that a name has been altered (if the signature is incorrect), notify the end user that there is a problem with the name’s resolution. This helps users avoid websites that have been tampered with.

What is the “root zone signature“ like?

The root zone’s signature is a special case because of its critical importance in Internet name resolution. If there were to be a problem with this signature, Internet services might be widely affected.

This is why the root zone is signed following a series of very clearly defined procedures, in a highly controlled environment, and witnessed by community representatives.

Who holds this file or root zone keys?

The IANA – or what we now know as the PTI – controls the edition of the root zone file.

However, the authority to introduce changes to this file is governed by a more complex process which, for example, distinguishes country code TLDs (.uy,.ar, etc.) from generic TLDs (.com, .black, .info, .net).

Is this the first time these keys will be changed?

Yes. This will be the first time the Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK) has been changed since it was initially generated in 2010

Who manages the keys?

The keys are stored in physical devices called hardware security modules (HSMs), which in turn are kept at two secure locations. ICANN manages these locations, known as key management facilities (KMFs).

Are these keys vulnerable?

The keys themselves are simply numbers. They are only valuable because they are kept secret. This is why keys never leave their HSMs and the HSMs generate the signatures directly, without ever revealing the private key itself.

In other words, no one has even seen the private key. It is there, yet we never see it.

How are the keys changed and who decides to change them?

The decision to change the keys is based on industry best practices, which recommend periodic key “rollovers.”

The decision on when to perform these rollovers depends on multiple factors. In this specific case, the need to rollover the root zone keys was made in 2015. However, given the complexity and potential for a negative impact, a series of preliminary studies were conducted to make sure that these effects would be kept to a minimum.

What can you tell us about the process that has already been initiated?

The process began by generating and publishing the new key. We are now entering a period of verification and communication to the public.

Who needs to take action at this stage?

Every organization using DNSSEC-validating resolvers, particularly those performing DNSSEC validation (and, if they aren’t, they should be!) must keep up with the changes as they occur.

If they are using recent versions of DNS software, no action will probably be required. If they are using older versions of the software, some devices may require manual intervention.

Is there any chance that problems will occur during the rollover process?

There is always the possibility that a problem might occur. Nothing is 100% perfect. Some organizations will likely have to correct certain situations, but we trust that the process will be carried forward without major issues.

What are the important dates in this KSK rollover?

The important dates are those published by the IANA/PTI:

http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/lacnic/key-signing-key

Watch the video:

http://bit.ly/2w4JCmo

Projects shortlisted by the FRIDA 2017 program

Projects from 23 countries of the LAC region were submitted in response to the call for proposals launched this year by the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA). A total of 312 initiatives were received, all of them seeking to address various socio-economic challenges through the use of technology and promote Internet development in the region. In all, 149 projects applied for a FRIDA Award, while 163 applied for a FRIDA Grant. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico topped the list of countries with the highest number of submissions.

Once the jurors completed a careful evaluation of each initiative, the list of shortlisted projects that will go on to compete in the final stage of the selection process was announced (http://programafrida.net/en/archivos/2158). The winning projects will be announced on FRIDA’s website and social media on Wednesday 30 August.

FRIDA Awards. Twenty-five initiatives were shortlisted for the FRIDA Awards. These projects address various topics such as the use of ICTs in education, digital rights, technologies for the construction of culture and cultural memory, solidarity economy, accessibility, the Internet of Things for social purposes, and others.

The finalists still in the running for the FRIDA Awards include 12 initiatives specifically competing for the Women in Technology Award, a new category offered by the program. Shortlisted initiatives include projects aimed at empowering women by providing training and job opportunities in the field of technology, the protection of women’s digital rights, as well as several online platforms to support the social mobilization of women, the fight against gender-based violence, and the dissemination of female leadership models.

Grant for US$20,000. Twelve applicants were shortlisted for the grant that the FRIDA program will award this year in the program’s most technical category – Innovation for Internet Development. Finalists include projects involving the Internet of Things for agriculture, the dissemination of IPv6 through software recycling, strengthening participation in Internet governance processes, community networks, early warning networks, among other topics.

Since 2004, FRIDA has distributed more than US$1.67 million among more than 120 innovative initiatives and projects in 18 countries throughout the region, thus contributing to promote Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ayitic Goes Global highlighted during the G20 Summit

 

Ayitic Goes Global, a LACNIC initiative aimed at providing training and increasing access to employment in Haiti, was presented by the Canadian Government at the G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, Germany, as one of the emblematic projects funded by that country to strengthen the digital skills of women and girls and promote their inclusion in the technological sector.

The Ayitic Goes Global initiative (http://www.ayitic.net/en/)is financially supported by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) of Canada and seeks to foster new technical skills and access to digital jobs in Haiti.

During the G20 Summit, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, emphasized the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment. This commitment extends to other G20 member countries which released the #ESkills4Girls initiative with the support of UNESCO, UN Women, the ITU and the OECD to address the current digital gender divide, particularly in low-income and developing countries.

Within this framework, the Canadian Government cited the example of the Ayitic Goes Global project as one of the best ways to build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world through the participation of women and girls in digital environments (https://eskills4girls.org/preparing-haitian-youth-for-digital-jobs/).

“People have asked us to work together to make our societies fairer and more secure. We have renewed our commitment to do so during this G20 Summit. As our planet becomes increasingly interconnected, we need to promote strong, sustainable economic growth that works for everyone, and embrace the need to be socially and environmentally responsible. This is about creating jobs and opportunities for everyone, and building a healthier and more prosperous tomorrow for our children and grandchildren,” said the Canadian Prime Minister

Ayitic Goes Global (www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-zu8ZOEl7Y) expands on the activities LACNIC has been leading in the Caribbean country since 2013. In this new phase, Ayitic is going global, adding important innovations such as online technical courses through an e-learning platform, training for women in digital data management, and efforts aimed at inserting participants in digital employment markets both in Haiti and abroad. The project will also promote the creation of an Information Technology Cluster in Haiti, designed to strengthen the country’s critical Internet infrastructure.

These new proposals will add to the training activities for information and communication technology professionals already implemented in prior editions of the project.

“Ayitic Goes Global embodies the values defined in LACNIC’s mission as regards our commitment to building capacity for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean. We are convinced of the value of the Internet in empowering the regional community and, in this particular case, as a tool for including women in Haiti in today’s digital job market. We still have a long way to go, so we hope that this early acknowledgment will kick off a new stage of important transformations,” noted Laura Kaplan, Development and Cooperation Manager at LACNIC.

Florencio Utreras Díaz “LACNIC has fostered innovation”

Winner of the LACNIC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, Florencio Utreras Díaz holds a graduate degree in Mathematics and Engineering and a PhD in Engineering and is one of the most outstanding Latin American and Caribbean Internet academics.

For the past thirteen years, he has been the Executive Director of CLARA (Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks). Devoted to the establishment of computer networks to serve the development of academic knowledge and research, Utreras has extensive knowledge of the regional Internet community, as he has been involved with Internet and academic network development in America for more than twenty-five years.

In this interview, Utreras highlights how LACNIC has driven innovation in the region through its FRIDA program, a fund that supports digital initiatives designed to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the most vulnerable countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I participated in the creation of LACNIC in 1999. In representation of ENRED and as Executive Director of REUNA, I hosted the meeting during which LACNIC was created, which took place in August 1999 within the framework of the ICANN meeting held in Santiago, Chile.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community?

After its creation in 1999, my participation was limited to that of a user. Since the creation of CLARA, I’ve participated as a strategic partner.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

LACNIC has not only efficiently managed IP addresses but has also been a major Internet driver in the region, both technically and by sponsoring other regional organizations working towards Internet development, such as LACTLD and CLARA, in addition to creating Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is currently home to these two organizations as well as to ISOC at
regional level.

Thanks to its courses and dissemination activities, LACNIC has contributed to regional Internet development while fostering innovation through the FRIDA program and other notable initiatives.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

In my opinion, its generosity and commitment to regional Internet development.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

I believe that Internet Governance has responded to the challenges posed by the growth of the Internet and is appropriate for the tasks that have been self-imposed in favor of regional development.

Bernadette Lewis “Net neutrality will be a critical issue”

Bernadette Lewis is synonymous with effort and dedication towards Internet development in the countries of the Caribbean. Her work and advocacy have led her to obtain notable awards and recognition both at regional and global level, and she has become one of the leading women in Information Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Passionate about ensuring that all citizens of the region have affordable access to, and are able to benefit from effective use of ICT, Lewis notes that a “strong Internet governance in the Caribbean” is a critical element needed to make this a reality.

A strong proponent and advocate for ICT-enabled Caribbean development, she values the role of LACNIC as an organization that not only manages Internet numbering resources but has also supported initiatives designed to see how the Internet may be effectively employed to enhance every aspect of life in the twelve countries of the Caribbean.

15 years ago, what was your relationship with the world of ICT?

My experiences as the then Technical Manager of CANTO enabled me to understand the tremendous impact of ICT, how it was erasing geographical borders, compressing time, revolutionizing the way many of us live and fostering new forms of collaboration. I recognised the potential of ICT to foster new types of development but also understood that levering ICT’s potential required innovation and process reengineering.

I was also intimately aware that benefiting from ICT may require a departure from the beaten paths and in some cases, would demand discarding models that may have served well in the past but which were now anachronistic, given the capabilities of 21st century ICT.

When did your relationship with LACNIC begin and how?

I met the former Executive Director of LACNIC, Mr. Raul Echeberria at the 27th Meeting of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers in São Paulo, Brazil in December 2006. Recognising the mutual benefits that could be derived from collaboration between our respective organisations, we agreed to work together in advancing Internet issues in the Region. On 16th August 2007, the CTU and LACNIC, along with American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), signed a Declaration of Cooperation. Since that time, the CTU has and continues to collaborate with LACNIC on many important issues.

Over the years, LACNIC has participated in many of the CTU’s Caribbean Internet Governance Fora, Caribbean ICT Roadshows, Ministerial Seminars and the CTU has participated in many of LACNIC’s activities. In 2011, LACNIC and the CTU were collaborators in convening a Latin American and Caribbean Convention on Internet Governance in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, which featured the 7th Caribbean Internet Governance Forum and the 4th Preparatory Meeting for the Global Internet Governance.

What roles have you exercised in the LACNIC community? Did it meet your expectations?

I, and many of my colleagues at the CTU have presented and actively participated at LACNIC events. Our expectations have always been met and we are very pleased to be associated with such a vibrant, forward-looking regional organization.

What role has the LACNIC community played in the management of numerical resources over the last 15 years?

While LACNIC has faithfully served 12 Caribbean countries in providing number resources, they have reached out to provide training and other capacity building services to the wider Caribbean.

What aspects identify the LACNIC community?

The willingness of LACNIC’s principals to collaborate is a hallmark of its operations. We are greatly impressed with the breadth of technical acumen resident in the community and that the fact that their expertise is shared so willingly.

How do you imagine Internet governance in 15 years?

We live in an exciting era and evolution of the Internet has precipitated phenomenal changes in our lives. The prospect of the Internet of Things will force us to delve deeper into issues that challenge us now, such as privacy, security, inequality and indeed how the Internet should be governed, the current raging debate on Net Neutrality being one critical issue. I believe that Governments will play a more significant role in the evolution of the Internet and its resources. I also believe however that through collaborative engagements, we must find the solutions that will enable us in this technological age to maintain our humanity, survive as a race and to be at peace with our fellowmen.

Nicolás Antoniello “15 years represents almost half of the time that the Internet has been around”

Nicolás Antoniello obtained his degree in Engineering practically at the same time that LACNIC was born. Back then, the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean piqued his curiosity.

Soon after, Antoniello joined the voices at the LACNIC forums and began proposing regional and global policies while also working on Internet governance issues.

Considering his experience as chair of the LACNIC Public Policy Forum which kept him in permanent contact with the community, Antoniello highlights the role of the regional Internet ecosystem over LACNIC’s 15 years of existence.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

Fifteen years represents almost half of the time that the Internet has been around. As for me, 15 years ago I was working towards my degree in Engineering and wanted to apply all the knowledge I was acquiring and pursue other topics in which I was also interested, such as Internet governance, data networks and protocols. I began working as an engineer at the Operations Center of ANTEL, Uruguay’s state-owned ISP, where I fully entered the world of networking and the Internet. Back then, I remember practically all Internet providers offered dial-up services (modems and data rates of 44,100 bauds, a data rate unit which is no longer in use). We were just beginning to deploy the first DSL services in Uruguay, with all the problems and challenges that this “new technology” involved. I remember that in those years I was already participating in some regional and international networking and Internet discussion forums, some of them created within the framework of LACNIC.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

My relationship with LACNIC began when the organization was created in Montevideo back in 2002, though at that time it was more out of curiosity about the Regional Registry, the work they were doing, and what they were looking to do from and for the region. And all I can say is wow! This vision and my own expectations, as well as those of the organization, its objectives, achievements and community have truly evolved in the 15 years that followed.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

I have been active within the community since the very beginning, first through the discussion forums, later collaborating with the policy development process and submitting some proposals. Between 2009 and 2015, I had the opportunity to serve the community as Public Policy Forum chair and co-chair. I have attended most of the regional events that have been held (currently twice a year), actively engaging in multiple activities, particularly as an instructor for some of the technical tutorials. I have also had the chance to shepherd some policy authors and help them submit their first proposals. I was one of the co-founders of the regional Network Operators Group, which was promoted by LACNIC, ISOC and the community itself, and I have been traveling this long and challenging road with LACNIC ever since. I continue to participate in every policy forum and as a tutorial instructor. Right now, I am also serving as a community representative on the “new IANA” —or PTI as it is known after the transition— review committee.

As for my expectations, not only have they been met but I personally believe they have been exceeded. Chairing the Policy Forum, for example, is an invaluable experience from many points of view, as it is a task which is carried out in close cooperation with the community, by the community and for the community. In the case of our region, I feel that the community is one big family: every issue has been debated with the seriousness and objectivity it deserves, we all learn from each success and each mistake, and each and every one of us contributes according to their role and possibilities. I’ve witnessed how we all set aside the fact that we belong to a specific country, company or organization and work together to find the best solution to the any emerging issue, with the common goal of Internet development and access for all throughout our region.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

I believe that LACNIC and the LACNIC community are the main drivers of Internet development and sustainability at regional level. The community conceives, debates and implements the policies that govern the assignment of the region’s most relevant Internet resources (IPv4 and IPv6, Autonomous System Numbers). But it does not limit itself to this task alone. There are also countless projects, training activities, discussion forums, active participation at international level, and many other things that have made our community very active and helped us gain global recognition. This recognition is an achievement not only of the community itself but also of LACNIC, the organization that brings us together. This ecosystem and these development processes are what we call “bottom-up,” which means that the community plays the leading role and provides the drive needed to make things happen. And we are all part of this community.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

In addition to what I already mentioned in my previous answer, I would add that over the past 15 years this community has learned to work together and to take advantage of its synergies. We’ve learned that making mistakes and correcting them to achieve better results is normal and even healthy. We’ve learned that by joining efforts we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to. I think it is a community that has matured immensely over the years, as has LACNIC. It is truly a pleasure to work with and to be identified and committed to this community.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

If there is something I’ve learned over the years, it is that any expectation one might have had regarding the Internet has been dwarfed by reality. I can (or would like to) imagine our entire region connected and everyone being able to access the Internet. Coupled with the billions of devices that are expected to become part of the Internet over the next 10 years, this will bring about multiple challenges, problems that will need to be solved, and a need for policy development and management. The Internet and its governance are in constant evolution because of changing needs and exponentially increasing possibilities. The community’s role in this evolution is undeniable. Because the Internet respects no geographical boundaries, I believe that in certain cases we will need to consider governance models that are even more globally coordinated. However, there is only one network, so there is only one world from the point of view of the Internet. I have always said that one does not simply connect to the Internet but that, once each person (or device) is connected, they become a part of the Internet. While this may seem obvious, it is one of the key concepts that will define its future: the idea that all of us are the Internet.

Max Larson “The LACNIC community is a great family”

An active promoter of the Internet in his native Haiti and throughout the Caribbean, with various ties to LACNIC as former Policy Forum chair and instructor for Ayitic Goes Global, Max Larson believes that the success of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin American and the Caribbean over the past 15 years can be attributed to the fact that its digital community is “a great family.”

Convinced that LACNIC’s self-regulation model for managing Internet resources in Latin America and the Caribbean is the ideal approach, Larson believes that the region will continue with this participatory, public and transparent process.

Larson returned to Haiti in 2000 after completing his studies in France to help with the management of .ht, the Haitian ccTLD.

15 years ago, what was your relationship with the world of ICT?

As a teacher at the Faculty of Sciences of the State University of Haiti, I oversaw new ICT projects: the introduction of a new Networking program and helping with the organization of the local domain name registry.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I’d heard about LACNIC when I first started to look for information about IP addresses. I said to myself it would be great to meet LACNIC representatives in person to talk about our projects. I’d have this opportunity in 2004 during LACNIC VI in Montevideo.

What roles have you had within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations?

I had the privilege of being selected as speaker at many LACNIC meetings and to serve as co-chair of the Public Policy Forum from 2010 to 2014.

In May 2011, at the creation of LAC-IX in Cancun, Mexico, I was appointed as the first Vice President of the association.

All this would not have been possible without the trust and support of members of the LACNIC community and I’m grateful for their help.

I’ve been very fortunate to be part of this great family and, whatever my contribution may be, all I am doing is giving back to a community from which I’ve received so much.

What role has the LACNIC community played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

LACNIC has been playing a critical role critical in managing number resources in a fair, open and transparent way. In this regard, the public policy forum plays a key role in ensuring a multistakeholder and bottom-up policy development approach that is open to all members of the community.

What aspects identify the LACNIC community?

I have always referred to the LACNIC community as a family and I truly believe that is what it is. Despite our differences, the community strives to welcome all of its members. As a family, we will also have key issues that need to be addressed… let’s take them as opportunities to solidify our bounds.

One of the key strengths of our community has always been its diversity and, as in all families, this is part of who we are and will need to be maintained.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

We will be building on what has made the success of the Internet (openness, multistakeholderism) but we will also continue to work to make sure Internet governance addresses issues affecting everyday people, those who feel they have been left out.

Furthermore, security and social issues in the context of emerging technology like the IoT will also present new challenges that will also create new opportunities for our region.

Women gain space within the LACNIC community

She decided to run for the LACNIC Electoral Commission as a challenge and to increase her active participation within the community and won the support of the majority of voters. Thus, Vivian Valverde, a Costa Rican engineer with 16 years of experience in the world of ICT, was elected to a position on the LACNIC Electoral Commission, where she will serve until 2020.

An active part of the regional Internet community and LACNIC event attendee for ten years, Valverde is convinced that the Internet is open to anyone wishing to learn, share and contribute their knowledge, regardless of their gender.

She encourages other women to follow her and become more involved in the daily work of the community and especially of LACNIC.

From your perspective, have you noticed greater involvement of Latin American women in the world of the Internet?

I have indeed. Statistics show this is possible – the Internet ecosystem has no limitations in terms of gender or race, the Internet is for everyone, it is the people who have allowed some to believed there are differences between men and women.  The Internet is a tool that enables growth and development when we take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer in a positive way. This change can be seen in all technical fields, Internet-related legal fields, civil society representatives and end users.

Why do you think that until now women’s participation in the ICT sector has been much lower than that of men? Is it a male-dominated field? 

In the past, female participation was lower not only in the field of computer sciences but also in all others, including all branches of engineering as this type of professions were ‘stereotyped’ as being exclusively for men, something I believe to be incorrect. Women are interested in this type of work and have the necessary capabilities, so there is no reason to limit their participation. While at the university pursuing my degree in Systems Engineering, I remember how I was sometimes the only woman in the class and often one of just a few female students, a situation that continues to this day and extends to the working environment. Far from discouraging me, this drove me to always give my best.

Information and Communication Technologies are for anyone wishing to learn, share and contribute their knowledge, regardless of their gender.

In your opinion, what can be done to encourage more Latin American and Caribbean women to become involved in the various Internet issues? Do you think that the IT Women list is a good initiative? What other actions would you suggest? 

We, the women who are already part of ICT, have the responsibility to encourage female participation by sharing our own experiences, serving as an example and motivating other women who wish to become involved so that they will realize it is indeed possible. The IT Women list allows for greater interaction among the women that are part of the community by promoting their participation in the various events. On the other hand, it is also necessary to provide continuity, for example, through online meetings that will allow many women who may not have the chance to attend in-person events to share and contribute and many others to learn more about them and the projects of which they are part.

What can the digital world bring to gender equality?

Gender inclusion isn’t the greatest contribution; instead, it is the elimination of all the stereotypes that create boundaries or differences among us. We all have the right to access technology in all its forms.

How long have you been involved with LACNIC?

The first LACNIC event I attended was the one held at Isla Margarita, Venezuela in 2007 (LACNIC X). However, I had been working on IP addressing related tasks at my company since 2004, and this had allowed me to get to know LACNIC and follow its evolution over time.

What has been your role during this time?

In 2011 I was appointed my company’s membership contact and from then on I had greater interaction and participated in the events, as I was responsible for managing and monitoring IPv4 and IPv6 address assignments and therefore needed to keep up to date with the latest policies and best practices in order to continue to carry out this work successfully.

Why did you decide to run for LACNIC’s Electoral Commission? Did you feel supported in your decision by the men and women around you?

I decided to run as a challenge and to increase my active participation as part of the community and as a woman, taking into account that over several years I had already been actively participating and voting at Member Assemblies and this position would be directly related to this process of which I am part and understand. I received great support from all the people with whom I have shared throughout these years and this served to encouraged me even more.

Do you think other women could play prominent roles in LACNIC commissions and working groups? 

Of course! I encourage them to become involved, as I am sure and trust that many of my colleagues have the desire and knowledge needed to be part of the different LACNIC groups.

In my opinion, greater participation of women in LACNIC’s day-to-day activities is very important, given that women are also part of this community and that we have many professionals who are willing to contribute to the organization.

Digital Inclusion of Women: Same Difficulties as in the Real World

Women face greater difficulties than men when it comes to being included in the world of Information and Communication Technology and must overcome more obstacles because of the lack of equality and diversity in ICT projects.

During the panel titled Diversity and Inclusion: How to Include the Gender Perspective in Technological Projects that was part of the LACNIC 27 meeting, various regional actors shared their experiences and concerns regarding the long and winding road which women must travel to achieve gender equality in the world of technology (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp-OW8G5MKw).

A majority with no Internet access. Yacine Khelladi, Coordinator for Latin America of the Alliance for Affordable Internet, an alliance of institutions managed by the Web Foundation, says that half of the world’s population is offline and that the majority of the people in this situation are women in developing countries.

“The digital gender divide is getting worse,” said Khelladi.

She attributes women’s exclusion from the digital revolution to the failure of public policies. “The good news is that this can be reversed,” she noted. She then proposed a series of policies to reduce the digital gender divide: protecting online rights, training women so they will be effectively able to access the Internet, affordable access, ensuring the availability of content that is relevant and empowering to women, and establishing and measuring concrete digital gender equality goals.

A male-dominated world. Meanwhile, María del Carmen Denis Polanco, Head of Telematics Services and Infrastructure at the UADY University’s Information Technology Administrative Coordination Center, observed that, in Mexico, there are just 3 women for every 8 men pursuing ICT related careers.

She added that in order to reverse this situation they are working with a non-profit organization that encourages the participation of girls and women in the technology sector by carrying out different activities and presenting different workshops and talks. One of the ways of attracting women and girls is by sharing the experiences of people already working in the technology sector with young girls who are deciding what to study.

Laura Kaplan, Development and Cooperation Manager at LACNIC, then presented Ayitic Goes Global, a project that uses the Internet as a tool for inclusion and which strengthens capacities and generates opportunities by training women between the ages of 18 and 25 in specific tasks they can use to join different employment markets.

“It’s a very interesting project that shows how we can use the Internet not only as a tool to provide training, but also to connect this training with employment, for example,” said Kaplan.

Efforts towards diversity. Researcher Renata Aquino, LAC representative to the ICANN NCUC Executive Committee, shared her experience when invited to participate in the Internet Freedom Festival Project, a technology conference that encourages collective efforts that support online freedom of expression, protection against digital threats and expanded access to online spaces through diversity, inclusion and collaboration.

“If we are to achieve true diversity we must think about diversity as a whole,” said Aquino, while stressing “the importance of creating alliances among people with different skills and knowledge but who can exchange knowledge regardless of their background.”

To conclude, Raquel Gatto, lawyer and Public Policy Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society (ISOC), noted that they are not asking for anything special for women and girls, simply equality in Internet access.

She highlighted the Shine the Light campaign, which seeks to celebrate pioneering women and leaders as a source of inspiration for other women. “Celebrating the leaders in our community is very important,” concluded Gatto.

Training New Course Offering at the LACNIC Campus

This year, the LACNIC Campus (http://campus.lacnic.net/) has added a new course titled Basics of BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and Introduction to RPKI (Resource Public Key Infrastructure), two editions of which will be presented by an expert on the subject.

The first edition of this BGP and RPKI course is already underway on LACNIC’s e-learning platform. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cTC46QjJOM

This BGP and RPKI training course has been designed for network administrators who already have knowledge of internal routing and TCP/IP, said Mariela Rocha, the person responsible for the course.

BGP is the Internet protocol used for communication among Autonomous Systems (Internet is a huge network made up by Autonomous Systems). Thanks to BGP, the Autonomous Systems that make up the Internet have information on how to reach any given destination. “BGP was created to transport information over routes that are external to Autonomous Systems,” said Rocha.

The course has a duration of six weeks and is divided into six modules. It offers key notions of BGP, what it is, how it works, its main attributes and filters. It also offers an introduction to RPKI, Internet number resources the certification system.

The course includes both theory and practice and participants who complete the course will receive a certificate from LACNIC.

The course will be provided completely online and a tutor will be available to help with any doubts as participants work through the modules. LACNIC has reserved a number of free seats for its members.

This training on BGP and RPKI adds to the Basic IPv6 and Advanced IPv6 courses offered by the LACNIC Campus and was designed in response to the region’s growing demand for computer-based distance learning. In 2017, a total of 12 courses will be offered through LACNIC’s online learning platform.

For more information on the courses offered by the LACNIC Campus, go to campus.lacnic.net

LACNIC Community Approves Four New Policy Proposals

Four proposals for modifying the policies under which Internet resources for Latin America and the Caribbean are managed reached consensus among the members of the LACNIC community during the LACNIC Public Policy Forum held in Foz do Iguaçu.

The four proposals are now in the period of last-call-for-comments, after which they will be submitted to the Board for their ratification.

The Public Policy Forum is where proposals for modifying the rules or policies relating to Internet resource management to be applied in Latin America and the Caribbean are presented, discussed and approved.

Of the seven proposals discussed at Foz de Iguaçu, four reached consensus among the LACNIC regional community.

The first proposal to achieve consensus was the one addressing the modification of the size of initial IPv6 allocations presented by Jordi Palet Martinez. This policy modifies the rules currently in place so that those organizations that can qualify for an initial allocation larger than a /32 can receive these addresses provided they submit documentation justifying their request.

(https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2016-7?language=sp)

The second policy to reach consensus among the LACNIC community was the modification of the size of initial allocations, also presented by Jordi Palet Martinez. Under this new policy, organizations that have already received an initial IPv6 allocation and then, once they start to use those addresses and prepare their addressing plan, realize they need a block larger than the one they were initially assigned, will be able to request a larger block from LACNIC without the need to prove any utilization thresholds. (https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2017-1?language=sp)

Presented by Evandro Antonio Ramos Terra Varonil de Sousa, the third policy involves modifying the minimum size of initial IPv4 allocations to ISPs and received ample support. The proposal changes the size of initial allocations from a /22 to a /24, so that operators who need a smaller number of addresses for their services can request them. The proposal also considers the fact that only one address assignment will be allowed, as the region is now in the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion.

https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2017-4?language=sp

The fourth policy approved during the Policy Forum has to do with resource revocation and was presented by Andrés Piazza. This initiative grants the LACNIC Board the power to extend the address revocation period under special circumstances. The goal of this proposal is to provide the community with another tool that will ensure resource availability for essential, strategic infrastructure, so as to avoid any risks in exceptional cases. https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2017-5?language=sp

Comments on these policies will be received until 7 July, after which they will be submitted to the Board for their ratification.

Watch the presentations of the four proposals here:

http://bit.ly/2u350Ix

http://bit.ly/2toW42o

http://bit.ly/2u2MsrL

http://bit.ly/2sli6Un

LÍDERES: Promoting National Governance Forums

Since the inception of the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), over the years LACNIC has promoted the creation of national and regional forums based on the multi-stakeholder Internet governance model.

Since then, LACNIC has supported at least fifteen national forum-type activities in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and two regional initiatives (LACIGF and CIGF).

This support was materialized through the LÍDERES project, an initiative that aims to strengthen governance forums throughout Latin America and the Caribbean by promoting and facilitating the participation of LACNIC experts at these events to share their knowledge and experiences on relevant Internet and Governance issues.

This year three Local Governance Forums were held – Barbados, Panama and Peru – in all three cases with the active participation of LACNIC experts and professionals.

Precisely during the last of these meetings, IGF Peru, LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles focused on current issues such as IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 deployment.

During his presentation at the IGF Peru panel titled Critical Resources and Internet Security, Robles noted that in Latin America “40% of the networks are ready for IPv6” and that 89% of LACNIC members have already received IPv6 assignments. Nevertheless, he stressed that companies have yet to decide to strengthen IPv6 in the region and cited the study conducted jointly by CAF and LACNIC titled IPv6 Deployment for Social and Economic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which aimed at creating awareness among companies and governments of the issue and showing its benefits.

LÍDERES Fellowships In addition to strengthening local governance forums by contributing to their creation and promoting the diversity of sources, LÍDERES also supports outstanding members of the community so they can attend the Regional Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum.

Through these sponsorships, LÍDERES offers those who are interested in Internet governance issues the chance to participate in the Regional Latin America and the Caribbean Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF). LACNIC hopes these fellows will bring greater value to LACIGF by sharing their experiences at local forums and adding new and diverse perspectives to regional policy discussions. If you are interested, visit the website http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/lacnic/gobernanza , or write to lideres@lacnic.net

 

 

Univates of Brazil Wins the Year’s First IPv6 Challenge

A team representing Brazilian University Univates were the winners of the first edition of the IPv6 Challenge, an initiative designed by LACNIC to encourage the use of the v6 protocol in the region.

The IPv6 Challenge was a contest promoted by Azael Fernandez, Chair of the Latin American IPv6 Forum, with the support of LACNIC’s R&D department. This time, the community at large was invited to implement IPv6 in their networks and then document the work done with this Internet protocol (www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfMHuDlI760).

Initially, 19 organizations expressed their interest in participating in the IPv6 Challenge, though in the end only four presented the results of their research at the LACNIC event in Foz do Iguaçu, where a group of judges selected the winners.

Alejandro Acosta, R&D Engineer at LACNIC, observed that the idea had been very successful. “The main goal was achieved: encouraging IPv6 deployment in the LAC region. We know that many people and organizations implemented IPv6 on web servers, email servers, technical servers, etc. Perhaps we would have liked to see deployment at LAN or Wi-Fi network level, but that will certainly be the next step for many of those who expressed interest in this first edition of the IPv6 Challenge,” said Acosta.

The invitation to participate in the IPv6 Challenge was published on a mailing list, the IPv6 portal and social networks.

Four organizations presented their work in the final stage of the challenge. Tiago Giovanaz da Silva and William Magerl, the team representing Univates (Brazil), were declared the winners of the competition. The representatives of the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Colombia) Seccional Montería and Edwin Vladimir Gomez Atuesta took the second place.

“All the proposals were very attractive. The judges voted for the work that had made the greatest progress,” Acosta observed. Building on this experience, there are plans in the works to repeat the challenge in upcoming LACNIC events.

Winning Team. The Brazilian team that won the challenge consisted of Univates network and server coordinator Tiago Giovanaz da Silva and network analyst William Magerl. After the winners were announced, they commented on their experience participating in this challenge organized by LACNIC. “Considering the nature of academic networks which should prioritize research, testing, the pursuit of knowledge and innovation, IPv6 is now part of the activities of the Information Technology (IT) team and members of academia,” said the two winners. For four years, members of the Univates team have advanced in the use of IPv6 and participated in training activities to learn about the new protocol. “Our work at the IPv6 Challenge presented the evolution, current status, challenges and results obtained in the use of the IPv6 protocol in the Univates network,” concluded the members of Univates team.

IPv6 Adoption in Latin America and the Caribbean in Numbers

As part of its strategy for the promotion of Internet Protocol version 6, this month LACNIC organized two IPv6 webinars in which more than 145 Latin American and Caribbean professionals participated.

Two technical sessions were held under the slogan Enjoy the IPv6 Experience! While opening the first of these webinars title IPv6 Launch, LACNIC CTO Carlos Martinez reflected on how much the region and the world have advanced in the past 5 years in terms of IPv6 deployment and traffic. “Five years ago, the reality was very different from the one we have today,” said Martinez.

He also presented promising data and noted that a large number of South American countries already have more than 1% of their total traffic over IPv6. Martinez cited the examples of Peru (15-20%), Ecuador (15%-20%), Brazil (15%-20%), Bolivia (4%-5%), Argentina (approximately 3%) and Uruguay (1.3%), all of which have more than 1% of end users with IPv6. “In the case of Brazil alone, 20% means millions of users,” he added.

According to Martinez, the two most interesting cases in Central America are Guatemala (close to 7%) and Mexico (approximately 4%). Likewise, the Caribbean countries that stand out are the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago, both of which exhibit very rapid growth in terms of IPv6.

“In South America, we have an average of 9% IPv6 users, with some countries far above and others far below this average. Overall, however, this number is in line with the global average,” added LACNIC’s CTO.

In the other sub-regions, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, “we need to continue working towards greater growth, as both sub-regions have an average of 1.15% of total users with IPv6, and there are major asymmetries among the different countries,” he added (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcXDXjBNoxE).

The first webinar continued with two technical talks, the first of which was an introduction to the Neighbor Discovery Protocol presented by Jaime Olmos (University of Guadalajara) of Mexico while the second was titled Security Considerations for IPv6 and was presented by Fernando Gont (Argentina).

The second webinar coincided with World IPv6 Day. During the opening remarks, LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles called for continued efforts to develop IPv6 capabilities because, while these statistics are encouraging, IPv6 traffic continues to be very uneven in the different countries of the region.

Fred Baker then presented IPv6: Where Are We? and Inés Robles closed the webinar with a presentation on the Internet of Things Roadmap at the IETF (www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK5v5cDo0fs&t=4s).

You can also download the presentations here:

http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/lacnic/capacitaciones-agenda

 

Mariela Rocha “LACNIC has played a leading role within the community”

Her first contact with LACNIC came about almost by chance, when she had to take the place of someone who was unable to attend none other than the first meeting of the regional Internet community – LACNIC I – back in 2002 when the organization was being created.

Since then, however, Mariela Rocha’s professional life has been closely linked to the community of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean. In these 15 years since LACNIC’s creation, she has actively participated in most of the organization’s meetings and forums. In addition, between 2006 and 2011 she served as chair of the Latin American IPv6 Forum and the IPv6 Task Force for Latin America and the Caribbean. Since 2011 she is part of the FLIP6 program committee.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

Fifteen years ago, I was taking my first steps in the world of ICTs, particularly in areas relating to larger networks. I had started becoming involved in the world of TCP/IP and UNIX, which opened the doors to the world of national academic networks in my country.

When did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I have a very peculiar anecdote about this. In late 2000, while working at a national university network, I was asked to attend a meeting in place of another person who was unable to do so. This was the first time I attended a regional event. And it was none other than LACNIC I, held in Buenos Aires, while the RIR was in the process of being created. At that time, the issues discussed really had an impact on me, even though I was just taking my first steps in ICT. My first active participation was in 2003 at the LACNIC V event in Havana, Cuba. That was the beginning of an intense and fulfilling work and collaboration relationship with the entire LACNIC community.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

I have participated as a speaker, tutor and panelist. I have also participated in policy forums and assemblies and chaired the Latin American IPv6 Forum (FLIP6) for 6 periods (2006 to 2011).

After all these years, not only have my expectations been fulfilled, but the LACNIC community is still the space that has given me the greatest satisfactions of my career.

I strongly highlight the diversity, the bottom-up processes, but above all the collaboration that takes place within the community, a key element for advancing in the world of ICTs.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

It has played a leading role. Not only because it is the main actor in the administration of resources, but also because it does so while respecting a policy development process and because it also works on the deployment of technologies that contribute to a better administration and use of resources (For example: IPv6, RPKI)

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

The LACNIC community is characterized by its mixture of cultures, the cultures of each country and those inherited from the immigration processes our region has undergone. Its most outstanding characteristic, however, is the warmth of the Latin people, a condiment difficult to find in other regions.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

How I imagine it has much to do with how I would like it to be. I imagine a governance with well-defined and clearly identified roles, which in many ways we still cannot see today. I imagine a safe Internet, but one that is free, open to all, and continues to drive innovation as it has so far. That fact that the Internet is free is one of the qualities that have made it as great as it is. This quality should not be lost.

Oscar Messano “LACNIC Has Always Exceeded My Expectations”

His name is synonymous with LACNIC, not only because he chaired the organization for 13 of its 15 years of existence, but also because he was involved with the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean since its inception. We are talking about Oscar Messano, one of the most visible men in the organization throughout the years.

In the opinion of the current vice-president of LACNIC, the regional community has played a fundamental role in promoting an Internet that addresses the peculiarities of the Latin American and Caribbean territories.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs like 15 years ago?

I was the founder and president of the Technology Training Center (at that time the organization was already 15 years old), the Argentine Internet Chamber (CABASE) and the Latin American and Caribbean Federation for Internet and Electronic Commerce. All of these organizations had been created with the aim of sharing experiences and knowledge with other colleagues in the region and generating the critical mass needed at that time.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I signed the organization’s founding charter in representation of CABASE and ECOMLAC. But the relationship predates the official creation of LACNIC as together with a group of people from around the region we saw an opportunity in the decentralization of IP address management. We realized that creating an organization to manage IP addresses in Latin America and the Caribbean would also serve as a catalyst for Internet growth in our region. Looking back over these past 15 years, I believe the effort has achieved what many of us thought was possible. Everyone who was part of the initial stages of this institutional project worked hard to make it a success.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

I served as the organization’s treasurer for about a year, then I was chairman of the Board until 2015. I am currently serving as vice-president. My expectations were exceeded both in my past and in my current positions. The group of human beings with whom I shared and continue to share within the institution is remarkable, both from a personal as well as from a professional point of view.

I am proud to have chaired the organization all these years, so I am especially grateful to the colleagues who entrusted me with this responsibility.

We’ve all learned to move forward together. On this journey, the different teams within LACNIC join forces with other regional and global Internet organizations every day.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

Since the very beginning, LACNIC has always been an essential guide for the development of IP address management policies for the region. In addition to proper resource management, its idea of ​​a stable, open and secure Internet has not only been a slogan but the main reason behind the successful work of LACNIC.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

A group where ethics and transparency are fundamental values and accompany every activity carried out by LACNIC. The respect that the multi-stakeholder community has for LACNIC is a right that was earned over 15 years defending those principles.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

The technological trilogy of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computers make it impossible for me to imagine a future that is so close in terms of years yet so distant in terms of Internet Governance.

LACNIC participates at eCrime 2017: A changing, threatening landscape

As reported by several experts at the Annual eCrime 2017 Conference, phishing (fraudulent sites) is becoming increasingly specialized, often containing viruses that block access to the victim’s data or threaten to publish or delete it until a ransom is paid (ransomware).

These experts warned about the changing nature of cybercrime and the challenges when facing this threatening and dynamic landscape.

Graciela Martínez, Head of LACNIC WARP, actively participated at the eCrime 2017 meeting in Arizona (United States), where major computer security incidents were analyzed.

One of the key findings was that the reason why cybercriminals have focused on ransomware is because it is easy for them to receive payments in bitcoin, as this currency is very difficult to trace, Martínez said.

Likewise, according to the cases presented during the meeting, phishing is becoming increasingly sophisticated and end users are having a hard time identifying them.

Martínez was part of a panel during which she presented a report on cybercrime in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the latest data obtained by LACNIC WARP, phishing leads the list of reported incidents https://warp.lacnic.net/estadisticas/.

“This type of cybercrime will not stop,” noted the Head of LACNIC WARP.

The use of mobile devices has led to an increase in the number of phishing cases. “Most people connect from their smartphones. This has increased phishing both because the screen is smaller and because users do not use antivirus software. The result is that the details that allow users to identify a fraudulent website are lost,” Martínez explained.

Cybercriminals have also improved their methods and nowadays even create fraudulent websites that Internet users perceive as secure. According to the data shared during eCrime 2017, malicious domain registration reached record highs in 2016. Domain impersonation is one of the most widely used techniques.

And criminals are specializing at an increasingly younger age. A clear example is the case of the eighteen-year-old who was the head of one of the largest fraudulent Internet organizations. One of the speakers at the Annual Symposium on Electronic Crime summarized the situation as follows: “Everything has moved to the Internet, not only business and the economy but also criminals.”

eCrime 2017 looked at developing common resources and best practices for fighting electronic crime and defending users. The meeting also discussed citizen awareness programs to help ensure a secure computing environment.

“If we were to redesign the Internet, it would need greater privacy and security”

He spent a few months living in Montevideo and collaborating with the LACNIC team. Daniel Karrenberg, one Europe’s Internet pioneers and founders of RIPE, takes a seat and prepares to share his experience in the region while drinking mate, a tea-like infusion typical of this part of the Southern Cone.

Our lengthy chat covers IPv4 exhaustion, the promotion of IPv6 deployment, the community’s commitment to maintaining a quality IP address registry, and even the new role of Regional Registries.

Our interview with this German national born in Düsseldorf 58 years ago and currently residing in Holland invites optimism regarding the future of the Internet.

Q: What can you say about how the LACNIC region is transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6?

A: We actually looked at that from the research point of view, and collected some data. It´s quite interesting to see that many ISP´s in the region actually announced IPv6 prefixes, so from the rest of internet they can be reached by IPv6.

When you look at the figures and compare the five regions, actually the LACNIC region has the highest percentage of autonomous systems that can be reached by IPv6 in the whole world. But that of course is only one half of the story, the part of the story towards the rest of the Internet. If you look at the other half of the story using data like Google collects or Geoff Huston from APNIC collects, we see there is very little IPv6 traffic actually originated in the region. So the ISP´s are accepting IPv6 connectivity from the rest of the Internet but towards their customers they are not doing very much. That´s the way it looks like. And that is also not very surprising, because even in our region there are some countries where it is exactly the same. So it is mostly a business decision whether an ISP wants to make the investment to actually roll it out towards their customers, and the decision can have a number of reasons. For the content providers them main reason is to make their content universally available, like Google does. Google pushes IPv6 because they don’t want to have NATs in the way between their users and their content, because that provides ISP´s with the possibility to do things to that traffic. So their interest is to have Ipv6 in order to avoid those difficulties.

There are other ISPs where the end users are, we often call them ‘eyeball’ ISPs. These deploy IPv6 because of technical reasons. One clear example is Comcast in the United States. They just said “ok we will deploy a new customer premises equipment and it´s technically easier for us to deploy this as an IPv6, and we will provide an IPv4 address on top of IPv6”. That´s a huge deployment, just for technical reasons.

There are other business reasons. For instance, I have two ISP´s at my home in the Netherlands, one is the cable company, which still doesn´t have IPv6, and the other is an ISP called “XS4ALL”, that in order to preserve their image as being leading in the technical sense, they said “OK, we have to have IPv6”, and they were actually the first IPv6 ISP in the Netherlands who had a widespread deployment. So there are various reasons for ISPs to do this, and there is very little, in my experience, that the regional registries like LACNIC can do. What we can do is capacity building, we can tell them how it works, we can do roadshows and say “this is how you do it”. We can make it very easy for ISPs to obtain IPv6 address space, but beyond that it becomes a business decision of the company and you can make it easy for them but you can´t make the decisions for them.

P: What needs to happen for a company’s CEO to decide to move to IPv6??

R: It is very individual, as I said. Comcast did it because it was easier technically for them, it was cheaper for them to do it that way, and they had a long term vision and basically said “if we make the investment now it will be on the cost side better for us”. In the case of XS4ALL, they want to have the image towards their customers that “we are the leading ISP, so if you are a nerd, a technically ambitious customer, you should choose us and not the other guy”. Also I see two pressures that are going on. One is scarcity of IPv4. It´s all about the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, because I still don´t see much benefit for the end user whether they use IPv4 or IPv6, they normally don´t see the difference. So it´s all driven by the scarcity of IPv4 addresses. And there are two ways to look at that. One is, in the Comcast example, that at some point the decision makers in the company will see there´s no grow path, you cannot grow anymore with IPv4. We can maybe trade or buy some IPv4 addresses from the broker, but it doesn´t scale up to the scale that we want and then they will make a decision and say “ok now we have to bite the bullet”.

So that´s more a strategic vision, and the other is a purely tactical vision, where the manager will just see it is just too expensive to obtain more IPv4 addresses, so we´ll just go for the cheaper solution. Of course, I would always argue for the strategic view, but you know how companies work, sometimes their horizon is three months, so…it´s just life.

P: What do you think happens when a regional registry reaches a stage where it only has IPv6 resources to allocate and manage?

R: First of all, it will take a long time before that happens. All the regional registries make policies to still give little IPv4 to new members, so it will last for a long time. The second thing is that there´s going to be a paradigm shift, a shift of how regional registries see themselves. I see it already happening in RIPE, I see it happening in APNIC, I certainly see it happening in ARIN. In the past we were mainly concerned about fair distribution of IPv4, because we knew IPv4 was limited, so we needed to make policies for fair distribution and no waste. And whether we admitted it or not, that was the main focus, it´s what we did. The shift goes towards having a good quality registry. So rather than distribution the emphasis will be on high quality registry. We´ve already seen that in the RIPE NCC for a number of years, and the community also has made policies to reinforce that, to enhance the responsibilities of the members to have the correct information in the registry. And I think it´s in the area of ten years now, that we do what we call audits. When we suspect that the information is not correct, we go back to the member and say “can you confirm that this is correct? Can you update it?”. And in the last four years or something, we´ve changed the name to a more politically correct name, I think it´s now called “assisted registry check”. “Audit” was a little bit like “we audit you” kind of thing, when that´s not the intention. The intention is to help members to have the registry information correct. It is a structured process that gets more and more initiative from the registry the less and less responsive the member is. So if they react very quickly and do staff it´s very easy, if we cannot reach them in the first place it becomes very difficult.

P: This requires a commitment on the part of the members of the registry, who must provide reliable information.

R: It´s all in the policies, the policies say they have to put correct information in, and if they don´t, we go after them. And in the extreme case, it means we will close them and take the resources back. But that´s the extreme case, it usually doesn´t come to that. I don´t know any statistics about that from memory, it is mostly public. If you go to the RIPE NCC website, and you go to “assisted registry check”, there are actually reports on how many we do and all that. You asked about what´s the future of regional registries, and I think it is in that area: it is to make sure that we know who uses what address space, and that we have a good registry that can be used by the membership itself for coordination purposes, but also by external parties such as law enforcement and so on. It´s really my personal opinion that a regional registry has no reason for being if it doesn´t have a good registry.

P: In order to have a better registry in the future, in addition to conducting these assisted registry checks, what other things do you think can be done?

R: That depends on what the community wants. The RIPE NCC didn´t start as a regional registry, we started as a secretariat for RIPE. RIPE needed to do some things that you can´t do with volunteers anymore, like filling questions at the time when the internet was new, and running a database for operational coordination. And RIPE then said “if we can´t do it with volunteers we will have to have a secretariat”. And the mission of that secretariat was to do anything that the ISP´s (at the time we said “Internet organizations”) have to organize between themselves in a neutral and competent place. I think that mission is still valid, at least for the RIPE NCC, we do anything that the membership – mostly Internet service providers and other big users of the Internet in our service region- want to organize together.

And of course the biggest activity is now the registry, but we also do other things that you already mentioned: capacity building in IPv6, looking after the interests of the membership in the Internet governance processes, defending the self-regulation model that we are doing towards governments. In the case of the NCC it´s also important research and science, not so much “pure” science, but we collect a lot of data about the Internet. We have RIPE Atlas, which does active measurement, and that I would like to see much more deployed in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is the biggest such network that exists, and it´s quite useful in finding the data to make policies. And we have RIPE Stat, which is basically a big collection of anything you ever wanted to know about any IP address or an autonomous system number. And that´s something our community recognizes as a common activity, and they are quite happy that we do it and to fund it.

Then of course we organize the RIPE meetings which is something the community appreciates as a way to get together and to discuss basically anything.

P: What new technologies might eventually take the place of the Internet? To put it somehow, if something new were to come up, will there be an Internet One and an Internet Two

R: If I had to set priorities for the next version of the Internet, definitely security and privacy would be the main drivers. The architecture of Internet was created by researchers who wanted to collaborate in an environment that was collaborative, not adversary, in a time when information security wasn´t really much of an issue. So if we would redesign the basic networking part it would need to have more privacy and security: privacy in the first instance, and security in the second instance. And I think those two would be the drivers, because the internet permeates society, the economy and everything. It´s still the best thing we have for a resilient infrastructure, because it is distributed and there is very little centralization, and centralization is actually diminishing. It´s robust in that sense because there´s no central thing that can be attacked, that brings down the whole network. But still, it´s quite fragile. We see a lot of malevolent and bad actors that can do bad things, so we need a new architecture that makes that less and less likely.

I am not sure how and when that will happen. There´s a lot of academic concepts, but I don’t see one at this point that is going to make it to full deployment. I am willing to be surprised. So that´s going to be the main thing for the next Internet. In terms of what will happen to the current Internet, the current fashionable thing is Internet of things. I happen to be an electronics nerd; my home is fairly well automated. But all the ‘things’ in the house are not connected directory to the Internet in any sense. The security of all this stuff is very bad, anybody who has my knowledge could park his car outside my house and with a little radio could turn on and off lights and change other things, if they really wanted to. That is why our door locks are not automated. Once all that becomes more and more networked I see interesting new problems popping up. But I don´t really believe in the vision where every light bulb is going to be equivalent to an internet host.

P: What can you tell us about your experience visiting LACNIC? 

R: I really enjoyed my visit here, the whole house has a very good feeling about it. It´s almost like the feeling that RIPE NCC had ten years ago. Now we are more than 100 people, and that changes the nature. But here everybody knows each other, is relaxed. Personal relations are important and the general vibe is good. I really enjoyed myself

Greater female participation in ICTs

LACNIC promotes greater participation of women in ICTs in Latin America and the Caribbean and seeks to strengthen the role of women as part of the regional Internet community.

The goal is to achieve greater female influence in strategic decision-making processes within the Internet community, said Agustina Zamit, Events and Sponsorships Specialist at LACNIC and head of this project at the regional RIR.

Women currently represent less than 20% of speakers and panelists at Information and Communications Technology events organized in the region, particularly at LACNIC meetings.

“However, we know that there are many outstanding women in the world of ICTs. We want to get closer to them, to get to know them as professionals, and to boost their participation at these events,” Zamit said.

A first step of this project has been re-launching and bringing greater visibility to the IT Women list for sharing ideas and projects, as well as organizing frequent online meetings.

In fact, three webinars have already been held this year with the participation of more than 30 women from different countries of the region. These meetings are organized around a collaborative agenda that includes the topics these women wish to promote or projects on which LACNIC is working, added Zamit. The group shares a common agenda and many research topics in Latin America.

As a result of this exchange, a panel on diversity and inclusion was organized during LACNIC 27.

The first stages of this project have been successful. The number of participants on the IT Women mailing list has already doubled. “We began 2017 with 115 subscribers; today the list has more than 200 participants from all sorts of organizations and different sectors,” concluded Zamit.

Visiting our customers in Colombia

LACNIC’s Services Department visited 26 members and Internet organizations in Colombia to provide first-hand information about the final stage of IPv4 exhaustion, answer members’ questions regarding IPv6 deployment, and listen to their needs and concerns.

In addition, this face-to-face contact with our Colombian clients sought to increase participation and involvement in the various topics of interest to the community and the regular activities of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.

In March this year, the Services team had already visited clients in Guatemala. April saw the team visit organizations in Colombia, and there are also plans to visit Mexico, Peru and Chile.

Alfredo Verderosa, LACNIC Services Manager; Paula Manci, Head of Membership Services; and Juan Carlos Alonso, Head of IT Operations, led the LACNIC delegation to Colombia, where they met with customers in Cali and Bogotá and shared the current status as well as future plans for the Internet in the region.

Verderosa noted that the outcome of this tour had been extremely positive, as they had been able to schedule meetings with at least a third of all of LACNIC’s ISP (Internet Service Providers) members in Colombia. “They all understood the message about the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion; to a greater or lesser degree, each is working towards IPv6 deployment, as they have IPv6 addresses provided by LACNIC,” said LACNIC’s Services Manager. Each meeting made it clear to Verderosa that members are aware that Internet growth must go hand in hand with IPv6 deployment.

The current status of IPv6 and plans for its deployment were precisely the topics most discussed during the meetings and the issue on which the LACNIC delegation heard the most concerns.

Meanwhile, Manci highlighted members’ interest in the LACNIC sponsorship program to attend its events and training activities. Many people also expressed interest in participating in the development of LACNIC policies, which are decided by the community.

The road to IPv4 exhaustion in Europe, Asia and Oceania

The road to IPv4 exhaustion in Europe, Asia and Oceania

How did the other Regional Internet Registries experience the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion which the LACNIC region is currently undergoing?

What lessons were learned after assigning the last IPv4 address and transitioning to IPv6? These questions came up at Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean and quickly resonated with our colleagues at RIPE NCC and APNIC.

The road traveled by RIPE. Andrea Cima, Registration Services Specialist at RIPE NCC (Europe and the Middle East) told LACNIC News that the policy for assigning IPv4 addresses from its last /8 has been in force since 14 September 2012. Since this policy came into force, each new or existing member of RIPE can request only one final /22 allocation, without the need to provide any justification. “When the policy came into force, it was mandatory to have a registered IPv6 assignment (minimum a /32, no longer in force). The only requirement was to have a registered assignment; there was no requirement to announce the prefix,” explained Cima.

What did your policy entail for the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion?

The policy based on necessity was modified immediately before the policy regulating the use of the last /8 was triggered. Initially, members were able to request IPv4 addresses based on the growth projected for the following twelve months. This was incrementally reduced until reaching three months.

We made sure that all requests were processed (and approved) in a chronological order – first in, first out. This mean that, even though their requests had been processed, applicants had to wait until the requests received prior to their own had also been processed.

What can you tell us about this experience?

The whole process went smoothly. Members quickly got used to the fact that RIPE NCC was no longer able to provide additional IPv4 addresses (other than one last /22). The resource transfer market only became active in early 2014.

How did the members of your service region react when faced with IPv4 exhaustion?

Most of our members accepted it and tried to solve their problems in their own way, for example, by using their existing addresses more efficiently but also by deploying IPv6. Some members tried to circumvent the policy by opening several accounts as LIRs (members) to obtain several /22s.

Over the years, this led to more restrictive policies. For example, resources can only be transferred twenty-four months after their allocation by RIPE NCC, and transfers due to mergers and acquisitions are only allowed if changes have been duly documented by a national authority (chamber of commerce, internal revenue service, state registry, etc.). In the past, we used to accept an agreement signed by both parties. The twenty-four month holding period also applies after a transfer due to a merger or an acquisition.

Has this policy helped accelerate IPv6 deployment in your region?

In the RIPE region, the last /8 policy initially included the requirement that a member needed to have an IPv6 assignment before requesting space from the final /8.

The reason for this requirement was that the community expected it would encourage IPv6 adoption, but our statistics show that this did not happen. The policy was then changed and the IPv6 requirement was eliminated.

When we asked our members who have deployed IPv6 what their main motivation was, their reply was primary the lack of available IPv4 addresses. In this sense, IPv4 exhaustion is the number one incentive for IPv6 deployment.

Under these circumstances, how has the transfer market worked?

The number of IPv4 transfers has increased and is now stable. In the beginning, the first IPv4 transfer policy was not used frequently. We’ve published some articles by RIPE Labs on this topic at the following links:

IPv4 Transfers in the RIPE NCC Service Region

Developments in IPv4 Transfers

Under our policies, all transfers are published on our website:

IPv4 Transfer Statistics

The Asian Route to Oceania. Guangliang Pan, Registration Services Specialist at APNIC, told LACNIC News that the policy that regulates the last phase of IPv4 assignments in the Asia-Pacific region allows both existing and new members to access these addresses.

What did your policy entail for the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion?

Standard assignments ended when we reached our final /8 assigned by the IANA. From then on, both new and existing members were able to request a maximum of a /22 from this block.

In May 2014, this was extended to allow both new and existing members to request an additional /22 from a different address pool created with the space allocated to APNIC in accordance with the mechanisms established in the Global Policy for IPv4 Allocation by the IANA Post Exhaustion. This second pool is currently empty and there is a waiting list.

What can you tell us about this experience?

I believe it was very successful. APNIC reached its last /8 on 15 April 2011, yet 40% of this space is still available. This means that —six years later— new members can still obtain a small amount of space to launch their business plans. Existing members can continue to grow if their clients meet the criteria established for their own addresses.

How did the members of your service region react when faced with IPv4 exhaustion?

Some members were able to justify the stockpiling of addresses prior to their exhaustion by accelerating their engineering plans. Since then, they have increased the use of NAT, acquired IPv4 addresses through transfers, and asked their customers to register to become APNIC members in their own right so that these organizations can have access to the final /8. We have seen more members request IPv6 addresses since 2011.

Has this policy helped accelerate IPv6 deployment in your region?

The goal of our last /8 policy is to ensure that new and existing LIRs (members) receive a minimum amount of IPv6 address space to help them transition to IPv6. It was not designed to help accelerate IPv6 deployment.

How did you deal with the lack of IPv4 addresses without the corresponding IPv6 deployment? Do you have any measurements in this sense?

Given that we have not yet reached total exhaustion, it’s hard to say that a crisis has occurred. People are using NAT or IPv4 address transfers as a temporary solution.

Under these circumstances, how has the transfer market worked?

The transfer market has worked very well. The number of transfers has increased over the years.

Jorge Villa “Passionate in our debates, mature in our decisions”

Charismatic, warm, and extremely active in the defense of the common interests of the region’s various Internet groups, particularly of the Caribbean peoples. These are the qualities that define Jorge Villa (Cuba), who has served in different roles at LACNIC over the course of the organization’s 15-year history.

From this perspective, he noted that the role of the LACNIC community has been instrumental in breaking away from its historical role in the colonial model and defining its own strategies to ensure the proper management of the numbering resources assigned to Latin America and the Caribbean.

When did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

I’ve known about LACNIC since the very beginning, since it was simply idea that gained momentum after a meeting held here in Havana (1997 or 1998) during which leaders of several of the region’s major academic networks participated in a forum called Enredo.

During the first Network Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean (WALC) held in 1998 in Rio de Janeiro, I met Raúl Echeberría and Juan Carlos Alonso, two people who played a key role in the inception and development of LACNIC. I met both of them once again while participating in other editions of these workshops in Mexico City (2000) and Santo Domingo (2002), and somehow we always managed to stay in contact either directly or through common friends. It was through them —and also through some Cuban colleagues (particularly Jesús Martínez, one of LACNIC’s first directors)— that I gained a better understanding of what was being done.

When it was announced that LACNIC V would be held here in Havana (October 2003), I was among the first to register for the event. By then, I had a better understanding —better than many of my colleagues— of the importance of the organization that had been created. Personally, to me it meant the continuity and growth of the work that was being done in Cuba. At that meeting I ran into some old friends made many new ones. Simply put, I felt that I was also part of that Latin American and Caribbean community. And this relationship has continued to improve throughout all these years.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

My work within the LACNIC community can be summarized in four roles: member of the Latin American and Caribbean IPv6 Forum (FLIP6) Program Committee, regional representative to the NRO Number Council/ASO Address Council, member of the Latin American and Caribbean Network Operators Forum (LACNOG) Program Committee, and Coordinator of the fellowship program for members of the community.

First and foremost, I want to thank the community for having trusted me to serve in these roles — I hope I have not let anyone down. I always try to give each of these activities my all, approaching each challenge with the idea of learning, collaborating, making a contribution.

Obviously these are very different roles and each implies great responsibility. I always try to contribute —even if it is only a tiny bit— so that the community will continue to grow.

Above all else, I would emphasize the importance of the people who helped me and supported me in each of these roles, both LACNIC staff and members of the community. I have an outgoing personality and love talking to people and making friends. This means that I really enjoy it when people see me as just another member of the community and feel they can approach me, comment, ask for my help, perhaps for professional or personal advice.

Some of the satisfactions that summarize these experiences include having contributed to the consolidation of FLIP6, to the strengthening and growth of LACNOG, to the implementation and strengthening of the sponsorship program for members of the LACNIC community, as well as the success achieved after concluding the process for transitioning the IANA functions’ stewardship role to the global Internet community.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

I think the LACNIC community has played a key role, without which the region would be at a true disadvantage in terms of being able to come up with its own strategies for development.

For historical reasons, those of us who were born and raised in the so-called ‘third world’ often find it difficult to break away from our historical role in the colonial model. But our region has had, has, and will continue to have the potential for development and to make the developed world see us as equals.

In this sense, the LACNIC community has been essential, as it has guaranteed the proper management of the number resources assigned to the region (over the course of 15 years) and helped create relationships based on trust. Thus, it has allowed many organizations in the region to grow and better deploy their networks and services, while others have understood the importance of having these resources in order to design a better future for our countries. Thanks to this community in which many regional actors are involved, our voice is heard in every forum, on a level playing field with the other regions, regardless of our level of development.

The LACNIC community is definitely an essential pillar for both the region’s present and its future, where the use of new information and communication technologies is increasingly becoming a transformative force.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

This is a multinational, multiracial, multiethnic community, and this makes it very strong. We all learn from each other. We try to live as a true family, with respect and solidarity, fighting against any form of discrimination, and promoting transparency and relationships based on trust. As in any other family, conflicts sometimes arise among some of its members. We Latinos are passionate in our debates and often radical in our opinions. Luckily, however, we have generally managed to take away the positive aspects of each situation and kept moving forward. This is an unmistakable sign of maturity.

It is a community committed to its goals and its people, always coming up with new ideas, willing to work and participate, involved in every issue within its scope that might benefit the region.

It is a community which strongly advocates for women and promotes their participation.

It is a community that has worked and works to incorporate everyone, trying to overcome the language barriers that (in some cases) still limit communication and participation. In this sense, I think it’s fair to highlight the work carried out with the Caribbean community.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

Imagining what the world will look like in 15 years is an interesting exercise, as everything is changing at high speed. In that time frame, I believe Internet governance will be much more streamlined and solid than it is today. Surely new actors will become involved, among them many young people. Above all, I see many people from our region participating and contributing.

Ricardo Patara “The community has become a leading actor”

Involved in LACNIC since before its creation, Ricardo Patara is one of the most fervent promoters of the collaborative Internet model developed by the regional community throughout the years.

He worked as LACNIC CTO for eight years until 2010, when he decided to return to his native Brazil to lead the country’s National Internet Registry (NIC.br).

In reviewing the first 15 years of LACNIC, Patara highlights the achievements of an organization which, in his opinion, has driven the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community to become a leading actor.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs 15 years ago?

At that time my relationship with information and communication technologies focused on the operation of network equipment and Internet routing systems. I also developed some small systems for internal use within the organization.

When did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

In 2001, prior to the creation of LACNIC, I was already working on what would formally be recognized in 2002. My first task was a training activity at ARIN, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) which was serving the LAC region at the time. I then began analyzing Internet resource requests submitted to ARIN by companies operating in the LAC region. We were in charge of the analysis, but ARIN was responsible for the final approval and for granting the resources. That was until 2002, when LACNIC became the fourth RIR and we began dealing with the application process from start to finish.

Once LACNIC was approved as an RIR, I had to organize what would become the Registration Service department, define the necessary processes, help the team in charge of developing the systems in use, and train the technical staff for the Registration Service and web tasks.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

I have been participating in the Public Policy Forum since the early LACNIC meetings. I also contributed to the creation of LACNOG, the regional network operators group, which I chaired until 2015.

The results were always very satisfactory, as shown by the increasing number of policy proposals submitted each year, and especially by the growing number of people involved in this important process.

Likewise, LACNOG —which began as a small discussion list— has become a fairly organized group of network operators and already holds its own annual meetings with more and more participants and speakers each year.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

The community abandoned its role as a mere “spectator” and has become a leading actor. Before LACNIC, there was practically no participation in terms of policy development. Today we have a very active community and even participate in global policy initiatives to determine how Internet resources are managed globally.

For example, with policies more suited to the needs of our region, it’s easy to see the benefits of having a larger number of ISPs in the region with assigned Internet resources.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

In my opinion, one of its identifying features is that discussions are heated yet respectful and friendly. We are also very open and receptive, so much so that participation is not limited only to people from the LAC region but from other regions as well.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

Until very recently, the topic of Internet governance was restricted to certain specific groups that already had some degree of participation in the technical community. That has now changed, but there is still much work to be done until other sectors of society can be involved. For many people without any technical background, the Internet is like electricity: just connect your device and you’re ready to go. While partly true, there are important aspects in which we can involve a larger number of people so that the Internet can in fact be increasingly simple and “omnipresent.” But also more universal, secure, stable, free, and —above all— a right for everyone.

 

Adriana Rivero “Making sure that everyone’s voice is heard is the way to go”

Adriana Rivero entered the world if ICTs out of necessity; today, she is Head of Community Development at LACNIC. She has the privilege of being one of the first five members of the staff of the Regional Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since then, 15 years have gone by and “many challenges” have been overcome, making LACNIC a leader of the global Internet ecosystem.
Rivero notes that success has been possible thanks to the regional Internet community’s growth and maturity.

What was your relationship with the world of ICTs 15 years ago?

My relationship with the world of ICTs was practically non-existent. In the late ’90s, family reasons gave me the opportunity to live abroad for four years. During those years in the United States, one might say that my “first contact with ICTs” was through the emerging world of online shopping and certain services offered by the university where my husband and I were studying.

When and how did your relationship with LACNIC begin?

When I returned to Uruguay in 2001, the country and the region as a whole were in the midst of an economic crisis. I was coming back to Uruguay with no job, an eight-month old son and another one on the way. At that time, LACNIC was in the process of establishing itself in Montevideo, not having been officially recognized yet but already in its final stages of consolidation as the fourth Regional Internet Registry. Raúl Echeberría, who was in charge of LACNIC at the time and led the organization for many years, offered me to join the working team. At that time, LACNIC staff included three people in Montevideo and two in Sao Paulo.

What roles have you played within the LACNIC community? Did they meet your expectations? What aspects would you highlight?

After joining LACNIC, for many years my job was to make sure that members were able to exercise their rights, as well as to offer the LACNIC community the possibility of participating in deciding how Internet number resource are allocated in the region.
Over these 15 years, we have faced many challenges, including reaching the many different communities that exist in the region; offering training and learning opportunities, creating spaces to promote participation and networking through various events and forums; as well as articulating collaborative efforts with other organizations working towards regional Internet development.
Looking back, I see a community that has grown immensely, not only in number but also in maturity, so I can say that my expectations have been met. Today, the LACNIC community recognizes our work and considers LACNIC to be a relevant, key player in the Internet ecosystem.

What role do you think the LACNIC community has played in the management of number resources over the past 15 years?

The LACNIC community has always supported the open, collaborative, participatory, bottom-up model for the definition of Internet resource management policies. Throughout these 15 years, the community has taken on an increasingly relevant role and has become more involved in the definition of these policies. This is reflected not only in greater participation in the Public Policy Forum and discussion lists, but also in other opportunities for member participation, such as the number of candidates running in the latest election for Public Policy Forum chair. We are also seeing greater LACNIC community participation in Internet governance issues, both at regional and global level. Since 2008, topics considered relevant for the LAC region and discussed at the Regional Internet Governance Forum (LAC IGF) have been included in the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) agenda.

What are the LACNIC community’s identifying features?

The LACNIC community includes 33 Latin American and Caribbean territories, each with its own peculiarities and different realities. Despite this diversity, the community faces the same day-to-day issues and works towards the development of an increasingly open, stable and secure Internet. Our community should benefit from collaboration and cooperation opportunities such those offered by LACNIC. Through them, LACNIC helps create conditions so that the Internet will be an effective tool for social inclusion and economic development for all countries and citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean.

How do you envision Internet governance 15 years from now?

I believe the multistakeholder model has produced good results in Internet governance, so we should continue working in this direction. From our role within LACNIC, we must continue to work to guarantee that every stakeholder can have a voice in these processes, to maintain spaces for dialogue, and to foster greater and more inclusive participation to make sure that all interests are represented.

Building the Central American Internet Community

Guatemalan voices meet for an historical LACNIC event
By Gerard Best

An historic meeting of different sectors of Guatemalan society was recently held in Guatemala City, an event organized by the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry, also known as LACNIC.

LACNIC On The Move Guatemala was the first meeting of its kind to be held in the country and brought together more than one hundred delegates representing the academic, technical, civil and government sectors, who participated in high-level talks and technical training activities presented by experts.

Even though it is the largest economy in Central America, Guatemala faces great inequality, generalized poverty, chronic malnutrition and high maternal and infant mortality rates, particularly in rural municipalities where up to eighty percent of the population is poor. Internet penetration is roughly 25% and subscription rates are still prohibitively expensive, which exacerbates the digital divide.

From 20 to 22 March, LACNIC On The Move Guatemala offered the opportunity of establishing collaborative networks among members of the Guatemalan technical community, including network operators, IT engineers, software developers and even Internet Service Providers competing against each other. The results of this extraordinary meeting were exceptional. Before the end of the second day, many participants had expressed their commitment to working together to establish the country’s first Internet exchange point.

Alfredo Verderosa, Head of LACNIC’s Services Department, described the meeting as an unprecedented success.

“We came here with two goals: creating a meeting place for the country’s various Internet stakeholders and sharing relevant information on technical topics such as Internet governance, the transition to the new Internet protocol, Internet exchange points, and cybersecurity. We are now leaving with the feeling that this event —the first of its kind— was very successful in both respects, as participants showed great interest in generating networking opportunities and learning more about the different technical topics addressed during the event,” he observed.

Another aspect worth noting is that the conference offered multiple global Internet organizations the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the men and women who build, maintain, regulate and use Guatemala’s Internet infrastructure. LACNIC organized this event with the support of the Internet Society and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

“Together, we have been organizing events like this for some time now, as they are very much in line with the spirit of the region’s Internet organizations,” said Rodrigo de la Parra, ICANN Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean.

What made the timing of the meeting even more special is that it coincided with the formal establishment of the Internet Society’s Guatemala Chapter.

Sebastian Bellagamba, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, encouraged the new local chapter to continue working closely with other relevant organizations for the benefit of the local and regional Internet community.

Initiatives such as LACNIC On The Move have allowed LACNIC to train more than 15,000 technology professionals throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

“We look forward to continue working with other regional organizations to keep developing a more open, stable and secure Internet in Guatemala,” said Sergio Rojas, Registry Service Specialist at LACNIC.

“We would like to thank the ISOC Guatemala Chapter and SIT, the national regulator, for organizing this event with LACNIC. We would also like to thank the Internet Society and ICANN for working together on these issues that benefit Guatemala and the region as a whole,” commented César Díaz, Head of Strategic Relations and Telecommunications at LACNIC.

“We are very happy to have organized this event here in Guatemala”, said José Raúl Solares Chíu, Director of SIT, the national telecommunications regulator. “We look forward to LACNIC’s prompt return,” he added.

The Risk of “Nationalizing” the Internet

Various initiatives that certain governments have implemented not only infringe upon human rights, but also affect the economic development of their countries.

“Some governments use security initiatives as an excuse for surveillance,” warned Oscar Robles, LACNIC’s Executive Director, while participating on a Security and Privacy panel organized during the most recent meeting of the South School on Internet Governance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He cautioned that much of the personal information collected by governments falls into the hands of hackers due to the weakness of computer data storage security systems.

Robles recognized that while one of the challenges is to focus on the protection of personal data in the hands of companies, at this time the greatest risk to individual privacy on the Internet are government and state programs collecting personal information. “Proactive, mass surveillance exists from which we cannot hide,” Robles stressed.

As an example, LACNIC’s CEO explained that “1.3 billion Chinese citizens cannot renounce their Chinese citizenship in order to protect their identity and freedom of expression (two human rights). Nevertheless, the billion users of any social network can stop using these networks in order to protect our privacy. After all, despite the benefits they bring to people, there is no such thing as the human right to social networks.”

Robles warned that States are using security initiatives as an excuse for their surveillance programs. He added that many of these initiatives sound quite plausible due to the State’s obligation to protect national security and combat child pornography and human trafficking. However, as a result of these programs, “we are all under surveillance and observation and all of our movements are being recorded.”

This results in another problem. The weakness of data storage mechanisms means that, once information is collected, “it remains in the hands of any hacker or cyber-gang which will answer to the highest bidder,” said Robles.

“Nationalizing the Internet” – In his presentation, Robles also discussed a phenomenon occurring in many parts of the world, which is the fact that Human Right number 27 —intellectual property—, in his opinion, infringes upon other more fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy. “Curiously, in certain jurisdictions, intellectual property rights threaten end users, those who cannot complain about poor Internet services because they are using the company’s brand. Property protection is taken to absurd levels and people lose their freedom of expression,” Robles added.

He noted that there are regulations and attempts in place to address government claims of protecting national security as well as to address private interests in the protection of intellectual property that infringe upon human rights. We have all seen some of these efforts in multilateral treaties.

He noted that these attempts are starting to create a fragmented Internet, a phenomenon he calls “Internet nationalization.” “We are beginning to notice advanced efforts to nationalize the Internet in the sense of establishing national borders and hierarchies for the Internet traffic,” he emphasized.

This path involves major risks, as the Internet was born with the fundamental principle of an open network, without hierarchies and without a predetermined path for each message to traverse the network. “Data packets travel along the easiest path. This is one of the fundamental principles of the Internet,” recalled LACNIC’s CEO.

If States are successful in compartmentalizing the network, they will not only affect Internet development and the individual rights of their citizens. “These initiatives will eventually have an impact on the economic development of the countries, as ICTs play a major role in national economies,” warned Robles.

IETF: IP Protocol Stacks in Extreme Environments

More than 1000 experts from around the world gathered for the IETF 98 event held in Chicago (USA), a global meeting of the group of engineers and professionals that agrees the technical aspects that allow the proper operation of the Internet.

Attended by a significant number of Latin Americans, the meeting was marked by the change of IETF leadership as it was chaired by Alissa Cooper, who took over as IETF chair from outgoing chair Jari Arkko (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhYWB5FFkg4)

“It was a special week,” noted LACNIC CTO and active IETF member and participant Carlos Martínez.

The Chicago meeting attracted many new faces: almost 17% of the 1000 participants were attending their first IETF meeting.

Martínez highlighted the two-day IETF Hackaton in which 18 independent teams participated. These teams worked on various IETF documents and proposed projects which they presented before a judging panel.

Likewise, the innovative documents on which IETF experts are working include several that deal with the Internet of Things (IoT). “This area requires a lot of new work, as many of the existing protocols are not appropriate for connecting everything,” Martínez added.

A new IETF project is concerned with low-power devices than have connectivity issues. “The challenge is how to adapt Internet protocols to be able to use them in low-power devices with connectivity constraints,” Martínez observed. In certain environments constraints are extreme, for example, sensor networks in sewers or in open fields, and this work focuses precisely on creating IP protocols that will help improve their use under these conditions.

Another highlight of the IETF plenary sessions were the presentations by Niels ten Oever and David Clark, who addressed the relationship between Internet protocols and human rights. “The way technology affects the ability to exercise certain human rights online,” Martínez commented.

After presenting a brief history of human rights and raising questions about how technology affects the ability to exercise these rights online, both speakers encouraged the audience to debate on whether the protocols we have today are useful, if there is an Internet equivalent to the right to assembly, and whether or not DNS queries respect individual privacy.

First Amparo Workshop in Haiti

Haiti received the first basic computer security workshop organized this year by LACNIC’s AMPARO project. During this workshop, nearly thirty Haitian professionals received basic training on computer security and the creation of Internet incident response teams. This is the first experience of its type to be held in the Caribbean Island.

Together with Transversal, an engineering services organization, within the framework of the Papyrus – Konbit project, LACNIC organized this AMPARO workshop in Port-au-Prince in order to strengthen Haitian professionals’ reaction capacity in matters related to computer risk management.

The two-day workshop included the participation of IT professionals from both public and private organizations, universities, companies and NGOs, who received guidelines for the creation of a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) and managing sensitive information.

Graciela Martínez, Head of LACNIC’s Warning Advice and Reporting Point (LACNIC WARP) and one of the promoters of the AMPARO project, noted that the initiative was organized within the framework of a project that seeks to create skills among Haitian civil society.

“Our contribution consisted of raising awareness on potential computer security incidents and helping our Haitian colleagues learn about Computer Security Incident Response Teams, how they can help an organization effectively recover in case of a computer security attack, and the importance of having trained personnel at a CSIRT,” Martínez observed.

Martínez also stressed Haitians’ willingness to learn and their engagement with the knowledge they were acquiring.

NOW, SURINAME. This year’s second Amparo workshop year will be held in Suriname on 3-7 July during the Caribbean Cybersecurity and Cyberdrill – Suriname (more information is available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Regional-Presence/Americas/Pages/EVENTS/2017/20287.aspx)

The AMPARO Project is an initiative that LACNIC has been promoting since 2009 which encourages the adoption of computer security practices such as Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT). The project is part of the services provided by LACNIC WARP to its members and to the community as a whole.

Root KSK rollover

ICANN is planning to perform a Root Zone Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) KSK rollover as required in the Root Zone KSK Operator DNSSEC Practice Statement.

Rolling the KSK means generating a new cryptographic public and private key pair and distributing the new public component to parties who operate validating resolvers, including: Internet Service Providers; enterprise network administrators and other Domain Name System (DNS) resolver operators; DNS resolver software developers; system integrators; and hardware and software distributors who install or ship the root’s “trust anchor.” The KSK is used to cryptographically sign the Zone Signing Key (ZSK), which is used by the Root Zone Maintainer to DNSSEC-sign the root zone of the Internet’s DNS.

Maintaining an up-to-date KSK is essential to ensuring DNSSEC-signed domain names continue to validate following the rollover. Failure to have the current root zone KSK will mean that DNSSEC-enabled validators will be unable to verify that DNS responses have not been tampered with and thus will return an error response to all DNSSEC-signed queries.

“The root was signed for the first time in 2010 and best practices indicate that cryptographic keys must be changed at reasonable intervals. The root KSK rollover implies a huge challenge due to the scale of the Internet. This rollover process initiated by the community will take place during 2017, and its timing will be handled so that Internet operators will not be affected,” said Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO and community representative to the Root Signing Ceremony.

More information https://go.icann.org/2oamsLx and http://bit.ly/2qh6JHc

Policy Proposals to Be Discussed at the LACNIC 27 Forum

During the LACNIC Public Policy Forum to be held in May in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, the community will decide on eight proposals concerning changes to the Internet resource management policies in force in the LACNIC region.

These proposals have been submitted by members of the community and are being discussed on LACNIC’s policy mailing list (https://politicas.lacnic.net/).

The community’s proposals basically refer to the modification of the size of initial IPv6 allocations, the authorization of one-way interregional transfers to LACNIC, the modification of the minimum size of IPv4 assignments to Internet Service Providers and resource revocation.

IPv4 Transfers. Promoted by Daniel Miroli of IP Trading, the proposal to authorize one-way IPv4 address transfers to LACNIC seeks to allow organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to obtain address blocks from other Regional Internet Registries that allow inter-RIR transfers.

To justify this, Miroli argues that “one-way interregional transfers to LACNIC” would provide many of the region’s operators with the opportunity to acquire resources and have them duly registered with LACNIC.

According to the impact analysis of the proposal conducted by LACNIC staff, the proposal could be applied “in cases where a source organization submits a request to transfer an IPv4 block to an organization in the LACNIC region. The source organization may be part of our region or of a region whose RIR policies allow the transfer of addresses to the LACNIC region.”

Also according to this analysis, implementing this proposal would require articulating changes in the systems in coordination with those RIRs which, at the time of implementing the proposal, have policies in force that are compatible with transfers as described in this proposal.

Minimum Size of IPv4 Assignments. Another policy proposal under discussion is one which seeks to modify the minimum size of IPv4 address assignments for ISPs from the current /22 to a /24.

According to the authors, now that the region has entered IPv4 exhaustion, “some new ISPs must face the problem of being unable to meet the minimum address utilization requirements for obtaining the equivalent of a /22 from LACNIC, while their providers don’t have the available addresses needed to meet their needs.”

Thus, they suggest changing the minimum assignment size from a /22 to a /24, so that it will be easier for operators currently using very few addresses to meet the requirements for receiving an IPv4 assignment.

The proposal also considers the fact that only one address assignment will be allowed, as the region is now in the final phase of IPv4 address exhaustion.

Modification of Initial IPv6 Assignments. There are two policy proposals under discussion for modifying the size of initial IPv6 allocations, both promoted by Jordi Palet Martinez of Consulintel.

In short, these proposals refer to the fact that there are organizations in the region that are not strictly ISPs in the “traditional” sense of the term and which might not sufficiently justify the need for a block larger than a /32 under the current text of the policy. Thus, the proposal seeks to modify the rules so that those organizations that would qualify for an initial allocation larger than a /32 can receive the addresses if they submit documentation justifying their request.

There is another policy proposal being analyzed on the mailing list which has to do with modifying the size of initial allocations. According to author Jordi Palet, the aim is to avoid unnecessary renumbering work for the ISP that requests the addresses and also for LACNIC staff.

Palet suggests that, if during IPv6 deployment an organization realizes there are differences in terms of size as compared to the moment when the initial allocation request was submitted, a new addressing plan can be submitted to LACNIC, without having to wait until meeting the requirements for subsequent assignments. Therefore, the organization would not have to prove utilization thresholds, but instead its desire to implement a different addressing plan that is more in line with the reality of the deployment.

To subscribe to the Policy Mailing List:

https://mail.lacnic.net/mailman/listinfo/politicas

LACNIC 27: Key Debates on the Future of the Internet and IPv6 Deployment in the Region

More than 80% of the region’s network operators have already received IPv6 space and half of them can already handle IPv6 traffic.

LACNIC will soon be holding its 27th meeting during which the following topics will be discussed: IPv6 implementation success stories in the LAC region, the final stage of IPv4 exhaustion, progress made by Latin American and Caribbean Internet exchange points, and major threats to cybersecurity. This meeting will take place in Foz do Iguaçu from May 22 to 26.

With more than 700 confirmed participants from more than 30 Latin American and Caribbean countries, the LACNIC 27 meeting will also address emerging trends in technology and their impact on the future development of the Internet over the next ten years, as well as women’s participation in Information Technologies with a panel especially devoted to this topic.

One of the critical aspects of the Foz do Iguaçu meeting will be accelerating IPv6 deployment after IPv4 exhaustion at a time when the region has reached an Internet penetration rate of 59.6%. According to the latest information available on 31st March, the Latin American and Caribbean community has already reached 385 million users, having incorporated 40 million new users over the past year (Internet World Stats, http://www.internetworldstats.com/).

The IPv6 protocol is key not only to foster the development of the Internet of Things throughout the region, but also because it is a vital tool for connecting 40% of Latin Americans who do not yet have access to the Internet. There are 255 million users and only 4 million IPv4 addresses, so IPv6 is essential for any project aimed at providing access to such communities.

Consequently, as expected, a large part of the analyses and debates in Foz do Iguaçu will focus on IPv6 deployment. The meeting will include a panel to discuss successful IPv6 deployment stories in the region, with examples in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The panel will also discuss the IPv6 Challenge created to distinguish projects which have promoted the implementation of this protocol. There will also be a session to present the Jim Bound Award to institutions or companies of the LACNIC service region that have reached certain IPv6 traffic levels.

According to research conducted by LACNIC, at least nine countries of the region already have more than 1% of their traffic over IPv6: Guatemala, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Trinidad Tobago, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.

Women and the future. LACNIC 27 will specifically address the role of women in Latin American and Caribbean organizations, while international experts will present on “The Internet of the Future” and try to visualize the impact of the network over the next 10 years.

The Foz do Iguaçu meeting will feature the first participation of Göran Marby, ICANN’s new CEO, in a LACNIC event.

In addition, the first regional anti-abuse group formed by LACNIC, LACNOG and M3AAWG will be officially presented. During the Policy Forum, participants will discuss five proposals for modifying the policies currently in force. New Policy Forum Co-Chair Paola Pérez of Venezuela will be the first woman to serve in this role.

The full program of the event is available at http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/eventos/lacnic27

LACNIC: 15 Years of Building Community

By Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO.

LACNIC was founded for the purpose of managing Internet number resources for the region. Since 2002, LACNIC has contributed to the construction of a regional community that has worked towards Internet development, promoting and defending the multiple interests of the different groups that are part of the organization.

Over these past 15 years, the community has constantly supported the definition of the policies for LACNIC services, the open participatory model which embodies our collaborative work philosophy.

The community has also worked on the construction of various spaces for both participation and dialogue created to listen and learn from others and led by many members of the community who volunteer their work. Examples of this include technical forums such as LACSEC, FLIP6, and the Interconnection Forum, as well as other initiatives organized within the framework of our various spaces for permanent dialogue such as our discussion lists, webinars and many other training activities.

At the same time, LACNIC has devoted important efforts to the consolidation of an interactive and collaborative space for multiple organizations throughout the region to work on the construction of a better Internet from their own specific areas of interest. To achieve this, Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean, our headquarters, shares spaces with RedClara, LACTLD, Asiet, eCOMLAC, ISOC, ICANN, LAC-IX and ALAI, and this encourages continuous collaboration and dialogue among the different working groups of each of these organizations.

In line with the times, since the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was established, LACNIC has permanently supported the development of the multistakeholder Internet governance model, promoting initiatives such as LACIGF (for which LACNIC currently serves as secretariat), as well as multiple national spaces that use this model for local participation.

On this occasion, LACNIC would like to highlight the work of the community as the driver of the process for strengthening An Open, Stable and Secure Internet. Our community has played a key role in the construction of the collaborative Internet model, defining the policies for our region’s resources through a plurality of voices and through public, open, transparent and participatory processes.

What is the LACNIC Community?

LACNIC Community is the term used to refer to the region’s entire Internet community and fully embodies the concept of open, multistakeholder, bottom-up processes. Anyone interested in doing so can participate on our discussion lists http://www.lacnic.net/listas, in our meetings http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/eventos/inicio and in our policy development process. http://www.lacnic.net/politicas .

In addition to the efforts listed above, LACNIC also supports its community in various ways, from advocating for special initiatives aimed at strengthening Internet development and the Information Society in our region, to the development of technical capabilities. http://campus.lacnic.net/

The LACNIC community encompasses an exceptionally diverse geographic area that includes territories in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Its members celebrate unity in diversity, working towards the inclusive development of an open, stable and secure Internet.

We believe we are on the right path and that, with the support of the community, we will continue to generate richer, more substantive spaces that will help build a better Internet and ultimately lead to better societies, which should be the ultimate goal of technology.

In this spirit, we invite you to join us in celebrating 15 years of LACNIC.

Registration for LACNIC 27 is Now Open

Registration is now open for LACNIC 27, the event that will take place in Foz do Iguaçú (Brazil) on 22-26 May with the participation of noted experts on IPv6, regional interconnection, security and anti abuse.

A large audience is expected –to date there are already close to 400 registered participants– so for the first time a limit of 650 participants has been set (650 full passes including daily lunches, social event ticket and promotional materials). LACNIC’s Development and Cooperation department noted that, once this limit is reached, an option will be enabled to register for a visitor pass that includes access to open sessions, so it is important that you register as soon as possible.

To date there are about 400 registered participants.

The registration fee for LACNIC 27 is USD 300, with an early-bird option (USD 200) available until 24 April.

Payments will also be accepted at the meeting’s registration desk (full price), where only cash will be accepted (US dollars).

The sponsorship program aimed at the LACNIC community received 378 applications and selected 29 individuals from 18 different countries throughout the region.

Topics to be addressed. The final phase of IPv4 exhaustion, IPv6 status in the LAC region, progress made by Latin American and Caribbean IXPs, new threats to cybersecurity, and the new role of Internet governance after the Service Level Agreement for the IANA Numbering Services will be among the central topics addressed at the meeting.

IPv6 will be among the highlights of the event, as Timothy Winters of IOL Laboratory and Mikel Jimenez Fernandez of Facebook have already confirmed their participation as speakers.

Other highlights will include the merger of the Interconnection Forum with the open meeting of LAC-IX and the anti-abuse workshop to be presented in Foz as part of LACNIC’s WARP agreement with M3AAWG to provide training on best practices for network operators.

The event will also include several technical tutorials on Basic and Advanced IPv6, Monitoring, Peeering, BGP and RPKI, and other topics.

Mi LACNIC: A simpler, More User-Friendly Platform

Mi LACNIC concentrates resource management in a single, clear and simplified platform that streamlines our relationship with members of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC).
Since it was launched earlier this month, more than 600 users have joined Mi LACNIC.
This new tool is available to all LACNIC members and concentrates various services in a visually friendly platform that allows member organizations to manage their payments and resource certifications as well as to access current and historical documents.
Our members can access the Mi LACNIC platform at no additional cost and we are planning to incorporate new services shortly.

What is Mi LACNIC? What services does it offer LACNIC Members?
Mi LACNIC is the new management system recently available to LACNIC members. Through this system, members can perform various tasks related to resource management and resource certification (RPKI), as well as manage their payments and documents.

How does this resource management platform work?
It is very similar to the previous version, except that it is much more intuitive and user-friendly. The advantage is you no longer need to login to one platform to manage your resources and use another to manage RPKI: you can now manage everything from just one platform.

Why did you decide to create this platform?
This modular platform was created with our customers’ comfort in mind. The first version of Mi LACNIC unifies our resource management RPKI, and payment and document management systems.

Who developed the Mi LACNIC service?
More than 20 members of the LACNIC staff were involved directly or indirectly in developing Mi LACNIC. While the programming was done by LACNIC’s Software Development department, several other areas also contributed to the making of Mi LACNIC.
The project was developed jointly by several departments, including the Services team, the Development team and the Communications team.

Who can access Mi LACNIC?
LACNIC members (except NIRs).

Is this a free service? Is it avaiabe in the 33 territories that make up the LACNIC service region?
Yes, it is a free service and it is available to all LACNIC members with the exception of those in Brazil and Mexico, which are managed by their NIRs.

How do users access the service?
Unlike the previous system, the Mi LACNIC home page includes password and username recovery options in case a member loses their login information.

What kind of statistics does Mi LACNIC provide?
Based on global routing tables, Mi LACNIC offers the possibility of viewing IPv6 adoption status, reverse resolution delegation status, sub-assignments, and RPKI status.

Can LACNIC members request RPKI certificates through Mi LACNIC?
Yes, the platform includes an RPKI section.

Can members pay their invoices for LACNIC services?
Yes. And they can also view documents related to billing and payments, statements of account and service agreements.

Can Mi LACNIC be used to report a cyber-attack?
No. LACNIC has a separate service for this, LACNIC WARP.

What are the advantages of Mi LACNIC as compared to the systems currently used to interact with LACNIC?
Mi LACNIC combines three systems in one and its interface is much more intuitive and user-friendly.

Can Mi LACNIC be accessed from any device?
Yes. It was developed using responsive design, so it can be viewed on mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones.

Do you plan to add new features to Mi LACNIC in the future?
Yes, we will continue to work to incorporate new modules and services.

In case of questions or doubts, where can users turn to for support?
Mi LACNIC uses context-sensitive help, which means that help suggestions shown will depend on which module the user is using. Nevertheless, if the help provided by the system is not enough, users can contact milacnic@lacnic.net.

An IETF Hub in Montevideo

LACNIC’s Engineering and Development (R&D) department is promoting a remote hub for the worldwide group of engineers and professionals who develop and promote Internet standards (IETF).

IETF 98 will meet in Chicago. During the event, Casa de Internet in Montevideo will welcome engineers and students who will be able to follow the sessions as they are held in the US.

“The goal is to inform the regional community about the issues currently under discussion and encourage our colleagues in the region to participate in the IETF,” said Nicolas Fiumarelli, R&D Engineer at LACNIC.

The idea is that those who come to Casa de Internet register as IETF participants and follow at least two of the sessions to be held in Chicago.

“In addition to the possibility of interacting with participants in the United States, we want to encourage discussions among the colleagues who attend the LACNIC headquarters in Montevideo,” said Fiumarelli.

The plan is to follow two IETF 98 sessions. The first of these is the Thing-to-thing-rg Working Group meeting to be held on 27 March (14:30 – 17:00 Uruguay time) to discuss IETF standardization issues that will allow implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) in the real world, taking into account various limitations such as the scarcity of resources and the interaction between different providers.

Prior to this first meeting at the local hub, Fiumarelli and Gerardo Rada, also a Software Engineer at LACNIC, will present a brief introduction to the IETF, its working groups and how to participate in the IETF in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The second session to be transmitted live at Casa de Internet is the IETF 98 Technical, Administrative and Operational Plenary on 29 March (17:00 – 20:30 Uruguay time) –which will include panels of experts on topics of interest to many areas and working groups (WGs)– and a progress report, important announcements and details of future meetings. “Plenaries are a good starting point to enter the world of the IETF,” noted Fiumarelli.

The End of IPv4: What Happens Now?

The LACNIC region has entered the final phase of IPv4 address exhaustion and now very restrictive policies –agreed by the community– apply to the last IPv4 resources remaining in Latin America and the Caribbean.

So what happens now? What does entering the final phase of exhaustion mean? Will any organizations receive resources during this final stage? Which organizations? Why these and not others? How does the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean compare to the other RIRs? Can LACNIC member organizations request IPv4 addresses in other regions? Can IPv4 addresses be transferred? What role has the community played in the way the final blocks of IPv4 addresses have been allocated? These and other questions were answered by Sergio Rojas, LACNIC Registration Services Specialist, and Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO, during a webinar organized to inform the community about the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion and the pressing need to deploy IPv6 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information, watch the video.

Civic Apps: A Digital Platform for Open Data

The Internet has become a fabulous tool for obtaining information, thus democratizing access to data. Above all, the digital world has made it easier to access information of public interest that citizens have the right to know. However, despite growing support for the open data movement, a culture of secrecy is still prevalent in many countries of the LAC region.

Mexicoleaks was born precisely to contribute to citizen transparency and overcome the barriers imposed by the spheres of power on access to sensitive information.

Winner of the 2016 FRIDA Award, this whistleblowing platform has put Mexican power circles in check by receiving and publishing data on abuses, acts of corruption and the violation of rights, Eduard Martin-Borregón, one of the Main drivers of Mexicoleaks, told LACNIC News.

What is the Mexicoleaks platform and how does it work?

“An independent whistleblowing platform for revealing information in the public interest in Mexico.” This is how Mexicoleaks introduces itself on its website. In addition to offering a platform where whistleblowers can leak information safely and anonymously, it is an alliance of media outlets and civil society organizations working together towards a common goal: a more transparent and democratic Mexico.

When and why did you come up with the idea for this whistleblowing platform? Who is part of this platform?

The platform was born in March 2014 with eight partners: Animal Político; emeequis; Más de 131; Periodistas de a Pie; Proyecto sobre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e Investigación (PODER); Proceso; Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3D); and Aristegui Noticias, with the support of Free Press Unlimited and the Associated Whistleblower Press.

How is Mexicoleaks funded?

Mexicoleaks is currently funded through its partners, who contribute in kind to journalists who manage the day-to-day operation of the platform and its research activities. We also receive support from Free Press Unlimited and Associated Whistleblower Press for our technology services.

How do you guarantee the anonymity or the citizens who submit information? Is the platform secure? Have your sources ever been leaked? Have you ever been attacked by hackers?

Security is an essential part of the process. Mexicoleaks uses advanced digital security technologies designed exclusively for whistleblowing. It is essential that all instructions are followed closely so that the identity of the whistleblower is protected and that no one, not even ourselves, will know the origin of the information.

How do journalists from the different media outlets that are part of Mexicoleaks investigate the information received through the platform? Do you work together? Who chooses where the information is published?

The platform could have been designed as an anonymous mailbox where various media outlets access the information independently, without any type of coordination. Mexicoleaks chose to be more than that, we chose to become an alliance where media outlets coordinate and agree on the publication of a leak. Sensitive issues are investigated jointly so as to move forward with greater speed. It is managed as a distributed network of knowledge for the accountability of major institutions and corporations.

Do you believe the creation of Mexicoleaks has contributed to the transparency of information in Mexico?

The context of insecurity and corruption makes journalism and human rights advocacy in Mexico highly risky. In this sense, there is limited citizen participation in journalism, transparency and openness of information.

Mexicoleaks is a tool that allows people to send information of public interest to media outlets and civil society organizations through secure technologies that guarantee anonymity of the source. Through transparency and civil participation, it aims to strengthen fairness, accountability and ultimately democracy.

Have you noticed an increase in citizen participation in reporting alleged acts of corruption since the eruption of Mexicoleaks? Has this platform contributed to the creation of a culture of anonymous whistleblowing in Mexico?

We believe in these two years we have helped break Mexican society’s traditional silence when faced with injustice, the violation of rights and improper practices in general. Cases such as the settlement received by current national leader of the PRI upon his departure from a parastatal company, or having stopped the construction of a shopping center on pre-Hispanic ruins, show that silence and the fear of speaking up are slowly changing.

How have the different leaders reacted to Mexicoleaks?

The day after Mexicoleaks was presented, two journalists with Aristegui Noticias were fired by MVS, the network where they were working at the time. Journalist Carmen Aristegui’s entire team was fired a week later.

A few months earlier, Aristegui and her team had published a report on the “White House” of President Enrique Peña Nieto, linking him and his wife to one of the country’s largest construction companies.

What has the FRIDA Award received in 2016 meant for the initiative?

It has been of great help, particularly because it allowed us to implement a communications campaign that resulted in more and better leaks. It also allowed us to project the platform internationally and gain the recognition and support that comes with winning a regional award such as this.

What do you take away from your participation at the IGF as one of the winners of the FRIDA Award? What was the goal of the video you made with the funds received from FRIDA?

It was a great space for sharing ideas, especially with other FRIDA Award winners, and it allowed us to better understand how the Internet is used worldwide. The corollary was complementing the communications campaign we were conducting with the video made by FRIDA.

Partnerships to Promote Cybersecurity

LACNIC’s computer security Warning, Advice and Reporting Point (LACNIC WARP) has formalized agreements with relevant international organizations to promote cybersecurity, data protection and safe online habits.

These partnerships will allow strengthening the region’s response capacity, training regional experts with the support of leading professionals, and being part of the world’s elite cybersecurity teams, said Graciela Martínez, Head of LACNIC WARP.

FIRST. One of our first alliances was with the Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), with whom we signed an agreement to support the development of computer security incident response capabilities in the LAC region.

As part of this agreement, FIRST has made its training programs and capabilities available to LACNIC, who will use these with regional teams. “Our local team of trainers will offer FIRST courses within the region and we will work closely with FIRST to organize these events,” said Martinez.

This alliance has strengthened LACNIC’s Amparo project workshops, as it is now possible to coordinate events and conferences on the security issues currently faced by the region using the training programs developed by FIRST.

Anti-Abuse. Another important step in terms of security was joining the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group to collaborate on global cybersecurity issues.

As part of this partnership, LACNIC gained access to platforms to fight against online threats and engage with service providers and online security communities.

“Our participation in M3AAWG allows us to actively engage with leading researchers and experts from around the world to discuss which anti-abuse techniques work well and why they do so, while sharing our regional perspective. A better understanding of M3AAWG best practices can help us improve local cybersecurity efforts, minimize threats and create more economic opportunities for the citizens of Latin America,” said Martínez.

An agreement was also signed with Level 3 to exchange information for research purposes and to provide assistance in the event of an attack originated by LACNIC resources

Stop, Think, Connect. LACNIC WARP’s most recent agreement is with Stop. Think. Connect. to develop a security messaging campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean that will encourage Internet users to practice safe online habits.

Martinez believes this agreement will help promote and raise awareness on the importance of practicing safe online behavior, especially among users in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This campaign will consist of tips and warnings on cybersecurity issues so that the most vulnerable users will have tools to keep themselves, their families and their communities safer online.

 

LACNIC Promotes the Installation of Copies of the I Root Server

LACNIC is promoting the installation of anycast copies of the I Root Server operated Netnod in Latin America and the Caribbean through an open call open for candidates among the region’s Internet organizations.

The first call for candidates is already open and anticipates the installation of at least 5 copies of the I Root Server. Organizations interested in hosting an I Root Server copy can check out the requirements and complete the application form at http://www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/raices-llamado.
The territories where these copies will be installed will be decided by a selection committee made up by LACNIC and Netnod representatives, who will evaluate the proposals and will then coordinate with potential host institutions and the root server operator. In certain cases, LACNIC may sponsor the installation of a root server copy.

This initiative is part of LACNIC’s +Raices program, which seeks to install anycast root server copies in countries of the LAC region
Installing these servers at strategic locations throughout the region such as IXPs (Internet Exchange Points) and NAPs (Network Access Points) seeks to achieve greater resiliency for one of the Internet’s most critical resources, the DNS.
The root server copies already installed in Latin America and the Caribbean have benefited the region’s users, as they’ve had a positive impact on how Internet connection speed is perceived and strengthened our Internet infrastructure by increasing service stability.

The LACNIC +Raices program has already installed 17 copies of the Internet domain name system’s original servers throughout the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The I server is one of 13 original Internet servers installed worldwide, ten of them in the United States, two in Europe, one in Japan. A technical limitation makes it impossible to increase the number of original servers to more than 13; for this reason, a technology known as anycast was developed for creating clones (mirror copies) which, once in operation, are indistinguishable from the original servers.
+RAICES is a project LACNIC has been implementing since 2004 and which has made it possible to install root server copies in Latin America and the Caribbean with the aim of improving Internet access throughout the continent and making a relevant contribution to Internet stability at both regional and global level.

Trinidad and Tobago hosts inaugural Internet Governance Forum to kick-start 2017

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago ⎼ 2017 started off with a bang in terms of the global Internet Governance (IG) calendar as Trinidad and Tobago became the smallest country in the Americas to convene a national Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The inaugural Trinidad and Tobago Internet Governance Forum (TTIGF) took place on 26 January 2017 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, coinciding with the official launch of the Trinidad and Tobago Multistakeholder Advisory Group (TTMAG) to address ccTLD and wider Internet policy in that country.

As Trinidad and Tobago is recognised as one of the more vocal Caribbean communities on global IG issues, TTIGF had been an event in the making for quite some time. With the support and well wishes of other ICT actors including the IEEE Trinidad and Tobago Section and the Internet Society Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, TTMAG arranged a short forum featuring a panel discussion titled, “The role of the Internet and the Digital Economy in Trinidad and Tobago’s sustainable development,” and an open microphone session.

Roughly fifty people from multiple sectors were in attendance including representatives from several public agencies such as the telecommunications regulator and law enforcement, innovators and entrepreneurs, and students from the Engineering Department at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Heavy social media promotion prior to and during the forum facilitated a number of remote participants who were interested in seeing the unfolding of this discussion space within the Trinidad and Tobago landscape.

Panelists for the first session came from UWI, Trinidad and Tobago Network Information Centre (TTNIC), Trinidad and Tobago Internet Exchange (TTIX) and Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).  Several ICT professionals and representatives of regional Internet organisations made contributions through the open mic. Both session formats generated a lot of meaningful dialogue on local priorities including, inter alia, electronic payments, ICT policy and laws, cyber security including Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP), and high availability.

Questioned about the governance standing and scope for collaboration for TTIGF, Sanjay Bahadoorsingh, TTMAG Chairman expressed, “As this is the inaugural event we are hopeful a lot more (stakeholders) will come on board (and) participate with us for future events.” Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and Convenor of the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (CIGF), commended the TTMAG’s efforts as a bridging step that would better guide  the discussion and implementation of regional Internet policy.

Kevon Swift, Head Strategic Relations and Integration at LACNIC, congratulated the organisers for the successful realisation of the forum and took the opportunity to give preliminary notice about LACNIC’s new initiative to lend support to national IGF initiatives on the one hand, while bolstering participation of less visible stakeholders at LACIGF on the other.

Set up as an annually recurring event, Bahadoorsingh announced that the second TTIGF will be held during Q1 of 2018.

Elections to Select a New Co-Chair for the Policy Forum

The call for candidates for co-chair of the LACNIC Public Policy Forum will open on 1st March. The voters registry will close on 30 March, along with the period for candidate nominations and endorsements.

Voting will be electronic and will take place on on 3-9 April. In the event of a tie between two or more candidates, a runoff election will be held on 12-16 April. Anyone who subscribes to the public policy list until 30 March will be eligible to vote. The winning candidate will occupy the vacancy that will be created when Alex Ojeda completes his term after the Forum which will meet within the framework of the LACNIC event to be held in Foz de Iguazú in the month of May. The winning candidate will serve a two year term.

To participate in the nomination of candidates for Forum chair, a person must either be a LACNIC member or nominated by a LACNIC member.

As nominations are submitted, candidate names and biographies will be published on the LACNIC website along with any expressions of support these candidates receive until the period for candidate nomination closes. The names of the candidates who will ultimately compete for the position of co-chair will be announced after 30 March.

If you would like to nominate a candidate, please write to eleccion_mfp@lacnic.net and include detailed information on the candidate as well as the reasons why you believe your nominee is well-suited to serve as co-chair of the Forum.

Candidate endorsements will also be received until 30 March. To submit an expression of support, address your email to apoyo_mfp@lacnic.net, including the information of the candidate you wish to endorse.

The elected candidate will join Juan Peirano, currently the other Forum co-chair, whose term will end next year.

Co-moderators’ role is to encourage and moderate discussions both on the Public Policy List and during the Public Policy Forum that meets within the framework of the annual LACNIC event.

Likewise, they must follow up on all policy proposals, decide whether they have reached consensus, suggest the conclusion of a particular topic, or decide to abandon specific policy proposals.

Co-chairs are seen as activists in touch with the discussions taking place among the LACNIC community as well as in other regions. Because of their role, they quickly become prestigious references for the entire Latin American and Caribbean Internet community.

2017 LACNIC Campus Learning Opportunities

In order to meet the growing demand for e-learning throughout the region, this year the LACNIC Campus is planning to offer twelve online courses on IPv6 and other topics related to resource certification and Internet security. Of the twelve courses to be offered during 2017, six will be “Basic IPv6” and four will be “Advanced IPv6.” We will also offer two editions of the new “Basic BGP and Introduction to RPKI,” the latest course to be added to the Campus offerings.

For each of the six editions planned for this year —the first of which began on 23 February— LACNIC Campus will offer 400 seats. The second edition is set to begin on 6 April, the third on 15 June, the fourth on 17 August, the fifth on 19 October, and the sixth on 30 November.

This four-week course is self-paced and the format includes watching videos, reading various texts and completing exercises before taking a final exam to obtain the corresponding certificate.

Advanced IPv6. In 2017 the Campus will offer four editions of the “Advanced IPv6” course, the first of which will begin on 30 May, with registration opening on the 9th of the same month. For the first, second and third editions which are set to begin on 11 July, 22 August and 3 October, LACNIC has reserved 100 seats.

This course lasts a total of six weeks. Classes are 100% online and tutored.

The “Advanced IPv6” course is aimed at anyone who want to further their knowledge of the IPv6 protocol.

New Proposal. This year’s latest addition is a new course titled “Basics of BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and Introduction to RPKI (Resource Public Key Infrastructure),” two editions of which will be presented by an expert on the subject.

During all courses, participants will have the constant support of the campus administrator, Maria Severov.

Anyone interested in participating in the courses to be offered this year must first register on LACNIC’s e-Learning platform, where the course schedule is also available http://campus.lacnic.net.

Contributing to IPv6 Deployment

Continuing with its plan to help train professionals in the different countries that make up the LAC region in order to promote IPv6 deployment and a better understanding of the Domain Name System (DNS), LACNIC supported the technical training workshops conducted by the Venezuelan National Telecommunications Commission and UNEFA, the National Experimental University of the Armed Forces of Venezuela.

Completed during the months of January and February, activities included courses on DNS and IPv6 theory, as well as hands-on DNS and IPv6 workshops with the active participation of Alejandro Acosta, R+D engineer at LACNIC.

Aimed at professionals working in the telecommunications sector, ccTLD (NIC.ve), Venezuelan military personnel, network operators, members of the technical community and academia in general, each of the courses was attended by approximately 150 participants.

The DNS training benefited 159 representatives of public and private institutions in the states of Aragua, Carabobo, Capital District, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Lara, and Vargas.

The IPv6 course was attended by 154 professionals representing organizations and companies in the states of Nueva Esparta, Vargas, Carabobo, Miranda, Monagas, and the Capital District.

Acosta noted that training on the Domain Name System was divided into theory and a hands-on session during which participants simulated primary, secondary servers, zone transfers, DNS responses, and created various records.

Likewise, the IPv6 theory course was complemented by a hands-on activity during which attendees learned how to configure the IPv6 protocol.

José Peña —who participated in the courses representing Telefonica de Venezuela— stressed the importance of DNS and IPv6 training for both the public and the private sectors. “We learned what we should do with the DNS in the operational phase, its benefits and how to configure our servers,” said Peña.

Likewise, Jorge González of UCLA of Venezuela, highlighted the relevance of the courses and the support provided by LACNIC to the National Telecommunications Commission and the National Experimental University of the Armed Forces of Venezuela. “This is an example of collaboration in two important aspects that will increase deployment: training and participation,” he noted in his thank-you letter.

The Region’s Largest Origin Validation and RPKI Project

This year, LACNIC’s Technology department provided training for technical coordinators of RENATA, Colombia’s National Academic Advanced Technology Network. This training on RPKI resource certification and origin validation represents the largest project to date for the deployment of this technology in Latin America and the Caribbean.

These Colombian IT experts received their training within the framework of the project titled BGP Security in RENATA Infrastructure, which received a FRIDA Award in 2016 and sought to promote the deployment of Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) technology within the institutions connected to the Colombian academic network in order to provide a solution to the information security issues affecting Colombia.

Gerardo Rada, software and development engineer at LACNIC, noted that training courses were held in January in the cities of Bogotá and Cartagena and were attended by fifty Colombian Regional Academic Network coordinators, IT managers and network administrators for the institutions connected to RENATA.

Rada said he had shared with local technicians “what RPKI is, how it works, what RENATA is doing with the implementation, what problems this technology solves, and what they can do to support the project.”

RPKI is a set of protocols, standards and systems that allows verifying the right to use Internet number resources such as IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and Autonomous Systems. The main goal of RPKI is to improve the Internet routing system’s reliability and security.

In the case of Colombia, “a massive deployment (of origin validation) is being implemented in an academic network,” said Rada, something that had never been done before in the region. LACNIC has already worked on similar RPKI deployment projects at NAP Costa Rica and origin validation at two nodes in Ecuador, but now, in Colombia, there is validation in all nodes of the academic network. “This is massive in scope, much more difficult, a different challenge,” stressed Rada.

RENATA will use existing tools and facilitate the use of RPKI, origin validation and other tools that will be developed, added the engineer.

LACNIC has participated in the definition of the standards that have allowed developing RPKI since 2007. In May 2011, LACNIC launched its RPKI Certificate Authority (CA) for the resources it administers.

The LACNIC region currently has an RPKI adoption rate of more than 20%, which means that one in five prefixes announced via BGP in Latin America and the Caribbean are covered by a Routing Origin Authorization (ROA).

New 3.0 Agriculture

New 3.0 Agriculture

AgriNeTT is an initiative that focuses on the use of digital technologies as a tool to strengthen the work of farmers and agricultural institutions in Trinidad and Tobago. Having received a FRIDA Award in 2016 for being one of the most innovative in Latin America and the Caribbean, this project seeks to promote the economic growth of the agricultural sector in this Caribbean country and its region of influence.

How did you come up with the idea for AgriNeTT?

ICT does not play a prominent role in Agriculture in the Caribbean. Dr. Margaret Bernard, a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at The University of the West Indies had a student, Andre Thompson, who was developing an Agriculture Information System. This got her interested in the wider field of ICT in Agriculture. She pulled together a team of lecturers from Computer Science and Agriculture as well as persons from Agricultural institutions and farmers associations in Trinidad and Tobago and the AgriNeTT project was born. The project was funded by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago through the UWI-RDI Fund. The major problems that the AgriNeTT team focused on were the lack of ICT tools for farmers to manage their farms and the lack of data at the farm level and national level for planning.

How does AgriNeTT work? Can producers download the application free of charge? Where?

AgriNeTT is an e-agriculture project that focuses on empowering the agriculture sector through the use of ICT, especially by developing mobile apps that assist farmers and policy makers. To address the needs identified, the AgriNeTT project developed several mobile apps for farmers as well as two Open Data repositories (public online resources that collect up-to-date data on various aspects of agriculture, including topographical and soil layers). The apps provide farmers with tools for farm financial management (AgriExpense), information on crop prices (AgriPrice), tools for diagnosing plant pest and diseases (AgriDiagnose), and recommendations on which crops are most suited for the farm (AgriMaps), based on several parameters that profile the land. All the apps have back-end Data Analytic modules that mine the data for trends and provide agricultural information on a national level for policy makers. The apps are freely available for download on Google Play store.

Since beginning the project, have you been able to better integrate technology with traditional day-to-day agricultural practices? 

In Trinidad and Tobago, as in the rest of the Caribbean, many farms are family farms with small-scale farming. In order for AgriNeTT to move from innovation to game changer it must become adopted by the farmers that the apps were designed for. Adoption of technology is a real challenge and has been very slow. The AgriNeTT team recognizes that there are many barriers to technology adoption; in this case primarily requiring behavioral change. The farmers have smart phones and internet connection; these are not the issues. However, many of them use their phones only for calls. We have focused on young farmers who have shown a greater gravitation towards the apps and recognize them as a valuable tool.

How many producers are currently using the AgriNett platform? Did this tool bring young people closer to agriculture?

Collectively we have had over two thousand downloads of the apps but only a few of those have resulted in constant use. On the positive side, the project has been able to connect with young people in agriculture. We have an aging farming population. The children of those farmers see a future in agriculture that is more technology driven. These young persons, most of whom are highly educated, would otherwise be lost to agriculture thereby reducing food security of our nation.

Do data-based applications such as AgriNeTT contribute to modernizing agriculture in the Caribbean?

The answer is definitely YES!!!!.

These aps allow farmers to manage their farm as a business with information on revenue and expenses and profit. Farmers will therefore be able to meaningfully participate in value chain deliberations and negotiations, access loans, have financial data to support disaster payment systems, support Insurance and risk management, and private sector investment. On a national level the agriculture institutions will have real time data for decision making about land use, about the spread of pest and diseases, and about the real cost of production. The AgriNeTT apps are the first series of ICT applications dedicated to support the agricultural sector in the Caribbean. The model we have used is capable of being replicated across the Caribbean.

What are the next goals for the project?

The next phase of the project is focused on adoption of the tools and systems. There is one major challenge however – funding. The project received funding for three years through the UWI Research and Development Impact fund which funds UWI projects with potential for high impact on the society. That funding has now completed and the project team is seeking new funding.

A major part of the strategy of the project has been collaboration: collaboration with local institutions as well as regional and international organizations such as FAO and CARDI/CTA. We intend to continue and deepen collaboration efforts, especially with organizations such as farmers Associations to promote the apps and to train and work with farmers on the use of the apps. We have begun collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica so that the apps gain wider use in the Caribbean.

In this next phase we want to also continue the development of the apps, including AgriDiagnose, as well as others. We need to continue to promote the Open Data Platforms. Several academic publications have come out of the project as well as postgraduate theses. We want to continue to publish in scientific journals. The AgriNeTT project has brought together academia, public and private sector to develop systems that improve our collection and analysis of data that impacts Food security as well as to develop ICT applications that directly impact farm management and profitability. AgriNeTT uses ICT for development as a major pathway to improve the practices and competitiveness of the agriculture sector locally in Trinidad and Tobago and regionally in the Caribbean.

How would you summarize your experience with FRIDA?

The FRIDA award was a tremendous achievement for AgriNeTT. For us, it meant international recognition of our work and, in a sense, a validation of what we are doing. The experience at the Internet Governance Forum was rich in so many ways. We were able to connect with other award winners of the Seed Alliance. We enjoyed the camaraderie, particularly as we spent many hours at the Seed Alliance booth getting to know more about the awardees and the places they were from. I was particularly humbled to shake the hands of Vinton Cerf, one of the founders of the Internet, at the Seed Alliance awards ceremony. We connected with other Caribbean persons in the Internet governance space. Our host, Carolina Caeiro, was remarkable in her efficiency, organization and friendliness. My experience with FRIDA are all positive. I hope that LACNIC will continue with these great awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Nominate Your Candidate before 10 March

LACNIC has launched a call for the nomination of candidates to receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors outstanding individuals who are part of the Internet community for their contribution to the development of the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Nominations will be accepted until 10 March through the platform at http://trayectoria.lacnic.net/?lang=en, where anyone interested in promoting such personalities to receive the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award can complete the corresponding candidate nomination form.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was established by the LACNIC Board to honor those individuals who have long devoted their efforts to the development of the Information Society within the region and whose achievements have set an example for the rest of the community. The award was launched in 2009. Since then, eighteen personalities have received this honor.

This recognition also recognizes those persons who have made significant contributions to the Internet community.

Jurors for the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award will be Ida Holz, Rodrigo de la Parra, Rafael Ibarra, Ben Petrazzini, Carolina Aguerre, Selby Wilson, and Jesús Martinez. To learn more about the nomination terms and conditions, go to www.lacnic.net/en/web/trayectoria/inicio.

Winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Since its first edition in 2009, 18 leaders from 13 different countries throughout the region have received this award, including Ida Holz of Uruguay (who received the first Award in 2009), Argentine entrepreneur Marcos Galperín, Demi Getschko of Brazil, Bevil Wooding of Trinidad and Tobago, and, more recently, Alejandro Pisanty of Mexico who received his Award in 2016.

Call for Candidates to Co-Chair the Policy Forum

Call for Candidates to Co-Chair the Policy Forum

LACNIC is promoting an open call for candidates to elect a new co-chair for the Latin American and Caribbean Policy Development Process, which will allow a member of the community to provide leadership to their peers throughout the region.
This 21 February at 12:00 pm Uruguay time (GMT-3), Gianina Pensky, Policy Officer at LACNIC, and the Policy Forum’s current co-chairs, Juan Peirano and Alex Ojeda, will participate in a webinar for the entire region during which they will present the terms and conditions to be elected co-chair of the 2017 Policy Forum.
First, Pensky will describe what being a co-chair involves, their role, what they do for the community and the opportunities that open up to a person who performs this duty. She will also present a video on the call for candidates. Peirano and Ojeda will then share their experiences as Forum chairs and will also answer questions. Co-chairs are seen as activists in touch with the discussions taking place among the LACNIC community as well as in other regions. Their role means they quickly become prestigious leaders for the entire Latin American and Caribbean Internet community.
The position involves great visibility because of its role in encouraging and moderating discussions both on the Public Policy List and during the Public Policy Forum held within the framework of the annual LACNIC event and aimed at optimizing the policies based on which number resources are managed in the LAC region.
Co-chairing the Forum provides multiple possibilities for growth in the field of Internet development.
The webinar will also provide details on the candidate nomination process and the requirements to be nominated.

FRASES

“The Policy Forum is a great responsibility but also a unique opportunity to get to know the needs and most influential actors of each country.”
Christian O’Flaherty (Former Chair 2004-2008)

“The balance is very positive. You are left with knowledge and experience in the collective development of proposals and policies ”
Nicolás Antoniello (Former Chair 2009-2015)

Contact: info-politicas@lacnic.net

Help for a sister

Help for a sister

Originally designed to address a personal communication need, the digital platform Hablando con Julis has become a tool widely used by many people with speech, reading and writing difficulties.
This project was the brainchild of a Colombian family seeking to help one of their daughters to communicate. It is one of the proposals that received financial support from the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) last year.
Hablando con Julis was designed for persons with speech difficulties, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, illiteracy and those who have lost their ability to speak due to an illness.
Daniela Galindo Bermúdez, Julis’ sister and one of the project’s promoters, spoke with LACNIC News about the core aspects of the initiative and the strength it has achieved thanks to FRIDA’s support.

How was the idea behind this solution born?
Hablando con Julis (Speaking with Julis) was born as a result of a personal need. My sister Julis was born with a disability that makes her unable to speak. For many years, our family had to deal with a great deal of frustration, as we did not understand what she was trying to say. Furthermore, we were concerned about the uncertainty of her future, as without communication it was almost impossible for her to study or work.
As a result, we decided to create a technology that would allow Juliana to communicate (orally, in writing, and by reading) with anyone and anywhere. This is now known as Hablando con Julis or HCJ.
HCJ allows anyone with a disability or who has not learned to read and write to communicate with the rest of the world.

What progress have you achieved since receiving the support of the FRIDA Program?
We are currently developing Version 3.0 of Hablando con Julis. This will allow us to go from offering a product for Windows operating systems, to providing one that is compatible with all Windows, Android and IOS devices.
We will incorporate part of the pedagogical model in the new application to improve the user experience, communication and results.
Version 3.0 will also allow us to reach more people, in both English and Spanish.

How does the solution work?
Hablando con Julis allows anyone to speak, read and write. In other words, it allows anyone to communicate.
Our main value lies in the universal language used by the app, namely images.
Hablando con Julis has assigned the vocabulary we use on a daily basis to different categories, such as people, food, feelings, technology, sports and others. Categories display all the images they contain.
Each image is accompanied by a word in writing, voice and video. Thus, when an image is chosen, it is displayed in the conversation panel along with the word in writing and the system plays its sound so it can be understood by others.
Hablando con Julis allows people who cannot speak and cannot read and write to communicate thoughts or feelings by means of images that are translated into writing and sounds. This technology also allows a person who has not learned how to read and write to read and write any text, message or e-mail.

How many people are currently using Hablando con Julis?
Today we have more than 7,000 users in Latin America.

Are you tracking the progress of your users?
We are convinced that the way to show results and generate the social impact we desire is by mixing technology and education.
We have designed an educational model that applies to anyone, regardless of their condition or age. With activities, pedagogical advice and training, each person can begin to fulfill their objectives from the outset.

You recently received another recognition, the Pitch@Palace Global established by the Duke of York. What opportunities does this recognition represent?
It was a great experience, a global competition with great participants. We were one of the winners, which hopefully will soon allow us to open our market to the UK and obtain strong allies for our project worldwide. We are working with a view to beginning these negotiations once we launch HCJ Version 3.0, which we are developing thanks to the support we received from FRIDA.

What are the next goals for the project?
We have three main goals:
To launch HCJ Version 3.0 software and app for Android, IOS and Windows, in Spanish and English.
To reach Spanish- and English-speaking countries with our technology and educational services.
To create new alliances with governments and/or organizations working in the education and technology sectors.

How would you summarize your experience with FRIDA?
It’s been a great opportunity for Hablando con Julis. The support received for developing the technological and pedagogical aspects of the project and the support of our mentors generated even more growth. We look forward to launching our complete project in the coming months.

LACNIC Campus to offer a new course

LACNIC Campus to offer a new course

After training 1,983 Latin American and Caribbean experts and professionals in 2016, this year LACNIC Campus has announced it is launching new online training offerings and the incorporation of a course titled “Basic BGP and Introduction to RPKI.”

Two editions of the BGP course will be offered, one during the first quarter, the other towards the end of the year. These will add to the six editions of the Basic IPv6 course and the four editions of the Advanced IPv6 course.

All courses will be offered in virtual format and will include various modules that participants will complete according to their own pace and in their own time.

During 2016, LACNIC used this new form of e-learning to provide six editions of the Basic IPv6 course, four editions of the Advanced IPv6 course, and one edition of the TestingV6 course. A total of 1,983 individuals participated in these activities.

The LACNIC Campus has allowed centralizing training for the region’s professionals on priority issues such as IPv6 development, and meeting the growing demands of the Latin American and Caribbean community for training in a variety of areas related to Internet development.

The LACNIC Campus currently has 5,638 registered users, 2,818 of which registered during the past year.

Courses in the highest demand.- The two courses in the highest demand are Basic IPv6 and Advanced IPv6. The Basic IPv6 course of is self-paced, user friendly, and involves watching videos, reading various texts and completing exercises, before taking a final exam and obtaining the corresponding certificate. It is especially geared towards network administrators, software developers, network equipment vendors, students, teachers and IT professionals. In turn, the Advanced IPv6 course is aimed at those who have already completed the basic course and are seeking to further their knowledge of the IPv6 protocol. This course demands approximately five to ten hours per week, a total of 60 hours including classes and the final evaluation. This format allows students to communicate with a teacher. Classes are 100% on line and tutored.

In all courses, participants have the constant support of the campus administrator.

Anyone interested in participating in the courses to be offered this year must first register on LACNIC’s E-Learning Platform: http://campus.lacnic.net

IPv6: “The greater the delay, the greater the investment”

IPv6: “The greater the delay, the greater the investment”

Less than two months away from the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion in Latin America and the Caribbean, Internet expert Azael Fernández Alcántara, researcher at UNAM Mexico and Chair of the Latin American IPv6 Forum, expressed his concern about the low IPv6 adoption rates in the LAC region.
Fernández Alcántara noted that the delay in adopting and deploying IPv6 will entail additional costs for organizations throughout the region, as they will be forced to invest more once they actually decide to adopt the latest version of the Internet protocol.
The Chair of the Latin American IPv6 Forum stressed that IPv6 should not be seen as “something optional or to be dealt with in the distant future” but as an essential reality.

This past semester, global IPv6 traffic has grown more than 1% every 2 months. In your opinion, what is the reason for this growth?
The fact that more and more users and devices have IPv6 enabled by default and an increasing number of providers are also providing IPv6 connectivity, in some regions more than in others.
Also, the fact that the number of available IPv4 addresses in rapidly decreasing, which makes IPv6 the best option.
Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft announced and have made important progress in terms of their products supporting IPv6.
An analysis of Google data shows that IPv6 traffic was 16.80% in December 2016 vs. 10% in December 2015, a growth of almost 7% in just one year. In this case, a 1% monthly increase in connectivity during the year would be a good indicator, as at the end of 2017 it would reach 25%.

How does the status of IPv6 traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean compare to these global numbers, particularly to other regions?
IPv6 adoption rates remain low, but in certain countries such as Peru and Ecuador they have grown at rates that are equivalent or even higher than those of other continents.

Almost a year ago, a study by LACNIC and CAF warned of a certain delay in the adoption of IPv6 in the LAC region. Has the situation changed since then? In your opinion, which factors are hindering IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean? What actions should be implemented by the region’s organizations to keep up with global IPv6 deployment rates?
Not much has changed, or at least no significant changes can be perceived. Even the region’s major ISPs are not massively rolling out IPv6 to end users (corporate users and the general public).
There are many possible actions. First, it is important not to consider IPv6 as something optional or to be dealt with in the future, for example, by requiring IPv6 support in purchases and tenders.
Establishing regulations and policies for equipment, applications and services so they will support both versions of the Internet protocol; progressively enabling IPv6, an example of which is the deployment at Telecentro in Argentina.

Do you think that companies are aware of the need to adopt IPv6 or do they still see this as an issue that will only affect them in the distant future?
Certain key companies and organizations still consider IPv6 as something to be dealt with in the future, as they do not see an immediate or short-term return on the investment. However, they don’t seem to realize that the greater the delay, the greater their investment. Likewise, maintaining two versions for a long time will be more expensive than just using IPv6.

Is there awareness of the need to push policies to promote IPv6 deployment at State level?
Unfortunately, most States are not aware of this need. They might also help increase supply and grow the market of products and services with IPv6 support.

Today, approximately 1,050 of the region’s 1,717 networks are announcing IPv6, 64% more than last year. Is this a good number? Why doesn’t traffic exceed 1%?
The number is important because of what it represents.
As for traffic, as I mentioned earlier, while the region’s major ISPs don’t offer IPv6, regional numbers will remain low, but not insignificant. Instead, they might rather be a catalyst for change.
According to RIPE statistics, globally, almost 30% of networks (ASNs) announce an IPv6 prefix.
In Latin America this number is 36.34% (2,016 out of 5,548 ASNs); in ARIN it is 28.66%; in RIPE, 28.31%; in APNIC, 30.28%; in AFRINIC, 2.70%
This means that IPv6 deployment in the LAC region is not so bad in terms of the number of ASNs, but low in terms of traffic as a whole.

What can you tell us about your experience in the Latin American IPv6 Forum?
It has been a very positive and comforting experience to know that, although the number and quality of the work presented at FLIP6 has decreased, there are still many innovative implementations and the interest and need for IPv6 remains.

More than 6,000 LACNIC Members

More than 6,000 LACNIC Members

According to the latest reports prepared by the organization’s Membership Services department, LACNIC welcomed 2017 with more than 6,000 members throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
After the incorporation of more than 1,000 new companies during the past 15 months, in January LACNIC reached 6,094 members in the 32 territories that make up its service region. “This major, double-digit growth of our membership is the result of the work of LACNIC and its community and shows that the region remains optimistic about the strategies to be developed this year,” noted Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO.
LACNIC members include the world’s leading telecommunications companies and the region’s most influential civil society organizations and universities.
Brazil is the country with the highest number of members (71%), followed by Argentina (9%) and Mexico (4%). Likewise, 2% of these 6,094 members are large ISPs, 81% are small- to medium-sized ISPs, and 16% are end users. There are also nine adhering members and five founding members.
This increase in the number of members coincides with the final phase of IPv4 address exhaustion in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is anticipated to occur in early March. In this sense, Robles stressed that “the policies defined by the LACNIC community over the past 14 years have made it possible to continue assigning address space, even when faced with the imminent exhaustion of IPv4 addresses.”
Robles also stressed that the increase in LACNIC’s membership base must be accompanied by IPv6 development, as Internet growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will only be possible with the deployment of the v6 protocol. “We continue to see significant growth of IPv6 deployment in the region’s networks: today, one in three networks can carry IPv6 traffic,” he added.

Just a month and a half until the final phase of IPv4 exhaustion

Un mes y medio para la fase final de IPv4

The IPv4 addresses reserved for Phase 2 of the exhaustion process are about to run out, after which allocations will only be made to those requesting such resources for the first time, said Sergio Rojas, a Registry Service specialist at the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, the organization responsible for allocating resources in the LAC region.
According to current projections, Phase 2 will come to an end in early March, after which the policy defined for Phase 3 of Internet resource exhaustion (the final phase) will come into force. Under this policy, only those who have not yet received IPv4 addresses will be able to request these resources.

Exhaustion proyection – Phase 2

Taking into account the allocations behavior since June 2014, time when we started this phase, below it is shown a different projection modeling with the estimated exhaustion dates.

Current phase. The little more than four million IPv4 addresses reserved for depletion Phase 2 have been allocated almost entirely (see graph below). According to the policies implemented by the LACNIC community, during this phase (which began on 10 June, 2014), the maximum allocation size is a /22 (1,024 IP addresses) and the minimum a /24 (256 IP addresses).

Status of IPv4 /10- Phase 2

The following chart show how this /10 were distributed through the members.

Projections predict that, by the beginning of March, all Phase 2 IPv4 addresses will have been assigned, triggering Phase 3, for which there is a pool of 4,698,112 addresses.
As agreed by the regional community, during Phase 3, organizations that have already received IPv4 space from LACNIC will not be able to request additional resources. In addition, each new member may only receive an initial assignment from this space and only assignments between 1,024 (/22) and 256 (/24) IP addresses will be allowed.
Rojas pointed out that, in this scenario, the need to deploy the IPv6 protocol is a reality that cannot be delayed if providers and operators wish to meet the demands of their customers and new users.
LACNIC and the Internet community have been working for years in preparation for this moment, so the region is well-prepared to cope with this situation in the best way possible.

“Don’t disconnect those who are already connected and connect those who are not”

The main challenges for connecting those who are not yet connected to the Internet and keeping existing Internet users online require the collaboration and participation of the various actors with an interest in Information Technology. The multistakeholder approach will allow addressing the challenges currently affecting the Internet with greater success, said Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO, in his speech at the High-Level Dialogue during the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Guadalajara (Mexico) during the first week of December.

Robles participated in the High-Level Meeting, a session that kicked off the IGF debates, along with the world’s top Internet leaders.

Connecting the next billion users and making sure that those who are already using the Internet continue to do so “requires much more complex and comprehensive projects involving multiple skills, multiple actors and multiple stakeholders,” noted LACNIC’s CEO. (Watch the presentation: https://youtu.be/ja9nk7g0Tzg?t=1h42m8s).

Robles observed that, in order to reduce the digital divide, it is important “not to disconnect those who are already connected and connect those who are not,” adding that consideration should also be given to those who for some reason become disconnected. In this sense, he warned about cases where companies no longer find it profitable “to connect some of the people who are already connected” to the Internet. In Robles’s opinion, this is where States can play a vital role.  “As Vint Cerf mentioned, the challenge for States is to ensure proper incentives for maintaining those who are already connected online and bringing connectivity projects to those who are not yet connected,” he observed.

Robles argued that proposals should be innovative, different from those that have been implemented so far —mostly engineering projects—, and that solutions will require much more complex and comprehensive ideas and the participation of multiple stakeholders.

“When we connected to the Internet, with each device we received 65,536 connections and possibilities for innovation. There is a risk that new users will not be afforded the same possibilities, either because of zero rating issues or because the necessary protocols such as IPv6 are not being deployed,” Robles emphasized.

He also proposed regaining the trust of the many thousands of Internet users who feel they are under surveillance.

“All this necessarily and inevitably requires a multistakeholder approach. I believe the various entities present at the IGF have a major responsibility in solving these challenges. Only in this way will the Internet continue to benefit society as a whole,” Robles concluded.

Anycast Cloud Agreement. During the IGF, Oscar Robles also signed an agreement on behalf of LACNIC regarding the Anycast Cloud Project with organizations in the LACTLD region, NIC.br and NIC.cl.

Promoted by LACTLD, this project is a regional cooperation initiative through which Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs seek to increase Internet robustness and resiliency in the region with a mechanism that allows using the same NS in different geographic locations.

It is a network based on the best-effort principle and geared towards ccTLDs that are members of LACTLD.

The project currently has five nodes: two in Brazil, hosted by NIC.br; one in Santiago, hosted by NIC; one in Montevideo, hosted by LACNIC; and one in Buenos Aires hosted by NIC.ar.

FRIDA at the IGF: The South Also Exists

The FRIDA program and its Seed Alliance partners, ISIF Asia by APNIC and FIRE Africa by AFRINIC, participated in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which brought more than 3,000 participants from across the world to Guadalajara (Mexico) on 6-9 December.

During this global Internet governance summit, FRIDA organized two workshops on cybersecurity and entrepreneurship, one of which received comments from Vint Cerf, who was in the audience.

Cybersecurity in and by the Global South. On Tuesday, FRIDA and its Seed Alliance partners organized their first workshop, Cybersecurity in and by the Global South. With a packed auditorium, the session was moderated by Carlos Martinez, LACNIC’s CTO, while panelists included Olaf Kolkman, Chief Internet Technology Officer at ISOC; Cristine Hoepers, General Manager of CERT.br; and Jean Robert Hountomey, Coordinator of AfricaCERT.

To open the debate (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GnqRogVqG4&t=1s), Olaf emphasized the importance of collaborative security as an approach to cybersecurity issues. Collaborative security stems from the very  nature of the Internet: the Internet is a network of networks, it is decentralized, and many people contribute to its operation. In this sense, the Internet Society expert noted that “security can also be achieved in collaboration” and that all actions for addressing cybersecurity require the contribution of the various stakeholders involved.

Hoepers shared Brazil’s experiences in connection with cybersecurity. She noted that the most important challenges affecting the implementation of best practices is building knowledge and capacity. “When someone doesn’t know what to do, the problem is shared and becomes collaborative,” said Hoepers. She highlighted the collaboration with LACNIC at regional level and added that “one of the challenges is helping people realize that cybersecurity is a collaborative effort, that everyone is responsible for cybersecurity.”

Meanwhile, Jean Robert shared AfricaCERT’s experience and how they managed to overcome collaboration and trust issues. “Initially, different stakeholders spoke different languages, so we had to reframe the debate in terms of economic benefits, incentives and losses,” said Robert, who added they had found a common ground that facilitated the dialogue and collaboration needed for the technical community and political leaders to work together to improve security in the African continent.

During the workshop, the project leaders of this year’s two FRIDA grant recipients presented their cybersecurity initiatives: Marcelo Palma of Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil) and Erika Vega of RENATA (Colombia). Palma spoke of the initiative to protect TOR against malicious traffic in Brazil, while Vega described the BGP Security project by RENATA (Colombia’s National Advanced Technology Academic Network).

Olaf congratulated RENATA for their project and stressed that “this is exactly the type of action what will lead to a safer Internet, working at IXP level and improving infrastructure as a whole.”

How to become an entrepreneur, survive, and succeed The second workshop presented at the IGF by FRIDA, SIF Asia and FIRE Africa focused on entrepreneurship and innovation in the countries of the Southern hemisphere. Kevon Swift, Head of External Relations for the Caribbean at LACNIC, moderated the workshop and the panel included Joyce Dogniez, Senior Director of Global Engagement at the Internet Society; Carolina Caeiro, Development Project Coordinator for FRIDA; Paul Kukubo, member of Kenya’s Communications Council and serial entrepreneur; Sylvia Cadena, Program Director at the APNIC Foundation; and Sergio Araiza of SocialTic.

This workshop (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05G6sYlDTqo&t=1093s) analyzed the challenges faced by innovators and entrepreneurs in developing countries and the difficulties in obtaining access to funds. It also identified the opportunities available for Internet innovation in the countries of the South.

Vint Cerf was among the audience, as were the two winners of the FRIDA Award, Margaret Bernard of AgriNett and Eduard Martín-Borregón of Mexicoleaks, along with the rest of the 2016 Seed Alliance winners from Africa and Asia.

Joyce Doignez highlighted how “entrepreneurship is growing exponentially in the Global South.” Citing examples in India and Kenya, she noted how “an open Internet can help break own the barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation” in the countries of the South.

Carolina Caeiro observed that innovation in the Global South, particularly in social enterprises, is strongly geared towards solving needs and responding to specific problems. As an example, she mentioned the two FRIDA Award recipients. She also spoke of the challenges posed by the need to obtain funding, Internet access and the digital divide, as well as capacity building for entrepreneurs.

Paul Kukubo emphasized the role entrepreneurs play in Africa, particularly in supporting and creating value around public services, where the State fails to meet people’s needs. He spoke of the importance of promoting trust among innovators to encourage them to succeed and observed that “entry barriers to the world of entrepreneurship are not high, but the barriers to grow and gain scale are.” In his opinion, this is the main challenge.

Sylvia Cadena shared that the main challenge faced by entrepreneurship is having to work based on assumptions. Instead, she said that “entrepreneurs should focus on analyzing and reflecting” and cited concrete examples in the Pacific Islands.

Sergio Araiza closed the panel, providing three examples of entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean: VotoJoven, Ojo Público and CodeandoMexico.

Vint Cerf then spoke from the floor, observing that, when talking about the impact of entrepreneurship on the Global South, emphasis should not only be placed on how many start-ups are created, but also on how many of them survive and succeed.

FRIDA Award Winners. Also within the framework of the Internet Governance Forum, LACNIC presented the FRIDA Awards to the two projects selected as winners of the 2016 edition of the program: AgriNeTT by the University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago) and Mexicoleaks (Mexico). (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loOEM13zXAs)

IPv6 Gains Momentum in the LAC Region

This year, LACNIC increased its initiatives aimed at achieving successful IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean, helping organizations in the region and training technicians and professionals on the latest version of the Internet protocol that replaces IPv4.

Today, approximately 1,050 out of 1,717 networks in the region are announcing IPv6, 64% more than last year. While this is considered a good number, the amount of traffic circulating over IPv6 in the LACNIC service region is still far from being regarded as ideal (less than 1 %). Only five countries have more than 1% of their traffic over IPv6. Brazil, Ecuador and Peru have made the  greatest efforts in this sense.

Among the initiatives to help IPv6 expansion, this year LACNIC launched “Doctor IPv6,” a novel program that allows any member of the community to submit technical questions via email and receive an answer in podcast format.

In its first months of operation, Doctor IPv6 received 21 questions about different technical aspects of Internet Protocol version 6. LACNIC’s website for this project has received more than 13,000 unique visits from people interested in listening to the answers provided by the experts involved in the initiative. Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Venezuela were the countries with the most visitors. Interest has also been received from outside the region, mainly from users in Spain, the United States and Russia.

Twenty of the answers provided by Doctor IPv6 collaborators have been in Spanish, while one of them was in English.

More than 2,300 specialists. Since the beginning of 2016, LACNIC has organized 16 training activities, including several IPv6 workshops and webinars. In all, 2,371 professionals representing companies, civil society organizations, governments and universities from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Suriname, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Uruguay participated in these training activities. Likewise, experts from other countries in the LACNIC region were also able to participate in the webinars online.

The LACNIC community has also been very active in the promotion of new IPv6 policies, adapting regulations to the changes demanded by the expansion of this protocol. Thus, after discussions on the mailing list and at the Policy Forum, two IPv6 policies were approved: modify the initial assignment size and the requirements for subsequent direct IPv6 assignments to end sites https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2016-6?language=en and modify direct IPv6 address assignments to end users  https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2016-4?language=en .

For more information on LACNIC’s IPv6 related activities, check out the portal specially created for the promotion of Internet protocol version 6: http://portalipv6.lacnic.net/en/

Stronger Internet Exchange Points

This year, LACNIC’s Internet Security and Stability Program offered workshops, technical talks and tutorials in at least seven countries across the region with the aim of contributing to strengthen Latin American and Caribbean Internet Exchange Points (IXPs).

Workshops were conducted at IXPs in Bolivia, Honduras and Belize; interconnection and peering workshops were held in Panama, Cuba and Costa Rica; and technical talks were organized for operators in Panama, Cuba, Bolivia and Argentina. Approximately 480 professionals from the region participated in these activities.

As part of its strategy for a more stable, resilient and secure network, LACNIC promotes local and regional interconnection, contributing to the development of a better Internet in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, noted Guillermo Cicileo, coordinator of LACNIC’s Internet Security and Stability Program.

This program seeks to consolidate existing and strengthen recently created IXPs by offering workshops, providing support in the form of infrastructure, organizational and operational models, the +RAICES program, and the deployment of RPKI and IPv6, among other initiatives.

Cicileo noted that “security and stability are strongly interrelated and cannot be separated when promoting a secure and stable Internet as a key factor for the region’s social and economic development.” He also observed that LACNIC coordinates its work for protecting Internet infrastructure at regional and global level, particularly on topics relating to  inter-domain routing security and stability.

The expansion anticipated for the Internet in the coming years and the traffic increase generated by the new devices connected to the Internet of Things will demand “that more traffic remains local and greater interconnection between operators, in order to improve connectivity both in terms of stability and band width as well as in terms of latency and jitter,” added Cicileo.

Local Internet exchange points can also help mitigate many of the problems related to global routing, and even avoid DDoS attacks in traffic links.

According to the expert, Internet traffic in more developed countries tends to be mostly local (> 70%) and only a small portion is routed through transit links. “This improves Internet quality in each country and results in the production of locally developed and hosted content,” he said.

He added that much work needs to be done in the region as, while the number of exchange points has increased, this number is “still insufficient and in many countries operators are not interconnected.” Even in countries where IXPs already exist, “traffic isn’t routed through these IXPs and interconnection continues to be achieved through other countries, mainly the United States.”

A LACNIC Initiative in Africa

The Simón project, a LACNIC initiative for measuring Internet connectivity in the region, conducted research on network interconnection in African countries.

Agustín Formoso, a software developer with LACNIC’s Technology department, was responsible for this project and presented the results of the study at the AFRINIC 25 meeting held in Mauritius (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxGKbAOwSkM )

In an interview with LACNIC News, Formoso noted that the information gathered during the research proves that African networks share similarities with those in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as the fact that traffic is exchanged outside the continent.

He also observed that the results make it possible to compare the relative connectivity densities in both continents.

What is the Simón project? How did LACNIC come up with the idea for the project?

The Simón project offers up-to-date and representative information on connectivity measurements in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC). It originated around 2009 during regional talks on interconnection. At this moment the project is growing and in search of volunteers who wish to collaborate.

How can we collaborate with the project?

Anyone interested in collaborating can send an email to agustin@lacnic.net and they will be included in a list of participants. We are about to begin distributing our web meter: a small JavaScript program that can be placed on a website and which performs latency measurements at different points throughout the region, in a transparent manner. That’s the best way to collaborate at this time.

How do you measure latency between networks?

This can be done in several ways. In this study, Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets are sent from various origins to various destinations across the region and the time it takes to obtain a response is measured. The project also has a web meter that allows us to trigger HTTP measurements from a web browser. ICMP measurements and web measurements provide two different perspectives of the network: both are located in different logical layers, but both reflect how the network is viewed by the end user, as all measurements originate from average user devices.

Why is it useful to measure latency?

Latency is a good indicator of the efficiency of packet routing between source and destination. Good latency values ​​correspond to good interconnection between networks. Good interconnection means that traffic uses the network resources it needs, not more than it needs (as is sometimes the case). It means that local traffic remains local. For Internet users, this translates into better quality of the services they access. While there are many other sources that generate delay, we believe that sub-optimal routing is one of the major contributing factors at network level.

Can latency measurements help improve Internet connectivity?

Yes, they can. Before the Internet can improve as a whole, we first need to improve the networks it comprises. The results of this study are of particular interest to network operators, as they can find and download the results that involve their own networks. If operators can identify sub-optimal connections and use this information to improve their connectivity to other countries or operators, the Internet as a whole will improve.

Why measure latency in the AFRINIC countries?

Taking advantage of the collaboration with our peers on the AFRINIC research team, we wondered why not extrapolate the measurements to the African region? African networks share certain similarities with those in our region, such as the fact that traffic is exchanged outside the continent On the other hand, they must deal with the disadvantages that are typical of the continent where they are located: its geography, cultural diversity, and economy. Conducting the study in Africa allows us not only to analyze the African continent, but also to have a reference level against which to compare our own region. Further details of the study can be found at LACNIC Labs http://labs.lacnic.net/site/connectivity-in-africa.

According to your research, what can you tell us about the quality of the Internet in the AFRINIC countries where latency was measured?

Connectivity in Africa turned out to have two very different components: quite a good one in the north of the region (near Europe) and a very bad one, particularly in the central part of the continent. These results strengthen the hypothesis that being located near a traffic exchange region improves connectivity towards our own region. In this case, the African countries closer to Europe proved to be better connected with Africa itself. This highlights the importance of keeping local traffic local and the relevance of implementing and using IXPs in the region.

Is it possible to compare the results of latency measurements in the LACNIC region against those of the AFRINIC region?

Yes, they can be compared, as both regions used exactly the same methodology for the study (http://labs.lacnic.net/site/connectivity-in-the-lac-region).

At first glance, a comparison of the two regions appears to show that Latin America and the Caribbean have better latency results. The comparison requires taking into account the geography of each region: while there is a high density of countries in Central America and the Caribbean and this tends to favor latency measurements, Africa is made up by large countries evenly distributed throughout the continent, making it more difficult to achieve connectivity levels similar to those in the LAC region.

On the other hand, both regions showed similarities and differences in terms of the results obtained in the analysis of “clusters,” i.e. groups of countries that share good connectivity between them. Both studies —the one conducted in LAC and the one conducted in Africa— revealed a total of four clusters or sub-regions with good internal connectivity. For example, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay form one of the LAC clusters. These regions can be useful in deciding where to locate a certain service or content: a service located in Brazil could serve the customers located in the countries mentioned above. In terms of clusters, the biggest difference between LAC and Africa is that LAC clusters have lower latency values; latency among clusters is also lower.

The results of this study are the first step in a full connectivity analysis of the two regions. Future steps involve crossing latency data obtained by the Simón Project with other data sources (e.g. routing information) to determine which factors improve or affect connectivity.

An intense month

LACNIC had an intense month and participated in a number of local and regional activities both in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as in the service regions of the other Regional Internet Registries.

AFRINIC. Alfredo Verderosa, LACNIC Services Manager; Sergio Rojas, LACNIC Registration Services Specialist; and Agustín Formoso, Software Developer at LACNIC, participated in AFRINIC 25, the annual AFRINIC meeting which was held in Mauritius.

Rojas shared a report on the status of IPv4 in Latin America and the Caribbean, transfers that have been approved, and a brief report on the policies presented at the most recent event.

Meanwhile, Formoso presented the Simón project, Determining Internet Connectivity in Africa through Latency Measurements (see separate article).

After the AFRINIC event, Verderosa and Rojas participated in the meeting of the Registration Services Coordination Group (RSCG).

IGF. Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO, moderated the workshop titled Cybersecurity Initiatives in and by the Global South at the Internet Governance Forum held in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Likewise, Ernesto Majó, LACNIC’s Deputy CEO, presented the organization during one of the IGF meetings.

Internet Recorre. Laura Kaplan, Development and Cooperation Manager at LACNIC, participated as a panelist in “Internet Recorre”, an event organized in the city of Córdoba, Argentina, where she presented on the role of LACNIC in Internet governance.

IPv6 in Panama. César Díaz, Head of Strategic Relations and Telecommunications at LACNIC, was one of the experts who provided training in the implementation of IPv6 for Panamanian telco and government representatives during a conference organized by ASEP (Panama’s National Public Services Authority).

Critical Infrastructure. In Montevideo, Uruguay, Guillermo Cicileo, SSR Coordinator at LACNIC, presented the IPv6 Workshop for the Deployment of Services to End Users, a course geared towards officials working at ANTEL, Uruguay’s state-owned telecommunications company. He later participated in Brazil’s Internet Infrastructure Week, which included the IX Forum 10, an annual meeting where Brazilian experts share their experiences with Internet infrastructure; GTER 42, a meeting that brought together the network operations and engineering group; and GTS 28, a space devoted to security issues.

Most Notable Threats

According to LACNIC WARP, LACNIC’s computer security incident Warning, Advice and Reporting Point, Phishing, Ransomware and Denial-of-service Attacks by Botnets topped the list of computer threats detected this year in Latin America and the Caribbean.
LACNIC WARP records show that most reported attacks originated in resources corresponding to other regions, mainly North America followed by Europe.
Graciela Martínez, Head of LACNIC WARP, noted that the number of reported attacks continues to grow. “We live in an interconnected world where more and more devices are connected; this means that attacks will continue to occur,” said Martínez.
The security expert warned that more tools are available to attackers, the result of which is that attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
This year nobody was spared from attacks, as all kinds of organizations were targeted. According to Martínez, “We used to think that only organizations that moved money online —such as banks— would be targeted; now it is important to keep in mind that information is a very valuable asset and can also be the target of cybercrime.”
Improving Security. LACNIC has worked hard to support various organizations across the region by training cybersecurity experts. LACNIC WARP has been promoting the creation of cybersecurity incident response teams in its sevice region.
“Specifically, this year we visited five countries: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Belize. In the latter we offered training in English for the first time. A total of approximately 150 experts and professionals received training at these workshops,” said the Head of LACNIC WARP.
These training activities were very rewarding, as they helped raise awareness about the need to deal with security incident management in a dedicated way and also allowed creating closer ties to the local communities in the countries where the workshops took place.
“The success of each workshop motivates us to continue improving their content,” Martínez.
Agreement with FIRST. As part of the activities aimed at strenthening its strategy for improving cybersecurity, LACNIC signed an agreement with the Global Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST). This alliance formalizes the activities LACNIC and FIRST have been carrying out jointly for some time and also creates an opportunity for bringing the members of our region closer to this global community. “We will be offering training and cooperating in the creation of response teams across the region,” added Martínez.
The Head of LACNIC WARP observed that organizations can no longer “look the other way” when it comes security issues and that everyone is responsible for taking care of the Internet so “it remains stable, open and secure.” In this sense, she concluded by stressing that “creating response teams is not enough; it is also important to continue training cybersecurity experts.”

Highlights 2016

JANUARY – [Read News]

FEBRUARY – [Read News]

MARCH – [Read News]

APRIL – [Read News]

MAY – [Read News]

JUNE – [Read News]

JULY – [Read News]

AUGUST – [Read News]

SEPTEMBER – [Read News]

OCTOBER – [Read News]

NOVEMBER – [Read News]

DECEMBER – [Read News]

Internet Architects

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the international group of engineers and professionals that defines technical Internet standards, met in Seoul, Korea, to work on several key issues.
By Guillermo Cicileo
IPv6
The two main groups currently working on IPv6 met in Seoul: v6ops and 6man.
During the v6ops meeting, a new version of the document on IPv6 network design was presented under a new name —Routing-Related Design Choices for IPv6 Networks— designed to specify that the group only deals with routing issues. From the point of view of our region, it is important that we contribute based on our experience in IPv6 network operation.

Another document was also presented, this one titled Enterprise Multihoming using Provider-Assigned Addresses. Its purpose is to offer a multihoming solution without NAT-NPT for organizations that don’t have IP addresses.

One of the main topics discussed by 6man was the analysis of the IPv6 documents so they can become Internet standards. There were also discussions about the possibility of modifying the original text of RFC 2460 to describe the difficulties of inserting Extension Headers in a path (instead of not allowing this as in the original version), leaving the door open to changes to the end-to-end model.
Routing
One of the most relevant documents presented at the grow meeting refers to the default behavior of BGP when a session does not have any applied policies. This document proposes filtering all announcements when no policy is configured. While this may be considered a healthy measure for having greater control over BGP announcements, it is important to consider the implications it may have for existing implementations.

Participants at the idr group meeting discussed the problems they faced when requesting codepoint 30 from the IANA for the large communities attribute. The codepoint was already being used without authorization. There were some proposals for having experimental attributes instead of depending on codepoint assignments.

Several presentations addressed flowspec, a technology which can be used to prevent DDoS attacks. As for route leaks, there is a proposal for implementing “roles” in BGP sessions to avoid incorrectly propagating announcements that are received. In addition, a draft was submitted once again for incorporating SPF (Dijkstra) into BGP. In this case, one of the Area Directors suggested that the proposal should be not discussed within idr, but instead within the rtgwg group or another context, as it would be a new protocol and not a change to BGP.

Finally, the sidr group discussed the possibility of finalizing the group’s work and continuing some proposals within the framework of the new sidrops group, for which a charter defining its objectives has already been proposed. A document was presented describing the implementation of RIPE’s validation software with the purpose of obtaining an independent review. Several other RPKI implementation interoperability issues were also debated, and there was a proposal to conduct some testing involving the RIRs during 2017.

The full article is available at:
http://www.labs.lacnic.net/site/IETF97-Seul

December 2016 Edition

Internet Architects

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the international group of engineers and professionals that defines technical Internet stand...

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Highlights 2016

// JANUARY - [Read News] New Chairman Warder Maia of Brazil assumed his position as the new Chairman of the Board on 1st...

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Most Notable Threats

According to LACNIC WARP, LACNIC's computer security incident Warning, Advice and Reporting Point, Phishing, Ransomware and Denial-of-se...

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An intense month

LACNIC had an intense month and participated in a number of local and regional activities both in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as...

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A LACNIC Initiative in Africa

The Simón project, a LACNIC initiative for measuring Internet connectivity in the region, conducted research on network interconnection in ...

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Stronger Internet Exchange Points

This year, LACNIC's Internet Security and Stability Program offered workshops, technical talks and tutorials in at least seven countrie...

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IPv6 Gains Momentum in the LAC Region

This year, LACNIC increased its initiatives aimed at achieving successful IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean, helping or...

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FRIDA at the IGF: The South Also Exists

The FRIDA program and its Seed Alliance partners, ISIF Asia by APNIC and FIRE Africa by AFRINIC, participated in the Internet Governance...

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"Don't disconnect those who are already connected and connect those who are not"

The main challenges for connecting those who are not yet connected to the Internet and keeping existing Internet users online require th...

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LACNIC – One of the Best Places to Work

For the fifth year in a row, LACNIC has been named as one of the best places to work in Uruguay according to the ranking prepared by international consultants Great Place to Work.

This year, LACNIC achieved an even better position in this prestigious ranking in the category of up to 150 employees, where it took the 5th place.

LACNIC’s commitment to the open and collaborative construction of an excellent working environment is in line with the organization’s goals and objectives.

Oscar Robles, LACNIC´s CEO, expressed his pride in the organization’s achievement and stressed that “maintaining a work environment that allows our collaborators to perform and come up with creative proposals to address the challenges we face is essential for LACNIC.”

As for the award, he noted that the recognition reinforces “the commitment of the entire organization, employees and managers alike, to maintaining such conditions, but primarily to the continuous improvement not only of the services we offer our members, but also of our work environment.”

This study is conducted annually by Great Place to Work® in over 45 countries worldwide. In 2016, it ranked LACNIC among the best companies to work for in Uruguay.

The analysis conducted by Great Place to Work is the most in-depth and well-respected study on workplace excellence and leadership practices.

Since 2003, it publishes its ranking in Uruguay obtained using the same methodology as in the rest of the world: surveying employees regarding the level of trust and the quality of the relationships between them and management, and assessing company policies and practices.

LACNIC present at ISOC, RIPE & IETF meetings

Those areas of Latin America and the Caribbean that do not deploy IPv6 will be “disconnected” from the more developed world, warned Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO, during the panel on “Issues beyond access: what we need once we are connected” held as part of the Regional Internet Development Dialogues.

Organized in Buenos Aires by the Internet Society, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Argentine National Ministry of Communications, this meeting of ICT experts tried to find common understandings for joint strategic policies that will boost Internet connectivity.

There was consensus among the panelists that connectivity should be at the service of people and create opportunities for social and human development. In this sense, Robles noted that “not any Internet will help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, but one that allows us to innovate freely.”

In the opinion of LACNIC’s CEO, “in order for the Internet to favor education and employment, the region needs good bandwidth.” However, only Mexico, Uruguay and Chile are above the regional 6 MBp/s average.

RIPE. Laura Kaplan, Development and Cooperation Manager at LACNIC, participated in the RIPE 73 meeting organized by the European RIR in Madrid, Spain.

Kaplan presented LACNIC‘s security and stability initiatives at this event held in Madrid in late October. The video is available at https://ripe73.ripe.net/archives/video/1530/

IETF. Meanwhile, Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO, and Guillermo Cicileo, Head of LACNIC’s Internet Security and Stability Program, attended the meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) held on 12-18 November in Seoul, South Korea.

The IETF is the meeting of professionals representing various fields that defines the protocols that will shape the Internet in the coming years.

Candidates Elected to the LACNIC Board of Directors

The election to fill two positions and complete the LACNIC Board of Directors has concluded. Six candidates ran for the positions that will be vacated this 31st December.

LACNIC members decided to renew their trust in Wardner Maia (Brazil) and Javier Salazar (Mexico) by reelecting them to serve until 31st December 2019.

In all, a total of 1,942 votes were received from the LACNIC community. Maia, current Chairman of the LACNIC Board, received 42% of these votes, while Salazar was supported by 18% of those participating in the election. Nicolás Antoniello of Uruguay (16% of the votes), Clovis Antônio Cecconello of Brazil (11%) and Glauber Derlland Da Silva of Brazil (10%) completed the list of candidates.

New challenges.

Maia has known LACNIC since the inception of the RIR and has been a member of the Board since 2011. On the blog where the candidates presented their ideas to the community, Maia noted that LACNIC has made great strides over the past few years, among which he highlighted the significant increase in IPv6 adoption within the region and the organization’s influential role in the IANA functions stewardship transition process.

The current president of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean highlighted the role of LACNIC over its 14 years of existence, as, in his opinion, it has been “an important actor in regional Internet development, having led initiatives aimed at strengthening the network in a secure, stable, open and democratic manner.”

As for the major challenges for the coming years, he listed “the well-known struggle for IPv6 adoption (…); the significant change in Internet governance with the IANA stewardship transition (after which the global community and the RIRs will have a much more relevant role); facing the growing interest of certain governments in controlling the Internet (tarnishing its very essence;) and the interest of certain operators in modifying basic principles on which the Internet was consolidated, such as net neutrality.”

Likewise, Javier Salazar has been on the LACNIC Board for 11 years. He believes the organization has positioned itself as the major player in Internet development in the region, “exceeding its primary role as a Registry” and catalyzing multiple efforts.

To continue strengthening this role, LACNIC must “internally strengthen the organization’s processes, transparency, long-term sustainability, discipline in the execution of its goals, etc.” “A splendid job has been done so far and significant progress has been achieved in all areas. These efforts must continue,” he added.

The Board. This decision by the community means that, after this 1st January, the LACNIC Board will be made up as follows:

Name Position Country of residence Term ends
Wardner Maia President Brazil December 2019
Oscar Messano Vice President Argentina December 2017
Hartmut Glaser Treasurer Brazil December 2018
Alejandro Guzman Deputy Treasurer Colombia December 2018
Javier Salazar Secretary Mexico December 2019
Gabriel Adonaylo Deputy Secretary Argentina December 2017
Rafael Ibarra Member El Salvador December 2018
Oscar Robles Garay CEO Uruguay *

LACNIC promotes the creation of Computer Security Response Teams

This month, close to 60 professionals and experts in Belize and Bolivia received training on computer security and the creation of security incident response teams at two new workshops organized by the AMPARO project, a LACNIC initiative.

The goal of these workshops was to develop capacity for the creation of Computer Security Incident Response Teams in both countries.

Titled “How to set up a CSIRT,” the Belize workshop was the first AMPARO workshop presented exclusively in English. Organized by LACNIC and the Belize Internet Exchange Point, the activity was attended by companies and organizations representing IXPs, Belize Internet providers and the University of Belize.

The workshop was presented by Graciela Martínez of LACNIC. Ernesto Pérez of CEDIA Ecuador helped in preparing the workshop.

Martínez highlighted the experience in Belize and noted that local organizations were interested in starting to work on cybersecurity issues. “The idea of creating a CSIRT at IXP level was strong,” she said.

From Belize, the LACNIC team traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, where they held another workshop with the local support of the Bolivian Telecommunications and Transportation Regulation and Oversight Authority.

Over the course of three days, 40 professionals representing public organizations and companies of different sectors received training on computer security, among them NIC.bo, ISPs, AGETIC, banking institutions, the Army, the Bolivian Police, the General Personal Identification Service (SEGIP), and the Financial System Supervisory Authority (ASFI). This time, Patricia Prandini of Argentina joined Martínez and Pérez for presenting the workshop.

“We were met by an audience eager to participate and learn. Teams worked very enthusiastically,” said Martínez.

The implementation of a Computer Security Incident Response Team is very advanced in Bolivia, particularly after the decree creating the Agency for e-Government and Information and Communication Technologies (AGETIC). Article 8 of this decree also establishes the implementation of a Computer Security Incident Management Center (CGII) as part of AGETIC’s technical operational structure. 

Balance. The workshops held in both Belize and Bolivia were structured in modules so that workshop attendees would be able to set up an Incident Response Team. “It is important that participants are faced with the challenge of thinking about every aspect involved in the creation of a CSIRT and its subsequent implementation,” noted Martínez.

Workshop participants were presented with cyber-attack scenarios and they had to manage these security incidents in groups, taking into account the various roles that may exist within a CSIRT.

The AMPARO Project —an initiative which LACNIC has been promoting since 2009— encourages the adoption of computer security practices such as Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT). The project is part of the services provided by LACNIC WARP to its members and to the community as a whole. –

From idea to implementation: Open Data as a way to improve citizen engagement

FRIDA has made it possible to go from idea to reality. The University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica wanted to promote citizen participation in order to improve the national budgeting process and encourage transparency in the information on the use of Jamaica’s public resources.

They submitted their project to FRIDA’s call for proposals and were selected to receive a FRIDA grant. Indianna Minto-Coy, Senior Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies at Mona and one of the promoters of the project titled “Open/Participatory Budgeting for Improved Transparency and Civic Engagement in Jamaica,” told LACNIC News that “Funding received through FRIDA has been essential in moving from idea to implementation.”

According to Minto-Coy, the initiative proved that open data can have a transformative effect on society, as it promotes greater civic engagement and commitment.

What is the Project about and which are their main objectives?

The project aimed to assess the potential for the use of open data principles and international best practices in participatory budgeting to affect budget governance. This towards greater civic engagement and government transparency.

What advances were you able to achieve after receiving Frida´s grant?

Prior to Frida’s support, the project existed only as an idea. Funding received through Frida has been essential in moving from idea to implementation. Through this we’ve been able to: demonstrate the potential of open data for improved financial management, transparency and civic engagement in Jamaica; benchmark the current budget governance process in Jamaica using the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Initiative; and use Open Spending platform to publish and then demonstrate budget data in an open format through collaboration with the Ministry of Finance

Which results did you get from the focus groups and mobile surveys you carried out?

We had four focus groups and the implementation of a survey via the mobile phone (reaching 1749 of a population of a little under 2.8 Million). These demonstrated that a clear appetite exists for information via open data. Jamaicans as a whole have a desire to be more involved in national budget governance and crave more information. The findings also substantiated our initial view that greater access to information and inclusive governance hold the potential to increase trust and citizen willingness to become more active citizens. The implications for the desire to become more active citizens (e.g. increased desire to pay taxes) were among the points highlighted from the study.

Importantly though, while demand exists for open budget data, data providers (be they governments, NGOs or the private sector) also need to go beyond simply opening data to actually focusing on the ways in which users and potential beneficiaries engage with open data. Data visualization tools such as the bubble map we created were shown to have the potential to increase the use and understanding of open data and ultimately, the extent to which open data can have a transformative effect on society. To this end, we found a role for ICTs, mobile technology and new media as tools for citizen engagement and information-raising around open budget data. Such visualizations, their dissemination and the spread of their existence via mobile phones offer groups who may not be engaged in the budget governance process to understand more about the national budget and budget process. To this end, data visualization tools can help to overcome some of the traditional divides that have featured in ICTs over the years.

Finally, the act of engaging citizens via the mobile phone became a part of the intervention and awareness raising behind open budget data itself with persons then visiting our Facebook page to gain more information about the project itself. As such, the mobile phone was shown as serving an important role in enhancing the value and ease of research on open data principles and the wider open data for development movement. In fact, the act of implementing the mobile survey over smart phones, turned out to be important, not only for gathering information but the survey itself also became a knowledge-raising tool as it relates the value of open budgeting and transparency.

What was the repercussion of the Project within the government?

Support came from the government through the Ministry of Finance in accessing budge information. However, there has yet to be much take up of the project and somewhat expectedly given its sandwiching by national and then local government elections. However, while the FRIDA funding has ended, there is room to disseminate the findings and implications to the government ahead of the next budget cycle.

Which are the next goals to be achieved?

Following from the previous response, we did towards the end of this round of FRIDA funding, manage to secure the support of a political representative who has agreed to the implementation of a participatory budget pilot using the Constituency Development Fund. The aim is to secure additional funding to implement this aspect of the study. The potential for getting the attention of government and political leaders towards more directly impacting government will be even greater. Further, there is potential for the study to be implemented across a wider number of Caribbean and Latin American nations, given that the mobile carrier used has a presence across the wider Caribbean.

How would you summarize your experience with Frida?

The experience with FRIDA has been a very rewarding one. The FRIDA staff have been extremely professional and helpful in negotiating through this project. The focus has been on helping us to navigate the parameters and requirements of funding towards the successful completion of the project and accomplishing this in a way that is not onerous to the awardee.

LACNIC goes all in on Caribbean development

By Gerard Best

When the regional technical community gathered in Sint Maarten on October 27 to 28 to lend their collective strength to developing the Caribbean Internet, LACNIC was at the very forefront.

Called Sint Maarten on the Move, the two-day event brought together a diverse profile of Caribbean stakeholders, including government officials, policy makers, industry regulators, network engineers, academic researchers, regional journalists and ordinary Internet users.

“I personally find the Caribbean region fascinating,” said LACNIC Chief Technology Officer Carlos Martinez, “because of the unique technical challenges that it faces.”

Caribbean islands are historically prone to natural disasters such as devastating weather and seismic events. The region’s ethnographic and cultural diversity stems in part from its economic and linguistic history involving European colonization, African slavery, Asian indentureship and North American cultural domination. It’s also a geopolitical rarity: an archipelago of sparsely populated sovereign territories connected by common history yet divided by the Caribbean Sea.

“The interconnectivity between the islands presents several challenges that are not found in other places. I think it brings out the best of people in order to overcome those challenges,” Martinez observed.

And the Caribbean has been one of LACNIC’s focused areas of investment, in terms of training and capacity building. Sint Maarten on the Move was only the latest installation in an ongoing LACNIC on the Move series, which aims to increase awareness and develop capacity and in a range of areas including Internet exchange points and cyber security in Central America and the Caribbean.

“We believe that LACNIC has a responsibility to the region, and we are trying our best to fulfill that,” Martinez said.

It is a responsibility shared with the American Registry of Internet Numbers, LACNIC’s counterpart in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mark Kosters, Chief Technology Officer of ARIN, echoed Martinez’s commitment to pursuing Caribbean technology development.

However, Kosters underscored that Caribbean Internet users had a responsibility of their own, when it comes to mitigating cyber attack risk. Citing the example of recent attacks against companies providing critical Internet services, the ARIN CTO explained that end-users have to become increasingly security-aware as the Internet of Things, or IoT, continues to expand.

The Caribbean, though better known for its sun-washed sandy beaches, is hardly immune to the security risk posed by IoT growth, as consumers in that market are rapidly adding to the global network of Internet-connected devices.

“As smart devices proliferate, it will become easier for hackers to launch significant cyber attacks using unsecured IoT devices, unless ordinary end-users become more security-conscious,” Martinez chimed in.

The message was underscored by the Internet Society, which jointly hosted the Sint Maarten meeting. Shernon Osepa, ISOC Regional Affairs Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, gave an overview of regional initiatives aimed at reducing risk and responding to cyber incidents.

Through initiatives like Sint Maarten on the Move, LACNIC is tapping into a symbiotic relationship with the region. On one hand, it is finding new ways to connect directly with its Caribbean members. For example, Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at LACNIC, gave participants in Sint Maarten a crash course on Internet Governance, providing an overview of the roles of key players in the regional and international landscape. And Sergio Rojas, LACNIC Registry Services Specialist, spent some time demystifying LACNIC’s core services and Policy Development Process.

On the other hand, LACNIC is also contributing more directly to an important shift in the dialogue among the regional technical community. The collective push by LACNIC and other regional bodies to increase awareness of Internet-related issues is changing the buzz among the architects of the Caribbean’s digital future. The conversation is evolving beyond critical infrastructure.

“We have to look beyond basic infrastructure deployment, to developing the local content, services and business models that can truly benefit the region,” said Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist with US-based non-profit Packet Clearing House.

“The private sector, academia and governments all have to work in sync to create opportunities for digital innovators and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the Internet and build on the local IXPs that now exist. We have to actively build the Caribbean cloud.”

Wooding, a longstanding champion of regional development, co-presented on an Internet Exchange Points panel discussion that included Eldert Louisa, chairman of the Open Caribbean Internet Exchange and Chief Technical Officer of Sint Maarten telecom operator TelEm Group.

Sint Maarten on the Move was part of Internet Week Sint Maarten, a five-day conference coordinated by the St Maarten telecommunications regulator, BTP. Held at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort in Philipsburg, the weeklong event also covered important topics such as Internet Governance, IPv6 transition and net neutrality.

The Caribbean Network Operators Group and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers jointly kickstarted the week with CaribNOG’s twelfth regional meeting and ICANN’s LAC-I Roadshow, from October 24 to 26.

“At CaribNOG 12, our principal aim was to foster dialogue with the Sint Maarten and Caribbean Internet community about the global Internet ecosystem,” said Wooding, who is also the co-founder of CaribNOG.

Albert Daniels, Manager of Stakeholder Engagement for the Caribbean at ICANN, explained that the LAC-I Roadshow aimed “to raise awareness across the Latin America and Caribbean region on key topics related to the critical Internet infrastructure, security, stability and growth.”

The three-day gathering was supported by ArkiTechs, Packet Clearing House, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union and the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

Successful IPv6 deployment by Telecentro Argentina

Operators in the LAC region are starting to massively deploy IPv6 among their customers, as they know this is the only way to grow.

Following IPv4 address exhaustion in the region, LACNIC has focused much of its energy on promoting IPv6 adoption and these efforts have resonated with professionals and Internet organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, who are now deploying this technology.

Telecentro Argentina is one such case. Since September 2016, all their new customers are using dual-stack. Today the company has more than 35,000 IPv6 clients and its IPv6 traffic is constantly on the rise.

Alejandro D’Egidio, Head of Backbone Engineering at Telecentro Argentina, told LACNIC News that their entire network is now fully IPv6 enabled, after a period of production during which they gradually enabled this technology.

What was the internal process for deploying IPv6 like? Was it a technical decision or a business decision by Telecentro’s management?

We have been permanently working on IPv6 for a few years now. We first configured IPv6 transport on the MPLS backbone, then we enabled IPv6 on the links with our upstream providers to prepare the access network and the internal provisioning and monitoring systems.

IPv6 deployment was a strategic decision from the outset, as Telecentro is constantly investing in the latest technology available on the market in order to offer a transparent and high-performance service to its users.

Why do you consider IPv6 deployment a priority?

Given that IPv4 exhaustion was unavoidable, Telecentro began to plan the necessary changes several years ago. With IPv6 we want to continue offering our users a transparent, high-quality, high-performance service.

The most popular services today (Netflix, Google, etc.) are already working over IPv6 and, in view of IPv4 exhaustion, we believe IPv6 deployment is extremely important and that traffic is already moving to this new version of the IP protocol. This means that users continue to access these services without using a CGN solution.

Do you believe that IPv6 is the solution to potential difficulties resulting from IPv4 exhaustion?

In part, I believe it is. IPv6 adoption is very important, not only for ISPs – more content providers should also be involved.

On the other hand, we are convinced that an optimization of IPv4 address space is required, as three are still many companies with assigned /8 IPv4 address blocks (IBM, Level3, General Electric Company, Ford Motor Company, etc.). Continuing with this topic, we understand that many ISPs do not feel the need to begin transitioning to IPv6, as they have a large number of available IPv4 addresses, another aspect that should also be reviewed.

How have your users responded?

Thanks to the many hours invested in preparing definitions, team work with providers and testing, the transition has been completely transparent to residential users.

Corporate customers had been asking for IPv6 for some time, so the news that we were able to provide IPv6 was well received.

Have you noticed an increase in IPv6 traffic since your deployment?

Yes. IPv6 traffic has grown considerably since we began our massive deployment, as all our new customers are provisioned with dual-stack.

The growth of Telecentro’s IPv6 traffic and how it affects Argentina’s indicators is reflected in various public reports:

http://www.worldipv6launch.org/apps/ipv6week/measurement/images/graphs/TelecentroS.A..png

http://stats.labs.apnic.net/ipv6/AS27747?c=AR&p=1&v=1&w=1&x=1

https://stats.labs.apnic.net/cgi-bin/v6pop?c=AR

Changes in Google statistics after Telecentro deployed IPv6:

You can see that Telecentro already has more than 35,000 users with IPv6, which represents 70% of all IPv6 users in Argentina.

Based on your experience, what recommendations would you offer other operators in the region who are still in the process of deploying IPv6?

I would recommend beginning deployment as soon as possible, even if they don’t feel an immediate need to do so, as this can help them plan the changes with anticipation and introduce the necessary updates as transparently as possible to end users. It is very important to use this time to train everyone involved, as this will help to better identify all the necessary requirements and the impact of each definition.

The process may involve several challenges, but success is possible if you keep your eye on the goal.

History in the Making: Community Now Responsible for Managing the Internet

After the transition that took place on 30 September, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) community has taken over stewardship of the IANA functions along with other organizations.

That day marked the expiration of the contract maintained by the Department of Commerce with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization in charge of overseeing the IANA functions, and the US government handed over management of the Internet system.

The LACNIC 26 closing ceremony coincided with this historic event. During the ceremony, LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles highlighted the fact that the global Internet community was now taking upon itself this major responsibility.

Robles reviewed the transition process, which began in March 2014 when the community started working intensely on various fronts. “On the one hand, each of the three operational communities –numbers, names and protocols– worked on a proposal which was eventually consolidated into a single community proposal,” said Robles. At the same time, every community worked to define the transparency and accountability elements that needed to be implemented prior to the transition.

According to Robles, this step represents “one of the most significant milestones in the history of the Internet, as it means that the US government, holder of the role of IANA Functions Steward, is transferring this responsibility to a diverse multistakeholder community in each of the three operational communities.”

Robles added that, since 30 September, “no individual government has a predominant role in this stewardship, as the United States once had.”

In practice, the Numbers Community will continue to work as it has done to date, as both the number resource registration (IP numbers and autonomous systems) as well as the policy development processes will continue as usual. However, in addition to supervision by the five Regional IP Address Registries (AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE NCC), the functions performed by the IANA for the Numbers Community will now be subject to a Review Committee expressly created for this purpose with participation of the communities of the five Registries.

Robles noted that these thirty months of work had ensured a smooth transition and stressed “the ability of the Numbers Community to work in a coordinated manner among the five regions and reach consensus on issues of global relevance.”

To conclude, LACNIC’ CEO congratulated all three operational communities (Numbers, Names and Protocols) for this historic achievement, “which allows us to continue working for an open, stable and secure Internet.”

IPv4 Addresses Reserved for Critical Infrastructure

During the Public Policy Forum held as part of the LACNIC 26 event in Costa Rica, the proposal to reserve a pool of IPv4 addresses for infrastructure considered to be critical or essential to the operation of the Internet in the region reached consensus among the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community.

This policy modification was promoted by Edmundo Cazarez Lopez of NIC Mexico, who also incorporated comments and suggestions received via the Policy mailing list, and seeks to create an IPv4 reserve pool equivalent to a /15 (128,000 addresses) that will survive the termination of the reserves for IPv4 exhaustion. This reserve will be used to satisfy requests for addresses that will be used to deploy infrastructure considered critical or essential for the operation of the Internet in the region once the space reserved for Phase 3 is exhausted.

According to the consensus reached during LACNIC 26, the 128,000 addresses for the reserve pool proposed by Cazarez Lopez will be prepared once the new policy is ratified by the LACNIC Board. After receiving support at the Public Forum and on the Policy mailing list, this proposal is now in the 45-day last call for comments period, which will close on 12 November.

Cazarez Lopez noted that his proposal sought to create a reserve that would survive IPv4 exhaustion, and that its intention was to make it easier to assign addresses for the deployment of critical infrastructure once there is no more available space.

Addresses from this special IPv4 reserve for critical Internet infrastructure will begin to be assigned once the space reserved for Phase 3 of the regional IPv4 exhaustion plan runs out (recent projections anticipate this will happen during the first half of 2017).

Under this policy, address requests for critical infrastructure may be submitted at any time, but the maximum assignment size will be limited to a minimum of a /24 and a maximum of a /22. The size of these assignments will be subject to verified use and an analysis by LACNIC or by the corresponding NIR. Likewise, addresses assigned under this section must be returned to LACNIC or to the corresponding NIR once they are no longer needed for the purpose for which they were originally requested.

The policy also clearly states that addresses assigned from this reserve may not be used for a purpose other than that which originated the request.

Click here to watch the presentation by Edmundo Cazarez at the Public Policy Forum: http://bit.ly/2e3rtSh

Click here to subscribe to the Policy mailing list: http://www.lacnic.net/lists/policy

Project for the Widespread Use of Cryptography Technologies

With the support of LACNIC’s FRIDA Program, experts at NIC Chile Research Labs (University of Chile) are developing a new electronic signature system to promote widespread access to cryptographic technologies.

FRIDA awarded a US$20,000 grant to this ICT development project titled “Replacing HSMs with Software Based on Threshold Cryptography,” which seeks to allow smaller organizations to conduct secure transactions by using an information encryption system and low cost storage that will achieve or exceed the level of security provided by the hardware security modules (HSM) available on the market.

Progress made by the project was presented during the LACNIC 26 /LACNOG meeting held in Costa Rica.

Javier Bustos, director of NIC Chile Research Labs, noted that the initiative had been received with great interest.

What is the project about and what is its main goal?

The project involves the construction of an electronic signature security module (widely used, for example, in DNSSEC and financial institutions) based on the paradigm that keys are no longer stored by a single monolithic (and expensive) entity. Instead, security is achieved by distributing parts of the key.

The idea is that signing does not require every part of the key and that at least half plus one is enough. This means that the unavailability of one of the signers will not be an issue.

What progress has the project made since receiving the FRIDA Grant?

Before the FRIDA grant, the system was simply an academic prototype. The grant allowed us to transform it into a world-class system.

Who is currently using the system? What benefits does it offer users?

The system is currently being used to sign certain DNS zones under .net (using DNSSEC). In the short term, we hope to gain visibility at least within Latin America, a goal for which the support of the FRIDA program has also been important, as it has allowed us to present our work at the LACNIC / LACNOG event held in Costa Rica.

How was the project received?

We received very positive feedback at LACNIC 26. In addition, we have been contacted by .ar and other Internet infrastructure providers interested in using the system, and they have also given us good ideas on how to provide the storage/partial signing services, as distributed security does not involve major losses if only one part is compromised.

What are the next goals for the project?

We would like the entire infrastructure and operations community to be willing and able to use the system. We are also waiting for a response to the patent application we submitted.

How would you summarize your experience with FRIDA?

We had an excellent experience. Everything was very quick and expeditious and everyone was always willing to answer all our questions.

Internet Geolocation: A Solution or a Problem?

Is it possible to find out the actual geographic location of the IP address from which a user connects to the Internet? While at first glance it would appear to be simple, answering this question involves many difficulties, as a system that is 100% efficient has not yet been found to precisely locate all IP addresses in the “real world.”

During its most recent event held in Costa Rica, LACNIC promoted a debate on IP address geolocation and various aspects of this technology, its uses, issues involved and possible actions that the regional community should carry out in search solutions. Carlos Martínez (LACNIC), Owen DeLong (Akamai) and Wilson Rogerio Lopes (Itau) participated in the discussion, which was moderated by Ricardo Patara (NIC.br).

Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO, presented several examples of the difficulties that have been encountered in the region due to geolocation errors. He mentioned cases in Curacao, Colombia and Argentina. He even mentioned a company that had filed a complaint with LACNIC alleging that “the IP addresses (they had received) were faulty,” as their geolocation placed them in a place where the company was not operating. Martínez commented that this person had been told that LACNIC has no responsibility over geolocation.

Nevertheless, he added that “LACNIC increasingly feels we must be part of and play a role in the solution.”  In this sense, he noted that it is essential for the community to decide the role LACNIC should play in IP address geolocation. “This requires intense, broad debate,” concluded LACNIC’s CTO.

According to Owen DeLong of Akamai, the main concern for end users is whether “they are being geolocalized in the right place, as they have no possibility of seeing which geolocation provider provides incorrect information.”

DeLong believes that a major difficulty is the lack of standardization among geolocation providers on how to report such errors. In this regard, he pointed out that geolocation companies should operate a centralized clearinghouse, a single point where users can report geolocation errors so that databases can be corrected. “I would like the industry to work on things such as these,” he added.

In his presentation, DeLong called for better communication with end users regarding how to report errors geolocation. “For this to be feasible, we need better centralized geolocation error dissemination and information reporting mechanisms,” he concluded.

Ricardo Patara, Internet Numbering Resource Manager at NIC.br, observed that Internet geolocation is being used for marketing purposes (advertising, campaigns to disseminate information) and for users to receive content that is relevant to a specific country or region.

He noted that certain industries use geolocation to control access to their content based on where each user is located, and that this might potentially lead to censorship.

He added that geolocation errors often affect users, as they may end up being offered services in a different language or aimed at a different culture, “content that is of no interest to them, while access to services of interest is denied.”

He stressed that users don’t know where they should address their complaints. “To geolocation companies? To their service or content provider? To their ISP? This is not always clear, as there is no client/server relationship among these parties.”

To conclude, Patara warned that “the situation (with geolocation errors) may become worse in the future due to increased use of CGNAT and more frequent IP address transfers among different regions.”

More than 100 Participants Sponsored Each Year

Through its sponsorship program, each year LACNIC provides financial support to more than 100 members of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community in order for them to be able to attend the conferences and forums organized annually in different countries of the region.

The program has now been in place for 13 years and has allowed more than 1,000 members of the community to participate in LACNIC meetings, where they have had the chance to attend various training activities and interact and share their experiences with colleagues from across the region. Sponsored participants also get the chance to participate in the organization’s key decision-making spaces: The Public Policy Forum and the Annual Member Assembly This sharing of experiences has allowed sponsorship program participants to further their knowledge and be better prepared to deal with the daily operations of their organizations. In many cases, it has also helped them with their own professional endeavors.

Through this program, LACNIC provides financial support to help members of the community attend its two annual meetings. The second meeting held each year is co-located with LACNOG. LACNIC also donates to the fund that sponsors participants to the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (LAC IGF).

Any member of the community can apply for these sponsorships. Recipients are decided after a process carried out by the Selection Committee based on the following criteria:

  • – Promote the participation of women
  • – Facilitate the participation of youth and students
  • –  Sponsor participants from disadvantaged economies throughout the LACNIC region
  • – Give priority to applicants who have never participated in a LACNIC event
  • – Ensure the greatest possible diversity in terms of sectors represented

Sponsorship recipient testimonials

Gregorio Manzano (CNTI, Venezuela) applied for and received his airfare to attend the Costa Rica meeting. Without this support, he would not have been able to participate in LACNIC 26 LACNOG 2016. “The sponsorship allowed me to participate in the event,” he said. “In the past, I covered my airfare and accommodation expenses myself on several opportunities. This is no longer possible for me, hence the need for sponsorships and financial support,” added Manzano.

Luciano Minuchin (ARCONSIT, Argentina) has also benefited from LACNIC sponsorships. His reason for applying was his interest in LACNIC related activities and the community it represents, as well as his desire to learn more about the issues addressed at these events. “My experiences have always been very positive, as the level of organization, coordination and the topics addressed during the meetings have always met or exceed my expectations,” he observed.

Sirley Ferreira (Conatel, Paraguay) applied to the LACNIC sponsorship program with the main goal of gaining a better understanding of IP version 6, its implications, the policies governing the Internet, the Internet of Things, and how she could get involved in research within the IETF and the Internet Society. “My experience was very stimulating, as it allowed me to learn more about emerging technologies and actively participate in either the policy or the Internet of Things communities,” said Ferreira.

In her case, the sponsorship allowed her to attend the event in person; otherwise, she would have had to follow the event via streaming and would have missed “the integration among people of different cultures, which tends to be better when face-to-face rather than online.”

Marcela Orbiscay (Conicet Mendoza, Argentina) applied to the program because she felt it was a good opportunity receive technical training, attend tutorials, and interact and share experiences with colleagues from different parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. She also wanted to participate in the Public Policy Forum.

“This is the fourth LACNIC event in which I’ve participated. The experience has always been very rewarding, the tutorials and conferences have been excellent, and the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and meet new people, learn about their experiences and concerns regarding the Internet in the region has been invaluable,” noted Orbiscay.

She highlighted the work of Max Larson Henry and Jorge Villa, tutors of the sponsorship program, who were available at all times to help sponsored participants make the most of their participation.

She concluded by saying that, in her case, it would not be possible to attend LACNIC events without the financial support provided by the sponsorship program.

Training for the Internet Community

More than 3,100 professionals and members of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community have been trained so far this year on topics such as IPv6, the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity, and IXPs.

Up to the month of September, LACNIC had organized 24 in-person training activities in 11 different countries of the region, with the participation of 3,132 individuals representing the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community. Two thirds of participants received in-person training, while the others took part in webinars created based on various LACNIC seminars.

“Our training efforts have focused mainly on topics such as IPv6 and security and on the services offered by LACNIC. We’ve also taken advantage of courses on the Internet of Things to promote IPv6 deployment and our RPKI solution,” noted Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO, while presenting a report during the event held in Costa Rica.

Ecuador and Cuba are the two countries of the region where the highest number of people received training (668 and 508, respectively), followed by El Salvador (220), Brazil (200), Colombia (154), and Honduras (102).

An Electronic Device that Allows Saving Lives

Emilio, Mario and Kako had already served as volunteers with various humanitarian initiatives in El Salvador and were aware of the fragility of the most disadvantaged communities when faced with natural disasters. This led to thinking about and designing an early warning device that can be used when traditional communication systems have collapsed due to a natural emergency, when the first few hours are crucial to saving lives.

This idea would later become Kit Reacción, an open source electronic device that allows communities to communicate with each other and with humanitarian aid organizations in case of natural disasters.

Emilio Velis of Red Acción Comunitaria commented that the project received a grant from FRIDA, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and that this had allowed them to develop the first prototypes and implement the first field tests.

In an interview with LACNIC, Velis recounted the journey of an initiative that has also been recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the most innovative in Central America.

What is Kit Reacción and how did you come up with the idea?

Red de Acción Comunitaria (Community Action Network) is an open source early warning system that works primarily with local community organizations. Our project was based on a communication system that empowers vulnerable groups during and after a natural disaster, at times when networks become saturated or infrastructure is damaged. With this in mind, we developed a wireless network where community leaders can register their status and share with other local groups and humanitarian aid organizations in the first hours after a natural catastrophe, as this might allow saving lives in remote areas or during critical events.

We first came up with the idea in January 2014 with two other friends who are part of the Open Hardware community in El Salvador, Mario Gomez and Kako Valladares. The three of us wanted to focus on a social or environmental issue within our local context. We worked for a few months on developing the idea and during this time we were supported by Organización Conexión [http://www.conexion.sv/] in El Salvador.

What progress have you achieved since receiving the FRIDA Grant?

During the year of the project, we worked on the first implementation of our prototypes. In those months we worked with the Fátima and Getsemaní communities of Ahuachapán, organizing training and co-creation workshops where future users validated and even enhanced various aspects of the user interface. We then developed and manufactured the devices and conducted field testing.

In addition to the funds we received, winning the FRIDA Grant opened the doors to collaboration with many local and international institutions thanks to the credibility our work gained through this implementation. We even managed to generate synergies for working jointly with other institutions that have supported us in various ways. Conexión was the first to believe in us. FRIDA was the first to bet on the idea’s potential, and this was very valuable for the project to reach its current level of development.

What is the current range of the kit?

At design level, in rural areas a transmitter has a range of 100 m to 1500 m. This depends on various factors, including altitude variations as well the number of trees and obstacles. We are creating a network where people can register their location, their movements and their behaviors for the purpose of analyzing what people do during a crisis and improving the way we train communities to design better emergency plans.

How has the initiative impacted the community?

After this pilot experience during which we organized about 15 workshops, we now have a very cohesive group of people who have worked with us, not only attending the training activities but even training community leaders so that they can, in turn, train other members of the community. Our greatest success has been community empowerment.

Has the system already been used during a natural disaster? What were the results?

The Reacción team assumed the commitment to stay with the community even after completing the project. We are currently starting to implement simulations to validate the use of the system on-site. For this we are using collaborative game devices. This month we will be playing a game similar to “Capture the Flag,” during which teams will send their location for collecting scattered items, simulating rescue operations using Kit Reacción. This will allow us to analyze how people react when faced with a natural disaster and are able to communicate with their neighbors. In turn, this information will help us prepare members of the different communities for when they are actually affected by a natural event.

MIT Technology Review recognized Red Acción Comunitaria among the most innovative initiatives in Central America. What did this mean to you and to the project?

It was amazing! We started working in January 2014, sketching the idea over a cup of coffee. A couple of months later, Mario manufactured the first three prototypes that cost us $182. Six months later, thanks to the FRIDA Grant, we started talking about an actual project. The award was undoubtedly a personal recognition, but we are all very much aware not only of the efforts of those who were involved from the very beginning, but also of the support we received from everyone who believed in us in one way or another.

All of this has been very valuable to us. The support provided by Conexión was important for making us known among local actors. FRIDA allowed us to reach the community and gain international recognition, and even reaching the world’s oldest technology magazine! It was a great incentive and drove us all forward.

What are the next goals for the project?

We are currently focused on using the model to reach larger numbers of people. Plans for future implementations include an expansion to the nearby Fátima and Getsemaní communities, as well as to other regions such as Colombia and the Peruvian Amazon. Last year we had the opportunity to speak about Reacción at MIT during the Global Fab Labs Conference (Fab11), which led to the project being promoted by Global Humanitarian Lab [https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/system/files/ghlbrochure.pdf, page 24], an organization supported by the Red Cross, ACNUR and PMA. This, in turn, gave us the opportunity to dream of increasing our impact in terms of the number of people we are able to reach. To achieve this, we are currently working on the creation of a regional ecosystem for monitoring climate change variables and the production of effective community plans. Our wish is that El Salvador will become a benchmark for these issues and have an impact on the Americas, where more than 50 natural disasters occur each year.

How would you summarize your experience with FRIDA?

Winning a grant as valuable as the FRIDA Grant introduced us to a regional community of people working on similar issues. It is obvious that programs such as FRIDA are not only about creating scientific knowledge, but also about promoting local development through access to connectivity. It is exciting to be part of a community of people focused on these principles for the benefit of local and regional communities. In addition, we were able to scale up our idea from three $182 prototypes to a project with an actual impact on the community and the possibility of saving lives in the event of natural disasters, not only in El Salvador but throughout the region. This is priceless. We are very grateful for the trust that FRIDA placed in us.

Doctor IPv6: Answers Anytime, Anywhere

LACNIC has launched Doctor IPv6, a mechanism that allows any member of the community to submit a technical query regarding Internet Protocol version 6 via email and receive a reply in podcast format.

Alejandro Acosta, R+D Coordinator at LACNIC, observed that Doctor IPv6 is an innovative program designed by LACNIC to help promote IPv6 within the region.

The mechanism is simple. The community sends their IPv6-related questions via email (dr.ipv6@lacnic.net). A moderator then finds the expert best suited to answer each question.

“We chose this format because IPv6 is a very broad topic and not everyone is an expert on each of the aspects it involves. A person who is very knowledgeable about IPv6 and DNS may not be an expert on IPv6 routing,” explained Acosta.

Once the moderator finds the best person for the question at hand and the expert has provided his or her answer, the question is uploaded to LACNIC’s IPv6 Portal (http://portalipv6.lacnic.net/en/dripv6en/).

Questions are accepted in English, Spanish and Portuguese. LACNIC’s only requirement is that questions must be related to IPv6. So far, eleven questions have been received, ranging from the basics of IPv6 to topics involving BGP and security, considered to be of medium-high difficulty.

Dr. IPv6 was born after spending long hours in major Latin America and Caribbean city traffic. “What does this have to do with Doctor IPv6? Traffic is a perfect place to listen to something productive, such as music, perhaps an audio book, obviously a podcast. This is how the idea behind Doctor IPv6 came to be,” recalled Acosta.

The community is highly involved in this project. As a matter of fact, nine of the eleven questions were answered by members of the technical community: Jordi Palet, Fernando Gont, Guillermo Cicileo, Jorge Villa, Gui Iribarren, Ariel Weher, Gregorio Manzano, Ricardo Pelaez Negro, and Alejandro Acosta.

Doctor IPv6 is a LACNIC initiative that seeks to create IPv6 related online content, offer an alternative mechanism for submitting queries and questions, and, above all, reduce the excuses for not implementing IPv6.

Contributing to Development in Haiti

During the last week of August, the third edition of Ayitic (http://www.ayitic.net/en/#2016) was launched in Haiti with a training program on IPv6 deployment especially designed for local instructors and a 3D Printing Workshop inspired by the MakersLab model.

For this edition of the project, LACNIC was supported by Canado Technique and Ecole Superieure d’infotronique d’Haiti (ESIH), two organizations that played a major role in selecting participants, coordinating activities, and teaching the workshops in Port au Prince.

“Ayitic 2016 has brought together key Haitian and LAC technology partners, in order to sustainably empower Haitian IT managers and professionals to deploy as well as train others on strategic technologies such as IPv6 and 3D printing,” noted Patrick Attie of Ecole Superieure d’infotronique d’Haiti (ESIH).

Two workshops were organized during 2016. First, a forty-hour intensive workshop on IPv6 deployment with Alejandro Acosta (LACNIC) as Instructor and the support of Patrick Marcellus of Transversal as Assistant Instructor. Twenty-nine local instructors representing twelve technical institutes completed this course. “Alejandro’s workshop was excellent. It’s the type of training for which I would travel to another country,” commented student Ruth J.B. Edouard of Universite Publique Des Nippes (UPNip).

The other workshop was an eight-hour activity on 3D printing, inspired by the MakersLab model. Giovanni Michelle Toglia of ESIH was in charge of the activity and had the support of Jean Michel Bonjour, Biomedical Engineer and Project Manager at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), who has worked on printing 3D objects for hospitals in Haiti. Bonjour provided practical examples of 3D printing applications. Ten representatives from seven local technical institutes participated in this activity.

Carolina Caeiro, Coordinator of Development Projects at LACNIC, highlighted the fact that the new Ayitic format focuses on training instructors and seeks to strengthen the project’s sustainability, impact and scope in the hope that each instructor who receives training will replicate these contents among his or her students. “The first step has been taken. We should now see the domino effect, monitoring how far the instructors trained through the program manage to share the contents they’ve learned among their own students,” Caeiro added.

In the words of Caeiro, local partners “played a major role in the execution of the project and validated a new working methodology for Ayitic, thanks to which certain key responsibilities having to do with the local context are now strictly in the hands of these partners.”

She noted that, for its 2017 edition, the program is considering not only training instructors but also digitizing the courses and offering them via an e-learning platform.

The event was broadly covered by Haitian media, including Alterpresse, Radio telé ginen, Radio vision 2000, Haïti Libre, Ici Haïti, Radio télé Soleil and Radio Tele Caraibes.

The the Ayitic 2016 Opening Ceremony was attended by Jean Marie Altema, Director of CONATEL, the Regulatory Authority; Kevon Swift of LACNIC); and the Directors of the program’s three partner organizations: Patrick Attie of Ecole Superieure d’infotronique d’Haiti, Max Larson Henry of Transversal, and Lucien Durand of Canado Technique.

Ayitic is a LACNIC initiative that seeks to expand knowledge and strengthen the skills of information and communication technology experts and professionals in Haiti.

Three Policy Proposals to Be Debated in Costa Rica

Three proposals for modifying the policies for managing Internet resources in Latin America and the Caribbean will be discussed on September 27 during the LACNIC Public Policy Forum to be held in Costa Rica.

The three proposals were submitted by members of the community and have already been thoroughly discussed, both at the event held in Cuba as well as on LACNIC’s Policy mailing list.

If these proposals achieve consensus in Costa Rica, they will continue the process towards their final implementation.

The first of the proposals to be debated will be presented by Edmundo Cazarez-Lopez of NIC Mexico and suggests reserving IPv4 addresses for deploying infrastructure regarded as critical or essential for the operation of the Internet in the region. The initiative seeks to create an IPv4 address reserve equivalent to a /15 that will survive independently of IPv4 address exhaustion. These addresses would be used to cover requests for deploying infrastructure regarded as critical or essential for Internet operation in the region.

The second proposal that will be seeking consensus in Costa Rica was authored by Julião Braga and suggests that the LACNIC community should eliminate any reference to a requesting organization’s “multihomed or non-multihomed” status. Eliminating references to an organization’s “multihomed or non-multihomed” status would also mean removing the requirement that states “at least 25% of the requested address space” and standardizing the text as “25% of the requested space.”

In Costa Rica the community will also discuss the policy proposal promoted by Jordi Palet of Consulintel regarding the modification of the initial size of IPv6 allocations. According to Palet, when the current policy was designed, the case of organizations that are not necessarily ISPs in the traditional sense but rather governments, academic networks or other similar scenarios were not taken into account. Due to their size, number of users, infrastructure, hierarchic or geographic structure and other reasons, these organizations might not sufficiently justify a need greater than a /32 under the current text of the policy.

Are We Ready for the Internet of Things?

What are the main challenges in implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) in Latin America and the Caribbean? Is the region ready for this? What should an organization do? What guarantees privacy on the Internet of Things? Is there an increase in security issues? Is there a limit to the number of sensors that can be connected to the World Wide Web? Will these sensors be interoperable when “things” begin to connect with multiple devices?

This is just a small sample of the questions that the experts participating LACNIC 26 will attempt to answer, especially during the panel to be held on Tuesday, September 27 (http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/eventos/lacnic26-agenda-lacnic).

Gabriel Montenegro, engineer at Microsoft, will be one of the speakers and will share with us his views on the current status of development of the Internet of Things, as well as the difficulties that may arise with the mass connection of devices to the Internet of Things.

What impact will the IoT have on people’s everyday lives?

It’s important to remember that before the expression “IoT” became popular, “sensor networks” was a very common term used in reference to the devices that are integrated into the environment and have logic (computation), control and communication capabilities. A primary goal of these devices is to detect changes in the environment and to react accordingly. We can expect that the environment will have increasingly greater sensing capabilities. This represents a radical change. Just as with the introduction of the Internet, it is impossible to predict all the implications.

We believe that industrial processes and the world of business will gain in efficiency thanks to the increasing ability to monitor processes and solve issues in a timely manner. Farmers are able to follow their crops, irrigation systems and soils much more closely and thus increase their yield and quality. Electric utility companies are already benefiting from increased visibility into home and building consumption, which enables a finer-grained and more adaptable energy management. In the health sector, the constant monitoring of patients by medical staff (as opposed to annual visits) will help identify and prevent diseases before they become critical. Along these lines, senior citizens living on their own will have increased autonomy and the risks of living alone will be reduced. There is also much expectation about the changes the IoT will bring about in our homes. We are already seeing many intelligent devices such as door locks, sprinkler systems, thermostats, security systems, and central controllers that serve as an interface between users and other devices and even use voice and gesture recognition.

What do you think will change with the advent of massive IoT deployment?

So far what we are seeing smart “things” that exchange information with a very low number of devices (typically one or two). Widespread deployment of IoT devices will lead to networks that will be able to exchange information and coordinate the operation of different devices. We would no longer be talking about interactions with a couple of other things, but rather of mass behavior: coordinated movement (e.g., groups of drones) or coordinated information processing. This will take us from an “Internet of Things” to an “Internet of Networks of Things.”

Another essential component is the processing of all this information and managing all these devices. The scale of this issue is so massive that it will push the evolution of the cloud just to be able to handle all the telemetry. Even so, it will be impossible to save all the data and therefore processing rules and local processing (within a network of devices) will be key for obtaining summaries or determining trends as an alternative to permanently storing the data torrent generated daily. This type of processing on the edge can be applied to images or video as well as to edge analytics.

What are the first applications of the IoT in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Frankly, I don’t have much contact with the status of the adoption of these technologies in Latin America. This is one of the reasons I’m participating in the LACNIC meeting this month of September in San José, Costa Rica.

What are the main technical challenges faced by the IoT today? (Security, privacy, etc.)

Indeed, security and privacy are two of the most pressing issues. During the recent DEF CON conference (August 2016), 47 new vulnerabilities were revealed on 23 devices from 21 different vendors. Keep in mind that this does not only involve software but also devices: locks that can be opened, thermostats that can be hijacked, wheelchairs that can be controlled. This type of attacks can lead to serious damages, theft, fire, and the risk of personal harm. And, of course, many devices lack a proper software upgrade policy (software updates).

Another issue is the enormous amount of information produced and stored in the cloud or in centralized servers. How is privacy of this information guaranteed?

We should also mention that interoperability causes issues not only at protocol level but also in the upper layers: the semantic definition of these devices. There is too much variability in this area, which is why projects such as Open Translators allow programmers to have a consistent API, for example, to control thermostats regardless of their vendors or of the semantic definition originally given to their devices.

As an industry we are not being very responsible about this. There is too much fragmentation in terms of protocols and software implementations. There are too many standards organizations, each with their own protocol stack. Each stack increases the attack surface. A key element to improve upon this situation is to reduce the number of stacks and for that we need to reduce the number of IoT standards. We have already seen good progress with the merging of AllJoyn and OFC, but further work is still needed. The IETF is an important part of this effort.

What is the IETF doing to make the IoT more viable? Is IPv6 the solution?

After RFC4919 and the creation of the 6lowpan Working Group (now the 6lo WG) we realized that IPv6 was part of the solution. We’re now starting to see products on the market. There are various reasons for this:

  • Enormous numbers of devices require addressing way beyond the capabilities of IPv4
  • Need for autoconfiguration
  • Header compression (IPv6 is more compressible than IPv4)

Memory constraints mean that there is often space for just one stack, so the IETF has focused almost exclusively on IPv6 for the IoT.

Another interesting fact is that, when we started the group, various representatives from Asian countries told us that their governments required the use of IPv6.

These efforts have resulted in RFCs such as RFC4944 (basic IPv6 adaptation), RFC6282 (header compression) and RFC6775 (neighbor discovery for 6lowpan), as well as several extensions of these RFCs. There has also been much work on routing and the application layer (CoAP).

To conclude, it’s worth adding that IP is not the solution for every technology. For example, LPWAN technologies currently in use employ very small packets, usually smaller than 20 octets. In this case, the IETF is considering working primarily at the application layer, but little is being said about IP support for LPWAN.

Internet Geolocation at LACNIC 26

Users who cannot access e-government services because their IP addresses appear to have been assigned to a neighboring country. Acompany complaining because its IP addresses appear to be located in a city of the same name as the one where it operates but is in fact thousands of miles away.

These two recent examples occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean and have bought to center stage the question of Internet Geolocation, one of the topics that will be debated during the LACNIC 26 LACNOG 16 event to be held in late September in Costa Rica (http://www.lacnic.net/web/eventos/lacnic26). Geolocation is the process of finding the exact physical location of a computer based on its IP address.

Carlos Martinez, Chief Technology Officer at LACNIC, notes that IPv4 exhaustion is starting to uncover “hidden problems,” such as IP geolocation, the exact place where an Internet address is located regardless of who it belongs to.

According to Martinez, LACNIC and the other Regional Internet Registries “cannot guarantee geolocation information” and that their obligation is to maintain legal information regarding who has received IP addresses. “We record the physical address of the organization to which IP addresses are given,” noted Martinez.

Nevertheless, LACNIC’s CTO understands that this discussion should be promoted among the regional community so that its members will have the tools they need and a better understanding of who is using IP addresses. In this sense, the LACNIC 26 event in Costa Rica will host a geolocation forum that will analyze and discuss various situations reported in Latin America and the Caribbean.

IPv6 and the Internet of Things. The meeting in Costa Rica will also focus on the status of IPv6 deployment in the LAC region and the major challenges the Internet of Things (IoT) is facing in Latin America and the Caribbean. Two renowned experts will share their knowledge on these topics: German expert Carsten Bormann and Colombian engineer Gabriel Montenegro.
In a recent article published in the IETF Journal, Bormann noted the challenge of creating protocols for the devices that are not yet connected to the Internet.

In the words of Bormann and his colleague Ari Keränen, “A true Internet of Things (IoT) requires “things” to be able to use Internet Protocols. Various ‘things’ have always been on the Internet, and general-purpose computers at data centers and homes are usually capable of using the Internet protocols as they have been defined for them. However, there is considerable value in extending the Internet to more constrained devices that often need optimized versions or special use of these protocols.”

16-bit ASNs still available in the LACNIC Service Region

Even though the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) announced the exhaustion of the central pool of 16-bit ASNs (Autonomous System Numbers) in August, LACNIC still has 16-bit ASNs in stock for its Latin American and Caribbean members, reported Sergio Rojas, Head of LACNIC’s Registration Services Department.

The policies adopted by the community for managing its number resources have allowed LACNIC to continue to have both types of existing ASNs: 16-bit and 32-bit.

An ASN is a number used to group IP networks having their own independent routing policy: they manage their own traffic with other autonomous systems on the Internet. “If we think about IP addresses as a house’s street name and number, the ASN is the post code for the area,” explained Rojas.

Until 2007, autonomous system numbers were defined by a 16-bit integer, but this allowed assigning a limited amount of ASNs. As demand increased, more autonomous system numbers were needed. This led to the creation of 32-bit autonomous systems.

Since 2011, LACNIC assigns 32-bit ASNs to its members by default. However, in case of incompatibility with a member’s equipment, LACNIC may authorize a swap of this 32-bit ASN for a 16-bit ASN.

“There is no advantage or disadvantage in using one (16-bit ASN) or the other (32-bit ASN). It’s simply a matter of equipment compatibility. Certain older devices do not support 32-bit ASNs,” added Rojas.

Current equipment trends mark that the use of 32-bit ASNs will be the norm. “Assignment behavior in the LACNIC region shows that this protocol is being used without problems, as 32-bit ASNs are assigned by default,” noted the Head of LACNIC’s Registration Services Department. In the past twelve months, LACNIC has assigned 842 32-bit ASNs and 42 16-bit ASNs.

Warning of computer fraud employing imagery from the Olympic Games

The LACNIC Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) recorded increased cyber-attack activity in the region during the 2016 Summer Olympics and has warned about the methods used by cybercriminals taking advantage of the attention attracted by this this competition among the population in general.

Records of Latin American and Caribbean Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) show that during the Olympic Games there was a spike in cyber fraud attempts against financial institutions and attempts were made to breach the International Olympic Committee’s database. “Brazil and all regional teams were prepared for these incidents. A lot of work had been done in the run-up to the event,” said Graciela Martinez, Head of LACNIC WARP.

Martinez observed that, now that the Games are over, regular Internet users are the ones most at risk, as they may feel inclined to search for information about their favorite athletes or competitors who had outstanding performances in Rio de Janeiro. In this sense, she warned of one type of malicious online activity that is usually detected after these sporting events: fake requests for donations to certain athletes or countries. Users typically receive email requests for donations to athletes or countries, although this is “an unusual way of making such requests,” added Martinez. She recommended not opening these email messages, especially if the sender is unknown, as they may contain malware, i.e., malicious software usually designed to steal Internet user credentials.

“The email may say ‘Check out this photo of your favorite athlete’, when in fact the file contains malware,” said Martinez. Another common scam are email messages allegedly from athletes who accept sponsorships. Users may receive a link that says ‘Click here if you’d like to help XX,’ but in fact attackers ask them to enter their personal data and then use this information to commit fraud.

Lately, one of the most common forms of fraud is ransomware, a type of malicious software that encrypts part or the entire hard drive of the infected system until a ransom is paid.

New members of the Fiscal and Electoral Commissions

According to the provisions of the LACNIC Bylaws, this year online elections were held to renew the organization’s Fiscal and Electoral Commissions.

The Fiscal Commission is charged with supervising that all accounting and administrative standards are met and overseeing compliance with LACNIC’s legal and statutory framework. As a result of these elections, the two positions left vacant by Gabriel Adonaylo and Cassio Jordão Motta Vecchiatti were filled by Aristóteles Dantas Gaudêncio (elected for a three-year term) and Hernán José Arcidiácono (one-year term).

Likewise, the Electoral Commission —the body  responsible for organizing and overseeing election processes at LACNIC— also renewed the position left vacant by José Enrique Díaz Jolly at the end of his three-year term. LACNIC members elected Horacio Tedesco to fill his place.

Board of Directors Elections. The period for nominating candidates to the LACNIC Board is now open. Candidate nominations will be received until 9 September. This year, two seats will be renewed.

Lacnog @ Tical

LACNOG is the community of technical contacts for IP networks in Latin America and The Caribbean. LACNOG is effective in fostering discussions among diverse networks as long as they’re able to properly represent all the needs and sectors involved in the Internet. As other Network Operator Groups, their value is in the diversity of experiences from different actors.

The creation of co-located Lacnog events, aims to promote a space for knowledge and collaboration for technical people in other established communities, where it’s possible to share experiences, exchange knowledge, promote initiatives, understand tendencies and address common issues, among others.

The first Lacnog @ Tical experience will be held in Buenos Aires with Universities participating at TICAL2016. TICAL is the annual meeting of Directors of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of Latin American universities.

There is often the misconception that network operator is a synonym of ISPs: in fact, Universities are “network operators” with an important experience in campus networks administration and the implementation of new technologies. As such, the know-how acquired in operational aspects of IPv6, multicast, Wi-Fi, virtualization, data centers and other technologies is a key value to be shared with the rest of the operators community.

In order to further engage Universities and Academia in LACNOG, a workshop for network operators from Universities is being planned for the upcoming Tical event in Buenos Aires. RedCLARA promoted TICAL, the Network of ICT Directors from Latin American universities. The creation of this ICT community, established a first working space, to be expanded and consolidated through the organisation of annual TICAL conferences since 2011.

It will be the first experience for a Lacnog meeting co-organized with a major community. We trust that bringing operational experiences to the Tical meeting will provide value to the well established community of ICT Directors and at the same time, LACNOG participation will be promoted and increased with additional diversity.

The workshop is co-organized with RedCLARA’s technical forum, CLARA-TEC. The forum is led by the Technical Commission and its working groups. The technical working groups in RedCLARA are headed by engineers from member institutions. They coordinate the functioning of these groups in eight relevant areas, aiming to help the Latin-American National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to deploy the most outstanding applications and new technologies for the benefits of their countries. CLARA-TEC and its working groups have supported, expanded and achieved significant Internet developments for Latin American education and research institutions.

The active participation of Directors and technical staff from different countries, makes it possible to discuss situations in universities across the region. The format of the workshop will encourage practical discussions, project planning, and case studies to promote new projects. Will serve both as a brainstorming exercise to address known issues and an incubator for new projects.

TICAL and LACNOG also opens up the possibility of making connections between institutions, thus promoting the creation of collaboration links in order to make the most of the synergies in the group.

At the workshop, Universities will share their experiences in hosting IXPs, installing CDNs, supporting community networks and helping their local Internet ecosystems. Those interactions and lesson learnt among universities, will result in increased collaboration, more efficient local Internet services and an augmented and improved LACNOG community.

One Step Closer: ICANN and Regional Internet Registries Sign SLA

ICANN and the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) signed the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the IANA Numbering Services during the ICANN 56 meeting held in Helsinki.

This agreement documents the arrangements for provision by ICANN of IANA numbering services, after the IANA stewardship transition which is expected to occur on 30 September.

The signing of the SLA –which will only come into effect with the transition–  is a significant milestone in the long process of transition planning which began in March 2014 with the United States Government announcement. The process involved huge efforts by the Internet number community collectively, and by teams such as CRISP created specifically for this task.

In particular, the NRO Executive Council expressed its sincere thanks for the contribution of CRISP Team members during the past year and a half and their work on the IANA stewardship transition process. The CRISP team worked tirelessly to integrate and consolidate the views from the five different regional communities into a single proposal. Now that the work of the CRISP team is complete, the NRO has announced the team’s formal dissolution.

Finally, the NRO EC also acknowledged the support of the ICANN Board and staff who worked hard with them to finalize the SLA and ensure it was completed on time.

The final version of the SLA is available at http://www.nro.net/sla

Increased Use of LACNIC’s Online Training Opportunities

According to the annual survey conducted by international consultant Mercoplus among more than 5,500 members of the Regional Internet Registry, the Latin American and Caribbean community is making greater use of LACNIC products and services.

The latest customer satisfaction survey revealed a large increase in the demand for LACNIC’s virtual training offerings, which are now being used by 42% of the organization’s members.

“Almost half of our customers are taking advantage of our online training initiatives, a significant increase from the previous 7%. This percentage is even higher – 68% – if we include LACNIC’s in-person training activities,” noted Alfredo Verderosa, LACNIC Services Manager. The greatest growth in terms of online training participation was registered in Central America.

The survey highlights a high level of satisfaction with training outcomes: according to Mercoplus, 93% of members are satisfied or very satisfied with online training and 94% with in-person training activities.

Also according to Mercoplus, for the fifth consecutive year LACNIC maintained a very good level of satisfaction among its clients in regards to the services the organization offers in the 33 Latin American and Caribbean territories that make up its service region.

Results of the consultant’s research show that 94% of LACNIC’s 5,500 members are very satisfied or satisfied with the work and services provided by the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Compared to the previous survey, results show a significant improvement in the opinion of our Central American and Caribbean clients, said LACNIC’s Customer Manager.

According to the data gathered by Mercoplus, in the last year only 3% of LACNIC’s more than 5,500 members submitted a complaint regarding the services provided by the organization, and two out of three of those complaints were solved to the customer’s satisfaction. Likewise, nine out of 10 members expressed high levels of satisfaction with LACNIC’s solutions and response times.

The positive opinion expressed by LACNIC members is reflected in a high level of commitment, as 88% would recommend the organization if someone were to ask.

LACNIC’s resource allocation (IPv4, IPv6 y ASN) services were also rated highly in terms of customer satisfaction: 91% of respondents are very satisfied with this service.

The survey shows that LACNIC members have a close relationship with the organization and, on average, have contact with LACNIC four times a year. Participating in events and courses accounts for the largest part of this contact.

Internet Governance in Costa Rica

During the final week of July, Costa Rica welcomed the ninth edition of the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum.

Dozens of civil society, academia, technical community, business organizations and government representatives met in San Jose, Costa Rica, to analyze and discuss Internet Governance issues that are relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean.

César Díaz, Head of Strategic Relations and Telecommunications at LACNIC, noted that organizing the LACIGF meeting in Costa Rica had helped engage the Central American region in relevant discussions on the global governance agenda. “Costa Rica is one of the leaders in Internet Governance dialogue and tries to bring more Central American voices to these discussions,” said Díaz.

Various relevant regional Internet Governance topics were addressed during the forum, among them freedom of expression, human rights, and gender equality in ICTs. The agenda not only focused on the region’s needs, but also looked to the future and discussed the major challenges for sustainable and inclusive development based on respect, fairness and equality,“ added Díaz.

In his opinion, these regional meetings help lay the groundwork for multistakeholder discussions. “These meetings are essential for bringing the multistakeholder approach to Internet Governance discussions,” said the LACNIC representative.

The ninth edition of LACIGF sought to encourage dialogue so that multiple stakeholders would be able to contribute to the debate, sharing their ideas and proposals on relevant and pressing issues for the benefit of the various countries and regional Internet development.

More information: http://www.lacigf.org/en/lacigf9/

Born as a way to read online content to the blind, Linguoo could revolutionize the Internet

When Emanuel Vilte set his mind to helping his mother engage with the Internet, he never imagined –or perhaps he did– where his idea would lead him. His mother was suffering from a disease that was affecting her vision, so he searched for a way to help her keep in contact with the digital world that didn’t involve the robotic voices typically used by computers.

That planted the first seed for Linguoo, an application that allows people to listen to thousands of online articles narrated by a global community. A bit like reading the Internet through one’s ears.

This application was born in Cordoba (Argentina) and quickly spread to 90 countries in different languages, received international awards (Unesco, MIT, Google, and FRIDA, among others). In the words of Vilte, it was precisely the FRIDA Award they received two years ago which allowed them to move to the next level, as it helped them capture the attention of the international community in a new way.

What is Lingoo and how was the idea born?

Linguoo is a platform for listening to online articles narrated by a global community. The project was born when my mother began losing her vision due to degenerative maculopathy. It was then that, together with a group of developers, we started looking for apps that would allow her to listen to the Internet. What we found was that every app was using text-to-speech, a technology that converts text to robotic voices. However, it turned out that hearing these robotic voices every single day was not a pleasant experience. One day, as I was walking around the city of Cordoba, I found a group of people at a bookstore who recorded books for the blind. That was the seed for the project. That’s when we came up with the idea that perhaps we could create a global community of readers who would narrate the Web for people with visual disabilities. And that’s exactly what we did. Then our number of users began to grow. Despite encountering countless obstacles along the way, we continued to move forward. Today we have more than 30 thousand registered users on our platform and listeners in 90 different countries. We started out with four narrators from Córdoba (Argentina) and have grown to almost 160 from countries such as Mexico, the United States, Denmark, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, and more. We have articles in English and Spanish and we are hoping to add Chinese shortly, as we want to create a platform where users  can listen to articles in the world’s most popular languages.

How does Linguoo work?

Our community of readers records articles from anywhere in the world, using different means based on alliances we create. Articles are recorded in mp3 format and uploaded to our platform. These recordings are then categorized and made available for listeners to hear them on their smartphones, either online or after downloading them to their personal devices. Finally, an algorithm determines recommendations based on each user’s experiences.

What has been Lingoo’s impact so far? Is it a paid app?

We currently have more than 8,500 articles and 30,000 listeners in 92 different countries. The app is still free for everyone to use, but in the coming months we will be implementing a Premium model similar to Spotify that will allow us to continue to grow, improve the quality of our audio recordings, and continue to permanently enhance the platform. Two months ago we received an award from UNESCO; last year we were presented with awards by MIT and Google. We also received support from Facebook, IBM, and are in the final stages of creating an alliance with T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekomm) in Europe to distribute Linguoo among its millions of users.

Why do you think that an app geared at social inclusion is so successful?

Because it provides a solution to a problem that affects a group of people who are segregated, and does so with the support of their communities. Sometimes it solves huge problems, sometimes smaller issues, but this type of project resonates with people and touches those whose relatives or friends are going through similar situations. In our case, we are helping people access web content on demand: by making them available on any smartphone, we are bringing libraries to blind people anywhere, with the help of human narration. With Linguoo, one can listen to articles from the best media outlets as well as audiobooks in both English and Spanish, while enjoying a more human experience than the one offered by text-to-speech technology. And we will soon have blind narrators as, with the help of several NGOs in Mexico, we are developing a method that will allow the blind to become Linguoo narrators.

Do narrators volunteer their time or are they hired for the task?

We have two models. Most of our narrators are volunteers, but we also provide financial support to those who help us beyond simply narrating and are part of the team that curates content, is in charge of community management or other tasks. We are like Wikipedia, in the sense that together we create a Google comprised of audio recordings and most of us are volunteers. But sometimes we need to hire services and, thanks to the support of multiple organizations, we can afford a few full time curators, narrators and readers.

In a recent interview you mentioned you admire anthropologist Amber Case, who believes that technology should be less robotic and more human. Is that the key to Linguoo’s success?

I think it is. The Calm Technology paradigm proposed by Amber Case describes what we believe to be the future of interfaces. A future where interfaces are increasingly human and people interact with other devices as if they were human beings, through voice commands, through the environment, and without the need to touch buttons or navigate screens. The future of interfaces is that of multiple intelligent, ubiquitous devices learning from users through sensors and “listening” to continuously learn about users and propose actions before the user need them. This is increasingly the case with technologies such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri, and all the IAs that are being developed to conquer the next destination, people’s homes or cars.

We also adhere to the Human Computation principle coined by Luis von Ahn, founder of Duolingo, as we believe that the power of communities is greater than the power of computers, and that crowdsourcing can accomplish things that individual computers cannot. Captcha, for example, helped distinguish human users from bots, but it also allowed a global community to digitize millions of antique books that were impossible to digitized using scanners. People recognized the words presented to them in the form of images and thus helped digitize millions of books. In our case, we are working in partnership with Yandex, the Russian Google, to improve speech technologies through IAs, which learn from the different cultures, colors, tones, and voices of the people who create our platform’s content in Spanish and English. This “raw” information is processed through machine learning and powerful IAs that extract patterns and improve voice recognition and text-to-speech technologies to give them what they are currently lacking, which is emotions.

Our vision is to contribute to the improvement of inclusive technologies through a platform where people can participate and help create collaborative, intelligent, inclusive, and self-regulated information communities. Always with the goal of improving access to information. Just as Wikipedia.

What can you tell us about your experience with FRIDA?

FRIDA helped us grow enormously in Latin America. Thanks to the support of FRIDA and LACNIC, we obtained our first seed capital. Having the support of two huge Internet policy organizations led us to win awards from MIT and UNESCO.

How do you assessment your participation in the FRIDA program and IGF activities?

We believe that FRIDA and the IGF allowed us to obtain the international recognition that helped us capture the attention of the international community in a new way. FRIDA and the IGF turned out to be megaphones which amplified our message, gave us credibility, and helped us find a way to reach the world. Today we are receiving the support of other organizations, such as the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, the Federal Telecommunications Institute in Mexico, and UNESCO.  Together, we are all part of this change, the result of collaborative economies, with all and for all. Because, as (Eduardo) Galeano used to say, many little people, in little places, doing little things, can change the world. This requires empowering projects such as FRIDA that will allow us to continue moving forward without perishing in the attempt.

Next Step for Ayitic: Training for Trainers in Haiti

The Ayitic “Internet Development” project, an initiative aimed at strengthening Haiti’s digital capabilities, is launching its third edition, featuring significant changes that seek to increase its impact and broaden its reach in this Caribbean island, one of the most vulnerable countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The goal of the program is to create conditions that will allow the Internet to become an effective instrument for social inclusion and economic development in Haiti. This year, the program will provide training for trainers in the field of ​​information and communication technologies so that they can later share this knowledge with colleagues and other professionals, thus generating a spillover effect and increasing Ayitic’s impact.

This new edition of Ayitic, an initiative of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, is bringing local partners on board to help implement the plan in Haiti: Canado Technique (http://canadotechnique.org), Ecole Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haïti (http://www.esih.edu), and Transversal (http://www.transversal.ht).

Haiti has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in Latin America and the Caribbean as, according to Internet World Stats, barely 12% of its 10 million inhabitants have Internet access.

In the first two years since its creation, Ayitic has helped improve the technical capabilities of more than 200 Haitian professionals and students in the field of ICTs.

“Promoting Internet development in the region, especially in places such as Haiti where there are lower levels of penetration, is in LACNIC’s DNA. The idea is to work together with the country’s technical community so that it can be better prepared to meet the challenges that must be overcome in order to achieve greater Internet growth and the social and economic benefits this entails. The case of Haiti is a particularly sensitive one, as he country has stronger needs,” said Carolina Caeiro, Project Coordinator at LACNIC and head of AYITIC.

Courses for 2016. This year, two Ayitic activities will be held between August 22 and August 27 at the Canado Tecnique facilities in Port-au-Prince: a workshop on IPv6 deployment presented by Alejandro Acosta, instructor at LACNIC, and Patrick Junior Marcellus, a local expert; and a Makers Lab focused on 3D printing and prototype development led by Giovanni Michele Toglia. Workshop contents have been supervised by Edmundo Vitale, promoter of the WALC workshops.

Experts and professionals from various universities and learning centers will participate in both events. Selected participants and the institutions that nominated them must agree to replicate the materials offered by the program in at least two training initiatives of their own. With its new focus on training for trainers, the goal of the program is that they will be able to replicate their knowledge in formal and informal education and training spaces.

Best Practices: How to Propose New IPv6 Policies

Members of the LACNIC community can propose modifications to existing resource allocation policies at any time and through a relatively simple process.

Since its creation, LACNIC has promoted a self-regulation model in which rules and mechanisms are established and developed by the community by means of public, open, transparent and participatory processes.

With the community’s consensus, the process for modifying a policy is quite simple.

For this reason, LACNIC is organizing the edition of its webinar titled “Best Practices: How to Propose New IPv6 Policies,” which will be held on 9 August and aims at encouraging the community’s involvement in regional Internet policy.

The community uses self-regulation mechanisms and members who do not agree with an existing rule may propose the modifications they see fit.

The activity will begin at 13:00 (UTC-3) with the topic “What is a policy? Why should I participate?” presented by Gianina Pensky, Policy Officer at LACNIC.

Jordi Palet will then share the success story of a policy he proposed which was later approved during the LACNIC 25 meeting. Jordi’s proposal consisted of modifying direct IPv6 assignments to end users.

The meeting will continue with a brief preview of the proposals that will be discussed during the upcoming LACNIC 26 event in Costa Rica. Three initiatives are already on the agenda, but there is still time to submit new proposals.

Participants will also discuss the region’s major hot topics, including geolocation, which is causing problems for many end users in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Both Policy Forum chairs —Juan Peirano and Alex Ojeda— will participate in the webinar.

The event will have a duration of approximately one hour. Those who wish to participate and follow the webinar live can register at https://eventos.lacnic.net/ev3/como-proponer-nuevas-politicas/detail

ICANN Publishes Plans for Upcoming Key Signing Key Rollover

ICANN today published plans outlining the operational processes required to change or “roll” the Root Zone Key Signing Key (KSK). The plans can be found here.

The KSK is a cryptographic public-private key pair, the public portion of which serves as the trusted starting point for Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) validation. ICANN, in its role as the IANA Functions Operator, will change the current KSK which was originally created via processes defined in cooperation with the other Root Zone Management Partners: Verisign, who acted as the Root Zone Maintainer, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), as the Root Zone Administrator.

The rollover plans detail implementation, monitoring, testing, and contingency processes designed to maintain operational stability and minimize end-user impact of the KSK rollover. The Root Zone Management Partners developed the plans that incorporate the Root Zone KSK Rollover Design Team recommendations [PDF, 1.01 MB].

For more information about the plans and operational processes involved in the KSK rollover, read this blog from ICANN’s Chief Technology Officer or access the Root Zone KSK Rollover page.

Successful Fourth Edition of CLT16,

Great Turnout and High-Level Debates at the Latin American Telecommunications Congress

Once again, Mexico hosted Latin America’s most important ICT meeting. For four days, Ministers, telecoms operators, regulators, executives, academics, and digital economy analysts discussed the challenges to the development of connectivity and the Latin American market.

With over 450 participants from 30 countries and key Latin American ministers and industry leaders among the audience, CLT reinforced its place as the meeting point to debate the future of the digital economy in the region. In a context of new Internet services, greater impact of this sector on the economy, and the population’s increased access to the Information Society, participants analyzed projects for connecting one half of the Latin American population who are still not connected, discussed the need to encourage investments, and debated the future of the Internet in the next 5 years. They also highlighted the importance of having regulation focus on users. The event was attended by representatives of 182 organizations, companies, and institutions from around the region.

The plenary session was held during the first two days of the meeting and was opened by ASIET’s Executive Director, who noted the need to “bridge the digital divide and move from an Internet for consumption to an Internet for production”. On the first day, discussions dealt with the challenges of regulating the new digital environment and the future of the Internet. On the second day, the region’s ICT Ministers took center stage and agreed on the need to drive local content development and address the divides caused by inequality in access. These sessions were also attended by telecoms operators and representatives of Regulatel, IFT and ECLAC. Likewise, participants also addressed topics such as the economic situation in Latin America and the challenges it poses for telecommunications; investments in telecommunications aimed at bridging the digital divide; the strategy for a Digital Single Market in Europe and the possibility of replicating the initiative in Latin America; and the impact of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference on mobile services and broadcasting markets.

The second part of the Congress brought together the most important ICT academics of the region for CPR Latam. Researchers, members of the private sector, and regulators met to learn from the studies and experiences they had each encountered while working on ICT policies and thus expand the knowledge of ICT’s social, economic and political impact in Latin America. Another highlight was the CE-Digital Workshop, Competition Policies in the Digital Era, organized by CAF ­Development Bank of Latin America, eLAC’s Technical Secretariat, and the GSMA. The goal is to provide training opportunities for regulatory agency officials and public information technology and communications (ICT) policy makers of South America.

The Internet Is of Vital Importance to Gender Equality

Greater female participation will help companies working in the digital world achieve better results. This is the opinion of Adriana Ibarra, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property and electronic media who has been involved in LACNIC’s activities for more than 15 years.

Member of LACNIC’s Fiscal Commission since 2003, Ibarra advocated to prove the value of women’s participation in society and especially in the Information Technology sector.

In an interview with LACNIC News, Ibarra said that achieving gender equality “requires getting rid of stereotypes and identifying procedures that limit opportunities and discourage women; above all, it requires providing opportunities, training and information to build leadership”.

In the case of LACNIC, she encouraged other women to join her as, in her opinion, increased participation of the female community will contribute with different points of view, solutions or alternatives that will help achieve the goals of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.

How do you see the role of Latin American women in the digital world?

Today we are seeing large numbers of women studying, participating and presenting valuable ICT-related initiatives. However, the reality is that we are still far from equal participation in the digital world.

Latin American women are fighting to have access to opportunities, to prove that their contributions are valuable, and to reach positions of responsibility and leadership.

Why do you think that women’s participation in the ICT sector is much lower than that of men?

This is not due to a lack of knowledge or skills, but to a lack of opportunities. ICTs have traditionally been a male environment. Women are working not only to prove that their contributions are valuable, but also to change existing stereotypes.

Highly qualified women are interested in increasing their presence, participation and access to positions of responsibility as well as public visibility. We are all responsible for providing information, training, access and support so that women will be able to take advantage of available opportunities and creating opportunities that will be available to all.

Greater female participation is a matter of inclusion and empowerment that concerns the entire ICT sector.

How can we promote greater female engagement in the Information Society?

By providing access, information, training and opportunities for women. Also, by supporting and developing spaces that allow women to contribute their talents on an equal footing.

Among other actions, in the case of ICTs we must generate high-level discussions with leaders and persons in positions of responsibility, create mentoring programs, foster networking opportunities, provide information on existing scholarships, develop training programs focused on women’s needs, and support innovative initiatives and proposals.

Gender equality requires getting rid of stereotypes and identifying procedures that limit opportunities and discourage women, but, above all, it requires providing opportunities, training and information to build leadership”.

What can the digital world do for equality?

The digital world is of vital importance to gender equality, as it allows providing access, information, training and the opportunities needed to overcome stereotypes, support leadership, and offer the tools needed to prove the value of female participation in society in general and ICTs in particular.

Now, the challenge is to show interest by developing comprehensive projects using available technology to help achieve gender equality.

How long have you been involved with LACNIC?

I started participating in 2001, providing legal advice to one of LACNIC’s members. I have been part of LACNIC’s Fiscal Commission since 2003.

What has been your role during this time?

I am one of the three members of the Fiscal Commission. This Commission is LACNIC’s control organ and it is charged which supervising that accounting and administrative standards are met and overseeing compliance with LACNIC’s legal and statutory framework. I am a lawyer specializing in Information Technology and Intellectual Property, so my profession has allowed me to make valuable contributions to the work of the Commission.

The position requires that we travel to LACNIC’s offices in Montevideo, Uruguay to meet with the organization’s treasurer, CEO, and CFO. We also meet with the external auditors and have the necessary documentation available for review. Members of the Fiscal Commission are also required to attend the organization’s annual meeting for follow up with the Board and to present the financial report before the Member Assembly. They each serve a three-year term and are annually renewed on a rotating basis. Their duties and responsibilities are described in Article 27 of the LACNIC Bylaws (http://www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/estatuto-capitulo-5).

What can you tell us about your experience on the Fiscal Commission? Why would recommend running for this position?

It is a very satisfying experience, both at a professional and a personal level, as it gives me he chance to represent women in ICT. I am the only woman elected by the Member Assembly to serve on LACNIC’s various bodies (Board of Directors or Commissions). My participation in the Fiscal Commission has allowed me to contribute my grain of sand to Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean and encourage greater participation of women in ICT.

Transparency in compliance with LACNIC’s accounting and administrative standards is vital for regional Internet development and to support training programs and sponsorships for the organization’s members. Being part of the Commission offers the opportunity to be part of this effort, while at the same time growing as a professional and having access to dialogue with leaders of the ICT sector.

In your opinion, why is greater participation of the female community in the daily work of LACNIC important?

Gender diversity has been proven to help companies improve their results. LACNIC is no exception.

Greater participation of the female community –not only in LACNIC’s everyday activities but also in leadership positions such as the Commissions or the Board– would contribute different points of view, solutions and alternatives that would help LACNIC achieve its objectives. It would also help identify needs and develop work plans to increase participation of the female community and achieve gender equality in the ICT sector.

Phishing Accounts for One Third of the Total Number of Incidents

Phishing is the most reported type of cybercrime in Latin America and the Caribbean, informed Graciela Martinez, Head of LACNIC’s Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP).

Numbers show that 32.8% of incidents handled by LACNIC WARP in the past year were cases of personal data and financial credential theft.

Martinez attended the latest meeting of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a cross-industry coalition seeking to unify global response to cybercrime with a focus on phishing attacks, in representation of LACNIC WARP.

The expert noted that phishing is a criminal activity which employs technical expertise and social engineering to steal an Internet user’s personal data.

“LACNIC WARP numbers show that phishing incidents are among the most reported types of security incidents,” Martinez told LACNIC News.

While we have recently witness a drop in new cases of phishing, the amount of money involved in this type of fraud has increased in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The same phisher can attack several organizations at once, using different links for different organizations; ultimately, however, they are all redirected to the same server hosting the phishing site.

Martinez explained that these attacks can also involve different patterns, such as the same gTLD (“.uy” or “.ru”), different URLs that redirect to the same fraudulent website, or a fraudulent URL that leads to a website slightly different from the original.

Phishers take advantage of the fact that most Internet users are not aware of the safety precautions they should consider when entering a private access website. In many cases, cybercriminals use the same resources as the website being targeted (e.g., the same bank logo), which makes it more difficult for a user to detect malicious activity and increases the attacker’s chances of success.

Martinez mentioned that phishing typically starts via an email message, particularly when a bank is targeted. Requests to update Apple user accounts have also been detected. This type of phishing seeks to obtain access to the victims’ iCloud accounts in order to obtain the access credentials stored in users’ files, such as their phone backup.

Last year, a new type of phishing started to gain momentum: infecting devices with a malicious application that encrypts all the information stored on the user’s disk. The cybercriminal then asks the owner of the device to pay ransom in exchange for the decryption key needed to recover the information. Victims are usually required to pay this ransom in bitcoins, a virtual currency the very nature of which makes it difficult to trace the crime.

Tips. Martinez provided a series of recommendations to help avoid becoming the victim of an online criminal attack:

  1. If you receive a suspicious email or a message from an unknown source, do not open any attachments and do not click on any links it may contain.
  2. If you have doubts regarding a specific link, type the URL of the website you trust and want to access directly in your browser window.
  3. Always check that the URL of the websites to which you are redirected match the original domain.
  4. Avoid visiting unreliable websites and ignore pop-up windows prompting you to enter personal data.
  5. Do not share your access credentials.
  6. Change your passwords frequently and avoid reusing the same password for different systems.
  7. Install an antivirus software and keep it up to date.
  8. Consider using spam filters.
  9. Before using external devices on your computer, run a security check with your antivirus software.
  10. Regularly back up your data.
  11. If you fall victim to online fraud, report the problem immediately to the organization involved and to the corresponding computer security incident response center.

information: https://warp.lacnic.net/

Funding for Six Innovative Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean

Six innovative Information Technology (ICT) projects will receive financial support from the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) to promote social and economic development and Internet access in the region.

These projects are the winners of the 2016 FRIDA Grants and will receive a total of US$145,000 from the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC), the Internet Society and LACNIC.

The projects chosen by FRIDA Selection Committee were Digital Mapping by Organización Perpendicular (Guatemala), Digital and Accessible Library ( by Uruguay’s National Association for the Blind (Uruguay), Radio Amazónica: Digital High-Frequency Radio by Sao Paulo State University (UNESP, Brazil), IPv6 Deployment by the National University of Tucumán (Argentina), Protecting the TOR Network against Malicious Traffic by Campinas State University (Brazil), and BGP Security in RENATA’s Infrastructure by RENATA, the National Advanced Technology Academic Network (Colombia). Each organization will receive between US$20,000 and US$30,000 to execute their projects.

“We are proud that the community entrusts LACNIC with its ideas for promoting social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” noted Carolina Caeiro, head of the FRIDA Program.

These six proposals were selected by the members of the FRIDA Selection Committee —Ida Holz, Amparo Arango, Jesus Martinez, Daniela Kreimer, Antonio Moreiras and Juan Manuel Casanueve— after an extensive evaluation process. Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Amparo Arango noted that they had received highly innovative project proposals involving the use of ICTs and the adoption of new trends.

FRIDA Grants.

The Digital Mapping project by Guatemala’s Organización Perpendicular seeks to gather information on approximately 300 informal settlements with the help of drones and mobile devices. This data will help streamline and prioritize public policies and actions to prevent tragedies in these areas. The information will be available via an online platform. http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19953

The goal of Digital and Accessible Library, a project submitted by the Uruguayan Association for the Blind, is to provide digital education tools for children, teenagers and young people with visual disabilities. Their proposal consists of creating a system for digitizing books and making them available online in various formats. http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19394

Radio Amazónica: Digital High-Frequency Radio, a project by São Paulo State University (UNESP, Brazil) seeks to provide digital communication infrastructure to traditional communities in isolated rural areas in the state of Acre, part of the Brazilian Amazon. This activity is the continuation of a research project completed in 2015 through which five high-frequency radio stations were installed in the Alto Juruá reserve, in communities with no communication infrastructure, sometimes even a day’s boat ride away from the nearest phone.

More information: http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19983

Submitted by Campinas State University (Brazil), the project for Protecting the TOR Network against Malicious Traffic seeks to implement a solution to the growing amount of malicious traffic using this network. Its goal is to research methods and techniques for protecting the Tor network against malicious traffic, while maintaining the privacy and anonymity of harmless traffic.

http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19906

Another winning project, BGP Security by RENATA (Colombia’s National Advanced Technology Academic Network) involves implementing origin validation for BGP routes in RENATA’s network backbone.  http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19927

The last selected project was IPv6 Deployment by the National University of Tucumán (UNT), the largest university of Northern Argentina. This project will address the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6, first in one of the centers with the largest network infrastructure and then gradually migrating to other centers until the university’s entire infrastructure is operating on native IPv6.  Details of this initiative can be found at http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19641

FRIDA is the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean. This LACNIC initiative is supported by the International Centre for Development Research (IDRC) of Canada and the Internet Society.

Innovative Projects: Speaking with Julis and Open Router

The results of the 2016 FRIDA Scale-Ups call for proposals have been announced and the two winning projects —a Colombian technology solution for people with speaking, reading and writing difficulties and an Argentine proposal for providing digital connectivity to community networks by means of open routers— will each receive US$40,000.

Yesterday, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean’s Selection Committee decided to provide financial support to Speaking with Julis (Colombia) and Open Router by Altermundi (Argentina), to strengthen these social enterprises and help them gain scale by replicating successful technologies.

Hablando con Julis (Speaking with Julis) Born as a result of the personal need of one Colombian family, Hablando con Julis (HCJ) is a digital platform for people with speaking, reading and writing difficulties. It was created so that Julis, a twenty-four year old young woman with a speech impediment, would be able to communicate.

(See http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19298)

The HCJ solution allows anyone to communicate, improve their pronunciation, and learn to read and write in a short period of time. It was designed for persons with speech difficulties, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, cases of illiteracy and those who have lost their ability to speak due to an illness.

This project was named Social Innovation of the Year by MIT Technology Review. With more than 5,000 users in Latin America, it has already shown great results.

Open Router. The Altermundi Civil Association (Argentina) created a model for bringing the Internet to areas and towns with no commercial service, by means of a system that will be managed by the beneficiaries themselves. This communications service can easily  be replicated in digitally excluded regions by people without specific knowledge.

Altermundi promotes community networks based on the modification of commercially available routers, which are tailored to meet the specific needs of each network. The Open Router project seeks to design and produce high-performance, wireless multi-radio routers for community networks.  See http://comunidad.socialab.com/ideas/ver/19918

The two selected projects will also benefit from an additional US$10,000 for institutional strengthening and capacity building activities.

FRIDA is the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean. This LACNIC initiative is supported by the International Centre for Development Research (IDRC) of Canada and the Internet Society.

FRIDA Awards for Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago

The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean has selected two projects to receive the 2016 FRIDA Awards, a program designed to recognize innovative practices that have contributed to the region’s social and economic development.

This year, awards were presented to AgriNeTT by the University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago) and Mexicoleaks (Mexico).

AgriNeTT is a project by the University of West Indies of Trinidad and Tobago which brings ICTs to the country’s agricultural sector.

The project promotes the use of digital tools within the producer community and agricultural institutions to help them lead the agricultural sector’s economic growth and increase its competitiveness. AgriNeTT aims to improve agricultural productivity and the income of small farmers, particularly that of women, youth and families.

The AgriNeTT team has developed open data platforms with multiple web and mobile applications: Agrigastos, a financial management tool for production units; AgriPrecio, which provides updated market price information; AgriMapas, an application that recommends different crops depending on soil types; and AgriDiagnostico, a pest diagnosis system.

The other winner of the 2016 FRIDA Awards was Méxicoleaks of Mexico,  an independent whistleblowing platform for revealing information in the public interest in Mexico. Méxicoleaks is an alliance of media outlets and NGOs working together for a more democratic Mexico and offers a platform where whistleblowers can leak information safely and anonymously. Since its creation, the partners behind Méxicoleaks have published 27 news stories based on13 leaks, making public information regarding embezzlement in the public real estate loans system, systematic mass destruction of pre-Hispanic ruins, as well as other cases of corruption.

FRIDA is the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean. This LACNIC initiative is supported by the International Centre for Development Research (IDRC) of Canada and the Internet Society.

Greater Participation of Women in ICT

“Inspiring Women to Participate in ICTs” is the title under which three prominent women of the Latin American and Caribbean digital community shared their experiences with a broad audience during LACNIC 25, the event recently held in Havana, Cuba.

Panelists included Ayanna Samuels of Jamaica, Anna Torres of Wikimedia and Inés Robles of the IETF, and was moderated by Laura Kaplan of LACNIC.

Kaplan stressed that the goal of the     panel was to promote women’s involvement in the technical community and also to inspire other women to participate and submit proposals having to do with their specific fields of action.

Samuels highlighted the impact that gender equality would have on the ICT sector and described the barriers currently hindering the work of women in the Caribbean digital world. She also brought to the table potential solutions to the problem of gender inequality in the ICT sector. To conclude, Samuels shared her personal journey in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Inés Robles then shared her experience and spoke of her role in an IETF group called ROLL (Routing Over Low and Lossy Networks). She noted that Universidad de Mendoza, the university where she works, promotes female participation through a group that invites inspiring female engineers to share their experiences and encourage students. Her final message was a call to women to “dare to do things they believe they will not be able to achieve because of their gender.”

“Remember –she added– that you are the ones setting the limitations; that anything worthwhile is not easy; that society sometimes discriminates unintentionally and we are the ones who must distinguish when it does.”

In turn, Anna Torres shared with the audience her experience working on Wikimedia.

The video of the panel is available at the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKLxB7N6oHs&feature=youtu.be

6 QUESTIONS IN 140 CHARACTERS: Get to know Göran Marby, ICANN’s CEO.

We contacted Göran Marby, ICANN’s new CEO, with the following questions and asked him to answer them in 140 characters! Take a look:

LACNIC NEWS:

What do you know about the RIR community?

GORAN MARBY:

I know how incredibly dedicated they are! The RIR community has been instrumental in developing the transition proposal. It was a pleasure meeting them at my first meeting RIPE72.

LN: What do you know about the LAC community’s global strategy?

GM: The LAC community has been very active in the region, and we are delighted to see their global engagement increase through ICANN’s SO/AC and WG.

LN: What is your assessment of the community’s discussions regarding the IANA Stewardship Transition?

GM: The transition process has demonstrated the effectiveness of the multistakeholder model. We know that working together is the right way forward.

LN: What’s the most difficult part about the ICANN ecosystem?

GM: The acronyms!

LN: What do you hope to achieve during your time as ICANN CEO?

GM: I want to work with the community to show the rest of the world the strength of the ICANN multistakeholder model, and to highlight the importance of one, global Internet.

LN: When are you coming to Latin America and the Caribbean?

GM: I’m currently in Mexico, for the OECD Ministerial meeting, and I hope to have many more opportunities to visit LAC during my tenure!

FRIDA Program Receives Record Number of Applications

A record number of projects were received in response to the 2016 call for proposals by the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA): a total of 551 proposals from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries are hoping to obtain funding for their projects in the form of awards, grants and scale-ups.

The volume and quality of the proposals received by FRIDA —335 initiatives in the Grants category, 89 proposals in the Scale-Ups category— mean that the Selection Committee has hard work ahead selecting this year’s winners, who will receive a total of 235,000 dollars distributed among the three types of support. Winning projects will be announced on 15 June.

Most of the projects originated in civil society (309), while 105 came from the private sector, 72 from the academic sector, 55 from the government sector and the remaining 11 did not specify their origin.

These proposals represent 23 territories in the LAC region: Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, Commonwealth of Dominica, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Haiti, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Carolina Caeiro, head of the FRIDA program, noted that this large number of applicants represents a huge challenge for LACNIC. “We are proud that the region has entrusted us with their ideas for promoting regional Internet development to try to find answers to the social and economic challenges faced by the people of Latin America and the Caribbean,” she said.

Internet and technology for social and economic development was the category that received the highest number of applications, followed by Internet and technologies for social inclusion, strengthening democracy and the exercise of rights and freedoms. Likewise, 65 projects were submitted under Technical innovation for Internet access and development (including Security and IPv6 Grants).

Caeiro noted that this year FRIDA will begin providing funding in the form of small grants to technical projects that address key development issues in the region, such as IPv6 and Cybersecurity.

“Funding is now available for technical projects. The community should take advantage of this opportunity,” she concluded.

First Mass Uses of IoT in Latin America

Inés Robles is an information systems engineer by UTN-FRM currently working at Ericsson Finland. She participated in the LACNIC meeting held in Cuba, where she was interviewed by LACNIC News.

According to Robles, agriculture, industry and traffic control will be the first sectors to massively use the Internet of Things (IoT) in Latin America and the Caribbean. The expert believes that the development of agriculture in Latin America will lead this sector to become one of the first to make massive use of Internet-enabled devices to collect information on the status of crops, environmental variables and other data. “For example, low-cost battery-powered devices can be deployed on site to monitor environmental variables such as vegetation, temperature, humidity, etc. and send the information to a central device connected to the Internet so that it can be processed at a single location. In this type of installation, one of the goals of the IoT is for low-cost devices to last several years without the need to replace the batteries,” noted Robles.

In the researcher’s opinion, industrial monitoring to reduce energy consumption or increase processing efficiency in the region is another area where the Internet of Things will be used.

Robles also included traffic control on the list of early uses of the IoT in Latin America. By way of an example, she mentioned Smart City applications that are already being used in different cities of the LAC region.

Likewise, Robles predicted that smartphones will become the main user interface for the IoT. “For example, it will be very easy to monitor things using our smartphones, which will allow us to open the garage door or send a signal to turn on the lights as we’re coming home.”

Robles defined the Internet of Things as “a term used to identify a network where devices are connected to each other, any devices or objects that can be connected to the Internet or accessed via the Internet, with or without human intervention.”

Looking forward, she stressed that the technical interoperability of IoT devices should be ensured and that guaranteeing privacy should be the top priority.

“Privacy is very important, as people send sensitive personal data over the Internet which should not be accessible to unauthorized third parties. For example, if a refrigerator sends a signal over the Internet notifying that it is out of beef, someone intercepting this message might use this information to infer that the owner of the refrigerator is on vacation or how much beef is consumed in the household.” This is why guaranteeing privacy is essential when implementing these technologies. The expert added that this implies that both the protocols and the products must provide users with the guarantees needed for them to feel safe when using this technology.

Changes in Two IPv6 Policies

During the Policy Forum held in Cuba, the LACNIC community reached consensus on proposed changes to two policies relating to IPv6 resource management in the LAC region. The two proposals that reached consensus are now in the last call for comments period on the Policy List (http://www.lacnic.net/lists/policy), after which they will be submitted to the Board for ratification.

The Forum was attended by 202 members of the community, and the first proposal that was approved concerns the modification of direct IPv6 assignments to end users. Promoted by Jordi Palet Martinez of Consulintel, the proposal modifies the text of the policy so that its considerations will be consistent with actual IPv6 usage. Palet’s proposal eliminates the requirements for granting IPv6 addresses to end users (see https://politicas.lacnic.net/politicas/detail/id/LAC-2016-4?language=en).

Also submitted by Jordi Palet, the second proposal that reached consensus at the Forum concerns the size and subsequent direct IPv6 assignments to end sites. In Palet’s opinion, an addressing plan is enough to justify the space, while placing limitations on actual needs makes no sense. Once the policy is ratified, assignments will always be made in blocks greater than or equal to a /48.

The other policies discussed in Cuba were returned to the Policy List for further discussion: a proposal to create an IPv4 reserve pool for infrastructure considered critical or essential for Internet operation in the region; a proposal to remove the reference to a provider’s “multihomed or non-multihomed status;” and a proposal to modify the size of initial IPv6 allocations.

New Forum Chair – The Forum also elected a new chair: Juan Peirano of Uruguay, who will replace Carlos Plasencia of Venezuela.

Juan Peirano works in Core Network Planning at Telefónica Uruguay, where his main focus is on IP networks and corporate and customer connectivity projects.

Prior to joining Telefónica, Peirano served as Internet number resource analyst and policy officer at LACNIC, a position that allowed him to gain experience in Internet number resource management (IPv4, IPv6 and ASN), direct contact with LACNIC members, and in-depth knowledge of the Policy Manual. He is strongly involved in the Public Policy Forums of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as those of the other four regions (RIPE, APNIC, ARIN, AFRINIC).

Panama and Costa Rica Share Their Experiences with IPv6

Within the framework of a panel organized during the LACNIC 25 meeting to analyze the impact of national policies on IPv6 adoption after IPv4 exhaustion, the governments of Costa Rica and Panama presented their experiences with IPv6 deployment.

Moderated by Cesar Díaz of LACNIC, the panel included Nayreth González, in representation of Panama’s National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG), and Rosa Zúñiga Quesada, representing the Ministry of Science and Technology of Costa Rica.

In the case of Panama, González observed that her country officially promotes an IPv6 action plan through the creation of an IPv6 Adoption Committee which seeks to develop initiatives that will allow incorporating Internet Protocol version 6.

She revealed that 46 Panamanian agencies have been assigned IPv6 resources and that .pa domain name servers are registered to support IPv6 (IPv6 DNS).

She described how the AIG has organized theoretical and practical IPv6 workshops, trained local technicians with the help of LACNIC experts, and encouraged participation in various working groups on this protocol.

González shared that several actions have been implemented in the short term, such as including IPv6 in national ICT promotion strategies, and signing agreements for the development of IPv6 content with higher learning institutions, application (software) providers and Internet service and content providers that will allow improving user experience when using native IPv6.

González also mentioned the incorporation of the IPv6 protocol at public administration level by including the protocol as a requirement in the technical specifications of Panama’s National Multi-Service Network and promoting tax exemptions for IPv6-related purchases.

In the case of Costa Rica, Zúñiga commented that a diagnosis report on the status of IPv6 had been prepared which recognized that the issue had not been assigned the necessary priority and that there was a lack of trained technicians. She added that the government had then decided to take action to ensure the effective deployment of the IPv6 protocol.

In this sense, she described the different measures that were implemented to reverse the situation: training sessions and campaigns to build awareness on the importance of IPv6, government guidelines and public policies for the promotion of the IPv6 protocol, technical collaboration with international organizations, and almost constant monitoring of the progress of Iv6 deployment in the country.

These actions allowed training approximately 200 technicians and incorporating IPv6 support as a requirement when purchasing Information and Communication Technology products and services.

Zúñiga also noted that Costa Rica has prepared an IPv6 Implementation Plan which has only been met by 22% of government ministries, citing a lack of budget as the main obstacle it has encountered.

Nevertheless, she showed great enthusiasm because the National Telecommunications Development Plan —Costa Rica: A Connected Society— lists IPv6 adoption in public services as one of its core ideas, and added that she expects that all government agencies will be using the protocol by 2019.

According to Zúñiga, the Costa Rican experience has allowed learning a valuable lesson: IPv6 adoption requires great effort and coordination, as well as the support of senior national authorities; otherwise, it is very difficult to move forward.

To watch a recording of this panel, click on the following link: http://www.lacnic.net/web/eventos/lacnic25-agenda-lacnic

Cancellation of ICANN Meetings Causes Concern

The top Internet organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed their “deep concern” about the cancellation of the meetings scheduled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in the Caribbean and Central America, one of the which was due to take place in June 2016 in Panama City, while the other was set to take place in October 2016 in Puerto Rico.

In a letter addressed to Steve Crocker, Chairman of the ICANN Board, the Regional Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC), the Association of Latin American and Caribbean ccTLD Administrators, and the Latin American and Caribbean Association of Internet Exchange Point Operators (LAC-IX) pointed out that the cancellation of the meetings in Panama and Puerto Rico will directly affect “Internet development in our regions,” as the cancelled meetings were viewed as favorable opportunities for developing the various work agendas, leveraging the geographic and cultural proximity.

These organizations reminded Mr. Crocker that, to date, only one of each six meetings that were held and scheduled by ICANN have taken place in the LAC region, despite the fact that the agreement was that it would be one in five The letter adds that “there is no evidence that this proportion will be fulfilled in the near future.”

Regional Internet organization leaders reminded ICANN that, in order to become “a truly global organization, it must take upon itself to modify its expectations and improve its understanding of the challenges to holding meetings” in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

National Internet Governance Forums in Preparation for the Regional IGF

LACNIC had a notable participation in the first edition of IGF Uruguay, Internet in Uruguay: A Multistakeholder Dialogue. This meeting joins similar initiatives in other countries throughout the region that serve as local preparatory meetings for the regional Latin American and the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum, which will take place in Costa Rica in late July.

The event addressed the most important Internet governance issues for Uruguay and the region, as well as key topics such as privacy, legislation, social impact, and future prospects of Information and Communications Technology.

The meeting brought together over 200 individuals representing governments, the private sector, civil society, the technical community and academia, who met at the School of Engineering of the University of the Republic of Uruguay.

This was the first time that an IGF was held in Uruguay and it was a complete success. The goal of these meetings is to raise, develop and discuss issues that are relevant to Internet development at national level, as well as to prepare for the regional and global Internet Governance Forums.

In addition to the one in Uruguay, there are also national chapters in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay and Argentina, while last year a local meeting was held in Costa Rica.

These national events are preparatory meetings where participants discuss the inputs that will later be taken to the regional IGF, to be held in Costa Rica during the last week of July, as well as to the global IGF, which will be held in December 2016 in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Casa de Internet and the Da Vinci Foundation Celebrate Internet Day

Día de Internet

Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Da Vinci Foundation celebrated Internet Day for the fifth consecutive year.

More than fifty entrepreneurs and representatives of the organizations working out of Casa de Internet participated in this special celebration held at LACNIC’s offices in Montevideo.

While enjoying a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, participants watched video interviews with members of the Internet community and entrepreneurs working in the field of ICTs. In these videos, members of the Internet community described how they try to contribute daily to improving Internet development in the region, while entrepreneurs shared how their work helps improve people’s quality of life.

The meeting was streamed live and sought to bring together different sectors working on Internet-related topics so that they could share their points of view and network.

Promoted by the Association of Internet Users and the Internet Society, Internet Day is celebrated each year on May 17 and its goal is to share the possibilities offered by new technologies.

Watch the videos.

FRIDA Grant Recipient Seeks to Reduce Cyberabuse and Cyberbullying

The Jamaican Centre of Leadership and Governance is leading a project to try to reduce gender-based violence in the Caribbean through the proper use of information and communications technology (ICT).

The initiative has been recognized by the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) for its contribution to the promotion and exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms online, and has very recently proposed a series of public policy recommendations to try to reduce violence against women.

According to the study, one in five women and girls in Jamaica are victims of online gender-based violence.

Titled “Violence against Women and the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Jamaica,” the project analyzed how ICTs are used in connection with gender-based violence online.

Dhanaraj Thakur, responsible for the Centre of Leadership and Governance and promoter of the project, told LACNIC NEWS that special attention should be paid to the seriousness of gender-based violence on the Internet.

How did the idea for the project come to be and how was the project developed?

Over the years I came across reports from the Jamaican media on various incidents of online sexual harassment, which in some cases involved physical violence. This led me to wonder about the scope of these incidents and whether the government or others were taking appropriate action to address them. On the other hand, I also came across the Take Back the Tech (TBTT) initiative by the Association for Progressive Communications and realized that this type of program could be implemented in our region. The first step, however, was to understand the problem within the Jamaican context. That’s how this research project was born.
What relationships have you found between the use of the Internet and violence against women and girls in Jamaica and the Caribbean?

The first is online harassment and abuse. According to the results of our study, 1 in 5 people in Jamaica has been the victim of online abuse or harassment.

Second is the way these forms of abuse often lead to major psychological damage or physical violence offline. For example, two people might meet online and then one might be deceived and subjected to sexual violence.

Third is the way in which ICTs are used in abusive relationships.  In many of these cases, the abuser limits the victim’s access to their phone or constantly monitors their phone to see what they have been doing and who has been in contact. Abusers also tend to monitor their victim’s Facebook activity.
In which online activities have you detected greater gender-based violence?

In our national survey we asked people on which platforms they had experienced online abuse. The most frequent response was Facebook (almost 45% of respondents), followed by Instagram, Twitter and online chat rooms. Generally speaking, violence had occurred over social media.
Are the relevant social and political actors responding to your team’s recommendations on how to best use ICTs to reduce violence against women?

It is probably too soon to see a reaction. We have shared all our research and recommendations with civil society groups, academics and—of course— government agencies. We will continue to promote the recommendations in various ways, including this article.
What are your recommendations? Is there any legislation in this sense?

Our report includes several recommendations. First, we argue that, while 1 in 5 people in Jamaica have been victims of online abuse or harassment, there is very little awareness of this issue at government level or even among civil society. Thus, the first step would be to recognize that the problem exists and that without a strategy to address the issue it will continue to grow. A second, related recommendation is to implement a national campaign to create awareness and educate users about the reality of online abuse and its link to physical violence. This campaign might also include training on the use of ICTs to combat online abuse and violence (the TBTT program I mentioned above is an example of this type of training).

Third, there should be a specific program targeting secondary school or even younger students to teach them how to protect themselves while online and as well as how to respect others. Fourth, the majority of those who attend church on a regular basis in Jamaica are women, so these places are an ideal venue to help raise awareness and educate women and girls on the nature of online abuse. In addition, this might also help spark a broader discussion on violence against women in Jamaica.

As for recommendations regarding legislation, while we do not propose any new laws, we do recommend addressing the gaps in existing legislation. For example, the current Sexual Offences Act does not adequately cover all forms of sexual violence and this might undermine any attempt to link online abuse to violence. Moreover, the current Cyber-Crimes Act does not address online harassment or abuse (although it does provide recourse against theft of personal data such as images and videos). Finally, the National Policy on Gender Equality also ignores the problem of online abuse and sexual violence in general. We argue that in order to address the problem it is important to reference the links between ICTs and violence against women and include strategies to address them in these and other legislative and policy documents.
What type of online interventions can be used to reduce gender-based violence in the Caribbean?

Most of the platforms mentioned above (in fact, most online platforms) are not based in the Caribbean. While it is important that platforms such as Facebook continue to work to reduce the potential for online abuse, immediate actions in the Caribbean should focus on increasing knowledge and improving the skills needed to combat online abuse.
How did you decide to participate in the FRIDA call for proposals?

Obviously FRIDA’s call for proposals included the Caribbean, but it also included a research component that made the program particularly relevant to our project. Given the opportunity, we decided to submit our proposal and were lucky to obtain FRIDA’s support.
How was your experience as a FRIDA Grant recipient?

We had a great experience, as communications and reporting requirements were very clear from the very beginning. FRIDA was careful not to burden grant recipients with too many reporting requirements, but always checked to see that we were effectively monitoring all project activities.

Because we focused all our attention on the project, we weren’t able to learn more about the other recipients. In fact, I hope that in the future we can become more involved with the FRIDA community in general.

One Year Handling Cybersecurity Incidents

As reported by Graciela Martínez, head of LACNIC WARP, since it began operating in March 2015, LACNIC’s center for coordinating computer security incident responses has already handled more than 140 incidents in the region.

LACNIC WARP (http://warp.lacnic.net/) is a team created to facilitate cybersecurity incident handling where members of the community can report their cybersecurity issues and have access to updated information on latent threats in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The more than 140 incidents handled during this first year were related to the Internet resources managed by LACNIC and involved both autonomous systems and IP addresses.

Martínez shared statistics of the WARP’ first year, noting that the largest percentage of incidents were cases of phishing 33%, followed by email abuse (account hacking or spam) 18%, others (users complaining of various incidents) 17%, and malware (software designed to perform malicious actions) 10.4%.

LACNIC WARP also has statistics on Autonomous Systems and IP address ranges of our region used to send spam, which will soon be shared with the community through the center’s website.

In addition, Martínez highlighted the fact that working together with other organizations has been extremely important, as it has allowed coordinating actions and detecting threats in a timely manner. “We are all responsible; working in the field of security demands that we join our forces. If two, three or more organizations are working on the same issue, there must be no duplication of efforts but instead proper coordination and information sharing. The speed with which we act when faced with a cybersecurity incident is critical,” noted the expert.

As an example she cited the center’s coordination with Interpol through which, in addition to offering training to law enforcement officers, LACNIC WARP focused on prevention and providing users with warnings about the crimes that are committed online.

The center has also worked on strengthening response capabilities in case of incidents involving Internet addresses assigned in Latin America and the Caribbean by promoting national CSIRTs. In this sense, close to 150 experts of the region received training in the form of workshops organized within the framework of AMPARO, a project that was incorporated into LACNIC WARP.

According to Martínez, LACNIC members should see the WARP as a point of reference for reporting cybersecurity incidents as well as a center for seeking help on how to solve such incidents in case of an attack.

Outstanding LACNIC Participation at the Buenos Aires IETF Meeting

Marking the 30th anniversary of Internet standards development, the Internet Engineering Task Force —the global team of engineers and professionals that agrees the technical aspects of Internet operation— met for the first time in Latin America and the Caribbean.

LACNIC had the privilege of co-organizing the historic meeting held in early April in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was attended by more than 1,000 professionals from 55 different countries. In addition, the LACNIC delegation that participated at the IETF contributed to the general sessions and other activities organized around the event.

During one of the plenary sessions held during the week long IETF meeting, Oscar Robles, LACNIC’s CEO, offered a conference on “Internet Deployment Challenges in the Developing World,” where he proposed focusing technical efforts on bringing connectivity to areas of the region with fewer economic resources (watch video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_wgZm8oUnc).

LACNIC’s engineering department organized an RPKI Signing Party where they shared the tools that LACNIC provides its community for the purpose of cryptographically signing LACNIC member numbering resources and creating certificates and ROAs (Route Origin Authorizations). Likewise, the use of the “RPKI ROA-Wizard” was demonstrated, a tool that simplifies the ROA creation process and suggests recommendations based on each member’s BGP announcements, as well as the new version of “RPKI Announcements,” a tool that that allows verifying the validity of resource status in real-time after creating the corresponding certificates and ROAs in the RPKI repository.

Another highlight of LACNIC’s participation at the IETF Buenos Aires meeting was the Hackathon, a competition for programmers where developers are encouraged to discuss, collaborate and develop ideas, sample code and solutions showcasing practical implementations of the IETF standards. LACNIC’s technical team participated in this competition with great success.

Six Internet Policy Proposals for the Region

Six policy proposals related to how Internet numbering resources are managed in the region will be analyzed and discussed during the Public Policy Forum at the LACNIC event that will be held in Cuba during the first week of May.

Submitted by members of the community, these proposals have already been discussed on the LACNIC Policy mailing list. Should consensus be reached in Cuba, they will continue the process towards their final implementation. The forum is open to the public and anyone interested in doing so may participate.

Proposals to be discussed

A Single Protocol. Juan José Gaytán Hernández Magro (Alestra) has proposed a way to settle IPv4-IPv6 connectivity disputes when only one of the protocols is supported. He promotes establishing a recommendation or approach for settling the IPv4-IPv6 connectivity disputes that arise when an IPv4-only network or carrier wishes to communicate with an IPv6-only network. According to Mr. Gaytán, users that only support IPv4 should upgrade their infrastructure to support dual stack to be able to use IPv6.

Critical Infrastructure. Edmundo Cazarez-Lopez (NIC Mexico) presented a proposal for creating an IPv4 reserve pool for infrastructure considered critical or essential for Internet operation in the region. This initiative seeks to create an IPv4 reserve pool equivalent to a /15 that is independent from the reserves created for IPv4 exhaustion. These addresses would be used to satisfy requests for resources that will be used to deploy infrastructure considered critical or essential for the operation of the Internet in the LAC region.

One Less Requirement. Julião Braga has proposed that the LACNIC community remove the reference to an applicant’s “multihomed or non-multihomed” status. Removing the reference to a provider’s “multihomed or non-multihomed status” would also eliminate the requirement that mentions “utilization of at least 50% of the requested address space” and harmonizing this text as “25% of the requested address space.”

IPv6 Assignments to End Users. Another proposal that will be discussed during LACNIC 25 is the change promoted by Jordi Palet Martinez (Consulintel) regarding the modification of direct IPv6 assignments to end users. According to the author, “this policy was designed based on its IPv4 equivalent and some of its considerations make no sense in IPv6.” This proposal seeks to modify the text so that it will be consistent with actual IPv6 usage.

Initial IPv6 Allocations. Jordi Palet has also proposed modifying the size of initial IPv6 allocations. According to Mr. Palet, when the policy was originally drafted the authors failed to consider the case of organizations that are not strictly ISPs in the traditional sense of the term but are instead government agencies, academic networks or other similar cases. Because of their size, number of users, extent of their infrastructure, hierarchical and/or geographic structure, or other reasons, etc., under the current text of the policy these organizations might not be able to justify the need for an allocation larger than a /32 as required by the current text of the policy.

Thus, Mr. Palet proposes creating a new section for this type of organizations: “Initial allocation size for LIRs that are not ISPs (governments, associations, academic networks or other similar cases).”

Size and subsequent direct IPv6 assignments to end sites. In addition, Jordi Palet submitted a third proposal to modify an IPv6 policy, this one involving the size and subsequent direct IPv6 assignments to end users.

In his opinion, the policy currently limits the maximum size of assignments, so he proposes that addresses should always be assigned in blocks larger than or equal to a /48 and that, where possible, such assignments should be made from a contiguous address block.

The proposal seeks to modify the text so that it will be consistent with the reality of IPv6, in which, according to Mr. Palet, placing limitations on actual needs makes no sense.

What You Need to Know about LACNIC 25

Thirteen years after its last event in Cuba, LACNIC is returning to Havana to celebrate the organization’s most important annual meeting of 2016: LACNIC 25.

More than five hundred professionals from around the region have confirmed their participation at the meeting, which will be held on 2-6 May in Havana and will focus on the need to deploy IPv6 in Latin America and the Caribbean. The meeting will also focus on promoting connectivity in the countries of the region, particularly in those of the Caribbean, the area with the lowest Internet penetration rate (41.9%) in the entire LACNIC service region.

Highlights of the meeting will include a presentation by two of the world’s most noted experts on IPv6 issues, Tom Coffen and Latif Ladid. The event will also include a panel that will discuss various IPv6 deployment success stories in the region (Panama, Colombia and Costa Rica) with the participation of public sector actors.

A recent study by LACNIC and CAF has showed that Latin America and the Caribbean are faced with the challenge of evolving as Internet penetration continues to grow, particularly with the deployment of IPv6, as today IPv6 traffic represents more than 1% of total traffic in only four countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru), a fact needs to change substantially to allow deploying the Internet of Things (IoT).

The meeting in Cuba will also include a presentation by Inés Robles, an expert in ICTs and the development of the Internet of Things. Inés Robles will be part of a panel with Ana Torres (Wikimedia) and Ayanna Samuels.

For those interested in cybersecurity, an agreement will be presented that was recently signed between LACNIC and the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group, an international organization devoted to protecting end users against cyber attacks.

LACNIC 25 will also welcome the Peering Forum, a space that seeks to provide the opportunity for major ISPs, Content Providers and Internet Exchange Points of the region to discuss and negotiate transit and peering agreements.

A new addition that will make its debut at LACNIC 25 is an app that will allow both in-person and remote participants to follow the event. The event program is available at http://www.lacnic.net/web/eventos/lacnic25-agenda

LACNIC 25 is organized by the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC) together with Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA).

LACNIC Prepares a New Strategic Plan

According to Wardner Maia, new Chairman of the LACNIC Board, the Internet has become as essential as running water or electricity and consequently, as Information Technology professionals, his organization should take care that “the Web is always working and meeting people’s expectations.”

This year, Wardner Maia, a Brazilian engineer specializing in the field of Telecommunications and Information Technology who has been involved with LACNIC for ten years, assumed as Chairman of the Board of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.

In an interview with LACNIC News, Maia announced that LACNIC is preparing a new strategic plan combining the expectations of the region’s various stakeholders. “The LAC region has made significant progress, (but) there is still much work to be done,” admitted Maia.

How do you view current Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Latin America and the Caribbean are characterized by a significant diversity of cultures and socio-economic realities, a fact reflected in a wide disparity in terms of Internet development. Areas that are well-served coexist with others with a pronounced lack of availability and quality.

Although in recent years Internet penetration in the LAC region has made significant progress, there is still much work to be done to achieve a level comparable to that of other regions, both in terms of penetration as well as in terms of connection quality.

In this sense, LACNIC’s leadership role is very important in driving actions and incentives for the sector.

Do you think the Internet has changed much since you became involved in ICTs?

The Internet is constantly changing as a result of the natural evolution dictated by technological development, its consolidation as a source of information, and the creation of new and innovative services.

An apparently inexhaustible number of applications are created daily and are quickly incorporated into users’ everyday activities as if they had always existed, thus increasing the importance of the Internet in the lives of people.

How does the Internet impact your daily life?

In recent years the Internet has evolved considerably, to the point of becoming almost transparent to all of us, just as electricity and running water among other examples.

We are becoming increasingly dependent on the Internet, while we paradoxically pay less attention to its existence because it is usually there, quiet and transparent. Nowadays we only remember water or electricity when they are not there; the same thing is now happening with the Internet.

For this reason, as a user of the Internet, I think its major impact on our daily lives is directly related to its lack of availability and/or improper operation. As professionals working in the field, we must take care that the Web is always working and meeting people’s expectations.

How long have you been involved with LACNIC?  What were the most important changes LACNIC underwent during this period?

My first contact with LACNIC was in 2006, when I requested an ASN and IP address blocks. At the time, numbering resources for Brazil were already being allocated by LACNIC, not by Registro.br.

I confess I knew practically nothing about how resources were managed from the point of view of the RIRs, and nothing at all about participation mechanisms.

In 2008, while working in Uruguay I had the chance to visit the organization’s headquarters —much smaller than they are today— and began to follow LACNIC’s activities. In 2010 I was nominated for a position on the Board, to which I was elected that year and re-elected in 2013.

There have been many changes throughout these years: the organization has consolidated its regional leadership in Internet-related actions, with increasing professionalization of its staff and the constant implementation and improvement of participation and transparency initiatives

How do you envision the road ahead for LACNIC in the coming years?

I think in the coming years LACNIC should follow a road defined by a combination of the expectations of the various actors involved with the organization, including its members (customers), staff, related organizations and Board of Directors.

To periodically outline how the organization should act, LACNIC reviews its strategic plan based on the perceptions of these actors. This has proven to be an effective way to manage our actions.

Specifically, 2016 will be marked by one of these periodic reviews, a process that is already well underway under the coordination of our CEO. This process will initially involve all those interested in shaping the foundations of the process by reviewing and compilation expectations; the plan will later be structured and discussed.

What is the role of LACIC in the regional Internet ecosystem?

LACNIC’s institutional mission within the regional ecosystem is to manage Internet numbering resources (IP addresses and autonomous system numbers), a mission we have attempted to achieve with efficiency. I think the institution is succeeding in this task by promoting policies for managing these resources in a democratic and participatory manner.

In addition to this key mission, LACNIC has also contributed to regional Internet development through other initiatives that promote and defend the interests of the regional community, thus helping create conditions that will make the Internet an effective tool for social inclusion and economic development for all the countries and citizens of the region.

The study by LACNIC and CAF on the status of IPv6 in the region shows that only 1% of Latin America and the Caribbean is ready for the Internet of Things. In your opinion, what might be the reasons for this low adoption rate?

First, it is important to highlight the initiative that led to conducting this research. While its results show a situation that is far from ideal, it offers various indicators of the approach the institution should take as regards to the measures needed to change this reality.

We could point to several reasons that might account for the low adoption rates, including the poor IPv6 connectivity offered by certain players in certain regions, the problem of IPv6 support in customer terminals, etc. However, it would seem that the main reason lies in the fact that many actors do not see IPv6 adoption as a priority or a benefit for their business, when in fact they should be assessing how failure to adopt the protocol could be harm them in the future.

In this sense, LACNIC has played an important role in encouraging IPv6 adoption, promoting not only training and capacity building activities but also events that bring together the different stakeholders involved in the IPv6 implementation process.

What is your assessment of the discussions on the proposal for the global community to assume stewardship of the IANA functions?

Many things have happened and much work has been done since the discussion process began in early 2014 after the historic announcement by the US government of its intention to transition stewardship of the IANA functions.

After more than two years of discussions involving different communities (the number community, the domain name community and the protocol community), the final result shows that the community is mature enough to adopt a multistakeholder governance model.

The future of this process is still uncertain, as it not only depends on the stakeholders directly involved so far. However, given the consistency of the work that has been done, it would appear that the community’s efforts will be rewarded with a more permanent and sustainable ecosystem.

What are your expectations for the LACNIC meeting in Cuba?

The last event LACNIC held in Cuba was in 2003, thirteen years ago. Much has changed in LACNIC since then and the organization’s meetings have grown substantially, not only in terms of size but mainly because of the intense participation of its members. Cuba also deserves to be highlighted for its great prominence in the current scenario because of the prospects for changes in its geopolitical reality, which are giving way to the country’s even greater integration within the global community.

Many new additions will make their debut at this meeting, including the women in IT panel, the government representative panel, and many others.

All of these ingredients lead us to conclude that the meeting in Havana will be unique and will undoubtedly mark a milestone in the history of LACNIC.

Chairing the LACNIC Policy Forum: A place of prestige:

Those who have served chaired LACNIC’s Policy Forum have gained prominence within the community, as they are seen as activists involved in issues of concern to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Now that the call for candidates to elect a new chair for the LACNIC Policy Development Process is open, Christian O’Flaherty and Nicolas Antoniello, two outstanding ICT professionals, shared their views on the position they occupied at different times.

O’Flaherty chaired the Policy Forum from 2004 to 2008. In the words of O’Flaherty, “a regional Internet address registry’s Policy Forum is the most important community in the management of the region’s Internet resources. The Forum discusses and agrees the rules that determine how the regional registry distributes its resources.” In this sense, O’Flaherty observed that “the proper operation of the regional registry depends on the work of this community.”

Regarding his experience, he noted that chairing the Policy Forum is “a great responsibility but also a unique opportunity to get to know each country’s needs and influential stakeholders.”

He explained that forum chairs are at the service of the regional Internet community, serving as a link between the Registry and the members of the community, its businesses and organizations.  He considered that the opportunity to lead the Policy Forum was a great honor and a “highly recommendable” personal and professional experience.

Nicolas Antoniello chaired the LACNIC Forum from 2009 to 2015. In his opinion, in addition to the responsibility and commitment to the regional and global Internet community, charing the Forum offers the chance to be actively involved in a policy development process that is key to the region. According to Antoniello, “It allows being part of the changes when changes are necessary, participating both in the in-depth analysis of the requirements leading to the development of new policies and the review of those already in force.”

Antoniello values his six years of experience as Forum chair. “The balance is very positive. It leaves you with knowledge and experience of the collective process through which proposals and policies are developed, as well as infinite amounts of learning. Even on a personal level, it helps improve communication and —why not?— leadership skills in broad discussions involving the entire region. You also get to know many colleagues and friends without whom this which I call “an adventure” would not be possible or make sense,” he concluded.

The current call for candidates to the position closes on 12 April and only requirement is that candidates must be LACNIC members or nominated by a LACNIC member.  More information is available at http://www.lacnic.net/web/elecciones/2016-co-moderador

LACNIC and CAF and encourage IoT development in the region

CAF —the Latin American Development Bank— and LACNIC presented a study that seeks to contribute to the development, expansion and adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). This would allow meeting the growing demand resulting from greater Internet utilization and the rise in the number of electronic devices.

Titled “IPv6 Deployment for Social and Economic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the report’s conclusions highlight the importance of migrating towards the new IPv6 format, as IPv4 has is reaching exhaustion and this would limit the chance of a successful development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The IoT involves digitally interconnecting everyday objects to the Internet. To do so, each object needs an IP address. IP version 6 allows a significantly larger number of addresses than its predecessor, IPv4, and at the same time  allows improving connection quality.

“This study is part of the CAF ICT program, which was created so that the region’s information and communications technology sector can have all the elements needed for its development,” explained Gladis Genua, CAF director and representative in Uruguay.

In this regard, she stressed that the institution supports countries in different ways, such as the construction of the infrastructure necessary for the industry to expand, the development of a regulatory framework, and the definition of public policies. It also supports the generation of knowledge based on successful experiences that can be replicated.

“This sector is a priority in our strategy. We believe that generating a knowledge economy with technological and scientific foundations can make a difference in building capacity for development in the countries of the region, as others who have walked this path have already done with favorable economic and social outcomes,” noted Genua.

CAF provided USD 158,000 for the study, which were used to cover mobility, logistics and communication costs as well as to hire external supporting resources.

Members of the research team and LACNIC’s technical department were in charge of coordinating and executing the project.

During the presentation, Oscar Robles, LACNIC CEO, stressed the importance of this report. “This study supports a more efficient expansion at a time when significant progress is required. IPv6 is necessary for Internet growth, otherwise we will come to a standstill and the Internet of Things will not be possible,” he said.

Likewise, Omar de León, external researcher in charge of the project, noted that 50% of global Internet content is available over IPv6.

The report points out that in only four of the ten studied countries more than 1% of traffic was using the new protocol, wich reflects the fact that the region is falling significantly behind in this area.

The full report is available at http://scioteca.caf.com/handle/123456789/837

LACNIC working with government authorities in the region

LACNIC has intensified its collaboration with Central American and Caribbean government representatives so that public policy aimed at IPv6 adoption and deployment will be promoted at State level in the face of IPv4 exhaustion.

Within this framework, LACNIC experts organized workshops and tutorials on IPv6, interconnection, peering, and BGP and RPKI together with Panama’s National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG). Likewise, an action plan was drafted and an IPv6 Adoption Committee was established for the purpose of developing and implementing initiatives aimed at achieving IPv6 adoption in Panama.

The idea is to implement similar initiatives together with other governments of the region so that we can coordinate IPv6 deployment issues.

“We want to work with government actors to promote IPv6 deployment, as they can enact public policy and thus promote IPv6 adoption in the region,“ said César Díaz, Head of Strategic Relations and Telecommunications at LACNIC.

In this sense, during the LACNIC event to be held in Cuba, a panel of Panamanian, Costa Rican and Colombian government representatives and regulators will present their progress in terms of IPv6 adoption and deployment.

IPv6 Committee in Panama.- During the most recent visit to Panama, in addition to the technical IPv6 workshop, a high-level meeting was scheduled between AIG and LACNIC experts and state agency representatives to establish an IPv6 adoption committee.

Together with Guillermo Cicileo (Head of LACNIC’s Internet Security and Stability Program), Díaz also took the opportunity to talk to various business representatives, decision-makers and technology managers about the need to implement the IPv6 protocol, and organized tutorials for technical ISP and government agency staff.

Attendees expressed great interest in the tutorials and workshops, which focused on interconnection, BGP, route hijacking, RPKI and peering and had a great turnout.

LACNIC now a Full Member of M3AAWG

LACNIC’s Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) has created the LACNIC Initiative Working Group to analyze regional cybersecurity issues within the framework of the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG).

Graciela Martínez, Head of the LACNIC WARP, participated in the latest M3AAWG meeting (San Francisco, USA), where the Board unanimously accepted LACNIC as full member of their organization.

The LACNIC Initiative Working Group was created during that meeting., a group which seeks to engage Latin American and Caribbean professionals and experts in security issues within the framework of M3AAWG. Martínez noted that the group’s objective is “to produce recommendations on security issues related not only to the Internet but also to mobile phone operations.”

Founded in 2004, M3AAWG is a non-profit organization that brings together professionals from different companies (Internet Service Providers, Email Service Providers, telecomm companies, social networking companies, security vendors and others) to work collaboratively on combating different types of Internet abuse. Martínez also stressed that confidentiality is one of the pillars of the organization, as it is considered a key element when establishing trust.

During the San Francisco event, Martínez and Fabricio Pessoa de Axur (member of LAC-CSIRT) held a meeting with Len Shneyder and Jesse Sowell of M3AAWG to begin discussing a strategy and possible joint actions to encourage the Latin American community to take interest in the organization for the purpose of analyzing the most common security problems and needs in the LACNIC service region.

USD 235 thousand in the form of awards and grants

This year, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) will award 235,000 US dollars in the form of awards, grants and scale-ups to innovative Information Technology projects in the region.

These funds will be distributed among proposals selected through FRIDA’s three calls for proposals —FRIDA Awards, FRIDA Grants and FRIDA Scale-Ups—, which have been underway since 14 March 14 and will remain open until 13 May. http://postulaciones.programafrida.net/

The program also debuted a new website that brings greater visibility to the projects which are funded, and is preparing to enter new partnerships with other regional organizations aimed at modernizing their application process and providing greater support to selected projects based on their sustainability and entrepreneurship.

The 2016 FRIDA Selection Committee is made up by six experts with complementary profiles: Ida Holz, Amparo Arango, Jesus Martinez, Daniela Kreimer, Antonio Moreiras and Juan Manuel Casanueva (http://programafrida.net/comite-de-seleccion).

This group of professionals will identify the most relevant initiatives in the fields of technical innovation for development and Internet access, social entrepreneurship, and the use of information technology for social purposes.

For more information on the three calls for project proposals –FRIDA Awards, FRIDA Grants and FRIDA Scale-Ups— please visit the FRIDA website http://programafrida.net/

Final Proposal for the IANA Stewardship Transition

After nearly two years of work and valuable contributions by the three Internet operational communities, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (IANA) submitted to the U.S. government a proposal that, if approved, will lead to global leadership of the IANA functions.

According to the proposal finally agreed in Marrakech during the ICANN 55 meeting, the U.S. government would no longer  be responsible for stewardship of a set of key administrative functions related to the Internet —including management of the global Internet number resource reserves (IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and Autonomous System Numbers)— and replace them with community-based stewardship mechanisms.

Developed by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG), the new structure is based on the contributions made during almost 24 months by the three operational communities, including the Internet numbers community (those with an interest in global Internet number resource management).

Input from the numbers community was integrated by CRISP (Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal Team), a group consisting of members from each of the regions  corresponding to the five Regional Internet Registries (LACNIC, ARIN, AFRINIC, APNIC, RIPE).

Negotiations allowed developing a final proposal to replace the IANA functions stewardship with a multistakeholder, community-based, non-government entity, managed independently and transparently.

The proposal includes stewardship mechanisms for the IANA functions related to Internet number resources as developed by the numbers community.

These mechanisms include a Service Level Agreement between the RIRs (as custodians of these functions) and ICANN (as the entity responsible for their management).

The plan has now been sent to the U.S. government for review. Assuming it meets the necessary criteria, Internet Governance will have reached a historic moment.

Izumi Okutani, Chair of the CRISP Team, stressed that the discussions held over the past two years “have highlighted the type of bottom-up, community driven processes that are a central feature of the Internet numbers community. This approach has been instrumental in making the Internet a truly global resource.”

Oscar Robles, Chairman of the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and LACNIC CEO, noted that, while the process has not concluded —the U.S. government has yet to decide—, “at this time we must recognize the achievement that this proposal represents: a huge global community of people from different backgrounds and interest groups has agreed on a complex plan to achieve something of great importance.”

Robkes added that the work carried out during these 24 months “is something we should be proud of as a community, a testament to the effectiveness of the multistakeholder model.”

Training for Law Enforcement Agencies to combat cybercrime

LACNIC experts have provided training on cybersecurity to regional Interpol staff and law enforcement agency investigators.

Through two courses and workshops taught by LACNIC professionals, almost 70 police and security officers received training and tools to combat and prosecute online crimes.

One of these training activities took place in Buenos Aires during ICANN 53. On that occasion, LACNIC experts provided information to 30 officers from different security agencies in a workshop on DNS abuse and operational best practices.

Guillermo Cicileo, Head of LACNIC’s Security and Stability Program, and Graciela Martinez, Head of LACNIC WARP, addressed different aspects of IP address assignment which are relevant to law enforcement professionals, route hijacking, resources useful for police departments (whois, reverse DNS queries and others), and how law enforcement agencies can use LACNIC WARP.

“The training activity was very interesting; many experiences in managing security incidents were shared, as well as cybercrime concerns and challenges,” noted Martínez.

It was an excellent opportunity to make law enforcement agencies aware of the information provided by LACNIC and to obtain a point of contact for incident reporting.

The second training activity of 2015 aimed at combating cybercrime was a course on online child sexual exploitation for investigators. It was held at the facilities of Interpol Argentina. There, 40 police and security officers from around the region attended presentations by Andrés Piazza (External Relations Officer at LACNIC), Carlos Martinez (CTO), and Guillermo Cicileo (Head of Security and Stability).

“The presentations on the different topics were very well received; attendees asked many questions, and there was much interest in continuing mutual cooperation,” said Martínez.

Bringing the Internet to one town at a time

Bringing the Internet to areas and towns where no commercial service is available and allowing beneficiaries themselves to manage the service under a model of self-provisioning Internet access. In that spirit, Altermundi, an NGO based in Cordoba, Argentina, created the QuintanaLibre project to promote a system of easily reproducible communication services for people without specific knowledge living in digitally excluded regions.

This initiative has allowed many communities far from major cities to satisfy what is now considered a basic need for human development: access to digital communications.

In 2015, the FRIDA Awards+ Program recognized Altermundi for creating a digital community network in an area where there was practically no Internet access (province of Cordoba, Argentina)

Nicolás Echániz, one of the promoters of this project, spoke with LACNIC News about Altermundi, about his experience with FRIDA, and about the possibility of replicating the initiative in other Latin American and Caribbean regions.

How did the AlterMundi project come into being?

I began shaping the idea behind Altermundi back in 2002. While working on ecovillages, appropriated technologies, local exchange systems, free software, cooperatives, fair trade and other apparently unconnected initiatives, I had a very simple epiphany: what these things had in common was that, as opposed to the concentrated model, they all focused on peer collaboration. I then took on what some might call a mission, which continues to be at the heart of Altermundi: to help bring to life a paradigm based on freedom and built upon peer collaboration.

It was only in 2012 that we began formalizing Altermundi, after our participation in the Arraigo Digital project (within the orbit of Argentina’s Ministry of Education). Since the, our daily work has focused mainly on community networks for small populations, although we would also like to diversify into other areas.

What can you tell us about the model proposed by Altermundi for providing free Internet access?

The goal was never to provide free Internet access. In fact, Altermundi does not provide Internet access but rather a solution for backhauling traffic from local networks to and from the Internet. Internet access may be received in the form of donations or purchased collectively where economic o political conditions are more convenient. For example, in the case of the Paravachasca Valley, Altermundi and members of various networks in the area set up a backbone that reaches the National University of Cordoba. This allowed us to provide community networks in the area with transport to carriers who donate or sell transit to the rest of the Internet.

The model we propose is to once again increase the relevance of network edges; that members of a network understand the Internet as a true peer network. From this point of view, the edges are more important than the connections. Just as a highway that crosses over a territory is nothing without the populations it interconnects, in a digital landscape this increases the value of the edges – the center of attention are the people, not the cables connecting them.

How is the project funded?

Our policy focuses on obtaining the necessary resources trying to minimize actual money exchanges. Thanks to agreements with various institutions, organizations and individuals, Altermundi has its own data center space, network infrastructure, and autonomous system and IP resources, among other things that are part of the association’s network resources. Our greatest asset is the volunteer work of Altermundi members, but also that of others who decide to devote their efforts to the common good, whether they benefit from our projects or not. Networks in particular also operate in a similiar manner. Each network communally decides how it will solve its own internal sustainability, but the strength of each network will depend on the level of involvement achieved by each of its members and everyone’s dedication to learning and solving specific problems. It is like an organic body where the angry, the paranoid, the idle, the confident, the proper and the willful coexist, and where success depends on the balance between each and every component.

How do the project’s target communities react when they receive you and begin to see results? Are the communities committed to developing the network?

The involvement of at least part of the community is required, otherwise it not be a collaborative project among peers. Our role is to help communities understand how to build networks, how to start them up, and how to and keep them working properly. During this process, we help make them a reality, but it would be wrong to say that we make the networks.

Most challenges are of a social nature, involve communication issues, organizational aspects and basic technical knowledge – this is where members can participate as equals. Reactions and responses are varied and will depend on how each person understands and feels part of the project. Our experiences have led us to confirm that willpower and commitment are the key components of a community project.

Are community networks an alternative for the digital inclusion of populations not served by commercial companies?

Indeed. The more isolated the town and the fewer options it has, more people become involved in solving this need. Necessity is one of the best catalysts for community projects; these networks are no exception.

If it is not profitable for conventional providers to offer a certain service at a certain location, they will certainly not offer this service or will make it profitable by setting prices which many will find prohibitive, thus replicating a model of exclusion. People are left waiting for another provider or the State to take action, or they can take matters into their own hands and work on solving their need themselves. The provider itself might be the one to deploy this model, as in the case of Guifi.net, the world’s largest community network, in Catalonia, where enthusiasts and commercial providers coexist and maintain the principles of an open, free and neutral network.

Do you think that the Altermundi initiative (its networks) can be replicated in other countries in the region?

The network model developed by Altermundi is based on open source firmware and routers easily available on the market. Many projects have already begun to use this model in Brazil, Nicaragua, Colombia, but also outside of the region, such as in Spain, Italy and the USA.

Why did you decide to participate in the FRIDA Program?  What did you learn from your participation? Would you recommend that other organizations participate in the FRIDA calls for proposals?

Because it is a LACNIC initiative, the FRIDA Program is of special interest to us, as our work has had an impact mainly in Latin America. The experience of having implemented the project for which we received FRIDA funds along with the award resulted in a significant improvement in the quality of the backbone that interconnects the different towns of the Paravachasca Valley. In addition, having participated in the Internet Governance Forum as guests of the FRIDA Program led to the creation of the Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity, which we hope will have a role to play within the framework of the IGF in the coming years.

In our case in particular, FRIDA gave us an opportunity to fund specific projects, but mainly a chance to connect with other projects and people interested in technology as a vehicle for inclusion.

More information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luI5eEMa6BQ&feature=iv&src_vid=4SgVq7e40P4&annotation_id=annotation_1736487805

On the Move broadens its horizons

Following the success of its On the Move events in different countries in the Caribbean, LACNIC has decided to expand the initiative to the entire region of Central America and the Caribbean. Five of these meetings have already been planned for 2016 and will be held in Guatemala, Honduras, Guyana, Dominican Republic and St. Martin.
LACNIC On the Move will seek to promote and develop common regional agendas and make sure that all Latin American and Caribbean players can participate in building an Internet that will benefit our social, economic and cultural development, said Cesar Diaz, LACNIC’s External Relations Manager for Central America.
Meetings will be held over one or two days and will cover multiple topics focusing on Internet communities, governments and the key players that make up the Internet ecosystem.
Over the course of these meetings, experts will share information, experiences and best practices in IPv6 deployment as well as the promotion of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs); these meetings will also cover computer security issues and current discussions on Internet Governance.
The first event will be held on 27-29 April in Honduras; the second, in Guyana on 6-8 June; the third, on 8-10 August in Dominican Republic; and the last event on the On the move agenda will be held in St. Martin on 26-28 October.

A prestigious point of reference for the community

Did you know that you can become a LACNIC Policy Forum Moderator and a point of reference for the entire regional community?

LACNIC promotes an open call for candidates to elect a new Policy Development Process moderator for the region. All members of the community with an interest in promoting changes and improvements to Internet policies for Latin America and the Caribbean may run for the position.*

The increasing development of the Internet community has led to greater participation in Internet policy forums and discussions and has turned forum moderators into prestigious points of reference when considering changes to the policies currently in force.

Moderators are seen as involved and highly valued members of the community who are well-informed on current issues.

A moderator’s image is that of an activist, always ready to help and invite those wanting to participate. Likewise, moderators have great visibility, as their role consists of encouraging and moderating discussions on the Public Policy List as well as during the Public Policy Forum which takes place during LACNIC events.

Moderators participate in LACNIC’s two annual events in Latin America and the Caribbean and are also invited to at least one meeting of another Regional Internet Registry, where they can see how these forums are managed and network with other communities.

Becoming a moderator of LACNIC’s Policy Forum is a great opportunity which requires dedication and commitment but which is also very rewarding.

(*) If you are interested in submitting your candidacy, please click on the following link http://www.lacnic.net/web/elecciones/2016-co-moderador

Closer to our Clients

LACNIC’s Services Department has already begun its annual visits to members and Internet organizations throughout the region, seeking to increase member participation and involvement in community issues and the regular activities of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The first part of the 2016 tour included meetings with 14 clients in Panama and Costa Rica. Additional visits have already been scheduled to meet with organizations in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Alfredo Verderosa, LACNIC’s Chief Services Officer, highlighted the fact that the idea behind these face-to-face meetings is to hear the voices of members who usually do not participate in the organization’s events and share with them the current status and future plans for the Internet in the LACNIC service region.

“These meetings have an open agenda, through which we seek to encourage these members to participate within the community and in LACNIC events and activities,” noted Verderosa.

In addition to providing an update on the status of the IPv4 resources, they have been assigned and their IPv6 deployment projects, the aim is to share information related to their rights as LACNIC members and the possibility of influencing regional Internet policies.

Paula Manci, Head of LACNIC’s Membership Services, highlighted how well customers have responded. Based on the experience gained during last year’s tour, she added that she is expecting the positive involvement of the customers which LACNIC visited in Panama and Costa Rica.

Resource Certification System for Mexico

LACNIC and Nic Mx have agreed to implement LACNIC’s Resource Certification System, RPKI, in Mexico.

This agreement will allow Nic Mx’s more than 200 member organizations to certify their Internet resources directly in order to digitally prove they have the right to use the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and ASNs they have been assigned.

“The inclusion of Mexico in the RPKI system is very valuable and will allow certifying space that is very important to the region,” announced Gerardo Rada, Software Development Engineer at LACNIC.

These certificates will allow LACNIC members in Mexico to create signed objects (Routing Origin Authorizations, ROAs) for the resources they wish to announce through the specified origin Autonomous System Number (ASN).

The RPKI adoption rate in the LACNIC service region is currently 18.62%, which means that one in five BGP announcements in Latin America and the Caribbean are covered by ROAs.

RPKI is a set of protocols, standards and systems that allows verifying the right to use Internet number resources such as IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and Autonomous Systems. RPKI seeks to achieve a noticeable improvement to the Internet routing system’s reliability and security.

Since 2007, LACNIC has been participating in the definition of the standards that have allowed developing this tool. In May 2010, LACNIC launched its RPKI Certification Authority (CA) for the resources it administrates.

Helping the community develop policies

LACNIC has created new instruments to encourage members of the Internet community to participate in developing and modifying the policies implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The initiatives promoted last year in an attempt to achieve greater community participation include the so called policy shepherds program and a list of improvements.
The community’s proposals are an essential part of LACNIC’s services, as it is through this process that the creation and modification of existing policies are validated.
The goal of the policy shepherds initiative is to help new authors submit new policy proposals. “Because they have never drafted a proposal, new authors might need some assistance. Policy shepherds offer guidance to those who feel they might need it,” explained Gianina Pensky, Policy Officer at LACNIC.
Policy shepherds are individuals who have experience in the Policy Development Process and can help new authors. In 2015, there were two cases: Nicholas Antoniello shepharded policy “2.3.2.18 Trigger 2.3.2.18 when a justified request larger than /22 is received which can not be allocated from any remaining pool of addresses at LACNIC,” while Juan Peirano served as shepherd to policy proposal “Inter-RIR transfers.”
Another tool designed to promote a more active response from the community on specific topics is the List of Policy Improvements (http://www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/lista-de-mejoras-politicas).
According to Pensky, the goal is to create synergy among the community for the creation of new policies, hoping that, together, those listing possible improvements and those reading them can find potential solutions which may be submitted in the form of a policy proposal.
The current list of improvements includes editing the Policy Manual to correct policies which are no longer applicable, defining ASN and IPv6 transfers in the Policy Manual, removing the multi-homing requirement for End Users, reserving IPv4 address space for critical infrastructure, and shortening last call for comments.
Subscribe to the policy mailing list and stay up to date with all the latest news on policy development in the LAC region: https://mail.lacnic.net/mailman/listinfo/politicas

Research on IPv6 in 10 Latin American countries



LACNIC will present in Lima, Peru, a comprehensive study on IPv6 deployment which was conducted in ten Latin American and Caribbean countries together with CAF, the Development Bank of Latin America.

The conclusions and recommendations of the study titled IPv6 Deployment for Social and Economic Development in Latin America and the Caribbean will be released during an event where companies and organizations will also present their success stories with the latest version of the Internet Protocol. These experiences are part of the work, which required ten months of research.

Designed with the aim of promoting the development of critical Internet infrastructure in the region, the study reviews various aspects that affect the transition to IPv6 in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a diagnosis of the current status of IPv6 deployment, which summarizes different indicators by country and generates evidence to make the decision-making process easier for large and small ISPs, content providers, academic networks, universities and governments in the region.
The study shows IPv6 deployment progress indicators and partial indicators for the value chain. It also includes an analysis of the new protocol’s economic impact, a customizable model, and recommendations for its implementation. IPv6 deployment is the most sustainable alternative to allow the Internet to continue to grow in a safe and stable manner.

This diagnostic work by LACNIC and CAF covers all Latin American and Caribbean countries and contains data and information on Internet deployment in each one.
We will soon be announcing the date of the presentation, which will be held in Lima and can be followed via live streaming.

Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean continues to grow

A ninth organization has just joined Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean, a physical space located on Montevideo’s beautiful Rambla waterfront avenue, home to the region’s major Internet organizations.
The recently created Latin American Internet Association (ALAI) joins the collaborative approach that brings together leading Latin American and Caribbean organizations to promote the Internet as a concrete tool for the region.
Gonzalo Navarro, executive director of the Latin American Internet Association, noted that Casa de Internet is “the only initiative of its kind in the world and largely represents the way the Internet ecosystem has historically been built” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In an interview with LACNIC News, Navarro observed that this novel organization was created to contribute the point of view of a sector which so far had no representation within Casa de Internet.

What is ALAI?

ALAI is an international non-profit organization legally incorporated in Uruguay which seeks to encourage thinking about and developing the Internet in the region by defending our core values of freedom, education, innovation, entrepreneurship, economic growth, and user empowerment.

Which organizations are part of ALAI and what are the goals of this non-profit association?

ALAI is currently made up by its five founding members — Despegar.com, Facebook, Google, eBay, and Yahoo. Several other companies conducting online business in the region have also joined us, among them Pedidos Ya, Restorando, and Workana. Our aim is that more and more members providing services over the Internet — no matter their size — will join this initiative, so as to be able to serve them and make their voice heard on the principles which inspire us, declaring, promoting, and defending their perspectives; advancing the sector’s views in different public and private environments; and helping enrich the Internet ecosystem, building bridges among its different actors and developing public policies within our area of competence.

Why did you decide to join Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean? How important do you believe Casa de Internet is within the Latin American context?

The first reason why we decided to join Casa de Internet is because, conceptually, the existence of a physical space which brings together different regional stakeholders whose work relates to the Internet seems like a great idea that should be preserved and encouraged. This place is unique, unlike any other place in the world, and largely represents the way in which the regional Internet ecosystem has historically been built, namely, with great effort and cooperation, respecting everyone’s place, with the ultimate goal of transforming the Internet into a tool for regional development.

What do you think ALAI will bring to Casa de Internet?

ALAI represents a sector which so far had no representation within Casa de Internet. We hope our contribution will add to that of the other organizations currently working within the house in order to preserve this shared space that has brought so many benefits to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Save the date: a year filled with major events

This year, Latin America and the Caribbean will welcome major Internet related events.
On 2 to 6 May, Cuba will receive LACNIC 25, the regional Internet community’s most important meeting. This meeting will be held at Havana’s Convention Center and its local host will be ETECSA, the government owned telecommunications service provider.
On 3 to 8 April, Buenos Aires will be home to the first Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting organized in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IETF is an organization which develops and promotes voluntary Internet standards. LACNIC will co-organize the meeting, during which the IETF will celebrate 30 years Internet standards development.
Another highlight of 2016 is the ICANN meeting which will take place on 27-30 June in the city of Panama. This Caribbean capital was chosen to host the 56th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System.
In October 2016, together with the local NIC, LACNIC is planning to hold its 26th meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. As usual, the year’s second LACNIC meeting will be co-located with the annual meeting of LACNOG, the Latin American and Caribbean Network Operators Group (LACNOG).
Finally, in November, Mexico will welcome the 2016 Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Training security experts

Late last year, the AMPARO project organized Cuba’s first basic workshop on cybersecurity and the creation of computer security incident response teams, which was attended by nearly fifty Cuban professionals.

Together with ETECSA — Cuba’s telecommunications company — LACNIC organized the workshop in Havana to promote ties among various Cuban organizations and strengthen cybersecurity issues.

Participants representing public organizations, government agencies and universities received training from a team of AMPARO experts so that they would be better prepared to face the growing security challenges posed by the significant increase in the number of online social and economic transactions.

These specialists provided four days of training, including guidelines on the creation of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs), how to handle sensitive information and risk management, as well as practical workshops on phishing botnet attacks.

“We are convinced that this workshop marked the beginning of a new approach to security,” said Graciela Martinez, head of LACNIC’s Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP).

The instructors shared with participants the importance of cooperation when addressing security issues.

The AMPARO Project – an initiative which LACNIC has been promoting since 2009 – encourages the adoption of computer security practices such as Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT). The project is part of the services LACNIC provides to its members and to the community as a whole.

Young consumers

According to the 2016 World Development Report prepared by the World Bank, Latin America is the region with the highest proportion of Internet users under the age of 25. In addition, these users are the main consumers of digital content, spending more than 27 minutes on line each time they connect.

The report highlights small Caribbean islands, Chile and Uruguay as the region’s leaders, as these countries have the highest Internet access rates among their population. Likewise, Brazil is among the top five countries with the most Internet users worldwide.

Nevertheless, the World Bank report urges stepping up efforts to connect the poorest households —only one in 10 low-income Latin American and Caribbean households have Internet access.

According to the World Bank report, 98 out of Brazil’s 200 million inhabitants have no access to the Internet, and the situation is similar in Mexico (70 out of Mexico’s 122 million inhabitants are still not connected). Barely 20% of the people in Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala are connected to the Internet.
The report notes that 60% of the world’s population — roughly 4 billion people — don’t have Internet access and that the expansion of digital technology has contributed to widen the gap between rich and developing countries.

LACNIC Is Successfully Evolving and Becoming a Stronger Organization

According to Oscar Robles, CEO of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, after successfully completing a process of institutional reorganization and consolidation resulting from the organization’s internal growth and the expansion of the regional Internet community, in 2016 LACNIC will focus its efforts on analyzing the new challenges ahead in order to determine its next strategic cycle.

In an interview with LACNIC News, Robles reviewed his first year as the organization’s CEO, highlighted LACNIC employee teamwork, and offered an optimistic message on the future of the Internet in the LAC region.

In your opinion, what were LACNIC’s highlights during 2015?

Once again, 2015 was a year of significant changes within the organization as we attended to the needs of our more than five thousand members

We redefined our organizational structure to better meet the demands of a complex environment, our growing membership base, a regional Internet community in continuous expansion, an environment with greater shortage of IPv4 addresses, a world turning towards digital solutions and an invasion of sensors and devices connected to the Internet.

We continue to strive for a stable organization with a working environment that will allow the proper development of our employees and fulfilling our objectives. This year we ranked as one of the best places to work in Uruguay (GPTW) for the fourth consecutive year. We also received the DERES recognition for the best CSR practices in the quality of working life category in Uruguay.

We formally launched LACNIC WARP (Warning, Advice and Reporting Point) for the purpose of providing security incident reports and alerts to all our members, as well as our online Campus through which we offer a broad range of courses and exclusive benefits to our partners. In 2015 we reinvigorated the policy development process and had very encouraging results and received relevant policy proposals.

LACNIC welcomed prominent guests both at our offices in Casa de Internet as well as during our 2015 events: Vint Cerf, our most recent visitor; Mayra Arevich, President of ETECSA and LACNIC 25 hosts. We were also joined by Fadi Chehadé of ICANN, John Brzozowski of Comcast Cable, Kathleen Moriarty of the IETF, Alvaro Retana of Cisco, and George Michaelson of APNIC.

All this while working on the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions, one of our highest priorities, which will begin its implementation phase in 2016.

During your first year at the helm of the organization, what was the most difficult thing you had to learn? What lessons learned can you share with us?

First and foremost, the nature of the RIRs. Although I had a basic understanding of their inner workings, certain essential pieces of information are needed to understand the true nature of an RIR, such as where our authority derives from.

Other than that, having previously served on the LACNIC Board had allowed me to get to know the organization and have a clearer understanding of the direction we should promote.

This has been a time of transitions and organizational changes for LACNIC. Can you tell us why?

In previous years, the organization met important objectives and did so with the help of its organizational structure.  We now needed to adapt that structure to the new challenges we were facing, the typical challenges faced by any growing organization transitioning from small to medium-sized, with greater formalization of its internal activities and processes and attention to external risks and threats. This required a new structure.

LACNIC has consolidated its regional leadership in Internet governance issues and played an important role in the IANA functions stewardship transition. How do you see this process today?

I think the definition process was successful, not only because of this leadership but also because the five RIR communities successfully produced a consolidated a set of principles, which was quite a complex task. We then produced documents which reflected these principles and met the expectations of everyone involved.

The Regional Registry has generated new discussions with changes in IPv4 policies. What’s your opinion on this topic?

Something we’ve historically defended is the multistakeholder mechanism, not only because we are convinced of its benefits for organizations such as ours, but also because it is how we have always defined the rules under which LACNIC and the other RIRs allocate number resources to their members. Thus, beyond the fact that there were no explicit barriers in the mechanism for defining such rules (the policy development process), we wanted to make sure that the mechanism was clear and that everyone was able to participate. This year has been very positive in terms of our efforts and the results we’ve achieved, among them renewed discussions on policies which are relevant to the region, such as resource transfers.

The year came to an end with Internet pioneer Vint Cerf’s visit to LACNIC. What was your takeaway from his visit to Casa de Internet?

Vint Cerf’s visit allowed us to think about the major challenges for the future. Beyond sharing time with a public figure such as Vint, his visit will be the starting point for the strategic planning process we will undertake next year.

How do you envision LACNIC’s future? What does the organization’s roadmap look like and what are its major challenges?

In 2016 the organization will devote significant efforts to identifying the challenges, objectives and projects on which we will work during our next strategic cycle. However, there are certainly some elements of which we are already aware: an environment with increased use of technology (IoT), Phase 2 of IPv4 exhaustion in the LAC region, the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions, and local Internet governance efforts seeking greater weight and participation in local decisions, among others.

What would be your message to the community after your first year as LACNIC CEO?

The same message I gave to the Board during their final 2015 meeting. This year, LACNIC successfully transitioned to a stronger organization, less dependent on individuals and more dependent on the collective and collaborative work of the people who are part of the organization, with renewed commitment to its various communities, and fully aware of the risks it faces as it ceases to be a small organization (in terms of our number of employees) and prepares to analyze the challenges it will face in the coming years.

Vint Cerf and the future of the Internet

Vint Cerf, the noted American computer scientist regarded one of the fathers of the Internet and currently Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, visited Casa de Internet in early December for a working session with the LACNIC Board and staff.

Cerf’s meeting with the LACNIC Board, the organization’s CEO Oscar Robles, and Deputy CEO Ernesto Majó, focused on the future of the Internet and its potential for growth within the region at a time when the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean is celebrating its 13th anniversary with more than 5,000 members.

After his meeting with the Board, Cerf gave a lecture at Casa de Internet during which he listed a number of challenges and opportunities the Internet will bring in the coming years.

This conference was attended by representatives of the organizations which are part of Casa de Internet —LACNIC staff, the Internet Society, RedCLARA (the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks), LACTLD (the Association of Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs), eCOM-LAC (the Latin American and Caribbean Internet and e-Commerce Federation), ASIET (the Ibero American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication Companies), and ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)—, Uruguayan government authorities, university representatives, LACNIC members, and other guests.

During his presentation, Google’s Vice President spoke of various healthcare related projects that are underway aimed at using the Internet to improve people’s quality of life. He referred to the development of devices that allow monitoring certain vital signs or other parameters which might be used to mitigate disabilities.

A video of Vint Cerf’s presentation is available. Click here if you’d like to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntoduiAEyrE&feature=youtu.be&t=4m24s

2015 TIMELINE

Robles Assumes his Position as CEO (January)

Mexican engineer Oscar Robles assumed his position as LACNIC’s new CEO in the month of January. Robles was appointed to this position by the LACNIC Board of Directors after a deep and thorough selection process.

WARP Report (February)

The Warning, Advice and Reporting Point —WARP— created by LACNIC issued its first report on regional incident management. SPAM reports are the top concern for LACNIC’s coordination team.

LACNIC Campus Offers its First Online Course (February)

LACNIC’s Training Center launched its first introductory IPV6 course, a free training initiative offered in virtual format through which participants are able to complete various modules at their own pace and in their own time.

“Guarantee Transparency” (May)

During the event held in Lima, LACNIC advocated for the draft CRISP (Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal Team) Service Level Agreement to be made public as soon as it was completed “with fidelity to the CRISP Principles.” The LACNIC Board requested “guaranteeing transparency and the bottom-up process followed so far by LACNIC, one of the five RIRs participating in the proposal developed by the CRISP Team.”

The AMPARO Project in Costa Rica, Paraguay and Cuba

LACNIC’s AMPARO project organized computer security workshops in Costa Rica, Paraguay and Cuba aimed at training public and private organization and company representatives. These workshops were led by instructors specializing in the online handling of sensitive information and computer security incident management.

Great Turnout at LACNIC 23 (May)

In May, Lima welcomed one of the LACNIC community’s most successful annual meetings in recent years. More than 500 participants attended the event, and the presence of Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, in his first public appearance at a Regional Internet Registry event was one of its highlights.

Voting System (May)

LACNIC presented its new electronic voting system for the organization’s member assemblies. A satisfaction survey was then conducted among 111 participating organizations, which reflected high levels of satisfaction with the system.

Testing v6 Methodology  (June)

LACNIC presented Testing v6, a methodology for conducting compatibility tests on systems and equipment operating over the IPv6 protocol. This service is designed to support organizations and companies in the process of adapting their IT systems for migrating from IPv4 to IPv6.

Policy Development Process

LACNIC’s policy department prompted a series of improvements to the Policy Development Process. These initiatives included policy guidelines, practical online how-to videos, a graphic display of opinions on policy proposals during their discussion, and the remote presentation of proposals by their authors.

Submitted and Implemented Policies

In 2015, six policy proposals were presented and five were approved by the LACNIC community and implemented. Implemented policies:  Modification to the text describing ASN distribution requirements; Update to the Policy Development Process; Modify the scope of IPv4 Exhaustion Phase 2 in the region; Resource recovery timeline; and Increase to 3 years the minimum period of time required before a block can be transferred under section 2.3.2.18.

TICAL, a Space for Knowledge (July)

The Latin America and Caribbean scientific and educational community met in Viña del Mar for the TICAL 2015 Conference. There, Latin American universities had the chance to share their knowledge on Information Technologies.

Casa de Internet: A Noteworthy Example (June)

During the opening session of the ICANN 53 meeting held in the month of June in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean was highlighted as the only initiative of its kind and an example of synergy among Internet organizations.

World Internet Day (May)

In May, Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean celebrated World Internet Day with a relaxed meeting held in the organization’s lunchroom. All the organizations working at Casa de Internet participated in this activity.

World IPv6 Day (June)

June 8th is World IPv6 Day. As part of the celebrations, together with other major regional organizations, LACNIC hosted an online conference to promote IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Visits to LACNIC Members

LACNIC’s customer department visited 35 members in countries with typically low participation in the organization’s events. The tour included Paraguay, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Internet Governance in Mexico (August)

In August, close to 150 civil society, government, academia, and business organization representatives from almost 20 different countries in the LAC region met in Mexico for the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF).

Changing Internet Policies is Easy (August)

In August, LACNIC organized a webinar titled Changing Internet Rules is Easy to encourage the regional Internet community to increase their participation in the regional political discussions that determine how Internet resources are managed. The case of a successful modification to one of LACNIC’s policies proposed by Jorge Lam of Level 3 was also presented.

LACNIC Caribbean on the Move

A new edition of LACNIC Caribbean on the Move was held during the ICT Summit in Paramaribo (Surinam). This time, the format chosen for the event was a track for Internet-related topics.

Diagnostic Report on IPv6

LACNIC and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) completed a report on IPv6 deployment for social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, a research covering 10 different countries in the region. Results will be presented in February.

Elections for the Board of Directors (September)

The LACNIC community voted among 17 candidates to fill four positions on the organization’s Board of Directors. Members decided to re-elect Hartmut Glaser (Brazil), Alejandro Guzman (Colombia) and Rafael Ibarra (El Salvador), while Gabriel Adonaylo (Argentina) was elected to the Board for the first time.

Lifetime Achievement Award (August)

Within the framework of the Regional Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF) held in Mexico, LACNIC’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Raul Echeberría for his contribution to Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

LACNIC 24 in Bogotá (September)

Approximately 400 Latin American and Caribbean Internet experts met in Bogotá from 28 September to 2 October to discuss the status of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs ) in the LAC region.

+Raíces

The ‘F’ root server copy installed in Uruguay is the seventeenth copy of a domain name system root server installed in Latin America and the Caribbean through LACNIC’s +Raíces program.

13 years and 5,000 members (October)

On the day LACNIC celebrated its 13th anniversary, the organization announced it had reached 5,000 members throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This meant that 1,000 new organizations and companies had joined LACNIC since its last anniversary.

LACNIC Virtual Campus

LACNIC’s Virtual Campus celebrated its first anniversary, a year during which it offered five editions of the Basic IPv6 course, one Advanced IPv6 course, one TestingV6 course, and two FRIDA workshops. In 2015, approximately 2,000 people participated in the various training activities.

New Organizational Structure (October)

Seeking to satisfy the expectations of its customers and those of the regional Internet community, LACNIC modified its organizational structure to meet the challenges of the coming years. Ernesto Majó was appointed as the organization’s Deputy CEO to support the horizontal coordination of LACNIC’s various departments.

New Agreement with Netnod (September)

Netnod and LACNIC signed a memorandum for deploying copies of the “I” root server throughout the LACNIC service region. There is currently only one copy of the “I” root server in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Major Acknowledgments (November)

According to the ranking prepared by international consultants Great Place to Work, LACNIC was among the best places to work in Uruguay for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, DERES presented LACNIC with a recognition for best CSR practices in the quality of working life category.

Award Recipients at the IGF (November)

A LACNIC delegation was actively involved in several sessions at the Internet Governance Forum held in Joao Pessoa (Brazil) on 10-13 November. In addition, awards were presented to two FRIDA program initiatives within the framework of the Seed Alliance.

LACNIC Welcomes one of the Fathers of the Internet (December)

Noted American computer scientist Vint Cerf who is widely regarded as one of the fathers of the Internet and currently Google Vice President visited Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean, where he gave a lecture on the future of the Internet.

Diagnosis on IPv6 Deployment

After nine months of research in 10 countries in the region, in February, LACNIC and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) will present in Peru a study on IPv6 deployment for social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The diagnosis report’s area of ​​influence includes the Dominican Republic, Chile, Bolivia, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and Argentina and its aim is to promote IPv6 adoption in Latin America and the Caribbean.

CAF and LACNIC worked together on this project during 2015 to promote the development of critical Internet infrastructure in the region.

The proposal for conducting the study aimed at developing a diagnostic report containing recommendations on how to address IPv6 deployment in the region, said Laura Kaplan, LACNIC’s Development and Cooperation Manager.

By presenting the results, LACNIC will seek to raise awareness regarding the region’s progress in terms of migration to IPv6 within the global context, promote and encourage the development of successful experiences, and generate evidence that will help decision-making at management and government level. It will also seek to encourage  governments to assume a leadership role in IPv6 adoption.

The rapid expansion of IPv6 will make it possible to deploy broadband in the region and thus increase Internet access, creating a framework that will support growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The project expects to prepare a diagnostic report with recommendations on how to address IPv6 deployment in the region and support major and smaller ISPs, content providers (ICPs), transit providers, and the region’s governments.

LACNIC Campus: 2,000 individuals trained in one year

LACNIC Campus provided training to close to 2,000 Latin American and Caribbean experts and professionals through nine online courses and workshops held in the first year after its Training Center was launched.

In 2015, LACNIC’s new e-learning initiative offered two FRIDA workshops, five editions of the Basic IPv6 course, one Advanced IPv6 course and one TestingV6 course.

This Training Center was created to centralize and manage the broad and varied range of courses, workshops and seminars LACNIC offers almost daily to experts and professionals in various countries of the region and worldwide. This virtual space has allowed centralizing training for the region’s professionals on priority issues such as IPv6 development, and meeting the growing demand for training of the Latin American and Caribbean community in a variety of areas related to Internet development.

During this first year, 2,758 users registered on LACNIC’s Training Center, of which 1,967 attended one or more courses.

Five editions of the Basic IPv6 course were offered, four of which were part of the original program while the fifth was a special, members-only edition for which 1,604 LACNIC members registered. Likewise, more than 30 professionals registered for the Advanced IPv6 and  TestingV6 courses.

More than 330 participants registered for the FRIDA workshops.

LACNIC’s Online Campus had very good visibility and more than 285,000 visits, most of them from Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela.

In addition, 76 videos (in both Spanish and English) were uploaded to the Campus’s YouTube channel for participants of the various courses. These videos were viewed 30,494 times.

Chatting with LACNIC WARP: Social networks


LACNIC’s Warning Advice and Reporting Point has issued a series of recommendations regarding security and privacy when using social networks.
Many children, teens and even adults are unaware of the risks they face when they log on to a social network.
For this reason, LACNIC’s security center recommends taking into account certain considerations so as not to misuse the valuable tool that is the Internet.
Graciela Martinez, head of LACNIC WARP, notes that social networks may pose certain risks if users are not careful.
“We share everything on social networks: our family, what we like, our feelings, our friends, friends of our friends. So we must be extremely careful,” warns Martinez.
The first recommendation is to be careful when configuring a profile. Social networks provide tools that allow doing this properly. “We must be as restrictive as possible and try to answer the following question: Would I post my picture along with my address and telephone number on the street? Surely we wouldn’t,” says the expert.
One of the biggest difficulties is that users aren’t truly aware of the extent to which they “bare all” on a social network.
LACNIC WARP also recommends not accepting invitations from people we don’t know. “Is being a friend of a friend enough? Let’s not interpret our number of friends a measure of our popularity. It’s a matter of choosing quality over quantity,” adds Martinez.
If we aren’t careful about the friends we accept, our privacy might be violated.
According to the head of LACNIC WARP, when choosing friends it’s important to be careful because there are fake profiles online “used by pedophiles to approach those most vulnerable — children and teenagers.”
How should children be monitored? Martinez notes that parents shouldn’t allow their children to lie about their age on social networks and that they should monitor their profiles. In her words, “Children shouldn’t create social network profiles and use them as if they were adults.”
Webcams pose a risk to children due to their potential relationships with strangers. “Dialogue is the best tool for being informed,” suggests Martinez.
In addition, social networks are often used to spread viruses or malicious links. A virus can be downloaded unintentionally, so if a user is unsure of a link’s source they should not click on it. We also need to keep all our software up-to-date and install anti-virus software,
What other risks are we exposed to? Identity theft. There have been many cases where users create profiles using someone else’s photos. Each social network has procedures for reporting this.
Users who feel their privacy or identity may have been violated or who have suffered computer security incidents on social networks should report these to the network itself. In addition, they can take their case to the local Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) in their own country or to LACNIC WARP.

LACNIC WARP is a team that coordinates and facilitates computer security incident handling, working together with organizations fighting against cybercrime and other CSIRTS to manage the problems faced by members of the regional community.

Martinez noted that, in these cases, WARP may eventually broker between the affected user and the social network where the incident took place.

More than USD 200,000 in the form of Awards and Small Grants

FRIDA, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean, is planning to provide more than USD 200,000 in the form of awards, small grants and project upscaling funds after the three calls for candidates and proposals scheduled for 2016, announced Carolina Caeiro, the new head of this LACNIC initiative.

These funds will be used to finance and recognize innovative initiatives and outstanding projects in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Latin America and the Caribbean. This year, technical innovation projects focusing on access, devices, the Internet of Things, IPv6, security and privacy will receive special attention.

According to Caeiro, the amount presented to 2016 FRIDA Award recipients will increase from USD 3,000 to USD 5,000; FRIDA grants and escalation funds will range from USD 20,000 to USD 40,000. Caeiro noted that plans for next year “will place special emphasis on FRIDA’s soft services, accompanying our beneficiaries with capacity building and networking activities, particularly promoting the articulation of projects that received FRIDA funding in the past.”

Caeiro has a Masters Degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland) and a BA in Political Science and Sociology from Middlebury College (USA). “Joining the FRIDA Program is a huge honor for me,” said Caeiro. Before joining LACNIC, she worked at Chequeado, a digital medium which received the FRIDA Award in 2013 and funds for project escalation in 2014.

“This experience allowed me to have firsthand knowledge of the impact FRIDA can have on a growing organization; now that I am with LACNIC, I am taking on the task of coordinating the program with great enthusiasm and aware of the responsibility involved and the transformative impact we can have on Latin American and Caribbean initiatives,” added the new head of FRIDA.

New Direction. This year, FRIDA is closing a three-year work cycle funded with the support of the IDRC and SIDA and the regional contribution of the Internet Society. Caeiro noted that a new cycle will begin in 2016, incorporating the lessons learned from what has already been done as well as new components. “We are confident that this development will allow FRIDA to have a greater impact in the region, as we strengthen and grow the program accompanying the projects we’ve funded,” concluded Caeiro.

You can follow FRIDA on social networks (@programaFrida  /FondoRegionalFRIDA), visit the program’s website (www.programafrida.net), and stay tuned for the first 2016 call for proposals which is set to be launched during the first

New policy on IPv4 exhaustion

The LACNIC community has approved a change in its policy on the scope of Phase 2 of IPv4 exhaustion, expanding the number of addresses available during this phase prior to entering Phase 3.

The proposal was driven by Edmundo Cazares of Nic Mexico and all the stages established for the Expedited Policy Development Process were completed.

Together with the new IPv4 address space allocated by the IANA to the RIRs, the blocks returned to and revoked by LACNIC have extended the life initially estimated for the IPv4 protocol. All these new addresses had gone to Phase 3, so there were vastly different amounts of addresses available for the final two phases of IPv4 exhaustion.

It was in this context that Cazares presented his proposal for redistributing this space in almost equal parts. More specifically, his proposal suggested reassigning the /11 block originally assigned to Phase 3 and moving it to Phase 2, and maintaining returned and revoked space in Phase 3. Thus, both phases (2 and 3) would maintain a more even number of IPv4 addresses.

This redistribution has just been approved and implemented and will effectively postpone the end of Phase 2 while maintaining the resource allocation criteria used so far.

This makes it easier for new and existing members to access IPv4 addresses, as it postpones the end of Phase 2. In other words, member organizations will be able to request resources for some time (maximum block size /22; anyone receiving these resources can only make an additional request every 6 months).

During Phase 3, only new members will be able to receive IPv4 addresses (maximum block size /22).

Watch the video [+]

LACNIC, CaribNOG partner for regional technology development

Editorial by Gerard Best

Latin American and Caribbean tech professionals come together in Belize City

The idea that Caribbean minds are best placed to solve Caribbean problems is hardly new. But one regional organisation is bringing the old concept to life in a unique way.

The Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) is an independent, volunteer-based community of network operators, telecommunications regulators, Internet service providers, special interest groups, government representatives and academics who come together regularly to share knowledge and develop new skills.

“CaribNOG is founded on the premise that the region is best suited to tackle the challenges and devise the solutions that it needs for its own development. Caribbean people are best placed to identify and resolve the issues affecting the development of Caribbean networks,” said Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist with Packet House and one of the founders of CaribNOG.

“And that is not to say that we simply do it all on our own. Of course, partnership and collaboration are also important.

Wooding was speaking at the organisation’s tenth regional conference, called CaribNOG 10, which was held in Belize from November 2 to 6.

The weeklong conference was a joint and co-branded event with the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Address Registry (LACNIC), the entity responsible for managing Internet numbering resources in South and Central America and the Caribbean.

It was no coincidence that LACNIC decided to join forces with CaribNOG and co-brand the meeting as the second LACNIC Caribbean On The Move event.

“LACNIC and CaribNOG are both working to develop the technical capacity of the region, so that we can solve Caribbean issues and address Caribbean challenges. Our meetings are the perfect forum to draw attention to the technology issues affecting Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at LACNIC.

Among the LACNIC representatives taking part in the event were Security and Stability Manager, Guillermo Cicileo, and Policy Officer, Gianina Pensky. Their presentations were well received by both local and online audiences.

It was not LACNIC’s first collaboration with its Caribbean counterparts. LACNIC Caribbean 6 was held together with CaribNOG 8 in Willemstad, Curacao in September, 2014. And as Swift explained, for LACNIC the partnership with CaribNOG has strategic significance beyond the meetings themselves.

“LACNIC’s goal is to make the Internet a more effective instrument for social inclusion and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. And to do this, we recognise the importance of partnering with influential actors in the English-speaking Caribbean.”

More than 70 technology professionals from the Caribbean, Central and North America converged in Belize City for the jointly organised weeklong event, where much rich and lively discussions focused on regional cybersecurity and Internet development.

“This is my second CaribNOG in Belize, and I am always very heartened to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the technical community here,” said Albert Daniels, Senior Manager of Global Stakeholder Engagement for the Caribbean Region at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Alongside ICANN, the meeting also brought together several major industry players in support of regional network development, including Microsoft, Google, the Internet Society the Caribbean Telecommunications Union and Akamai Technologies.

“I’ve been a participant in CaribNOG since the very beginning. This is my fifth or sixth CaribNOG event that I’ve attended, and each event gets bigger and larger and more noticed and more interesting,” said Martin Hannigan, Director of Networks and Data Center Architecture at Akamai Technologies, a leading provider of content delivery network services.

For its next event, CaribNOG will partner with the American Registry for Internet Numbers to conduct a weeklong event in Montego Bay, Jamaica from April 18-22, 2016.

The region welcomes an IETF meeting for the first time

LACNIC will co-organize the first IETF meeting to be held in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. The IETF —the Internet Engineering Task Force— is a global organization devoted to the development of Internet standards and services. These standards are necessary for the Internet to operate as a global network while including hardware and software by different manufacturers.

During IETF meetings, participants discuss the changes needed to improve Internet stability, security, and growth. The first of these meetings to be held in the region is scheduled to take place in April 2016 at the Hotel Hilton Buenos Aires. In addition, IETF 95 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Internet standards development.

“We at LACNIC believe the work of the IETF is key to maintaining an open, stable, secure, and growing Internet,” noted Carlos Martinez, CTO at LACNIC.

The Buenos Aries meeting represents the culmination of “long-term efforts in close cooperation with other regional organizations and recognizes the growing importance of Latin America and the Caribbean as regards the Internet and technological innovation,” Martinez added. This is the reason why LACNIC has decided strongly support the initiative by co-organizing the Buenos Aires IETF meeting.

The IETF is made up of individuals (as opposed to company representatives) who participate in the various working groups out of personal interest. Their roles are quite varied and can range from simply following mailing list discussions to being part of the IETF leadership in the form of Working Group Chairs, Area Directors, and others.

Three IETF events are held each year, where working groups meet and hold their working sessions. The purpose of these meetings is to further the discussions that take place on the mailing lists, seek consensus, and discuss the creation of new working groups.

Latin American and Caribbean professionals have the experience and knowledge needed to make relevant contributions at the IETF. Our universities provide professionals with the technical level needed to understand and participate. Our network operators use world-class protocols and equipment.

A new way to share knowledge

This year, LACNIC launched a series of technical webinars presented by Alejandro Acosta, an engineer working in the R+D department of ​​the organization responsible for managing Internet number resources in Latin America and the Caribbean.

All four online conferences were provided free of charge and addressed the topic of IPv6. More than 550 participants throughout LACNIC’s service region participated in these initiatives.

LACNIC’s first webinar was held in June and scheduled  to coincide with IPv6 Day. A record number of participants attended this conference —approximately 170, most of them in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The second webinar took place in September. It addressed topics relating to IPv6 and the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and was attended by 155 participants.

The third webinar was also held in September. This time, 100 attendees learned about the Domain Name System (DNS) and Security Extensions for DNS (DNSSEC).

The fourth one took place in October, when 110 registered participants learned about IPv6 and Multiprotocol Label Switching, a standard data transport mechanism developed by the IETF.

These conferences were presented by LACNIC engineers and regional experts and completed in a single day so as to make it easier for people to participate. In addition, session recordings are freely available online.

In the words of Acosta, the intention of these webinars was to strengthen the region’s technical capabilities and seek new ways to bring LACNIC closer to its community. “Those webinars which specifically addressed IPv6 attempted to support IPv6 deployment and increase network security,” he added.

Next year, LACNIC is planning to implement several webinars to address topics which are relevant to the promotion of a more stable and secure Internet and new technologies. Among other topics, these webinars will focus on IPv6 and IXPs, Security in IPv6, the Internet of Things, DNS and IPv6, and IPv6 in Large Networks.

Prominent participation in Joao Pessoa

A delegation of LACNIC representatives actively participated in several sessions during the Internet Governance Forum held in Joao Pessoa (Brazil) on 10-13 November.

During the session on Best Practices in IPv6, Alejandro Acosta —part of LACNIC’s R+D department— presented the case of Venezuela’s IPv6 Task Force to the international community present at the IGF https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdjxQYPWRTk

Likewise, Andrés Piazza, Head of Strategic Relations and Internet Governance at LACNIC, moderated the IPv6 Forum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mgNRRmEMmQ

Nicolás Antoniello and Rafael Ibarra participated in the Internet Number Community Forum, promoting the bottom-up, multistakeholder model https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTeY9jhw-AQ

LACNIC also participated in the IGF session on Enhanced Cooperation in LAC, during which the LACIGF initiatives, the Mexican and Colombian Governance Forums, and Argentina’s Internet Governance Dialogues were presented

The stand set up by the NRO in Brazil is also worth highlighting, as it became a key meeting place for most IGF participants. There, the RIRs promoted the bottom-up, multistakeholder model, handing out printed materials and showing a video especially created for the occasion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8WNb94Yydk

FRIDA Award Winners at the Internet Governance Forum

Seed Alliance, the collaborative partnership between ISIF Asia, FIRE and FRIDA —the grants and awards programs established by three RIRs (APNIC, AFRINIC and LACNIC) in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean—had a strong presence at the Internet Governance Forum held in Brazil in November 2015.

Seed Alliance had its Awards Ceremony at the IGF, where the winners of the 2015 edition were recognized for their projects aimed at local and global Internet development.

FRIDA presented its Awards to QuintanaLibre by AlterMundi (Argentina) and Telepsychiatry for Prison Inmates by Universidad de Caldas (Colombia). QuintanaLibre created a digital community network in an area of the province of Córdoba (Argentina) with practically no Internet access, while Telepsychiatry for Prison Inmates promoted an unprecedented model of psychiatric care for prison inmates in Colombia through the use of ICTs. See https://goo.gl/KwdLZU

During the Awards Ceremony held at the IGF (video bit.ly/1QhXAbK), awards were also presented to IDRC and SIDA, the organizations which provide funding support to the Seed Alliance. In addition, it was announced that the Internet Society will join these Seed Alliance supporters, helping fund innovative projects relating to Internet development.

Celebrating FRIDA’s 10th anniversary, special thanks were presented to the program’s jurors and trainers: Ida Holz Bard, Valeria Betancourt, Amparo Arango Echeverri, Jesús Martinez Alfonso, Ana Rivoir, and Edmundo Vitale Dori (unable to attend).

The drive to seek out funds. Carolina Caeiro, the FRIDA program’s new leader, also participated in an IGF workshop on how to fund innovative initiatives.

During the workshop, participants discussed how various sectors (official cooperation agencies, the private sector, and the technical community) support innovation. Jens Karberg, Program Manager at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), noted that those working on funding innovation must learn from both successful and unsuccessful initiatives.

Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC, highlighted the contribution of the FRIDA, FIRE and ISIF Asia programs for strengthening development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, respectively, providing opportunities such as their grants and awards programs.

Laurent Elder, head of IDRC’s Information and Networks program, noted that projects seeking funding must resort to creativity and visibility –creativity in offering innovative solutions to development problems and visibility in making themselves known and reaching potential funders.

To conclude, Vint Cerf, Google’s Global Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, observed that small grants such as those provided by FRIDA help eliminate risks and make it easier to bring in new investors. He added that innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be high-tech but, instead, their value lies in providing good solutions to relevant problems. Workshop video: bit.ly/1QhXn8n

LACNIC Caribbean on the Move partners with CaribNOG in Belize

Editorial by Gerard Best

A full line-up of international tech experts will gather in Belize from November 2 to 6, when the capital city plays host to a historic regional ICT development conference.

Among the expert facilitators are: Bevil Wooding, the Founder and Executive Director of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG); Guillermo Cicileo, the Security, Stability and Resiliency Coordinator at the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC); and Shernon Osepa, the Manager of Regional Affairs for Latin America and The Caribbean at the Internet Society (ISOC).

Held jointly by LACNIC and CaribNOG, the gathering will provide a space for various key actors in the Latin American and Caribbean Internet to network together and strengthen relationships.

The weeklong conference will address topics ranging from cloud computing, Internet peering, IPv6, DNSSEC, RPKI, and cybersecurity.

“The growing importance of computer networks to Caribbean enterprise cannot be separated from the costly impact of the cyber attacks these networks constantly face. Caribbean cybersecurity needs Caribbean cyber-defenders,” said Bevil Wooding, one of the co-founders and  a director of CaribNOG.

“The Caribbean has to invest in the development of indigenous human capacity to defend its networks and manage its critical telecommunications and networking infrastructure. Through CaribNOG we are raising a cadre of Caribbean experts to do just that.”

Wooding will deliver the keynote on the opening day, when the event kicks off at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City.

The meeting is hosted by the Belize Public Utilities Commission, and supported by an impressive list of high-profile international organisations including Google, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, Packet Clearing House, BrightPath Foundation, the Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet Society, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange Caribbean and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.

The conference is actually two events in one: a joint meeting of LACNIC Caribbean on the Move and the highly anticipated tenth installment of CaribNOG’s regional gatherings.

CaribNOG10, which takes place from November 3 to 6, will draw industry experts from across the region and around the world. CaribNOG’s regional meetings have developed a well-earned reputation as a critical forum for rich discussions on the region’s technology landscape.

“CaribNOG is always seeking to better position the Caribbean to address critical technology challenges and issues and to navigate our way collective to relevant solutions,” said Stephen Lee, CaribNOG’s Program Coordinator.

The opening day of the weeklong event is dedicated to LACNIC Caribbean on the Move. This fresh addition to the regional tech community’s calendar targets senior policy makers, government officials, regulators, IT professionals, university students, and technology journalists and bloggers.

“Through LACNIC Caribbean on the Move, we’ll be raising awareness of prime Internet issues, and we’ll also be listening to the community’s experiences in fostering open, stable and secure Internet development,” said Kevon Swift, LACNIC’s External Relations Officer for the Caribbean.

Registration is absolutely free, and livestreaming will be available for unregistered remote participants.

FRIDA Funds: Four calls for proposals to be issued in 2016

FRIDA, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean, is planning to open four proposal submission periods in 2016, both to acknowledge innovative proposals as well as to highlight successful ICT projects within the region.

The team in charge of the FRIDA Program —a LACNIC initiative— are finalizing details of these calls for proposals, which will be launched in the first half of the upcoming year.

It has already been decided that two FRIDA Award winners will be selected, each of which will receive a prize of USD 5,000. In addition, projects which have already received FRIDA funds will be selected to receive an additional USD 40,000 for their upscaling; a USD 25,000 grant will be presented to research projects in the fields of network operation, technical innovation and community impact; and a USD 20,000 grant will be awarded to technical initiatives seeking to contribute to IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The terms for each call will be published shortly on FRIDA’s website (http://programafrida.net/), where currently last year’s calls for proposals are puslished, some of which have similar characteristics to those planned for 2016.

Secure storage and citizen participation. This year, the FRIDA grants program selected two beneficiaries, while two projects were chosen to receive a FRIDA+ Award.

One of the USD 20,000 grants was awarded to an initiative attempting to lower secure information storage costs (Chile), while the second was presented to a project for building participative public budgets (Jamaica).

The winning Chilean proposal was submitted by NIC LABS, NIC Chile’s Internet and Telecommunications Research Lab. This is a project by the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of Universidad de Chile which seeks to determine ways to reduce costs and increase competition in the secure information storage market thorough the development of a new software tool.

In case of Jamaica, FRIDA presented the award to a project submitted by the Centre of Excellence for IT-Enabled Solutions of the Business School of the University of the West Indies. This research project evaluates the potential impact of using Open Data and applying international standards to the process of defining public budgets in a participative manner, thus making the budgeting process more efficient and increasing citizen participation.

Affordable Internet access and telepsychiatry. The first FRIDA+ Award was presented to a community network providing Internet access in an area of the province of Cordoba (Argentina) where there was little or no Internet access. The second was presented to a novel model for providing psychiatric care for prison inmates with the help of ICTs (Caldas, Colombia).

The project for providing Internet access in Cordoba was led by Civil Association Alter Mundi of Argentina. In addition to a cash prize of USD 3,000, this initiative received additional funds for a total of USD 6,000 to continue working on the project, as it was determined to be the most creative submission. In response to a lack of interest on the part of traditional providers, this initiative built a digital community network for providing communication services in Jose de la Quintana (Cordoba, Argentina) (Internet and fixed/mobile telephony).

Winners also included a Colombian project titled “Tele-Psychiatry in the Prison System,” which was led by a group of researchers from the School of Health Sciences of Universidad de Caldas. This project’s goal was to develop a model for providing telepsychiatry services in detention centers (prisons and penitentiaries).

A book about FRIDA. The FRIDA+ Awards ceremony will be held at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will take place in Joao Pessoa (Brazil) on 10-13 November. During this event, FRIDA and its SEED Alliance partners will be holding a workshop on funding opportunities for award recipients and members of the Latin American and Caribbean community (http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/workshop-proposals/list-of-published-workshop-proposals).

Likewise, the book titled “FRIDA 10 Years” which documents the program’s impact throughout the region over its 10 year history will be presented at the IGF.

IPv6, a great business tool for growing your customer base

One of Latin America and the Caribbean’s largest private networks is already offering services over IPv6, and this has allowed them to go after new business opportunities and grow their service offerings as compared to other players in the market.

IFX Networks has been part of the industry for more than 14 years and is present in 16 Latin American countries. The company sees itself as a pioneer in private IPv6 deployment and for the past two years has been reaping the benefits of a decision made by the Board of Directors who, when faced with the prospect of IPv4 exhaustion in the region, decided to invest in the latest version of the Internet protocol.

IFX Networks’ example is clearly an IPv6 transition success story.  “We were convinced this was an step we needed to take,” says Andres Gallego, Regional Product and Marketing Manager at IFX Networks, in an interview with LACNIC News during the most recent LACNIC meeting which took place in Bogotá (Colombia).

Does the company think of IPv6 as a product?

The company thinks of IPv6 as a feature of the company’s IP service offerings.

IFX Network was one of Colombia’s pioneers in having a dual stack network (a network which simultaneously runs both IPv4 and IPv6).

We started integrating IPv6 about a year and a half ago, supplying all our connectivity products with dual stack enabled and thus offering this service to those who wish to use both IPv4 and IPv6. This is true for all the market segments we serve: corporate, small and medium-sized companies and even major operators (carriers or ISPs).

Is it possible for a carrier using IFX’s services to offer IPv6 to its customers?

It is. Our network backbone is fully IPv6 enabled. This means that any customer supported on this backbone is IPv6 enabled. All the customer would need to do is implement IPv6 on its access link.

What were the reasons behind your decision to include IPv6 in your service offerings?

IFX was a pioneer when it decided to run a dual stack network, driven by an understanding of the direction in which IPv4 exhaustion was heading and interpreting it as a business opportunity. That’s when you realize that by migrating to IPv6 you will be growing your business or extending the company’s lifespan. Why? Because you’ll be able to continue to offer the same services you were offering before, while at the same time adding new features which were previously unavailable. All IPv6 addresses are now public. What exactly does this mean? It means it is much easier to provide services such as videoconferencing, connectivity, telemedicine and home automation, among others.

Which areas of the company first came up with the idea of implementing IPv6?

The idea first came up in Marketing and Product Development. The implementation department works based on the Marketing and Product Development department’s market observations.

How did you convince the company’s senior management that it was necessary to invest in IPv6?

It’s difficult to convince a company owner if your business is not profitable. What you need to do, however, is to look into the future. People become convinced when they look into the future and realize how far they can go or what new business they can create. That’s precisely what happened. Our Board of Directors was convinced that we should stay ahead and find a solution before going through what certain other operators are going though now, namely, a scarcity of IPv4 addresses.

The company was convinced that by enabling this new feature we would generate new business opportunities and grow our service offerings.

Did you have to overcome many difficulties?

At that time, not every equipment provider offered full IPv6 compatibility.

So we encountered problems when migrating. Merging all services onto a single network was quite a complex task. Today, equipment vendors do provide IPv6 feature sets, but this is due to the fact that IPv4 has run out.  When people became aware that IPv4 was running out, that’s when we were able to complete the migration.

How long did the process take?

In all, we needed a year and a half to implement our dual stack network. The network has now been providing uninterrupted service for two years.

Do you think IFX’s position within the market is different from that of other companies due to your early implementation of IPv6?

Yes, I do. IFX has the largest private public backbone in the Americas. This leads us to believe that we must always be pioneers. We are convinced it’s time to move forward with the transition.

Four new members on the LACNIC Board of Directors

The LACNIC members have completed the process for filling four positions on the organization’s Board and selected the four most-voted among a pool of 16 candidates. These new members will fill the positions which will become vacant on December 31st, 2015.

The 2,222 votes cast by LACNIC members confirmed the community’s trust in Hartmut Glaser (Brazil), Alejandro Guzmán (Colombia) and Rafael Ibarra (El Salvador) by re-electing them to their current seats until December 31, 2018. In addition, Gabriel Adonaylo (Argentina) was elected to the LACNIC Board for the first time until December 31, 2017.

Glaser was involved in the initiative for organizing a Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean since 1999, a process which concluded with the creation of LACNIC. Thanks to the support he obtained through the election, he hopes to continue contributing to Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean and, above all, guaranteeing the digital inclusion of each and every one of the region’s inhabitants. “As the Executive Secretary of CGI.br, a key partner throughout LACNIC’s history, I intend to place the experience I have gained throughout my career at LACNIC’s service, contributing to the implementation of the organization’s projects as well as other activities planned for our region,” notes Glaser, who holds a PhD in Engineering by the University of Sao Paulo and has been member of the LACNIC Board since 2002.

Likewise, Guzmán expressed his motivation in working from the Board “to improve LACNIC’s efficiency and institutional sustainability.” An Engineer and Telecoms specialist, Guzmán is currently Google Content Distribution Manager for Latin America. He believes LACNIC has already reached its maturity as an organization and that the most important areas where work is to be carried out are participation in global and regional Internet governance processes, leadership in spaces for Latin American and Caribbean community collaboration, promoting the conditions needed for continued Internet growth in the LAC region, and the adoption of standards and technologies that will improve Internet performance and security in LACNIC’s service region.

Lito Ibarra is from El Salvador and has been elected to serve until 2018. A long-time member of the community, he has also known LACNIC since the organization’s early days: at the time when the Regional Internet Registry was being created, he was working with other well-known regional ICT experts on founding sister organizations such as LACTLD and RedCLARA.  Ibarra notes that, in addition to fulfilling its technical role in preserving Internet security, stability and service continuity, “the organization projects itself towards the community with great professionalism and leadership in order to stimulate growth through technological progress.” Ibarra also highlights the fact that LACNIC occupies a special place within the Internet ecosystem, as it “supports projects and initiatives which allow implementing or up-scaling projects which, while originally technological in nature, have a decisive impact on the social and economic development of their target regions.”

While he has been involved in multiple LACNIC activities and been a member of LACNIC’s Fiscal Commission since 2005, this will be Adonaylo’s first time on the LACNIC Board. “I am interested in being part of the Board so I can bring my experience in promoting Internet development and improving Internet conditions in the region,” notes this Information Systems Engineer who obtained his degree from Argentina’s National Technological University.

Adonaylo comes to the Board with great expectations, as LACNIC’s role “has been and continues to be essential, not only at regional but also at global level.” Personally, he feels deeply motivated by the idea of placing the knowledge he’s gained throughout his career at the service of the community.

Panel on IP address transfers during LACNIC 24

A panel was organized at the LACNIC meeting held in late September in the city of Bogotá where different opinions were shared regarding the possibility of allowing IP resource transfers within the region or with other Regional Internet Registries.

During the one-and-a-half-hour session, voices were heard for and against address transfers, other registries’ shared their experiences in this area, and signs of a secondary market in LACNIC’s service region were discussed.

The community’s interest in obtaining information on IP address transfers triggered the discussion on the situation post-IPv4 exhaustion. Currently, three regions allow IP address transfers: ARIN, APNIC and RIPE.

Jorge Villa moderated the forum, which acknowledged that IPv4 exhaustion has caused a secondary IP address market to appear, either in the form of a market recognized by the Regional Registry as in other RIRs or as what Villa referred to as an “invisible market,” as in the LAC region.

Gianina Pensky, Policy Officer at LACNIC, was in charge of presenting the work of George Michaelson (APNIC), who had prepared material which included information relating to the Asia-Pacific registry’s experience with transfers in that region.

IP addresses transfers have been taking place at APNIC for five years. A significant increase has been noted recently which has coincided with global IPv4 exhaustion announcements.

“The question is whether this increased activity is determined by address demand, not by address supply. There is an increased demand, and this is what is causing the increase in transfers,” stated Michaelson’s slide, which was shown by Pensky.

Of APNIC’s 11,319 members, so far 596 entities have participated in address transfers within the Asia-Pacific market. Likewise, transfers represent 1.4% of APNIC’s total addresses.

In his presentation, Marco Schmidt of RIPE NCC —a region where 20 to 30 transfers are completed daily— mentioned several relevant elements. In his opinion, the most important argument in favor of transfers is proper maintenance of the address registry, as “transfers will be made either way, so we must make sure it is done in an official manner.”

He also highlighted the fact that unused addresses should be returned voluntarily and redistributed to organizations that need them.

To illustrate what has happened, Schmidt reported IP figures for the three registries where transfers are allowed. Since 2009, ARIN has completed 300 transfers for a total of approximately 33 million IP addresses. In APNIC, transfers began in 2010 and 1,000 transfers have been made for approximately 9,7 millon addresses. Since 2012, RIPE has completed 3,000 transfers, totaling 18 million IP addresses. In turn, there have been 172 inter-RIR transfers (between APNIC and ARIN) for a total of approximately 4,5 million IP addresses.

Ricardo Patara, Number Resource Manager at NIC .br, expressed his concern regarding the possibility of creating an address market, as in his opinion profit should not be obtained from IP address transfers.

Patara also noted that RIRs not only look out for the (IP address) information contained in the registry —one of the arguments made by transfer proponents—but also play an important role in the distribution of resources, assigning them fairly and equitably and only in case of proven need.

Despite his position, he admitted an “inevitable” moment will come when IP address transfers will have to be accepted, either within the LACNIC service region or with other registries. Until then, he proposed defining criteria that will avoid the development of a speculative market.

Edmundo Cázarez López, Number Resource Manager at NIC Mexico, noted that transfers will indeed occur due to LAC region members’ need for addresses, but that it is possible to make sure they cause the least amount of problems. In his view, transfers should occur in case of demonstrated need and authorization should be granted based on the criterion set forth in the LACNIC policy manual currently in force.

Finally, Daniel Miroli of IP trading —a company which handles IP address transfers— shared his experience in the regions where transfers are allowed.

The panel not only generated debate among LACNIC 24 attendees and those following the meeting remotely, but also brought to the table valuable information that will help the community make an informed decision on the criteria under which LACNIC should manage resources in coming years.

For those interested in further details of what was discussed during this panel, the video is available at: https://youtu.be/yCkw55Xd0SQ

Getting Ready for Digital Cities

Chile is getting ready to host the most important conference on Digital Cities to showcase successful international experiences and case studies.

We are talking about the XVI Edition of the Ibero-American Meeting of Smart Cities, which is organized by ASIET (the Interamerican Association of Telecommunications Companies) and will be held on 4-5 November.

The world’s most innovative Smart City initiatives will be presented during this meeting, as well as best practices in the use of technology for improving citizen’s quality of life.

Pablo Bello, ASIET’s Executive Director, noted that this event is defined by its human contribution “in debating how smart cities actually prove they are smart when they benefit the population and place them at the center of Latin American development.”

Bello also noted that connectivity, telecommunication services and access infrastructure play a key role in any smart city, and that these require “political leadership that will drive the use of ICTs for improving people’s quality of life.”

All of these topics will be analyzed and debated during the upcoming meeting in Chile.

Cybersecurity Teams in the Caribbean

In order to deal with a growing number of cybersecurity incidents and rising cybercrime rates, several Caribbean countries have decided to establish computer security incident response teams that can provide incident prevention and detection services, as well as event handling capabilities.

CARICERT, the Caribbean Computer Emergency Response Team, was created for the visionary purpose of helping companies, countries and organizations in the Caribbean maintain a safer, more protected Internet experience.

CARICERT is based in Curacao and offers incident prevention, detection and management services, as well as advice on computer security policies and cybersecurity laws and regulations.

The team detects and shares information on concrete security incidents and threats, which it receives from its members and partner CERTs worldwide.

Once reported incidents and threats have been verified and determined to be true, organizations in the Caribbean region receive this information through a notification service. This allows implementing timely actions in response to new security threats, thus increasing the level of protection.

The team also coordinates the response efforts of the parties involved in a specific incident, including its victim, other sites involved in the attack, and Internet service providers (ISOs).

A Novel IPv6 Experience

A novel experience in IPv6 deployment for end users is being implemented in Paraguay.

Beginning in August, COPACO, an Internet service provider in Paraguay, is offering free IPv6 support throughout its network to customers whose equipment supports the new protocol, thus encouraging the adoption of technologies that will allow using the latest version of the IP protocol.

Hernan R. Franco, part of COPACO’s IP/SIP Network Management Department, noted that, in order to promote the IPv6 protocol among their customers, they created the http://ipv6.copaco.com.uy portal, where they included a beta tester6 program and also conducted a massive communications campaign.

As a result of these actions, several Internet transit customers (ISPs) who had already received IPv6 prefixes requested IPv6 service from COPACO. “We are now constantly in the process of re-configuring filters for transit with our international providers,” Franco noted.

Likewise, several corporate customers also requested IPv6 service for testing purposes. Prefixes were assigned to those who did not already have any and transit was configured for those who had already been assigned their own resources.

The biggest challenge for COPACO lies in its retail segment customers (ADSL, FTTH and GPON).

In the case of ADSL customers, because the vast majority of user modems are low-cost devices with no IPv6 support, the beta tester6 program is analyzing each request and detecting modems that do not support IPv6. In the latter case, if the customer wants to participate in the tester6 program, it is recommended that they buy a modem which supports dual-stack IPv6.

In order to further encourage IPv6 adoption, COPACO has plans to buy modems for both ADSL and FTTH clients. This means that new customers will have dual-stack service (IPv4 and IPv6), while existing customers will be slowly migrated.

In the case of FTTH and/or GPON, Franco observed that “adding IPv6 users appears to be more doable, as customer routers have somewhat better IPv6 support.”

COPACO also has a laboratory and a working group assigned to IPv6 certification and testing for retail customers and conducting further testing on equipment, operating systems and terminals with the IPv6 Ready label.

The beta tester6 program has also allowed COPACO to identify three relevant issues: many customers are interested in IPv6, what it is and how they can implement the new protocol in their networks; problems for certifying equipment not supporting IPv6 (mainly low to medium cost devices); and issues with certain devices (smartphones for example) which require additional configuration or updates for their proper operation.

Seventeen DNS severs copies already installed in the region

The F root server copy recently installed in Uruguay is the seventeenth copy of a domain name system root server to be installed in Latin America and the Caribbean through LACNIC’s +Raíces program.

The latest server was installed in Montevideo as part of an agreement between LACNIC and Antel, Uruguay’s leading Internet connectivity provider. The +Raíces program promotes strengthening global infrastructure and Internet stability.

The 17 root server copies already installed in Latin America and the Caribbean have benefited the region’s users, as they’ve had a positive impact on how Internet connection speed is perceived and strengthened Internet infrastructure by increasing service stability.

“Our role consists in coordinating efforts with the region’s institutions and providers to promote the installation of new root servers in order to maintain a stable Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Oscar Robles, LACNIC’s CEO.

In the case of Uruguay, the new server was installed in Antel’s Pocitos Data Center, as this location’s design and construction meet the industry’s highest standards of quality and safety for housing critical infrastructure.

The F server is one of 13 original Internet servers installed worldwide (ten of them in the United States, two in Europe, one in Japan). Because a technical limitation makes it impossible to increase the number of original servers to more than 13,  a technology known as anycast was developed for creating clones (mirror copies) which, once in operation, are indistinguishable from the original servers.

+RAICES is a project launched by LACNIC in 2004 which has made it possible to install root server copies in Latin America and the Caribbean with the aim of improving Internet access throughout the continent and making a relevant contribution to Internet stability at both regional and global level.

To date, +RAICES has allowed installing a total of 17 root server copies in the LAC region, specifically in Uruguay (2), Chile (2), Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela (2), Panama (2), Ecuador (3), Haiti, Curazao, and St. Maarten.

Interconnection in Latin America and the Caribbean

During the Network Operators’ Forum that will meet from 28 September to 2 November, Sofia Silva Berenguer (IMDEA Networks) will present her research on the status of interconnection in Latin America and how it compares to other regions.

“The good news is that regional interconnection is not as bad as we think it is; even so, there is room for improvement,” the young researcher currently participating in this interconnection project told LACNIC News.

According to the research, the average degree of interconnection in Latin America y relatively similar to the one in the APNIC region, “which is an interesting finding,” Silva noted.

“During my presentation (to be held on Wednesday 30 September) I will be showing a comparative chart with different metrics for the various regions,” she added.

A per-country analysis, shows that Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are the regional leaders in terms of Autonomous Systems, number and average degree of interconnections, followed by Panama and Colombia, after which the ranking varies somewhat depending on which parameter is considered.

The work also simulates the creation of Internet exchange points in certain countries. In this sense, a 15% increase in the average interconnection among active autonomous systems was observed in the countries where the simulation was run.

Silva said that the research on LAC interconnection was implemented using graphs to model the Internet at Autonomous System level. In these graphs, an Autonomous System is represented by a node, while the interconnection between two Autonomous Systems is represented by an edge. One of the parameters measured in these graphs to analyze the level of interconnection is node degree. Node degree is the number of edges that reach the node. An average degree can then be calculated for the entire graph. “This means that, in our case, the graph’s average degree measures the average number of links per Autonomous System,” Silva observed.

“I defined certain metrics in order to compare the graphs for different regions and countries.” In addition, taking advantage of country-level graphs, I simulated the creation of Internet exchange points in certain countries and analyzed their potential impact. Silva concluded by saying she would show these results in her presentation.

More details will be presented on September 30th in Bogotá http://eventos.lacnic.net/lacnic24

A plan for a stable and secure internet in the LAC region

The Internet’s importance and impact on people’s daily lives and national economies continue to grow. The network has become a critical tool — it is no longer possible to imagine a world without connectivity. This is why it is increasingly important to ensure the correct operation of the Internet and to avoid the exposure of communications to attacks or privacy violations.

In 2012, LACNIC created its Internet Security and Stability Program, which implements actions aimed at ensuring Internet security and stability throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guillermo Cicileo —Security, Stability and Resilience Coordinator at LACNIC— noted that these actions are coordinated with other regional registries and seek to strengthen critical Internet infrastructure.

In an interview with LACNIC News, Cicileo detailed the main threats to Internet stability in the region, a topic on which he will be presenting during the upcoming LACNIC 24 – LACNOG 2015 meeting in Bogotá.

How would you describe LACNIC’s Internet Security and Stability Program?

The mission of LACNIC’s Internet Security and Stability Program is to contribute to a more secure and stable Internet, both within our region and worldwide.

Different specific actions are carried our under the umbrella of this program for securing critical Internet infrastructure and increasing its stability and operational resilience.

In order to implement a common strategy worldwide, these actions are coordinated with other regions, mainly with the four other Regional Internet Registries but also with other relevant organizations.

When was the program launched?  What are its main lines of action?

The Program was launched in 2012. Its main lines of action include coordinating security incident responses by encouraging the creation of CSIRTs throughout the region; promoting routing security (RPKI) and DNS security (DNSSEC); programs in support of IXPs; promoting the installation of root server copies in the LAC region (+RAICES Program); encouraging the transition to IPv6 in response to IPv4 exhaustion; and training human resources through workshops on BGP, security, RPKI, IPv6 and other topics.

Why is it necessary to have an Internet Security and Stability Program?

Today, the Internet is a critical tool for people’s daily work and communications. As such, guaranteeing its proper operation and preventing information exchanges from being exposed to attacks or privacy violations is a must. In this sense, the actions aimed at promoting security implemented in various global Internet environments must be replicated in our region (RPKI, DNSSEC, CSIRTs). On a related note, network stability is an increasingly necessary feature, which is why a group of initiatives exist aimed at improving interconnection among different networks and having an Internet with widely distributed critical resources that do not depend on any single organization.

What are the main threats to Internet stability in Latin America and the Caribbean?

The region needs to improve internal connectivity within the different countries and add greater redundancy to its Internet links. While in recent years the number of carriers providing optic fiber to the countries of the region has increased, this does not always translate into improvements in terms of internal connectivity, and it’s even possible to find cases of users of various ISPs who are only interconnected via other regions. This creates different issues and affects Internet development as well as the production of local content.

Another issue that will affect Internet stability in the region is low IPv6 adoption rates. This could lead to a fragmented Internet, an Internet where communications with certain countries or regions would either be degraded or impossible due to protocol incompatibilities. This is why we believe it is extremely important to work towards IPv6 adoption in the region.

Likewise, the Internet’s routing system is receiving an increasing number of attacks known as “route hijacking,” which occur when an organization uses another organization’s IP resources without authorization. This can lead to traffic being re-routed and cause major damages to the affected organizations. This is why a lot of effort is being put into the adoption of security mechanisms for the Internet’s routing system, as well as to provide training so that network operators can adopt best practices.

What would be your recommendation to organizations in the region seeking to build a more secure and stable Internet?

The most important thing is to keep the network current and take advantage of the benefits obtained from sharing experiences with similar organizations. Together with other organizations also working towards similar goals, LACNIC is trying to promote spaces for sharing these experiences and incorporating technologies such as RPKI, DNSSEC, IPv6, etc.

What will be the role of IPv6 in Internet security?

Essentially, IPv6 deployment provides a solution for the continued growth of the Internet in the region. Keeping up with current growth rates is unthinkable on IPv4 alone. The number of connected users is growing daily, but the number of connected devices —ranging from mobile phones to home appliances— is growing even faster. The Internet of Things continues to expand and we will soon need millions of addresses to deal with this growth. For all of the reasons above, we believe IPv6 deployment in the region is essential.

IPv6 also offers a few advantages that improve end user connectivity, as they no longer have to go through multiple levels of NAT.

The future of the Internet is in your hands

By Alex Dans, ICANN Communications Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Internet Governance isn’t currently driven by a single government, a single organization or a single company. Instead, Internet Governance is a collaborative effort among multiple stakeholders, including governments, technical organizations, the private sector, academia and end users. This collection of individuals and organizations is what is usually known as the global Internet community.  The fact that none of these stakeholders can control the decision-making process has made it possible to preserve the openness of the Internet, an openness that has been essential for its expansion and the development of countless innovations.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is one of the entities that are part of the Internet ecosystem and involved in its governance, yet it is not the only one. ICANN is a global organization responsible for coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS is a system designed to make the Internet accessible to people. The main way in which the devices that are part of the Internet are able find each other is through a series of numbers (known as “IP addresses”) that are unique to each device. The human brain, however, finds it hard to recall long lists of numbers, which is why the DNS uses letters instead of numbers and translates a specific set of letters into a specific set of numbers.

A few weeks ago, in an interview with LACNIC News my colleague Daniel Fink recalled that the Internet originated from a research and defense initiative set up by the US government in the 70s. The creation of ICANN in 1998 represented the beginning of the Internet privatization process; in other words, responsibilities were transfered from the US government to the stakeholder community.

During the course of 2014, different groups have been working on drafting proposals in response to the historic announcement made by the US Government (14 March, 2014) of its intention to transition stewardship of certain vital technical Internet functions (the IANA functions) to the global Internet community. In essence, the Unites States National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) asked ICANN to convene the global Internet community to develop an effective transition proposal for such transition.

Since then, several groups of individuals representing different Internet communities around the world have joined their efforts and volunteered thousands of hours to prepare proposals on how (and who) will take over stewardship of these key Internet functions while maintaining a free, secure and unified Internet.

The time has come for everyone interested in the future of Internet Governance to read the proposal which has already been published and will be available for public comment until 8 September 2015.  Until then, individuals from any country can review the proposal and submit their comments. All feedback will be considered before finalizing the proposal that will be submitted to the US government for consideration and approval.

At the community’s request, the NTIA recently announced it will be extending the IANA functions contract for another year in order to cover the period of time needed for the transition. Plans have not been modified and the transition will still be implemented in September 2016 (Phase 3 of the process, see image below). Theresa Swinehart, Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy at ICANN, explained this announcement in a video published on 18 August.

Let me conclude by stressing that it is absolutely critical for everyone to participate to ensure that the Internet continues to be an open tool for promoting innovation as well as the economic growth and development of our societies. Please continue participating!

I’d like to invite you to read the latest news about this historic process on our scoop.it page and to check out the image below, which shows the three phases of the transition process.

For more information about the IANA Functions’ Stewardship Transition: https://www.icann.org/stewardship

Image: The three phases of the transition process

CANTO 2015

The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations (CANTO) held their 31st Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition from 26 to 29 July 2015 in Miami, FL, USA. This year’s event, which was themed “Improving lives through broadband innovation,” assembled a broad cross section of stakeholders from the telecommunications/ICT and Information Society fields to address opportunities that the Caribbean could leverage for its digital development.

What were the main concerns put forward by Caribbean participants during the meeting?

Continuing from last year’s conference, the issue of regulation and cost sharing for Over The Top (OTT) services on Caribbean networks remained high on the agenda. Some Caribbean network operators have taken steps to block access to certain services such as Skype, WhatsApp and Viber amidst concerns about the disproportionate costs that are incurred for running these services. These network operators assert that existing legal frameworks in the region are unfair, as they (operators) are made to bear all the costs associated with this type of communication while OTT operators evade costs, obligations and responsibilities set by legislation. They also claim that the operational burden of OTT services on Caribbean networks render their investments in infrastructure less effective owing to the increasing disparity between the use of these data-intensive services and traditional voice communication.

On the other hand, Caribbean governments and regulators have acknowledged the inadequacies of current legal frameworks in general but contend that consumer patterns are symptomatic of the need for poor Caribbean citizens to access reasonably priced technology and communications. It was equally recognised that more needed to be done to strike a balance between innovation, investment and competition in Caribbean markets.

The Conference also touched upon various Information Society themes such as girls and women in ICT and youth empowerment through technology. Particular attention was paid to the Caribbean Women in ICT (CWIC) programme – a burgeoning initiative spearheaded by CANTO since 2014 that is intended to provide mentorship and support for girls and young women desirous of pursuing ICT careers. Youths between the ages of 18 and 35 were specially targeted through CANTO’s Annual Code 1.0 – a regional software design and developer competition that is co-sponsored by Demo Semo Sancus (DSS). The competition brought teams together to work on pre-indentified business solutions in an environment that simulated the decision-making table at a tech start-up company.

Is geography is a significant challenge for Internet development in the Caribbean? What solutions have been proposed to overcome this?

Geography still poses a challenge for some Caribbean countries given the compromise some network operators face when having to address infrastructural investments in difficult topography for small and micro communities. For example, while most of the population of the Bahamas is spread across a few of the country’s 700 islands and cays, ensuring fair and equal access may still be problematic.

The Caribbean has a perennial skills and capacity challenge, which has an overall effect on the development and competitiveness of many countries. As it relates to the ICT sector, CANTO has proposed a response known as the project for “Broadband Infrastructure and Public Awareness in the Caribbean” (BIIPAC). BIIPAC, which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is intended to support the design of national broadband strategies from demand and supply perspectives, i.e. through diagnosis of infrastructure, regulatory and institutional frameworks and Information Society actions among other things. BIIPAC may provide welcome assistance to many Caribbean policy and decision makers who stand to benefit from research and step-by-step guidelines for ICT/Internet development in situations where resources to undertake such actions are extremely prohibitive.

Why is CANTO so important for the Caribbean?

As a trade association for network operators, service providers and technology vendors, CANTO has become an undeniable channel for dialogue on ICT/Internet development from an industry perspective. CANTO events drum up a lot of energy that teeters on the edge of useful disruption for business and policy communities involved in Caribbean ICT/Internet. LACNIC has recognised this growing potential over the years and is pleased to become an affiliate member of CANTO, especially as there are a number of avenues that both organizations can pursue to guarantee the development of an Internet that is open, stable and secure.

LACNIC’s participation in this year’s Conference included a number of collaborative activities with ARIN such as setting up a joint exhibition space, and hosting a reception and breakfast seminar for decision makers. On the last day of the Conference, LACNIC participated in a joint session with ARIN, ICANN and ISOC to discuss the ever-changing ICT ecosystem. Each of these activities provided ideal opportunities to speak about the exhaustion of IPv4 address space in the region, some of the possibilities afforded by LACNIC Community policies and the very Policy Development Process (PDP), which serves as an innovation in its own right. The PDP provides consistent, practical, multistakeholder solutions for number resource distribution, which is an approach that merits emulation for other challenges in governance and development paradigms.

More importantly, LACNIC’s presence at the Conference provided an invaluable opportunity to engage Caribbean people face-to-face, which was certainly appreciated by many participants. Both on and off the exhibition floor, many queries concerning LACNIC policies and activities were raised by a great number of interested participants, for which LACNIC had the pleasure of responding and elaborating. And while the issues that Caribbean Internet communities face are vast and complex, serving as an advisor for the numbers segment of the Internet ecosystem to these communities is indeed an incomparable privilege that we share with our friends at ARIN.

CANTO provides a space that embraces the Caribbean’s linguistic and cultural diversity, and focuses on the questions of ICT development that are central to all. The combination of the actor dynamic facilitated by CANTO together with LACNIC’s sharing of learnt lessons in multistakeholder processes can provide a unique advantage to Caribbean Internet development.

Incident handing in the LAC region

LACNIC presented its Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) during the Cybersecurity Forum and Third Hands-On Workshop for Computer Security Emergency Response Teams held this month in Colombia.

More than 300 participants attended the Cybersecurity Forum held at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá), where Graciela Martínez, the person responsible for this project, introduced the regional WARP and defined it as a “useful tool for handling incidents” within the region.

She noted that LACNIC WARP coordinates and facilitates incident handling so that members of the community can manage their computer security problems and have access to confidential information regarding latent threats in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Martinez also participated in the Third Hands-On Cybersecurity Workshop held during the Forum, where participants were able to address and manage various security scenarios, working in teams with other colleagues from around the region.

Three simulated scenarios were presented during the workshop: a) an attack on a bank, where each team had to identify the attacked vulnerability and which information the hackers had managed to obtain; b) working with forensic analysis software and comparing it to the traditional methodology; c) preparing an incident report, including all communications made before, during and after the cyber-attack, various actors (e.g., the media), and affected institutions.

To conclude, a simulation scenario involving a presidential cabinet and crisis resolution team was set up. This joint exercise was designed so that participants would have the chance to manage a cyber-attack on a LAC country in real time.

Bogotá welcomes a unique regional event

The next major regional Internet community event will take place in Bogotá (Colombia) from 28 September to 2 October, a major event where six relevant meetings and leading Latin American and Caribbean ICT experts will converge.

Each year, LACNIC holds this meeting during the second semester, co-located with LACNOG, the Latin American and Caribbean Network Operators Forum. The week-long event also welcomes meetings of other relevant organizations that also contribute to Internet development in our region: FIRST, LACTLD, Internet Governance Training, the LAC-i-Roadshow. (http://www.lacnic.net/web/eventos/lacnic24)

This unique event’s program includes technical training workshops on new technologies, security, the promotion of IPv6 deployment, the current status of Internet Governance, information security incident management, the impact of the new gTLD (generic top-level domain) program, critical Internet infrastructure stability and other key topics. In addition, the program will also include four days of presentations and panel discussions on current issues, as well as keynotes delivered by leading international experts.

IPv6 deployment will be the central theme of LACNIC 24, with a focus on IPv6 technology as an enabler for the Internet of Things (IoT) or the digital interconnection of everyday objects to the Internet.

LACNOG 2015 will serve as a platform for members of the LACNOG community to share their experiences in network operation and infrastructure development, as well as to discuss technical implementation issues and best operating practices.

The Global Forum for Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) will meet during the first day of the event, when participants will share information on vulnerabilities, incidents, tools and other issues affecting the operation of computer security incident response teams.

Likewise, the regional organization that groups Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs will hold its member assembly and a policy workshop during LACNIC 24.

In addition, Colombia has organized a round table on Internet Governance to discuss the progress made in terms of net neutrality and online freedom of expression.

Last but not least, participants will have the chance to attend the LAC-i-Roadshow, a space designed by ICANN for raising regional awareness on key issues having to do with the transition to IPv6, the impact of the new gTLD (generic top-level domain) program, and critical Internet infrastructure security and stability.

Changing Internet Rules is Easy

The possibility of transferring IP addresses among Latin American and Caribbean organizations was brought up during the “Changing Internet Policies is Easy” event organized by LACNIC to promote community involvement in regional Internet policy development.

New types of transfers in the LAC region? During this online meeting, it was explained that there are currently organizations with IPv4 addressing needs that cannot be satisfied from the region’s pool of available resources. This means that these organizations may try to obtain IPv4 addresses in other markets. It was mentioned that, in this case, transfers would not be recorded in the LACNIC registry and these IP addresses would be outside the formal system, which might make them difficult to identify. In this sense, it was stressed that LACNIC is responsible for managing the region’s Internet number resources and therefore, if such transfers begin to be made without a proper policy, their registration information may no longer be accurate. This issue will be discussed in upcoming forums and debates to be organized by LACNIC.

The event also addressed important community news and presented new tools available for the community to participate in changing Internet policies for the LAC region.

The event featured the special participation of Jorge Lam, who shared his experience of having successfully implemented a proposed policy change. Lam shared that he had not been happy with the requirement that an organization needed to be multihomed in order to request an ASN and had consequently submitted a proposal to change this requirement. He noted that he had found the process for implementing his proposal very simple and that he had always felt supported by the moderators and the community.

Changes in IPv4 exhaustion? Regarding the pool of available IPv4 addresses, it was explained that, when exhaustion policies were implemented, the idea was to leave a reserve for Phase 2 (during which only up to a /22 will be assigned) similar in size to the reserve for Phase 3 (during which only new members will be eligible to receive IPv4 blocks). Circumstances, however, have changed: thanks to the blocks allocated by the IANA and those that have been returned and revoked, the reserve for Phase 3 has grown more than expected.

These new circumstances lead to the conclusion that Phase 3 will last approximately until 2024 and that Phase 2 will end approximately in late 2015. For this reason, the community raised the question of whether it would be appropriate to adapt the policy to the new circumstances so as to optimize IPv4 address management.

Policies to be discussed during LACNIC 24. The policies that will be discussed at the upcoming Public Policy Forum that will meet in Bogotá during LACNIC 24 were also presented. In addition, an update was provided about some of the proposals currently under discussion in other regions (APNIC, RIPE, AFRINIC, ARIN) and which might be interesting for the LAC region to consider. One example is the proposal titled Out-Of-Region Use of AFRINIC Internet Number Resources, which suggests defining the amount of allocated resources that might be used outside the AFRINIC region.

Finally, two new options offered by LACNIC to encourage the creation of new policies were presented. First, a “List of Enhancements” which seeks to inspire the creation of new policy proposals. The idea is to generate synergies within the community for creating new policies, in other words, generating synergies among those suggesting enhancements and others who, based on those suggestions, will be able to find a solution and submit it in the form of a policy proposal. Contributions on this topic can be submitted to the mailing list at
http://www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/politicas-mejoras

Second, a “Policy Shepherds” or “Policy guides” service, which consists of a list of volunteers involved with the community and experienced in the Policy Development Process who will help other members submit their policies. Contacts can be made through info-politicas@lacnic.net

Finally, Carlos Plasencia, Co-Chair of the Public Policy Forum, highlighted the policy development process’s simplicity and the fact that it provides the community with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the Internet rules applied in the region.

New course offerings at the LACNIC Campus

This August, the LACNIC Campus added a new training offering: our introductory course on IPv6. This time, English subtitles are available. Monica Baez, who is responsible for the initiative, announced that the Campus expects to add training courses on V6 Testing, advanced IPv6 and others beginning in September.

Close to 500 individuals representing public and private Latin American and Caribbean Internet-related organizations have already attended LACNIC’s virtual classrooms to participate in the first two editions of the basic IPv6 course offered earlier this year.

Our data shows that seven out of ten enrolled participants managed to complete the course, and more than 90% were able to obtain the corresponding certificate of participation.

Baez emphasized the community’s interest in receiving training in this area and how quickly the seats available for the first editions of the course had been filled.

For this third edition, the number of seats has been increased to 430. With this, the number of ICT professionals trained through LACNIC’s online IPv6 courses throughout the region will reach nearly one thousand participants.

The LACNIC Campus already has 1,960 users who have registered to receive information regarding the organization’s online training options, which are expected to continue to add new possibilities and enhancements.

The Campus Director expressed how pleased she was with the community’s response to the initiative, noting that many participants have made suggestions which have and will continue to be incorporated in future editions of the courses.

A fourth edition of the IPv6 introductory course is already scheduled to begin on 19 October, when it will be available both in Spanish as well as with English subtitles. Because the demand for the course has been so high, a special edition will be launched on 21 September for LACNIC members only.

Other actions that are currently under development and will soon be offered include a self-paced advanced IPv6 online course; a booklet titled Introduction to IPv6 (digital and hardcopy editions); a tutor-assisted online Testingv6 course; a self-paced security incident management course; and an English version of our online IPv6 courses.

“IPv6 is the only viable technology on which to build the Internet of Things”

“La única tecnología posible para construir Internet de las Cosas es IPv6”

The Internet of Things is now a familiar term used to define daily situations requiring Internet connectivity. The IoT is about aggregating all possible devices into the network. This directly involves the need for more IP addresses, something which today can only mean IPv6.

Gustavo Mercado is an engineer working precisely on trying to connect all things around us, specifically on projects involving massive amounts of IP addresses (i.e., vast numbers of connected devices), such as the 6LowPAN sensor project.

According to Mercado, IPv6 is the only viable technology for connecting “billions” of devices to the Internet and building the Internet of Things.

In an interview with LACNIC News, Mercado noted that the Internet of Things will be “increasingly present in our lives.”

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new paradigm that is quickly gaining momentum in digital communications, especially in the field of wireless communications. The central idea is that we are currently surrounded by a wide variety of things or objects such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) labels, sensors, actuators, mobile phones, etc., all of which are capable of interacting among themselves and cooperating with their neighbors to achieve common goals.

The term “Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999, though at the time it referred almost exclusively to communities of RFID-labeled devices. The Internet of Things, however, has grown thanks to the use of wireless sensor networks and the standardization efforts on part of the IETF and the IEEE.

Can you provide us with an everyday example of how the Internet of Thing works?

Today, many different applications might be considered to fall under the definition of the IoT. For instance, if someone is trying to find an available parking spot using a mobile application, we can talk about a SMART CITY.

Likewise, a farmer using an Internet-connected wireless sensor network with nodes capable of measuring temperature and humidity throughout his/her land in order to predict icing conditions is applying what is knwn as “Precision Agriculture.” Similarly, a home equipped with a digital electricity meter which displays power consumption in real time and allows the homeowners to sell the excess power generated by the home’s solar panels back to the power utility company is an example of a SMART GRID.

These are just a few examples of the possibilities offered by the Internet of Things. We must now try to imagine what future applications might look like.

How should prepare ourselves for the Internet of Things ?

As users of technology, we can be sure that the IoT will be increasingly present in our daily lives. Modern societies and particularly urban populations are a strong driver for both Governments and the private sector to offer a greater number of services. For example, governments wishing to offer their citizens better services might include IoT applications to optimize e-government solutions.

Likewise, deploying these technologies will allow the private sector to find many business opportunities.

In addition, technical colleges and universities will need to produce professionals capable of implementing IoT projects.

How does the Internet of Things relate to IPv6 ?

Today, Pv6 is the only viable technology on which to build the Internet of Things.

Because we are saying that billions of devices will be connecting to the Internet in a not-too-distant future, knowing that IPv4 addresses are running out, it is only natural that the IoT must be implemented over IPv6.

In fact, the IETF has standardized an IoT stack over a protocol called 6lowPAN (RFC 4944).

Which projects have you worked on that are based on this concept ?

Our research team has been working on wireless sensor networks since 2009.

Our main project is a sensor network for agronomic research. Our first application —the SIPIA Network— employed proprietary protocols within the sensor network and a coordinator device that connected to the Internet over IPv4. The second version of this application —SIPIA6— already incorporates IPv6 (6lowPAN) in the sensor nodes and the coordinator device.

We are currently starting to work on an SMART GRID application for distributed photovoltaic power generation. In the case of this project, we are working together with a local power distribution company and the provincial power company. The goal is to convert part of the residential and industrial power distribution network to a SMART Grid.

Which of these projects could be implemented, as they are, without IPv6 ?

While certain technologies that are part of the IoT such as RFID or ZigBee don’t use IPv6, the current trend is to migrate from these technologies to IP.

Today, only small, closed projects can be implemented without IPv6.

In your opinion, what would be the natural evolution of the Internet of Things ?

In my opinion and according to current economic forecasts, IoT technology is set for a bright future. This prediction is based on the idea that popular demand coupled with technological developments will drive the generalized adoption of the IoT. This could mean a major contribution to economic development in a way similar to what is happening with the Internet today.

However, in order to achieve full interconnection, protocol standardization is a challenge that needs to be overcome. As we’ve known since the 80s, the use of open standards is the best way to fully interconnect all our devices. This is why I believe the IETF has —and will continue to have— a leading role in the growth of the IoT. In fact, we are already using protocols such as 6lowPAN, RPL, CoAP, etc. which have been standardized by the IETF.

Smart Cities make progress in Latin America. Success stories around the region.

By Andrés Sastre

Latin America is no stranger to the progress being made in implementing ICTs in the daily lives of its cities. Building smart cities that will improve the lives of its citizens is a challenge hundreds of cities are addressing around the region. We can’t miss this unique opportunity. It’s been more than fifteen years since AHCIET realized that improving city life would involve applying new technologies in day-to-day activities. That’s when the Ibero-American Meeting of Digital Cities was born, an even that is now organizing its sixteenth edition and which as has attempted to bring together local governments, academia, and companies for the purpose of building smarter, cleaner, more sustainable cities where citizens will participate in its day-to-day activities. The idea behind smart cities affects every aspect of the city —citizen participation is the cornerstone on which they are built—.

AHCIET’s goal is the replication of successful experiences implemented in Latin America and the promotion of everything ‘smart.’ This is why AHCIET presents the Digital Cities Awards, an attempt to recognize the efforts of different cities so they will be multiplied throughout the region.

More than 10 years after the first edition of the awards, we are pleased to see our task is becoming increasingly difficult because of the increasing number of experiences that are being implemented. Although much remains to be done, we no longer have to look at the experiences of other continents to set the Latin American agenda. We have our own examples of various initiatives and models. Here we will highlight three that we consider to be highly relevant.

The first is the Argentine city of Mercedes. In 2009, Mercedes created the Sub-Secretariat for State Reform and Modernization and followed the example of Marcos Paz, Argentina’s first Smart City. Mercedes is currently one of Latin America’s most digital cities and has already covered all the strategic pillars that need to be addressed to be considered a smart city, among them health, education, security, communications, and environment, and has set clear goals for improving municipal services and innovating in ICTs. Its flagship project is the creation of a ‘shared universal electronic medical records system.’ Under this system, ambulances are equipped with netbooks through which the staff can check patients’ medical records and automatically alert the hospital and their families via SMS. Ambulances are also connected to the hospital via videoconference, so the hospital knows in advance what specific care each patient will need.

There are also many examples of progress being made throughout the region in terms of citizen participation and empowerment, among which we’d like to highlight Rio de Janeiro. Here, a City Council was created comprising 150 professionals including social and business leaders who, in collaboration with Intel and Cisco, contributed to a strategic plan, the main goal of which was to build a sustainable, integrated, digital, intelligent, and creative city. In this case, the city’s most notable project is ‘Praça do conhecimiento,’ community spaces for sharing, building, learning, and creating digital content. The city’s inhabitants access these spaces through ultra-fast broadband services and, in many cases, learn the benefits of using the Internet for the first time. The importance of this initiative lies in the multi-stakeholder approach based on which it was designed, bringing together multiple agencies committed to improving citizen integration, with a focus on the creation of digital content.

Lastly, we’d like to share an example of a public-private partnership for the promotion of ‘smart’ developments —Medellin Digital—. This is a project of the Municipality of Medellin and Une-EPM (the telecommunications company), which tries to move beyond infrastructure and branches out into other areas such as open government, citizen participation, social innovation, and sustainability.

Its most notable project is ‘Ruta N,’ a corporation created to promote the development of innovative, technology-based companies that will increase the city’s competitiveness. The initiative seeks to combine public and private leadership with a focus on citizen orientation, including long-term evaluation and monitoring mechanisms that will contribute to the project’s sustainability.

These are all examples of successful projects that have been able to combine leadership and political vision, institutionality, digital inclusion, public-private coordination, integration of civil society, and innovation and investment in telecommunications infrastructure. In our opinion, this combination of factors should mark the progress of smart cities throughout Latin America. We’re on our way, yet we must continue to move forward. As stated above, we can’t miss this unique opportunity.

*The author is Advisor to the Ibero American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication Companies.

Internet Engineers in Buenos Aires

For the first time, Latin America will welcome the annual meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires in early 2016, this meeting will make history, as until now this group of individuals who contribute to Internet technology engineering and evolution have always met in the Northern hemisphere.

The IETF is the leading organization committed to the development of new Internet standards. It brings together nearly 1,200 people from every corner of the world, including members of LACNIC’s engineering department.

Christian O’Flaherty, Senior Development Manager for Latin America and The Caribbean at the Internet Society (ISOC), highlighted the importance of this meeting for the region and the greater involvement of Latin American and  Caribbean engineers at IETF meetings.

What can you tell us about the Buenos Aires IETF meeting?

For the first time, the group that develops Internet standards and services will meet in Latin America. This group also discusses the changes needed to improve Internet stability, security, and growth.

Standards are needed for the Internet to operate as a global network, even though it uses hardware and software provided by different manufacturers. There is no single authority to dictate how things should work. Any necessary standards are discussed by different working groups on their respective mailing lists.

Each year, the IETF organizes three face-to-face events, where these working groups meet for sessions that last two hours or more. The purpose of these meetings is to further the discussions that take place on the mailing lists, seek consensus, and discuss the creation of new working groups.

Why is it important for Latin America that the IETF is holding this meeting within the region?

Today, our region doesn’t have a strong presence in IETF working groups. Meetings are held in locations that favor the attendance of working group participants, which is why they have always been held in the more developed countries. The IETF needs to improve its geographical diversity, which is why it has decided to hold a meeting in our region in order to promote Latin American participation. This is a unique opportunity, as we don’t know how long it will be until the next IETF meeting in our region.

Who is part of the IETF? What are their roles?

The IETF is made up of individuals (as opposed to company representatives) who participate in the different working groups out of personal interest. Their roles are very diverse and can range from simply reading what is posted to the mailing lists, to authoring documents or being part of the IETF’s leadership and serving as Working Group Chairs, Area Directors, etc.

How many Latin American engineers participate at the IETF?

Less than fifty people from our region participate in these meetings (equivalent to less than 4% of the total number of participants). This figure is very low compared to the number of Internet users or people living in our region. However, although it’s quite difficult to estimate, the number of people participating on the mailing lists is higher than this.

The important thing is that interest in the IETF and awareness of its importance are increasing, a fact we see reflected in the number of participants involved in the various activities of the IETF-LAC@lacnog.org group, which helps members of the regional community take their first steps at the IETF. This group is led by Alvaro Retana, a Costa Rican native who is also Area Director at the IETF.

How does knowledge of Internet standards in Latin America compare with rest of the world?

Latin American professionals have enough knowledge and expertise to make significant contributions at the IETF. Our universities provide professionals with the technical level needed to understand and participate. The equipment and protocols used by our network operators are at the same level as those used in the US or
Europe. Perhaps we have not yet reached the critical mass necessary for potential participants understand the value of participating. Once they see that their colleagues, friends, and neighbors who participate are able to get better jobs, good references, and contacts, participation will begin to grow. We hope this meeting in Buenos Aires will help overcome this barrier.

Review of the first leg of LACNIC Caribbean on the move – Suriname edition, 3-4 July 2015

Editorial: Kevon Swift

LACNIC Caribbean on the move???

What has happened to LACNIC’s Caribbean event? If you had been to LACNIC’s May meeting this year or recently interacted with LACNIC staff you might have heard of something called “Caribbean on the move.” For some people, this phrase might have been gleaned in passing without much reflection given to what it really meant. We all know that between the May and October events there is usually some kind of LACNIC engagement that takes place at a sunny tropical destination, right? What we might not have known is that the way the Caribbean event is organised and executed has changed significantly as of this year.

LACNIC Caribbean on the move is a reformulation of the traditional Caribbean event where, as the name suggests, LACNIC moves from Internet community to community to get to know Caribbean constituents better and carry out meaningful dialogue with them. Besides the core activity of distributing and managing Internet numbers, LACNIC has always cooperated actively with various Internet actors to ensure the construction of an open, stable and secure Internet at the service of Latin American and Caribbean societies. Though largely composed of islands, the Caribbean area also includes some mainland territories that are attuned to the social, cultural and economic aspects of Caribbean life, and participate in debates and processes hosted by Caribbean actors. There are also some highly comparable challenges that these communities face when it comes to their development. One of these challenges is the issue of limited resources within communities to identify trends within the Internet ecosystem, synthesise information and participate in region-wide processes such as the LACNIC community’s Policy Development Process (PDP) for managing number resources. While there can never be a quick-fix, external solution to face said challenges, LACNIC Caribbean on the move is intended to meet Caribbean Internet communities along the way.

Destination Paramaribo

Against this backdrop we decided to reach out to Suriname, the smallest independent country on the South American continent that is indeed involved in the work of regional organisations in the Caribbean such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). Suriname has a population of just under 600,000 with an Internet penetration rate of 37.4%[1]. There are only four LACNIC members in Suriname, namely Telesur, Uniqa, Parbonet and Digicel. With this baseline identified, we contemplated  starting off in Suriname using a broader range of perspectives and cognisant of potential. Suriname is actually the largest territority in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean, and has well-established cultural and economic links with the territories of the former Netherland Antilles. The opportunity to carry out the first edition of LACNIC Caribbean on the move in Suriname became even riper when our key local partner, the Telecommunicatie Autoriteit Suriname (TAS), informed us of  a dynamic event being organised by the ICT Association of Suriname – ICT Summit Paramaribo 2015.

Over the last three years, ICT Summit Paramaribo has become Suriname’s premier annual ICT event addressing topics such as mobile technology, analytics, Internet Governance (IG), Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, social media and security. It boasts of speakers and participants from many countries including the Netherlands, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa among others. The Summit also includes a bustling commercial space where over 20 exhibitors engage delegates and professionals on the latest products and trends in the ICT industry. The dynamics on the floor during this year’s Summit were indeed noteworthy – there was a high number of spontaneous interprofessional exchanges among technologists, lawyers, media professionals, parliamentarians, businessmen and students.

How did we do it?

Our approach for conducting LACNIC Caribbean on the move is quite simple – partner with interested organisations on the ground prior to elaborating on our baseline information and determining a scope of activity. In the case of Suriname, we started a dialogue in March of this year with TAS – the telecommunications regulator with oversight of new entrants into the Internet market. We were quickly able to localise our ideas for Suriname and better define our prospects for collaboration. The specific visiting LACNIC team for the event and other collaborators from our sister Internet organisations were confirmed based on these initial talks. As it turned out, one of our contacts at TAS was also a member of the ICT Association of Suriname and was therefore able to provide a window for all of our organisations to meet common goals.

The LCOTM event

Through TAS’ good offices, LACNIC Caribbean on the move was set up as an Internet-themed track at the 2015 ICT Summit Paramaribo that was open, not only to paying Summit delegates but rather a wide range of stakeholders including policy makers, regulator staff, technology students, IT instructors, IT business professionals and network technicians. Over the two-day period, we conducted seminars and workshops in one of three on-site meeting rooms on hot-ticket topics including the latest developments in global Internet Governance, live policy discussions within the LACNIC community, routing and management concepts under IPv6 and Internet security. Through the remote participation of Mr Shernon Osepa, a great colleague at the Internet Society (ISOC), we analysed the big picture of the Internet ecosystem before zeroing in on its constituent parts. We even maintained a presence in the exhibition area by sharing a booth with TAS, where we made a wide range of informational materials and tokens available for curious delegates. The exhibition area also provided a number of interview opportunities with other exhibitors, event organisers and the media.

Admittedly, participant numbers varied throughout each day with the afternoon sessions having less people than the morning ones. In fact, an observation in Caribbean ICT/Internet discussions is that there is a focus on infrastructure nuts and bolts, which we can assume is proportionate to the development of the Information Society in Caribbean communities. Number resources, and discussions about them, may not necessarily be in the front line of the ICT Smorgasbord stakeholders at Caribbean conferences face but their importance is considered relatively high all the same. Yet a key constant for each session was the quality and depth of interactions held with participants. Interactions largely centred on the desire to discover more technical knowledge, especially around RPKI and DNSSEC; troubleshooting for operational issues by network managers; and increasing the appreciation for the technical coordination paradigm of the Internet by policy makers, lawyers and students present in the room. As expected, the LACNIC team was able to share information to address each case as presented all the while learning about Suriname’s Internet environment and some of the issues affecting small and micro players with respect to number resources.

Where do we go from here?

We left Suriname with more work (an application for number resources was initiated on the spot on the last day), more contacts, more knowledge and an overall sense of connecting effectively with a Caribbean Internet community so that futher activities will follow. Information on upcoming Internet events was shared and even a few basic proposals for Internet projects were made by some contacts. At this juncture it is difficult to say which of the proposals may come to fruition but what is certain is that we have indeed presented ourselves as a point of reference from the technical community, to assist a national community in its Internet development. This task could not have been made possible on our own, nor should it be done that way. LACNIC is indebted to the Director and staff at TAS, and Mr Shernon Osepa at ISOC, for making LACNIC Caribbean on the move – Suriname a success. Plans for future editions of LACNIC Caribbean on the move are in the making and will be announced in due time.

If you would like to see specific information about the Suriname event such as the agenda and presentations please visit the the LACNIC Caribbean on the move website at the following link: http://www.lacnic.net/en/web/eventos/onthemove. If you work for an organisation based in the Caribbean, and are interested in having this event hosted in your country please write to onthemove@lacnic.net.


[1] Source: ITU (2013) Percentage of Individuals using the Internet. See full statistics at http://goo.gl/kCRClt

Changing Internet policies is easier than you think

The policies governing Internet resource management in the LACNIC service region are proposed and established by the community, which means that changing these policies is also up to our members. With the community’s consensus, the process for modifying these rules is quite simple.

A recent example of a successful modification to one of LACNIC’s policies began as a proposal submitted by George Lam of Level 3. Lam’s proposal suggested changing the requirements for the assignment of ASNs.

“While working, I would sometimes receive comments from colleagues and clients mentioning that their ASN requests had been denied, although, in my opinion, their applications were valid. The lack of an ASN would often complicate what should have been a simple solution,” Lam told LACNIC News.

Based on these comments, Lam suggested changes to the ASN assignment policy. After a brief process, he managed to make the policy “clearer and broader in scope, thus benefiting many organizations in need of an ASN.”

Lam noted that the process had been simpler and easier than he had initially thought it would be. “I was even lucky enough to present the proposal after LACNIC implemented a tool that allows discussing policy proposals via teleconference, which made it even easier to understand the various opinions and resulted in a better proposal,” Lam added.

Lam, who is responsible for designing and growing Level 3’s IP network in Latin America, noted that promoting a policy change had been a great experience. “I feel like I’ve made my small contribution to the community,” he said.

It’s worth it. Lam encouraged members of the LACNIC community to submit their own proposals for change. “For various reasons, people may think their proposals are not worth submitting, but they need to know that any change that would improve current policies, no matter how small, will be worth it. During the process they will hear opinions for and against, all aimed at improving the proposal. They will also find the entire community’s support,” he concluded.

Before being presented at the forums in order to seek consensus, all proposals are submitted and discussed on the policy mailing list.

The “Killer app” for IPv6 deployment

The new Chair of the Latin American IPv6 Forum, Mexican engineer Azael Fernández Alcántara, observed that IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean must be promoted, as there is still a long way to go until its widespread adoption.

Fernández Alcántara, head of the IPv6 project at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) and coordinator of the IPv6 working groups at CUDI (University Corporation for Internet Development) and CLARA, noted that few Latin American and Caribbean countries have promoted IPv6 at governmental level, which is why academia and the private sector have led regional deployment efforts.

In an interview with LACNIC, Fernández Alcántara predicted that the Internet of Things will be the “killer app” that will accelerate IPv6 deployment, as new uses and devices will bring about an urgent need for the new protocol.

What do you think of IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean?

I think IPv6 deployment is moving along at a fairly acceptable pace, especially in certain countries such as Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. However, we have yet to see major mass public deployments with large numbers of users.

In your opinion, which sectors are ahead and which are still behind in terms of IPv6 deployment?

If by sector we mean academia, government, and the corporate sector, in our region I would have to say the academic sector is the leader. However, in the countries I mentioned earlier, the academic-corporate sector has shown the greatest progress.

At government level, only countries such as Cuba and Colombia have implemented proper policies for promoting the use of IPv6.

As compared to the rest of the world, do you think the region has a proper process in place for migrating to IPv6?

Yes, I do. But instead of speaking of a migration —which implies abandoning or no longer using IPv4— I’d say what we’re seeing is mostly coexistence and a transition to IPv6. Nevertheless, we’ve already started noticing some examples of migration, specifically among certain mobile network operators.

We have good levels of IPv6 network and prefix requests, but we still need more IPv6 case studies and utilization success stories. It’s not enough to simply assign or allocate IPv6 blocks —the protocol must actually be used in public services and in production.

Regarding the new challenge you’ve recently taken on, what motivates you to play this role within the community?

The idea of maintaining acceptable levels of IPv6 utilization in our region, as well as a desire to contribute to this natural evolution of the Internet. Also, the enthusiastic participation of everyone involved.

What remains to be done in order to accelerate deployment of IPv6?

Perhaps the Internet of Things will be the “killer app” we’ve been waiting for that will accelerate IPv6 deployment, as new uses and devices will bring about an urgent need to use IPv6 instead of IPv4.

What do you think about the IPv4 exhaustion process and the scope of its various phases?

I believe it’s being implemented more or less naturally, taking into account our region’s peculiarities. Nevertheless, we must continue to participate in the policy discussions that are taking place both in our region as well as in others and which could potentially impact these phases.

To understand its true impact, the region’s IPv4 exhaustion phases must be contextualized for each country and end user.

Mexico on the Internet Governance Road Map

The regional Internet community will meet in Mexico to decide the future steps in addressing controversial, complex, and urgent issues such as privacy, Internet security, net neutrality, the right to be forgotten, and the Internet of Things as an enabler of opportunities for Latin American and Caribbean economies.

On 3-4 August, close to 150 civil society, government, academia, and business organization representatives from approximately 20 different countries will meet in Mexico City for the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF) to discuss Internet-related issues ranging from the development of Internet infrastructure to the respect for human rights on line.

Precisely one of the first sessions will address the topic of human rights in the LAC region: “Surveillance and Privacy in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The program also includes a forum titled “Balance between Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Knowledge. The Role of Intermediaries and Freedom of Expression.”

Internet access, its challenges and opportunities for development will also be debated during the Mexico meeting.

Within the framework of this activity, LACNIC will present the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, which will honor a prominent individual for his or her contribution to Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The ceremony will take place on 4 August.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was established by the LACNIC Board of Directors to honor those individuals who have long devoted their efforts to the development of the Information Society within the region and whose achievements have set an example for the rest of the community. Since its inception in 2009, fifteen personalities have received this award.

Origin validation for increasing Internet security and stability

With the support of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC), Costa Rica has become one of the first countries to implement origin validation at their Internet Exchange Point (IXP).

This work allows strengthening local Internet traffic and avoiding route hijacking for capturing traffic containing sensitive information (bank account numbers, passwords, etc.), spamming and conducting DDoS attacks, among others.

By taking this important step, the Costa Rican Internet Exchange Point (CRIX) became the second IXP to create a national island of trust for local Internet infrastructure, preceded only by Ecuador.

Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) allows certifying information to digitally prove that an entity has the right to use IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. This information is validated through a router and is known as Origin Validation.

The organizations responsible for resource validation are Regional Registries (RIR) or National Registries, as appropriate. In the case of Costa Rica, the process was conducted with the support of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC).

So far, the only IXP to implement origin validation had been Ecuador (NAP.EC), and organization that since September 2013 has become a successful case study that proves that technology can solve real operational problems in an already operational environment. Together with LACNIC, NAP.EC has been a strategic partner for implementing this system at CRIX.

Mauricio Oviedo, head of information technologies at NIC Costa Rica, noted that implementing Origin Validation at CRIX is an important step “towards greater Internet security and stability” and “a guarantee for Costa Rican users, which adds to NIC Costa Rica’s efforts to promote cutting-edge technologies that will strengthen the country’s national cybersecurity strategy and enhance technological development throughout the region.”

TICAL, bringing together the educational community

The Latin American and Caribbean scientific and educational community is getting ready to meet in Viña del Mar for the TICAL 2015 Conference, a place where Latin American universities will have the chance to share their knowledge on Information Technologies.

The meeting set to take place in Chile is the fifth meeting of the TICAL Community. There, technology leaders from multiple universities throughout the region will share their experiences, exchange knowledge and address common issues.

Macarena Larenas, TICAL Community Manager, and María José López Pourailly, CLARA’s Outreach and Communications Manager, spoke to LACNIC News on the scope of the conferences and the role they have played in ICT development at university level.

The TICAL Conference will be five years old in 2015. How important has the initiative been for ICT development in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Its importance can be seen in how much the community has grown. The first conference was held in 2011 and attended by 100 participants from 16 different countries; in all, there were 25 presentations. The 2014 conference was attended by 443 individuals from 27 countries. In addition, 443 people from 27 different countries submitted proposals in reply to our latest call for papers.

The community has not only grown in terms of the number of participants; it has also established itself as a hands-on community with specific actions throughout the year.

Last year, for example, a first study on Information Technology Governance Practices within Latin American Universities was conducted. Two hundred and four institutions participated in this study, the first in the region to address this particular topic.

Within the community’s framework, several seminars or talks have also been held aimed at identifying projects, problems and common needs, and a digital repository has been created for the work and experiences of the members of the community

Another important aspect that has contributed to TICAL’s sustained growth is the fact that the conference has become an ideal space for companies and organizations wishing to obtain the latest ICT information from Latin American universities. In turn, members of the TICAL community are pleased to come together with ICT companies, as it allows them to find out about the latest trends, products and services, and to compare the alternatives offered by leading technology companies.

What is the TICAL Conference? Who attends these meetings?

The creation of TICAL – the Network of ICT Directors from Latin American universities – was an initiative driven by RedCLARA established in 2011. At first, the creation of this community set up a working space which would later be expanded and consolidated through the organization of an annual TICAL conference beginning in 2012. The fact that directors from different countries actively participate in the conference’s organization makes it possible to take into account the varied realities of universities across the region.

The creation of this community seeks to promote a space for knowledge and collaboration where the universities’ directors of technology can, among other things, share experiences, exchange knowledge, promote different initiatives, understand current trends, and address common issues. TICAL also promotes networking among different institutions, thus promoting the creation of synergies within the group.

The TICAL Conference is the place where the TICAL community meets face to face and draws on the experiences, initiatives and knowledge presented by experts representing universities (mainly) from across the region, and provides meaningful and unprecedented solutions for all areas of university making use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

Conference attendees include ICT directors from Latin American universities and their teams, in addition to academic network leaders and engineers, researchers working in the field of ICTs, and industry representatives.

What are your expectations for TICAL 2015?

This year, we hope to continue to grow, attracting a larger number of regional institutions involved in these initiatives, and to strengthen and expand the community’s activities to specific regional cooperation projects, some of which will be announced during this year’s conference.

What are the main themes for the 2015 TICAL Conference?

The fifth edition of the TICAL Conference will take place on 6-8 July and will focus on papers addressing the following themes:

ICT Solutions for Education: learning tools based on simulation, collaborative environments, virtual labs, managing and distributing software specializing in teaching support, ICT solutions for implementing MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), technology in the classroom, integral video solutions, the impact of mobility on teaching, institutional social networks.

ICT Solutions for Research Support: scientific visualization, simulation tools, collaborative environments for supporting research, managing and distributing specialized software, developing HPC (High Performance Computing) solutions, knowledge management (repositories, digital magazines), scientific data management, massive data storage services, cloud services for supporting research, etc.

ICT Solutions for Management: collaboration environments that enhance process effectiveness and efficiency, solutions that have allowed integrating different processes, systems for University Operational Management analysis (business intelligence, analytics, big data), accreditation process support,  cloud-based management models.

ICT Solutions for Outreach and Developing Ties with the Environment: continuous improvement projects, technical solutions to facilitate the integration of special needs communities, ICT services that extend beyond Campus, university participation in “smart city” projects, environmental sustainability, sustainable energy, solutions for events management, social responsibility, handling technological waste, the role of IT in measuring a university’s carbon footprint.

ICT Governance and Management: implementation of best ICT management practices (HR and organizational structure, policies, recruiting and retaining talent, calculating and managing service costs, process management, monitoring and metrics), implementing successful project management models, innovation management, ICT knowledge management, datacenter management, defining and implementing an ICT strategy, experiences that have allowed improving ICT governance maturity.

Infrastructure: network engineering and management to support BYOD, impact of mobility on infrastructure and services, wireless networks (internal and external WiFi solutions), PKI infrastructure, identity management solutions (single sign-on and mobility), storage solutions, datacenters, public and/or private clouds integrated into infrastructure, innovative VOIP solutions, IPv6 deployment, High Performance Computing (HPC), Green IT, outsourcing services, smart campus infrastructure.

Information Security: access management solutions, implementing international standards, implementing best practices, data management security, legal aspects involved in the provision of university ICT services and privacy protection, service availability, provider security management, cloud service security, important aspects to consider when incorporating social networks, security planning and management, safeguarding digitized intellectual property information.

Community involvement in LACNIC policies

Nicolas Antoniello has chaired LACNIC’s Public Policy Forum for six years. During this time, he has witnessed the continued growth of the region’s Internet community, particularly during the past few years. In his opinion, this has resulted in increased participation in various forums and greater Internet policies debate.

Antoniello – a young engineer who obtained his degree from the School of Engineering of the Uruguayan Universidad de la Republica – believes that there is growing interest among the community and that a larger number of proposals is being submitted in order to better adapt to the new regional and global realities.

Speaking to LACNIC News, Antoniello stressed that the community’s motivation and interest should be constantly encouraged. “If the community’s motivation and interest are encouraged and sustained, I believe actions will follow,” he said.

What motivated you to apply for the position of Forum Chair back in the day?  Were you already an active member of the community when your name was submitted for consideration?

Six years ago, I was working as Network Operations Center Engineer with ANTEL (Uruguay’s state-owned telecommunications company, one of LACNIC’s members). I’ve been participating in LACNIC events and other forums practically since the Regional Registry was created back in 2002. I have also participated in other regions’ policy and technical forums. I’ve always been interested in – and motivated by – the multistakeholder model for the development and implementation of regional and global public Internet policy.

In 2008, I communicated to ANTEL’s International Relations Department that I wanted to run for chair of the LACNIC public policy forum and they submitted my nomination. I served as Forum Chair until this year. I will, of course, continue to be actively involved in different forums and various other activities.

How would you describe our regional community? In your opinion, does the community take an active and participative stand in the policy development process?

Although not the youngest, our community and region are still relatively young in terms of access and connectivity. I believe this is reflected in our degree of participation in forums and other activities. Despite its young age, our community has developed quickly over the last few years, as evidenced by various Internet access and penetration indicators as well as by our level of commitment and participation. Another thing I’d like to add is that the policy development process includes periods of more or less intense activity; in any case, in general, I’m now noticing greater interest and an increased number of proposals being submitted by the community, always in line with the times at regional and global level.

Is there any aspect of our community that you’d like to change?

I think there’s always room for improvement. Communities aren’t static; instead, they evolve and change from time to time. I’d say that the community should not loose is its motivation and interest – something we should constantly encourage. If the community’s motivation and interest are encouraged and sustained, I believe actions will follow – sometimes driven by just a few individuals, but later extended and replicated throughout the region. This is the case in every region; ours is no exception.

What has the experience of chairing the Public Policy Forum contributed to you personally and professionally?

I have learned so much! It has provided me with a technical and political understanding of how the Internet works at regional and global level. It has provided me with a taste for a working methodology in which everyone can participate. It has helped me understand that, regardless of their various working methodologies, each actor complements the others within this ecosystem of which our community, particularly our Public Policy
Forum, is an essential part.

Chairing the forum teaches you so many things, among them how to talk to people and address a large audience. I’ve learned and found something positive in both the successes as well as in the mistakes we inevitably make.

On a more personal level, it has given me the opportunity to meet many people, some of whom I now consider my friends or, as we say, “part of the Internet family” – in our region as well as in the four others. As I leave my role as moderator, I am happy and grateful that the community trusted and supported the tiny grain of sand I may have been able to contribute.

Would you encourage someone to chair the Public Policy Forum? Why?

The answer to the first question is obviously yes. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested and passionate about these issues to run for Chair of the LACNIC Public Policy Forum. As any other task, it requires dedication and commitment, but it is extremely rewarding. You learn a lot, more than I can mention here. It is definitely a very pleasant task and a great community. The reasons and motives for my recommendation are the ones I mentioned above, as well as many others I will surely think of later.

Casa de Internet highlighted as an example during ICANN 53

During the opening session of the ICANN 53 meeting held in the last week of June in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Casa de Internet for Latin America and the Caribbean, a space located in Montevideo, Uruguay, was highlighted as the only initiative of its kind and an example of synergy among Internet organizations.

ICANN meeting organizers underlined the relevance of the Casa de Internet initiative and the work of the Latin American and Caribbean regional organizations towards joining efforts and developing projects with each other. A video showcasing this one-of-a-kind space was also presented during the opening ceremony http://www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/casa-de-internet

After mentioning Casa de Internet as an example, Fadi Chehade, ICANN CEO, stressed that Internet development can only be achieved through joint work and the creation of synergies between ICANN, the RIRs, the IETF, and every other organization representing the technical community throughout the world.

A large LACNIC delegation participated in ICANN 53 activities and sessions, led by Oscar Robles, the organization’s CEO.

LACNIC staff was actively engaged in the various ICANN sessions and meetings, and marked their presence with a booth – the LAC Lounge – which served as a point of reference for attendees interested in learning about various Latin American and Caribbean initiatives and projects.

This was the space chosen to set up Live the IPv6 Experience!, where LACNIC and ICANN promoted several initiatives developed by LACNIC that allowed attendees to learn more about IPv6 and what the implementation of this protocol involves. These initiatives included the IPv6 song; the Analytical Network Game for Education & Learning, a free, open-source game for learning about computer networks; and a video telling the story of an ISP that didn’t deploy IPv6.

Transitioning to IPv6 was easier than we’d thought

Peru’s IPv6 transition is setting a regional example. In addition to leading all end-user traffic statistics, Peruvian organizations and Internet companies are promoting the quick adoption of this Internet technology.

During the LACNIC meeting held in Lima, Ivan Chumo, General Manager of Optical Networks, shared this Peruvian Internet Service Provider’s experiences in transitioning to IPv6.

Chumo admitted that, once the decision to adopt IPV6 had been made, deployment ended up being easier and less expensive than they’d thought

Years of experience in IPv6 implementation have led to the conclusion that one of the pillars for IPv6 adoption is buy-in by decision makers. In your specific case,  how did you come to be in a position to make this decision?

I’ve participated in several LACNIC events where the consistent message was “IPv4 will run out in just three years; in August next year IPv4 will be gone,” yet the fear of investing and the risk that another market player might lead the way are always there. In our country, we noticed that the incumbent operator began transitioning part of its ADSL customer base to IPv6. Since our main line of business lies within the corporate segment, we concluded that this transition was in fact a pressing need. About two years ago, I presented this idea to the Board and obtained their approval to start working on transitioning to IPv6.

What would have happened if another market player had embarked on the transition before you?

We began our transition to IPv6 to avoid being the last ones to do so. Even though we are not the dominant operator, we need to be watchful of the direction the market takes — given that most of our customers are corporate customers, we had no choice but to do this.  In parallel, certain public as well as private companies have yet to grasp the urgency of transitioning to IPv6. As both protocols will continue to coexist for some time, operators don’t feel the need to migrate and are delaying their decision to do so.  To us, IPv4 exhaustion means that we have already reached the IPv6 starting line.

Do you believe your decision to deploy IPv6 has encouraged others to begin considering their own deployment plans?

Many people have realized that they must be prepared.

What were the largest investments needed for the migration?

Surprisingly, the costs involved in the migration were not that high, as all equipment manufactured in recent years is already is IPv6 ready. Our main efforts focused on providing training for our staff and making sure that everyone was ready to manage our different platforms, something for which LACNIC’s annual meetings have been an invaluable resource.

How did the Engineering staff react to the changes ?

Our Engineering Department is always very open to new technologies and change.

What is the general feeling regarding IPv6 deployment in an organization such as Optical Networks ?

There’s a feeling of calm in the face of the future, as it’s always necessary to be prepared for change, combined with a feeling of great expectation, as we hope that at some point the corporate segment will react and demand IPv6 implementation.

Is this not happening today? Isn’t the market demanding IPv6?

No; neither the corporate market nor the residential market are demanding IPv6, let alone the Government sector. In Peru, for example, we are working together with several groups interested in promoting the transition, while simultaneously talking with members of parliament to get the Government to at least commit to an IPv6 transition timeline. This would create an incentive for the private sector to start working on the transition themselves.

Testing v6 ensures proper migration to IPv6

LACNIC has developed a methodology to conduct a compatibility test on systems and equipment operating over the IPv6 protocol. This new service – Testing v6 – is designed to support organizations and companies in the process of adapting their IT systems for migrating from IPv4 to IPv6.

Laura Kaplan, Cooperation and Development Officer at LACNIC, explained that this is a series of courses based on software testing (Certiv6), created to detect whether the computer systems currently running on an IPv4 platform can support IPv6 and thus mitigate the risks of migrating from one technology to the other.

In order to help businesses and organizations in the process of adapting their IT systems, LACNIC invested in research and development so that software testing and communications experts can certify that an application will run successfully on the new IP platform.

Kaplan noted that Testing v6 courses are offered in various forms (both online and on-site) and can be tailored to meet a specific organization’s needs.

What is the Testing v6 project about?

Testing v6 is a tool created based on the Certiv6 methodology to check the compatibility of systems running on IPv6. This service offers free access to the application testing methodology (Certiv6) and a series of courses designed to learn how to implement the methodology and test equipment and applications in IPv4, IPv6 and dual-stack environments.

Testing v6 was created by LACNIC to support individuals, organizations and companies in the process of adapting their IT systems, and to help mitigate the risks involved in the migration from the IPv4 to the IPv6 protocol.

What is Testing v6 for?

Testing v6 teaches how to test equipment and applications in order to ensure that the software runs properly in IPv4, IPv6 and dual-stack environments, as well as how to check the compatibility of systems running on IPv6.

What benefits can an organization or company achieve by checking the compatibility of their systems running on IPv6?

Checking that equipment and software systems are compatible with the new protocol is very important and useful, as it saves time and money in solving problems related to applications on IPv4 and IPv6 and helps detect hidden problems and future risks deriving from the two protocols’ coexistence.

The knowledge acquired through the v6 testing courses helps participants make confident decisions regarding technological changes. Learning about equipment testing is easy, as the courses are taught through hands-on exercises which include the simulation of real-life examples.

Who is the initiative’s target audience?

This initiative was designed for a very broad audience – LACNIC members , for whom we have reserved a number of seats and offer special discounts; the Internet community; ISPs; content providers; IXPs; government agencies; software developers and distributors; freelancer professionals and consultants; integrators; in general, anyone who is in the process of adapting their IT systems.

Why is it important to check the software and its IPv6 compatibility?
Many parameters and aspects relating to the Internet protocol are changing: among other things, IP address length, how IPs are manipulated, their format, the data types used for storing them, and the validations performed on them by software no longer work with IPv6. The ability to monitor and detect these issues in a timely manner is critical if we want our software applications to continue to function once users access to our applications via IPv6.

What kind of courses are available?

These courses are specifically tailored to participants’ needs and are available either on site or in e-learning format (through LACNIC’s Virtual Campus). Students are led by trained LACNIC and CES staff. Training includes tools for software and information technology testing; courses are structured in modules that cover theory and practice and are designed based on real-life cases and exercises that can be directly applied in the workplace.

The course can be supplemented with a technical module on the IPv6 protocol tailored to the needs of each individual/organization and/or a specific module on testing.

What are the applicable fees?

The cost of the courses covers registration, custom classes, evaluation and a certificate of completion. Courses are offered in three different formats. First, LACNIC offers online Certiv6 courses through its Virtual Campus; these courses are led by CES and LACNIC staff, who provide personalized guidance and support each participant throughout the process. The course comprises an introduction to testing, a module describing the theory behind the Certiv6 methodology, a hands-on module with exercises based on real-life cases, and an evaluation.

We also offer a second online option which is conducted through the Virtual Campus and Webex sessions. In addition to the module presenting the theory behind the Certiv6 methodology and the hands-on module with exercises based on real-life cases and evaluation, this option includes a technical module on the IPv6 protocol (which is prepared based on an interview previously scheduled with the organization and taking into account participants’ level of knowledge of the subject) and/or a specific module on testing.

The third format we offer consists of on-site courses at the requesting organization’s premises. This option includes all three modules mentioned above.

The cost of each course will depend on the selected format and can be found on LACNIC’s website: www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/testingv6

For more information about our different training options, please contact Laura Kaplan at testingv6@lacnic.net or call +598 2604 2222 ext. 4209.

Only a few days left to submit a proposal for the FRIDA+ Awards

Just a few hours remain to submit a proposal for the 2015 FRIDA+ Awards, a program that provides funding for research or innovation projects and initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) is a LACNIC initiative that recognizes outstanding proposals in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), with an emphasis on social inclusion and the region’s economic, social and cultural development.

The 2015 call for proposals will close on 10 June (see www.programafrida.net/awards) and will recognize five relevant proposals that have made an effective and significant contribution to Internet use and development in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2010. Each award recipient will receive a cash prize of USD 3,000 as well as travel and accommodation to attend the IGF meeting that will be held in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, during the month of November.

Those applying for an Award may also submit a concrete proposal for extending their project. The goal of these extensions is to provide small, USD 6,000 grants to fund specific new actions, specific activities that can be developed to further the projects being presented, or contribute to their replication.

Projects may be submitted to the Awards+ program under the following categories: a) Devices, infrastructure, and technologies. Accelerating and expanding access; b) Creating and developing skills and content for sustainable human development; c) Mobile Internet for social inclusion, growth, political participation, and active citizenship; and d) Internet for promoting, guaranteeing, and exercising Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

A final Award will be presented to the most creative project with the best 2.0 campaign (+voted +creative project).

“Guarantee the transparency” of the IANA Functions Stewardship Transition

During its recent event held in Lima, LACNIC released a statement advocating that the CRISP (Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal Team) draft Service Level Agreement be completed promptly, with fidelity to the CRISP Principles, and made public immediately.

During the debate and public consultation with the LACNIC community on potential scenarios that might arise in the transition of the IANA functions stewardship, Oscar Robles, LACNIC’s CEO, shared the contents of the resolution agreed by the organization’s Board of Directors, which calls to “guarantee the transparency and bottom-up process followed so far by LACNIC, as one of the RIRs participating in the proposition assembled by CRISP.”

(Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRBeiUExWcs&feature=youtu.be)

LACNIC’s statement draws on the principles agreed by the ARIN Board of Trustees in a communication issued just days ago, and requests that “any comments or objections to the draft Service Level Agreement or its underlying Principles be provided publicly to CRISP on the mailing list (ianaxfer@nro.net), whether those comments originate with the RIR organizations, ICANN, or others in the community.” LACNIC believes that any feedback should be collected by the CRISP team, who should then facilitate discussion of any proposed changes using an open and transparent process.

In this statement, the LACNIC Board also reaffirms the need for the Service Level Agreement to describe the principle regarding “termination of the contract in the event that the IANA Numbering Services Operator fails to perform or cure in accord with the terms of the SLA.”

The LACNIC23 meeting also included a session during which information on the IANA functions stewardship transition and the CRISP Team proposal was provided so that the entire community would be able to understand the process. The session lasted almost one hour and allowed presenters and participants to share information and points of view, highlights of which included references to issues such as the deadline for submitting comments on the draft Service Level Agreement (SLA), which will remain open until 14 June, and the decision that the NRO must make regarding the Review Committee’s charter and composition.

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBrWJPh3FF0&feature=youtu.be

More information: http://www.lacnic.net/documents/2474738/2816619/call-for-comments-announcement-v-es.pdf

Recommendations for dealing with spam in the LAC region

The LACNIC Warning, Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) has alerted the regional community about spam distribution in Latin America and the Caribbean and drafted a series of recommendations to deal with unsolicited email.

Large volumes of spam cause huge losses for companies that use the Internet, as they require large amounts of processing energy, system utilization and network bandwidth.

Graciela Martinez, Head of the LACNIC Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP), noted that spam has an impact on employee productivity and affects network performance, adding that it also causes financial damages, for example, due to the cloning of banking institution websites.

With this in mind, Martinez shared a number of best practices that should be followed to avoid being targeted by malicious online activities.

First and foremost, we must preserve our privacy by using complex passwords, avoiding simple words or personal information, and never sending personal via email. Martinez also recommends never sharing passwords in email messages –no administrator would ever ask for this information– and checking the privacy policy of any websites on which we share our information.

The Head of LACNIC WARP recommends that users protect themselves by installing anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware software and keeping these programs up to date.

According to Martinez, a person must be sure of where the information he or she receives originated and think before clicking on a link or opening a file.

Whenever possible, LACNIC WARP recommends using separate email accounts, one for work-related tasks and the other for personal activities. LACNIC WARP also recommends that users keep an eye on their computer’s performance. If any unusual behavior is noticed, users should use their anti-virus software to scan the computer or call a trusted technician.

LACNIC Campus to offer a new course

After completing the first edition with record enrollment, LACNIC’s Training Center has announced the start of the second introductory course on IPV6 and that it will soon be launching an advanced course to provide continuity for this topic.

The second edition of the introductory course on IPV6 will begin on 8 June and will include four online modules that participants will be able complete in their own time, at their own pace, by 31st July.

Just as the first edition, the course will be taught through LACNIC Campus (campus.lacnic.net), a virtual space that aims at adding e-learning to LACNIC’s existing training offerings.

The dates for the third and fourth editions of the introductory course on IPv6 have also been set (17 August and 19 October).

The initiative will provide extensive information on the new Internet protocol and has been especially designed for network administrators, software developers, network equipment providers, as well as IT students, teachers and professionals.

These courses are self-paced and conducted entirely online. Participants must simply go to the LACNIC Campus website, where they can access “content capsules” in video format, each lasting no longer than a few minutes. The introductory course on IPv6 is made up by four modules, each of which includes a series of videos explaining a topic as well as practical exercises and evaluations that each participant must complete. There is also an additional module with extra IPv6-related materials and resources.

Between them, the four modules address 22 of the most relevant IPv6-related topics. If you would like to participate, registration for the second edition will open on 8 June at http://campus.lacnic.net/course/index.php?categoryid=3

After completing the course, LACNIC will provide a certificate of participation.

The LACNIC Training Center is already working on developing an advanced course on IPv6, which should be available in the coming months.

IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean requires more training

According to Hans Reyes, the expert in charge of coordinating Mexico’s National Academic Network, the technical teams of most of the region’s organizations and Internet companies are lacking specific training, a fact that is delaying IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Reyes believes that this lack of IPv6 knowledge has led the region to underestimate the protocol designed to replace IPv4 and fail to consider its true value for Internet development.

Reyes was interviewed in Lima during LACNIC23, where he noted that it is high time for IPv6 to be considered a key tool that will improve Internet application performance. In the words of the noted Mexican expert, “It is no longer a topic of research. The time has come to deploy the protocol at academic and commercial level.”

How much do you think IPv6 is growing in the academic sector?

Its use is currently experiencing much growth. Although many think of IPv6 as a topic of research, most Mexican universities have plans for adopting IPv6 within a relatively reasonable time frame.

What difficulties does IPv6 deployment face in our region?

One of the major issues we’ve noticed throughout Latin America is that people are not trained to implement IPv6. The technical community must see value in IPv6. Right now, the entire IPv6 protocol can be used within IPv4, and this is why many people don’t see any value in Ipv6 deployment, but instead think of the new protocol as a topic of research, when in fact it is already needed in production to increase application performance. The reason we have such low penetration rates is that everyone is trying to see how they can implement IPv6. There are several cases in Mexico where universities have deployed IPv6 and it is already in production.

Another problem we faced was content. There used to be very little IPv6 content; now, however, major providers such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft already support IPv6 on their networks, something that was not possible until recently.

There was also the issue of lack of IPv6 access. I’ve already deployed IPv6, so has the content network, yet the provider hasn’t. They were in a similar situation, as they didn’t see what value IPV6 would bring to their infrastructure; they considered it a cost with no clear return on the investment. This has now changed and most Mexican operators already support IPv6.

We also believe that IPv6 adoption by Internet exchange points will accelerate general adoption: once you’re connected to IPv6, you’ll be connected to other content networks.

Do you think it’s easier to deploy IPv6 in the academic sector than in the corporate sector?

It is relatively similar. The difference is that universities do have a role in disseminating and adopting new technologies, so they can have researchers work on their implementation, while a company might be afraid to adopt a solution they might later have to change. That’s the greatest barrier for the private sector.

A university does have a role that is not necessarily commercial, and can therefore invest time and resources to explore different options. Part of a university’s role is to help implement technologies that will be of use to the community in general.

Why do you think IPv6 hasn’t been effectively deployed in Latin America?

Content networks represented the main obstacle. Now that IPv6 content is available, private companies and universities are beginning to adopt the new protocol. One of LACNIC’s roles is to help us so we can all have access to Internet resources such as IP addresses. This will contribute to accelerate IPv6 deployment.

In order to increase the speed of IPv6 adoption, ISPs, governments, companies, and universities should become involved. This is not just about a part of the Internet ecosystem; it is about the Internet ecosystem as a whole.

Why would you encourage someone to attend a LACNIC event?

During the 20 years I’ve been involved with the Internet, these events have given me the chance to meet people who are working on the latest developments. Like a family, LACNIC has welcomed us and supports us in deploying our resources and helps us grow our infrastructure and networks. The events provide great forums for all three parties to meet: academia, government and the private sector. This brings value to everything we do.

Major meeting of the LACNIC Community in Lima

This month, Lima welcomed the year’s first annual meeting of the LACNIC community. More than five hundred professionals and leaders representing various Latin American and Caribbean organizations, companies, governments and universities participated in the forums and debates scheduled as part of LACNIC23. Event highlights included the presence of Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, and the discussions on the transition of ANA functions stewardship.

The LACNIC23 meeting also served to promote IPv6 deployment throughout the region, a crucial element for Internet development. In this sense, the Latin American IPv6 Forum (FLIP 6) held within the framework of LACNIC23 encouraged attendees to adopt the IPv6 protocol by sharing different experiences in the implementation of IPv6-based services and applications. Attendees were able to share their experiences relating to IPv6 security, business cases, corporate networks, mobile broadband, and techniques for transitioning to the new IPv6 protocol (watch the presentations: http://www.lacnic.net/web/eventos/lacnic23-foro-flip6).

Distinguished Visitor. The presence of Fadi Chehadé, ICANN President and CEO, in his first public appearance at a Regional Internet Registry event was one of the meeting’s highlights.

Both the LACNIC Board and Oscar Robles Garay, the organization’s CEO, held fruitful meetings with Chehadé at this key moment of the IANA functions stewardship transition.

Chehadé also gave a lecture at LACNIC23’s main auditorium, just hours after news of his resignation from his position as ICANN CEO in March 2016 was released.

LACNIC’s Executive Director thanked Chehadé for his participation at the Latin American and the Caribbean community’s meeting. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Fadi in defense of the fundamental principles of the Internet, shared by both our organizations, during key moments in Internet history such as the IANA functions stewardship transition process,” Robles noted.

He highlighted ICANN CEO’s commitment to “maintaining and promoting the Multistakeholder Internet Governance Model,” noting that this has been an outstanding quality “along with his energy and the time he’s devoted, particularly to leading the final stage of the process.”

In turn, Oscar Messano, Chairman of LACNIC’s Board of Directors, described ICANN CEO’s visit as “magnificent,” and recognized “the importance of his participation in major instances such as the transition of the IANA functions stewardship, a process to which LACNIC and its community are determined to provide continuity through this final stage of shaping our community’s proposal.”

In addition, Rolando Toledo, CEO of the Peruvian Scientific Network, co-organizer of the LACNIC meeting held in Lima, stressed the relevance of the regional Internet community’s return to Peru and noted that it had served to strengthen deployment of the new Internet protocol, IPv6, throughout the region now that IPv4 resources have been exhausted.

During the event’s closing ceremony, LACNIC announced that it will be holding its upcoming meeting –LACNIC 24 / LACNOG 2015– in the city of Bogotá from 28 September to 2 October.

What will TICAL2015 bring?

When there still rest three months for the fifth TICAL Conference –the only event that brings together leaders of Information and Communications Technologies and in Latin America- that is going to be held in the city of Viña del Mar (Chile) between July 6 and 8, its organization introduces the five international panelists who will share their experiences within the plenary sessions. With discount prices for those who register by May 31, TICAL2015 promises to surpass its previous editions.

María José López Pourailly

Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Portugal and the United States are the countries from which the five ICT specialists that will give content, life and action to the plenary presentations of  TICAL2015 come. Meet them!

Susan Grajek

Vice-presidente de Dados, Pesquisa e Análise em EDUCAUSE

United States of America

Thematic line that will develop in TICAL2015: About the Top 10 Research on Higher Education Information Tecnology.  Issues and Strategic Technologies

Susan Grajek is EDUCAUSE’s vice president for data, research, and analytics. She also has programmatic responsibility for EDUCAUSE cybersecurity, GRC (governance, risk and compliance) and administrative IT programs.

Before joining EDUCAUSE, she spent over 25 years at Yale University. She served as deputy relationship manager in Yale’s Information Technology Services (ITS) division. In that role, she oversaw ITS strategy, planning, relationship management, and project execution for the university’s academic administration and general counsel.

Andrés Holguín Coral

Coordinator of Technological Research, Innovation and Information Security University of the Andes

Colombia

Thematic line that will develop in TICAL2015: Great challenges: Data Privacy and Information Security at the University.

Since 2006 Andrés Holguín is the coordinator of Technological Research, Innovation and Information Security at the Directorate of Services of Information and Technology (DSIT) of the University of the Andes, in Colombia, where he works since 2002. In this position, he is responsible for the Information Security. He is also responsible for advanced computing services for research and innovation.

Holguín is a Systems and Computing Engineer at the University of the Andes and has certifications in Information Security of ISCA CISM and SANS GCED.

MSc. Manuel Moreno Castañeda

Rector of the Virtual University System

University of Guadalajara

Mexico

Thematic Line to develop in TICAL2015: ICT revolutionizing teaching

The MSc. Manuel Moreno Castañeda is Rector of the Virtual University System of the University of Guadalajara – which he also founded -, and Professor of History at the University of Guadalajara (Mexico). From 1964 to 1975 he was professor at all teaching levels and teacher trainer.

From the 90s to date, he is especially dedicated to research and teaching in distance education, advising projects of Mexico and of other countries; he has also been in charge of the organization of 17 international meetings of distance education.

Johann Pongratz

Senior Vice President for IT-Systems and Services – Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Technical University of München (TUM)

Germany

Thematic Line to develop in TICAL2015: Technological innovation according to university / Security Information Strategy at the University.

In addition to the general optimization of the TUM IT infrastructure, one of the main responsibilities of Hans Pongratz as CIO is overseeing various activities related to IT for teachers and students. The CIO is chair of the CIO Information Officer Committee at TUM, which drives the implementation of concepts designed to optimize the TUM information and communications infrastructure.

In 2004 Hans Pongratz got its Diploma in computer sciences (major) and economics (minor) at the Technical University of München. Since 2005 he has been scientific assistant in the same University, he worked in the Project elecTUM (Integrated E-Learning at TUM, s. www.tum.de/electum – 2005/2007), in project management of the large-scale project IntegraTUM (building and design of a universal IT infrastructure at TUM www.tum.de/integratum – 2007/2009). In addition he was  head of sub-project integration within the project CM@TUM (introduction of a new Campus Management System, s. www.tum.de/iuk/cm), temporarily provisional sub-project leader course, module and room-management (2008 – 2009).

Eloy Rodrigues

Director of Documentation Services

University of Minho

Portugal

Thematic Line to develop in TICAL2015: A governance framework for data and processes managing.

Eloy Rodrigues is Director of Documentation Services of the University of Minho, the focus of his work has been the development of digital libraries, the training of librarians and library users, and the promotion of the open access to scientific literature through the institutional repositories. He is the author of more than three dozen of articles, books and book chapters on these matters.

In 2003, he led the creation of the RepositoriUM – the institutional repository of the University of Minho, directing the service ever since. In the late 2004, he contributed to the definition of the policy of free access of the University to its scientific production.

Registration

Remember that only until May 31 you can subscribe to TICAL2015 with promotional prices (payment can be made via PayPal and VISA). Register today: http://tical2015.redclara.net/index.php/en/2014-11-07-17-49-57.

For more information about TICAL2015, please visit: http://tical2015.redclara.net/

Understanding the IANA Stewardship Transition and enhancing ICANN’s accountability

Daniel Fink, ICANN Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Brazil

March 14th will be remembered as “ground zero” of a challenging journey for the multistakeholder model. It was the date chosen by the United States government to announce its intention to transfer stewardship of the IANA functions. But what is the IANA? Who participates in the process? What exactly does it involve? Hopefully, this article will shed some light on these questions.

ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was created in 1998 to coordinate the global Internet’s unique identifiers and, more specifically, to ensure the stable and secure operation of the unique identifier systems. ICANN’s mission is to coordinate policy development by the multistakeholder community, which means that anyone who is interested in doing so can (and should) participate through an open process. Great. But where does the IANA fit in this story?

In addition to the administrative work involved in names and numbers policy development, ICANN also has an operational branch that implements the decisions adopted by the community in relation to the domain name root zone. This is the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), a department of ICANN that has been under a no-cost contract with the US government for over 15 years. The IANA has three basic functions: 1. the coordination of the assignment of technical Internet protocol parameters; 2. the administration of certain responsibilities associated with Internet DNS root zone management; 3. the allocation of Internet numbering resources.

At this point, it might be useful to briefly describe the process whereby the responsibility for Internet names and numbers administration was transferred. It is a well-known fact that the Internet originated from a research and defense initiative set up by the US government in the 70s. The Internet has since grown to become a global tool for public good of great economic and social importance. The creation of ICANN in 1998 represented the beginning of an Internet privatization process; in other words, responsibilities were transfered from the US government to the stakeholder community. A few years of practice and improvements were needed, however, in order for this process to gain recognition and for the processes developed within ICANN to gradually earn the international community’s trust.

During this period, while ICANN was achieving maturity, stewardship of the IANA functions remained with the US government. Basically, this task consists of performing the final administrative check as to whether or not the relevant community has complied with all required approval and consensus steps.

Finally, on 14 March 2014, the US government announced its intention to promote the transfer the IANA functions stewardship role to the global multistakeholder community. The announcement asked ICANN to convene global stakeholders –those who already define the policies that are to be implemented– to develop a proposal for the transition plan. The announcement included the requirement that the final proposal must have broad community support and should not simply replace the US government by another government-led or an inter-governmental organization. It also stated that the proposal should address the following four principles:

  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model;
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS;
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services;
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.

The first step after the announcement was the creation of a coordination group comprised of individuals representing the various stakeholders. This group was given the name of ICG (IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group) and was set up in July 2014. The ICG is comprised of 30 individuals representing 13 communities of both direct and indirect stakeholders affected by the IANA functions. It has four main responsibilities: to act as liaison to all interested parties, including the three IANA functions operational communities; to assess the outputs of the three operational communities for compatibility and interoperability; to assemble a complete proposal for the transition; information sharing and public communication.

The three operational communities served by the IANA are as follows:

  • The protocol parameters community: IANAPLAN
  • The numbers community: CRISP
  • The domain names community: CWG-Stewardship

Each of these communities is tasked with developing its own transition proposal. The IANAPLAN proposal was submitted to the ICG on 6 January 2015. The Internet numbers community, made up by the five RIRs (Regional Internet Address Registries), held consultations with the communities in their respective service regions between September and November 2014 and then submitted its proposal to the ICG on 15 January 2015. Finally, the domain names community published a preliminary proposal for public comments on 1st December 2014 and has yet to complete additional development stages. The group’s final proposal is scheduled for delivery on 25 June 2015.

While waiting for the completion of the names community proposal, the ICG is developing a preliminary proposal considering the two other contributions. Its goal is to submit a final proposal to the US government at the beginning of the second half of 2015. Once again, our region will host important discussions on the future of the Internet, as many definitions will be announced at the ICANN 53 meeting which will be held in Buenos Aires on 21-25 June 2015.

Participate and follow the process closely by engaging in public consultations and reading all relevant updates. Visit our website https://www.icann.org/stewardship-accountability o contact our team.

Update on the deployment status of two technologies aimed at enhancing regional security

A global survey prepared by researchers at the Freie Universitaet Berlin provided an unique opportunity to assess the deployment status of RPKI (Resource Certification) and DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This global initiative spanned all five RIR regions, and the LACNIC community submitted the largest number of responses with information on the deployment status of these security-enhancing technologies in our region.

The LACNIC region provided 43% of the responses analyzed in this research, which was developed with the goal of gaining a better understanding of RPKI and DNSSEC deployment worldwide.

According to Nicolas Fiumarelli of LACNIC’s Engineering Department, this initiative provided a better understanding of “why technologies such as RPKI or DNSSEC are being implemented or not” in our region.

What were the goals of the RPKI/DNSSEC survey?

The survey was the result of an initiative undertaken by Freie Universitaet Berlin researchers for the purpose of trying to achieve a better understanding of the status of global RPKI and DNSSEC deployment. Technical reasons are not always easy to find, so a survey was designed as a tool to gather a larger number of points of view as to why technologies such as RPKI or DNSSEC were being implemented or not. This survey was then sent to the entire community.

How would you rate the LACNIC community’s participation in this global initiative?

I think it was very positive. Those who are already deploying these technologies were able to share their experiences, while those who weren’t aware of RPKI and DNSSEC found out about these technologies, an important step towards achieving the desired level of regional deployment. It would be great if everyone who expressed an interest in these topics would either contact our staff or join us at our conferences so that we can offer them better support.

How would you rate the LACNIC community’s level of familiarity with these security- and stability-enhancing technologies?

The survey shows varying levels of familiarity within the community. Those who have already starting deploying RPKI and DNSSEC have done so to be part of a group of early adopters, while those who have not yet started working towards their deployment are waiting to see a larger number of deployment examples. Some also expressed reservations regarding the trust model proposed by RPKI, while others mentioned they had no knowledge of DNSSEC technology.

LACNIC’s networking system for the Lima event

LACNIC has created a tool that allows LACNIC event and conference participants to share information and exchange messages, arrange meetings, or contact others who have registered for the same event. It also provides a way to submit questions to LACNIC staff.

This networking system will be available during the Lima meeting and will only include a list of those who choose to participate. It is important to highlight that the confidentiality of all personal information will be maintained and that a participant’s email address will only be revealed when the interested party actually starts a conversation with the person attempting to contact him/her.

Anyone wishing to participate can register at https://networking.lacnic.net/nt/login.

Paula Manci, Head of Billing, Collections, and Membership Services with LACNIC’s Customer Service Department, noted that “event attendees will only be able to contact other attendees through this channel once the contacted person accepts and replies to the contact request.” Manci highlighted that before this reply “the system will not display any of the attendees’ personal information.”

The system will also allow participants to schedule the usual face-to-face meetings with LACNIC staff.

For a video containing further details and information, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObF5NcWazco

More voices join Internet Governance forums

LACNIC was an active participant in the Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance that took place in the city of San Jose, Costa Rica, a space for reflecting on Internet Governance for Central America and the Caribbean.

This first edition of the Dialogue allowed participants to engage in multistakeholder discussions on various topics relating to the global impact of the Internet, the implications of an interconnected world, Internet access for the most vulnerable populations, and cybersecurity.

Oscar Robles, LACNIC’s CEO, participated in the Dialogue together with Fadi Chehade (President and CEO of ICANN), Christopher Painter (U.S. Department of State Coordinator for Cyber Issues), Sally Wentworth (ISOC Vice President of Global Policy Development) and other relevant personalities.

Participating in Internet Governance discussion processes under the multistakeholder model, i.e., a model that allows the participation of multiple actors and sectors with an interest in the topics under discussion, is important to LACNIC.

During the Dialogue, Oscar Robles stressed that it is “important to determine which Internet Governance issues are truly relevant to the region,” which is why the participation of multiple stakeholders is of the utmost importance.

Robles added that it is necessary to understand that “Internet Governance encompasses all the actions we must undertake to the benefit of all peoples.” In this sense, several concerns have been raised in relation to issues such as net neutrality, the right to oblivion, cybersecurity and freedom of expression, among others. Indeed, several of these issues were discussed during the Dialogue, as was the need for tools and coordination among those interested in participating in discussions at regional level.

Robles also stressed the importance of generating local and regional debates on Internet Governance issues without competing with the spaces that have already been consolidated, such as LACIGF and the global IGF.

According to Robles, “No democratic decision is simple; no multistakeholder decision is fast.”

This first edition was organized within the framework of the South School of Internet Governance and represented a great opportunity for anyone interested in furthering discussions on relevant topics and wishing to contribute to regional preparatory initiatives such as LACIGF with a view to the global IGF.

The only possible outcome

The LACNIC event that will be held in Lima on 18-22 May will provide an excellent opportunity to catch up on the latest news regarding the transition of stewardship of the the IANA functions (domain names, numbers and protocol parameters functions).

The LACNIC 23 program includes multiple activities to inform the community on the progress achieved after the regional consultation that ended last October. On Tuesday 19 May at 2.00 pm, a panel will be held on the Consolidated RIR IANA Stewardship Proposal Team (CRISP Team) proposal, followed by a public debate and consultation with the LACNIC community on the possible outcomes of the IANA functions stewardship transition.

Ernesto Majó, LACNIC’s External Relations & Communications Manager, shared the latest news on this process with LACNIC News.

What is the status of the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions?

The various communities involved with the IANA’s three basic functions (the names function, the numbers function and the protocol parameters function) have implemented separate processes aimed at analyzing the improvements and adjustments that must be considered in order to ensure that the processes under the IANA’s responsibility are carried out. The protocol parameters community (basically, the IETF) and the numbers community (the communities of the five Regional Internet Registries) have already submitted their proposals to the Global Internet Coordination Group (ICG), who is charged with consolidating the different proposals and verifying that the principles established by the NTIA have been observed. The domain names community, which in turn includes several communities, is working through the Cross Community Working Group (CWG) to consolidate a common proposal that addresses the interests of the various stakeholders.

In turn, the numbers community, through its CRISP team, has continued to move forward in developing the key elements of its proposal, such as the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and the appointment of the Review Committee to advise the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) on the review of the IANA functions operator’s performance.

What happened to the final document submitted by the Latin American and Caribbean community?

The proposal developed by the LACNIC community, was one of the basic inputs considered by CRISP, a specialized team made up by three representatives of each RIR region (15 members) that was charged with consolidating a single proposal which was submitted to the ICG on 15 January 2015 within the time frame that had been established. This proposal incorporates some of the elements considered in each region’s discussions and conferences, as well as the input received on the ianaxfer@nro.net mailing list.

The proposal to create a MONC (Multistakeholder Number Oversight Council) evolved into the Review Committee, which will be responsible for annually advising the Regional Internet Registries on the review of the performance of IANA functions operator (currently ICANN).

What new participation opportunities will the LACNIC 23 event offer the LACNIC community to discuss the future of the stewardship of the IANA functions in the administration of Internet numbering resources? Will the meeting to be held in Lima be the final opportunity to publicly discuss this issue?

The LACNIC 23 program will include multiple activities to inform the community on the progress achieved after the regional consultation that ended last October, especially everything related to the work completed by the CRISP team.

Participation is welcome on the mailing list specifically created by the NRO for this purpose: ianaxfer@nro.net. There, anyone who wishes to do so can submit their contributions for consideration by the CRISP  team, as the community –represented in the CRISP team– has the authority to modify and adjust the proposal if it sees fit.

As entities, the RIRs and the NRO have no role in this process beyond making available a space where the community can fulfill this major responsibility.

What is the most likely outcome as to who will take over the IANA functions stewardship role?

There is only one possible outcome. Sooner or later, the IANA functions stewardship role will be assumed by the community under the form it considers most appropriate. The NTIA has set certain conditions for the proposal. In so far as these conditions are met, the NTIA must inevitably process the transition so that the community can take responsibility for auditing process compliance.

“We must win back the openness that the Internet has lost”

Oscar Robles
CEO of LACNIC

Oscar Robles, LACNIC’s recently-appointed CEO, notes that the Internet is experiencing one of the most significant milestones in the history of its organizations –the IANA Stewardship Transition process. When speaking of the future of the Internet, Robles is optimistic about regaining “the openness that the Internet has lost, (and) what we’ve lost in terms of its capacity to enable human and civil rights.”

Below is our interview with LACNIC’s new CEO.

You have been LACNIC’s CEO for little more than two months. What challenges have you identified that LACNIC needs to face?

Just like any other organization, LACNIC faces both internal and external challenges. The responsibility of offering a service that will meet the expectations of our members has been affected now that the main resource we offer –IPv4– has entered its final exhaustion phase, and, while it is true that our organization is financially sound and exhibits an enviable working environment, it is also true that we must work daily to maintain these indicators. In addition, we must always keep up with technology, as only a reliable and secure infrastructure will help us achieve our goals.

On the external front, we are going through the IANA Stewardship Transition, one of the most significant milestones in the history of Internet organizations. Above all else, we must make sure that the transition process respects the multistakeholder model and participatory processes that have always characterized our community. At the same time, we must continue to promote IPv6 deployment, attempting to reach decision makers within the region’s key organizations so that they can help us through this process.

What do you think will be your main lines of action?

Although it is somewhat premature to set a specific strategy, I want to make sure that all our efforts in relation to any of the challenges I mentioned earlier or to any new challenges that may arise will be sustainable.

The Internet is considered to be one of the greatest tools for the democratization of information. Nevertheless, attempts to curtail online freedoms citing security issues continue to grow. What is your opinion on this matter?

It is unfortunate to see how a tool that governments might use to improve their governance processes and empower civil rights can be used quite poorly for these purposes yet much more effectively against human rights. While LACNIC has no specific role in the defense of these rights, I believe we have the opportunity to promote discussions among relevant regional stakeholders to allow the adoption of more sensible solutions to governments’ security concerns. We actively engage in various forums, organized by our organization or by others, that are attended by government officials, and will continue to use these opportunities to defend the Internet’s fundamental principles.

What is the status of Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Development levels vary greatly: while a few countries have quite acceptable levels of Internet and broadband penetration, the vast majority have Internet penetration rates below 50% or limited bandwidth. What’s even worse is that in certain other countries access is very limited not only in terms of penetration but also in terms of quality, which results in a limited offering of online services.

Was the region prepared for IPv4 exhaustion? What is your assessment of current IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Again, I think the region is not uniformly prepared for effective IPv6 deployment. While IPv4’s days are numbered, the fact that certain technologies exist that can help mitigate this situation have provided operators with a false sense of security. In some countries of the LAC region, a significant percentage of networks (ASNs) support IPv6 and are currently ready to handle IPv6 traffic. To a large degree, major operators have made sure that their key infrastructure supports IPv6, major content generators are already using dual-stack technology in their networks and servers, and end-user devices also (mostly) support the new protocol. Important challenges remain, however, as regards modems, cable modems and other devices that are not yet ready for IPv6 and that these operators are still planning to replace.  That’s one of the weakest links.

The region’s other weak link is the thousands of corporate applications ranging from robust ERPs to collaborative applications (planners, calendars, Internet messaging apps, etc.) that might have trouble using libraries that support IPv6. In this sense, LACNIC has developed an application certification methodology (CERTIv6) which we are interested in disseminating as much as possible to contribute to proper IPv6 deployment throughout the region.

The transition of the IANA functions’ stewardship to the RIR community is underway. What are the things we should be paying attention to?

While this transition is one of the most significant milestones in the history of Internet organizations, it is also true that we must be particularly mindful about observing the process to make sure that the qualities that have characterized our policy development processes are maintained under all circumstances: discussions that are open to any community member interested in participating and a public record of those discussions. This requirement was established by the US government through the NTIA’s call for proposals a little more than a year ago. This means that we must remain attentive and mindful of the process.

The past 20 years have been essential for the Internet. What will the Internet look like in 2035?

I don’t know what it will look like, but I do know how we should imagine the future of the Internet: we must win back the openness that the Internet has lost and what we’ve lost in terms of its capacity to enable human and civil rights. I can’t imagine the Internet as a single website, limited to JUST ONE of the nearly 300 million pages available on the Internet. I can’t imagine it as a tool for mass surveillance. The Internet must remain an essential element for social, cultural, economic and human development. There is much work to be done.

New computer security experts for Central America

Twenty-eight representatives of public and private Costa Rican, Colombian and Nicaraguan companies and organizations participated in the Computer Security Training Workshop organized by LACNIC´s AMPARO project in San Jose, Costa Rica, on 9-13 March.

Participants received information and  training on how to handle sensitive information online and manage computer Internet security incidents. This initiative seeks to strengthen regional computer security capabilities and is part of LACNIC´s AMPARO project, the purpose of which is to prepare regional experts to address the growing security challenges posed by the significant increase in the number of social and economic transactions conducted online. By training experts throughout the region, AMPARO is promoting the creation of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) in our continent.

Cesar Diaz, LACNIC’s External Relations Officer for Central America, told LACNIC News that the AMPARO workshops are designed to provide training opportunities on various computer security issues, including how to handle sensitive information, different types of response centers, CSIRT functions, operational and risk management policies, how to handle phishing incidents, botnet attacks, and secure DNS.

Diaz told LACNIC News that the Costa Rica workshop had provided participants with the opportunity to share their concerns regarding technical issues such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and spam, among others. For example, Diaz recalled that workshop participant Gabriel Cambronero of RACKLODGE had mentioned different computer security incidents he had had to face and what had led him to implement immediate responses. Diaz added that Cambronero had mentioned his organization had had to preventively identify their customers in order to know what activities they were involved in and thus be able to respond immediately in case of a potential incident.

Is there general agreement on the damage caused by computer security incidents in the region?

Diaz: For Leonardo Camano of COMPULEAR, awareness of the damage caused by computer security incidents in Costa Rica does exist. However, many of these incidents involve more than just one country, which is why we need to identify them in a timely manner so that users are not affected.

Based on reported incidents, what types of entities have been affected the most?

Diaz: According to Gabriel Cambronero, attacks against banking system networks have been identified and this has resulted in the implementation of strong security policies aimed at safeguarding these customers. He mentioned cases where certain banks had had to migrate to other platforms and services to improve their security.

Is it possible to quantify the damage caused by computer security incidents in Central America?

Diaz: The exact damage caused in Central America is not known. It has been established, however, that the region –including Costa Rica– is being affected by security issues. This is why handling these incidents requires national and global coordination.

Spam is considered to be a particularly severe problem in Central America. What are you planning to do about it?

Diaz: The two experts agreed that spam affects them to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the clients that seek their services.

Both noted that clients requesting a large number of IP addresses are more likely to engage in spamming, which is why they apply the Know Your Customer policy before providing the service.

Technical solutions such as NetFlow, firewalls, etc. exist that can be used on their equipment and systems to minimize spamming.

How can the rise in online malicious activity be addressed?

Diaz: In order to face growing levels of malicious activity a Know Your Customer policy needs to be applied.

Impact of broadband on innovation in Latin America

By Juan Jung*

One of the most striking elements of business performance is a company’s ability to produce innovations, in other words, its ability to generate new products or processes which will then translate into productivity gains. In Latin America, however, innovation indicators are far behind as compared to other regions.  Compared with those of other regions, Latin American entrepreneurs are less likely to introduce new products and processes, to invest in research and development (R&D) and to register patents. Given the above, it is very important to explore the channels through which we can contribute to increase innovative activity levels within the region. In this sense, a key element that might enhance Latin America´s innovation capacity is the deployment of broadband networks and their adoption and intensive by the corporate sector.

A paper titled “Impact of broadband on innovation activity: evidence from Latin America” that recently appeared in Cuaderno de Economía, a journal published by the Catholic University of Uruguay, studies the impact of connectivity and the use of broadband on the performance of the region´s corporate sector. To do so, the research takes advantage of an enterprise survey database that includes 13 Latin American countries and a variety of aspects relating to innovation and the availability and use of ICTs. Based on these data, econometric models are estimated for various indicators that allow deciphering the relationship between innovation and the Internet.

For the businesses of our region, results suggest that having broadband Internet connectivity and using the Internet to make online purchases, deliver services and conduct research results in a considerable increase of the likelihood of introducing new processes, new products, and registering international patents. In particular, the adoption and intensive use of broadband by the region´s companies would result, on average, in a 12% increase in the probability of introducing new processes, a 45% increase in the probability of introducing new products, and a 29% increase in the probability of registering international patents.

These results highlight the importance of creating conditions that support broadband deployment throughout the region, as well as the need to promote active policies that will encourage intensive Internet use. Specifically, the sample analyzed in this study suggests that average levels of connectivity and broadband utilization are lower among the region´s small businesses. This might suggest that incentives to innovation should focus on small businesses, and that these incentives should consider the importance of greater connectivity and a more intensive use of the Internet. A comprehensive approach with cross-cutting policies can secure and enhance the Internet’s positive impact, for example, through programs that support micro-entrepreneurs so that they can bridge the connectivity gap and make extensive use of new technologies.

The paper is available at the following link (page 65):

http://www.ucu.edu.uy/sites/default/files/cuaderno-de-economia-23-12-2014.pdf

*Studies and Regulation Coordinator at the Ibero American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunications Companies

Venezuela installs the region’s 15th root server copy

Within the framework of the +Raices project –a project promoted by LACNIC, the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean– Venezuela has installed a copy of the L-Root Server.

This server will improve direct Internet connections for Venezuelan end users and Internet service providers, increase perceived Internet speed, allow greater autonomy in managing domains, and result in savings in terms of international bandwidth.

Gregorio Manzano, Head of Telecommunications at Venezuela’s Academic Network (REACCIUN), said that, for Venezuela, installing the L server copy helps strengthen the “domain name resolution ( DNS) service at national and even regional level.”

Manzano told LACNIC News that this joint effort by the Venezuelan Government, ICANN and LACNIC seeks to use technology in favor of development and raise the standard of living.

The L-root server is one of the 13 original Internet servers installed worldwide (ten of them in the United States, two in Europe and one in Japan). A technical limitation makes it impossible to increase the number of original servers to more than 13; for this reason, a technology known as anycast was developed that allows creating clones (mirror copies) which, once in operation, are indistinguishable from the original servers.

The Venezuelan official stressed that the country’s Internet users will benefit from increased availability of the DNS service and shorter response times to requests for domain name translation, “which will result in a better user experience and the improvement of perceived Internet performance.” Manzano also emphasized that the server copy “will allow Internet service providers to save on international bandwidth and improve the quality of Internet access and other value added services offered to their users.”

Manzano noted that Venezuela already had a copy of  the F-root server, which was installed in 2006 as part of the +Raices project and which will be maintained “to provide the community with greater DNS service redundancy, as having both services ensures more opportunities for local responses to DNS translation requests.”

The Head of Telecommunications at Venezuela’s Academic Network highlighted the role of LACNIC and the +Raices project in the installation of this server. “LACNIC’s contribution ranged from establishing the initial communication between CENIT-CNTI and ICANN, attaining the project and its execution, to the signing of the agreement,” Manzano said.

The +Raices project was created by LACNIC in 2004 and has since been helping install root server copies in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to improve Internet access throughout the continent and contribute to regional and global Internet stability.

To date, +Raices has allowed installing a total of 14 root server copies in the region. These copies are located in Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Panama (2), Ecuador (3), Haiti, Curaçao and St. Maarten.

Makin’ Mas

Grassroots Perspectives on the Caribbean Telecoms Landscape
By Gerard Best

If weaving dreams is a Caribbean past-time, selling them is more than a livelihood, it’s an industry. For many islands, fabricating fantasies to fetch foreigners’ dollars is institutionalised as a collective occupation, subsidised by the State under the umbrella of Tourism. For us, papering over the cracks is something  of an extreme sport. The idea of putting on a show, or keeping up appearances in order to attract foreign investment is important even to our indigenous entrepreneurship, and central to the adventure of “making it” in the Caribbean.

The showmanship of traditional Carnival artforms like calypso, extempo, limbo and steelpan actually provide even deeper insight into how we use discernment, improvisation, negotiation and inventiveness to “make it” in the Caribbean, the late intellectual Lloyd Best used to say. Calypsonians watch over our world, and wield the powerful political weapons of wordplay, satire and ridicule with laser-like precision. The playful lyrical warfare of extempo, on the other hand, showcases our capacity for good humour, quick wit and raw ingenuity. Limbo dancers embody our seemingly infinite ability to negotiate difficult circumstances. And the invention of the steelpan, created from castoffs of a global hydrocarbon extraction industry, remains a remarkable testimony to Caribbean people’s talent to perceive unseen value and transform the worthless into the world-class.

And yet, while the Caribbean produces champions of calypso and masters of mamaguy, the region as a whole demonstrates strong susceptibility to corporate double-speak and weak resistance to political deception. Why is this? Are we so intent on attracting the foreign investment that we totally deactivate the watchdog instinct of our inner calypsonian, and lose the eternal skepticism of extempo? Are we so intimidated by multilaterals’ hurdles to development that we forget how to throw our heads back and limbo under them? Or have we so lost faith in our own ability to create that we need to look for ideas and validation from others?

Whatever the reason, we do seem to make ourselves easy targets for the thinly veiled exploits of multinational corporations. Telecommunications giants, for example, are allowed to bind and sadistically dominate our markets to devastating effect. As veteran Caribbean journalist Sunity Maharaj points out in a January 17 Sunday Express column titled Divided and Ruled, “Almost as if it were being passed down by genetic transference, the culture of divide-and-rule remains as alive today as it was in the 17th century.”

The backdrop to Maharaj’s comment was Jamaica’s decision in January 2015 to approve the local merger of the operations of providers Lime and Flow. In so doing, Jamaica became the first country in the region to do so. Two months before, Lime’s parent company Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) had entered into a deal to acquire Flow’s parent company Columbus International for US$3 billion. The deal, signed at CWC’s London headquarters in November 2014, was approved a month later,in another London-based meeting in which CWC’s shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the acquisition.

“This deal between CWC and Columbus may have been transacted in the UK and US, but the brunt of its impact will be felt by Caribbean stakeholders,” pointed out Mr. Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist with non-profit Packet Clearing House, in a November 6 Business Guardian article.

Understandably, news of the deal sparked widespread concern in the Caribbean because the prospect of reduced competition in the sector was regarded as a precursor to several negative region-wide impacts.

“The first time most regulators in the Caribbean heard of it was when it was announced on the London Stock Exchange,” Wooding pointed out in a December 4 Business Guardian column.

Although no approval was needed from sub-regional regulator Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) on behalf of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the sub-regional regulatory body moved quickly to caution that consolidation could result in consumers suffering reduced choice of services and service providers.

The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) hastened to call for a special meeting of key stakeholders in Port-of-Spain in December. CTU Secretary General Ms. Bernadette Lewis said the meeting would try to forge region-wide consensus around the regulatory issues arising from the deal and advise Caricom heads of government on how to ensure that Caribbean consumers were protected.

Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission threw his weight behind the Port-of-Spain forum.

“There is an inherent danger in governments and national regulators only entertaining bilateral talks with CWC and Columbus executives. The priority of individual governments to protect local national interests must be balanced against the need to simultaneously safeguard regional interests,” he said.

Yet, as the title of Ms. Maharaj’s column suggests, Jamaica’s approval of this deal seemed to amount to a breaking of ranks with its Caricom neighbours. The acquisition still requires regulatory approval in Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados but the decision of Mr. Paulwell, the Jamaican Minister with responsibility for science and technology, has caused real concern.

“Clearly, what has happened in Kingston is that the Jamaican government’s commitment to CWC’s agenda and timeline for this deal has trumped its own commitment to the regional agenda,” Maharaj writes. “What assurances and commitments from C&W would Paulwell have lost if he had held out until a common position had been worked out among Jamaica, Barbados and T&T on this merger?”

The Jamaican government had months before joined the rest of Caricom in endorsing the establishment of a Caribbean Single ICT Space. And Mr. Paulwell is the President of the CTU, the intergovernmental body charged with spearheading efforts to make the Caribbean Single ICT Space a reality! The CTU marked its quarter-century with a five-day 25th Anniversary ICT Week held from February 2nd to 6th in Port-of-Spain. Several speakers, including Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, the CARICOM head of government with the regional portfolio of science and technology, outlined a vision for the development of a Caribbean Single ICT Space.

For his part, Paulwell was reported by the January 16 Jamaica Gleaner to have said, “What I have sought to do is to go beyond the law and to extract certain conditions, which I’m pleased that the company has accepted fulsomely, because I wanted to ensure that we would preserve competition as much as possible and protect the interest of the consumer.”

Where’s a sharp-tongued calypsonian when you need one?

“Signs of a potential union were first seen last May when the two companies announced a joint venture to share an undersea cable network connecting 42 countries and spanning more than 42,000 kilometers,” Wooding wrote in a May 2013 CircleID post titled Joint Venture Promises Broadband Benefits with Potential Risks for Latin American, Caribbean Markets.

“The agreement created an entity with control of almost ninety percent of the region’s subsea cable infrastructure and raised the first red flag to regulators across the region.”

So the question now is, who is going to emerge as a Regional Calypsonian, a watchdog to safeguard regional, national and public interests by holding elected and appointed officials to account? Hopefully, it will not be too long before the answers emerge.

In the meantime, we’ll all just have to extempo.

Limbo: Dancing with Fire

These considolation of players in the telecoms market presents several challenges for telecommunications regulation and competition generally in the region. Several key areas of concern arise as a direct result of the consolidation taking place in the markets.

Competition

There is a risk that the dominant position of CWC in wholesale broadband or Digicel in mobile can led to monopoly-like behavior in their markets of operation. The provision of converged services and associated bundled products presents a real potential for abuse of a dominant position, particularly through anticompetitive pricing and margin squeeze. The potential for monopoly behavior is compounded by the absence of competition regulation in several countries and lack of any effective regional body to regulate competition. Nevertheless, none of these countries, individually, has the leverage to effectively impact a multinational provider by way of regulation on their own.

Employment

Generally, consolidation of the telecom space can trigger layoffs and related employee unrest. In the case of the CWC acquisition of Columbus, the deal would bring the more than 3,000 Columbus employees into the CWC fold, almost doubling CWC’s current staff. It is possible that this staff count will be reduced upon completion of the acquisition. If this were to occur in the region, particularly in the more vulnerable economies of the Eastern Caribbean, the negative ripple effect could impact the wider Caribbean.

Innovation and Economic Development

Loss of smaller, entrepreneurial players in the region’s telecom sector could stymie growth and curtail innovation. Assimilation of small or niche players into larger conglomerates is a typical growth strategy in many industries. However, in small markets, such as those that characterise the Caribbean, niche players are particularly important catalysts to market innovation, competitive pressure and growth. Industry acquisitions have to counter-balance by increased incentives for new entrants to ensure that innovation, competition and consumer choice is encouraged and not suppressed.

Business Continuity and Disaster Mitigation

Affordable options for telecommunications services is a factor used to assess the competitiveness and investment-worthiness of any market. On completion of the CWC acquisition of Columbus, several markets in the region will immediately lose the benefit of an alternate supplier for critical network services. The reduced or outright loss of options for network connectivity will be a major risk to communications services redundancy, business continuity, disaster mitigation, particularly in territories prone to natural disasters.

Consumer Choice

TV viewers and Internet users depend on choice, competition, and diversity. The acquisitions can threaten these important market enablers, giving dominant providers the power to extract rents at vital chokepoints in the multi-play value chain. Consolidation may also lead to more vertical integration of service and content providers. This raises discrimination concerns if operators have incentives to deny access to other non-affiliated service providers.

In the case of CWC, which will wield a dominant position for cable TV in several Caribbean territories, its business interests would almost exclusively determine what Internet services, programming bundles, and devices people can access and use. The current competitive state of the broadband and cable markets is hardly ideal, but after consolidation could be dire.

Investments

It is uncertain whether the region will continue to benefit from the same level of infrastructure investment and all of its follow-on economic benefits or see it lost as the major players consolidate their portfolios. For example, countries that were expecting direct funding for infrastructure modernisation, access expansion and new service and technology deployment, may not see those promises realised any time soon. CWC has already communicated to its investors that its priority will be on first realising the synergies it expects from its investment in Columbus.

Source: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission Draft Paper on Advancing Telecommunications Policy and Regulation in the OECS

Steelpan: Music from the Fire

From a service provider perspective, there is an obvious attraction of combining network infrastructure to access products (fixed and mobile broadband), to access devices (mobile, landlines, television, computers), to IP-based content and services (such as television and video on demand). This value chain allows service providers to realise several times the revenue of a basic internet access service. Such so-called quad-play plans allow service providers is to lock in more customers by tying them into more services, making it more difficult for them to churn. For example, operators can promise consumers that the cost of four separate services combined into one bundle is cheaper than buying all four separately.

Cutting price to craft an attractive bundle can cost operators in the short-term, however, getting customers to commit to bundled service packages helps to mitigate churn, ensure longer lock-in and potentially drive up average-revenue per-user over time. It also helps keep out smaller operators who may not be able to effectively compete on such a scale for customers.

In the Caribbean, consolidation promises several benefits to the dominant providers:

Mobile

CWC can now leverage Columbus’ extensive network to enhance its mobile services, leveraging improved resilience and capacity to better support customers’ growing appetite for digital content. Similarly, by acquiring subsea cable assets, Digicel is able to bolster its broadband services portfolio and expand its mobile and fixed line Internet services offerings. For both providers, securing broadband infrastructure also better monetize consumer appetite for digital content delivery, particularly via mobile devices. Globally, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 11-fold between 2013 and 2018 and is expected to exceed traffic from wired devices by 2018. Consolidating broadband infrastructure assets with strong mobile business divisions, better positions them both for this mobile-data future.

Converged Services

The acquisition will allow for convergence of fixed-line, mobile, broadband, cable TV and other IP services. The possibility for more bundles can mean more service and content choices for consumers. Offering cross-service discounting, loyalty benefits and other perks is a complementary way to get subscribers on board, retain them, and ideally, keep them satisfied

Cable TV

The acquisition will increase the scale of pay TV offerings in the region, streamlining five cable TV markets. This could enable the company to leverage its broadened channel portfolio; strengthen its bargaining position with content providers; and accelerate the rollout of IP TV services to consumers in all of its markets.

Business and Government Services

CWC’s ownership of the most extensive terrestrial and subsea cable network in the region, provides it with greater network resilience and route diversity. Its customers can benefit from a strengthened product and service portfolio for business and government customers.

Source: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission Draft Paper on Advancing Telecommunications Policy and Regulation in the OECS

Cable & Wireless Communications

CWC is a US$1.69 billion revenue telecom services provider, based in Coral Gables, Florida and operating in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and the Seychelles. Publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, CWC now makes US$1.12 billion in revenue each year from the Caribbean, or about US$48 per customer per month. The firm now serves two million customers in thirteen Caribbean countries with fixed telephony, broadband, cable TV, and mobile services. CWC also provides established and growing business-to-business and government telecom services in its regions, with an integrated portfolio from core telephony and connectivity (fixed and mobile), to managed network services, data center hosting, and custom IT solutions and integration.

About Columbus

Columbus is a privately-owned telecommunications and technology services company, registered in Barbados, with its operations coordinated out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the Caribbean, Columbus is one of the leading providers of triple-play cable TV and broadband enabled services. It also provides corporate data center services and managed networking services throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Columbus controls more than 75% of the region’s subsea fiber networks and provides backhaul connectivity to 42 countries in the region. For the six months ended 30 June 2014, Columbus had revenue of US$284m with EBITDA of US$118m and total operating profit of US$48m.

About Digicel

Digicel is a mobile phone network provider operating in 31 markets across the Caribbean, Central America, and Oceania regions. The company is owned by Irishman Denis O’Brien, incorporated in Bermuda, and based in Jamaica. It has about 13 million wireless users.

In the Caribbean, Digicel’s markets include: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks and Caicos.

Digicel has also been pursuing an aggressive acquisition strategy in the region and in each of the markets in which it operates. In addition they are acquiring regional fiber systems with connections to Miami. Digicel is broadening its services portfolio to compete in the quadplay market: cable TV, fixed line telephone service, mobile Internet and mobile cellular service.

Source: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission Draft Paper on Advancing Telecommunications Policy and Regulation in the OECS

Internet policies require greater community involvement

Since its creation, LACNIC has promoted a self-regulation model based on rules and mechanisms established and developed by the regional community through public, open and transparent participation processes.

In other words, the policies in place for managing Internet resources in Latin  America and the Caribbean have been determined by consensus. This openness and distribution of functions has been possible thanks to stakeholder participation in LACNIC’s policy development process, a key element of the organization’s current operation and success.

LACNIC’s Public Policy Forum is one of the organization´s most valuable tools in the search for consensus. Carlos Plasencia, Chair of the Public Policy Forum, highlights the community’s active participation but calls for greater involvement of new members to add to the group of “regulars” usually proposing and discussing most of the policies.

What is the Public Policy Forum?

– The Public Policy Forum is a process through which the community can propose, discuss and comment on the rules that govern Internet number resources in Latin America.

What is the role of the Public Policy Forum?

– Developing the Policy Manual is a bottom-up process. This means that anyone can propose changes and amendments to how IP addresses, ASNs and other resources are currently allocated. The Public Policy Forum allows each member to exercise their right to vote and discuss whether or not a proposed policy gets to be applied.

What types of issues are discussed at the Forum?

– Mainly issues related to routing within the region, such as the requirements for receiving IPv4 and IPv6 address blocks, autonomous system numbers, how to manage resources that have been returned to LACNIC, and other topics such as allocation records and resource transfers. Policy proposals that might result in improvements or benefits for LACNIC members are also discussed.

How often does the Forum meet?

The Forum meets twice a year, within the framework of LACNIC´s annual events. This is where policy proposals are presented and votes are cast, where policy proposals are approved or return to the Public Policy List.

How else can the community make its opinions heard?

Despite the fact that the Forum meets biannually, during the year policies are discussed on the public Policy mailing list, which is where policy proposals are presented and discussed in-depth.

In addition, an online conference system has been implemented that provides the author of a proposal the chance to discuss the policy with other participants in real time and makes it easier to present the various points of view.

What do you think of the LACNIC community’s participation in the Public Forum?

– Participants consist mainly of a group of members we might call “the regulars,” as they practically always contribute their points of view and opinions on each policy proposal. The community at large, however, exhibits only moderate levels of participation, mostly when the effects of the policy under discussion are very direct. This is why we are trying to find ways to attract a larger part of the community and encourage them to become actively engaged.

Why do you think participation should be even stronger?

– As I previously mentioned, the Policy Manual is created and modified by the community, so members´ opinions and input is essential and necessary. Becoming involved in this process implies working on the mechanisms through which each member receives their resources and has the ability to decide how the rules under which they are governed are handled.

A national CSIRT for Costa Rica

Together with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, NIC Costa Rica is advancing in the implementation and operation of a national CSIRT. With this backdrop, LACNIC organized its first AMPARO computer security workshop in San Jose.

In the opinion of Wilmer Ramirez Morera , engineer with the Cybersecurity Unit of Costa Rica´s Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, the AMPARO workshop was a very rewarding and well-designed initiative. Ramirez Morera briefly explained and presented practical examples of the different steps involved in setting up a CSIRT.

“The workshop and some of the exercises that were presented helped us clear some of the doubts and uncertainties regarding the CSIRT´s scope and functions. The manual has also become a reference for the region on how to set up a computer security incident response team.”

Tomas Ananía, Deputy Executive Director of NIC.CR, said the workshop provided invaluable information for the establishment and operation of a CSIRT from an administrative point of view. He added that the way in which the exercises had been presented “highlighted the need to be properly organized within the CSIRT, as clear roles and proper communications at internal level, towards customers and other CSIRTs will determine the CSIRT´s ability to respond and solve any incidents it may encounter.”

Ramirez believes that the workshop will be an invaluable tool for starting up additional CERTs and CSIRTs throughout Central America. Notwithstanding, he argued that there are still “great obstacles and challenges ahead for a broader adoption of computer security, the most relevant of which include greater public awareness, a stronger commitment on the part of corporate leadership as regards this issue, and an increase (or the allocation) of computer security team budgets.”

In Ananía´s opinion, one of the major computer security challenges in Costa Rica is precisely the consolidation of the country´s national CSIRT. Both the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications as well as NIC.CR and other organizations that are cooperating and working to strengthen cybersecurity are very confident that this project will be extremely beneficial for the country. “We must continue to support our CSIRT so that, slowly but surely, a trust network will be created that is able to protect Costa Rica´s critical infrastructure,” Ananía added.

He thanked LACNIC for their help in providing training and support to allow the region to further strengthen its different programs and projects.

In the same sense, Ramirez noted that he believes “LACNIC will be a great ally in this effort to strengthen the computer security culture, contributing educational material, making available regulations, recommendations and other documents, and promoting international partnerships and cooperation mechanisms among the various regional and global stakeholders involved in cybersecurity. We are very grateful for the efforts and support provided by LACNIC and hope the organization will continue to provide guidance for future projects.”

Network operators that don´t use IPv6 will have no market

Failure on the part of the region’s operators to massively adopt IPv6 has raised concern among specialists.

Tomas Lynch says he had expected greater IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean after last year’s the announcement regarding IPv4 exhaustion.

A member of ISOC and an active participant at LACNOG meetings, Lynch notes that companies have become aware of the need to deploy IPv6 but ¨the use of the new technology is yet to be widespread.”

The expert explained that, within five years, 50 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet, and that this will only be possible with IPv6. Speaking to LACNIC News, Lynch warned that “in five years, network operators that don’t use IPv6 will have no share in this market.”

– How do you view IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean? Do you think that companies and organizations have become aware of the importance of adopting the new Internet protocol and its massive utilization?

Deployment has been slow in Latin America. Although in certain specific countries IPv6 deployment rates are comparable to those of European countries –namely Peru (12%), Ecuador (4%) and Bolivia (2%)–, the remaining countries have not yet reached 1% penetration and even countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela have very low adoption rates. Considering each country’s population, the conclusion is that the majority of the Latin American and Caribbean population does not have IPv6 connectivity on their devices.

What these penetration rates tell us is that network operators are not massively using IPv6. On the other hand, these companies are already aware of the importance of IPv6. Many of these companies already have plans for deploying the new version of the protocol or are in the process of analyzing their networks to do so. Let’s recall that deployment not only involves providing end users with an IPv6 address, but also adapting  security systems, charging systems, etc.

– Taking into account the fact that IPv4 was exhausted last year, were you anticipating greater deployment in the region?

Indeed, after LACNIC’s announcement I thought that companies –particularly local companies– would be quick to begin deploying IPv6. Many of these companies have delayed deployment by using Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT). To do so, however, they have had to make significant financial investments that would have been better spent on IPv6 deployment.

– 4G technology is booming, which allows many real-time applications to be used from mobile phones. In the book “IPv6 for Network Operators” you argue that “without IPv6, there is a high risk of not being able to continue to provide services to users.” Why IPv6?

The number of devices is growing hand in hand with 4G mobile networks: users want or need connectivity wherever they are, not only for working or sending emails, but also for entertainment such as online videos. This growing number of devices not only requires bandwidth: at least one IP address is required for each device and hundreds of ports are needed for multiple applications. By not deploying IPv6, the number of devices connected to the network is reduced. If we factor in technologies such as CGNAT where a certain number of ports are delivered via IPv4, we will have a network with few users and those few will either not be able to use all their applications at once or they will have to remember to disconnect one application before using another.

The conclusion is that, due to the large number of ports they consume, there is a direct relationship between applications (ranging from home banking to games) and IPv6. As for applications, 85% of them already support IPv6. This means that they are not a barrier to IPv6 deployment.

– Are the various mobile network architectures designed to support IPv6 or are new investments needed?

Among others, mobile network architectures follow 3GPP, ITU-T and IETF standards. In particular, 3GPP has included IPv6 support in its documents since 1999 and even LTE was developed with greater focus on IPv6 than on IPv4. Thanks to these standards, companies that provide products and services for mobile networks already support both IP versions on their equipment. New investments will be needed depending on equipment longevity and whether they are using dual-stack bearers or an IP bearer for each protocol version.

– What might happen if network operators don’t deploy IPv6 on their networks?

They will be left out of the market, as their use of NAT technologies will limit their growth. The investment they will have to make to maintain those systems will be even higher than the cost of a timely IPv6 deployment.

Considering the Latin American and Caribbean reality, how would you convince an operator who already has IPv4 connectivity to invest money and resources so that their local networks can reach the Internet via IPv6?

As Vint Cert said, the business of IPv6 is staying in business. In the long run, any investment made today in IPv6 –whether in equipment, design, system upgrades, or others– will be cheaper than investing and positioning the network’s growth using IPv4 and NAT. In five years, 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, and this will only be possible with IPv6. In five years, network operators that don’t use IPv6 will have no share in this market.

2015 FRIDA Start-Up Program

FRIDA has also launched the second call for proposals for its FRIDA Start-Up program, an initiative that seeks to continue strengthening and supporting innovative initiatives so that they can achieve greater impact and extend beyond the projects from which they originated.

In order to apply for these new funds, a project must have had an impact on more than one country. In addition, the project must be the result of the association of two organizations, one of which must not previously have participated in the FRIDA program, while the other must have already received funding through one of the previous editions of the FRIDA Grants program.

The 2015 Start-Up program will provide each project with up to USD 14,000 (fourteen thousand US dollars).

The program’s terms and conditions and the corresponding application form are available at www.programafrida.net/startup

Grants for Research Projects

The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean has opened a call for proposals for its 2015 Grants program, which provides funding for ICT projects related to Internet development in the region.

The 2015 FRIDA Grants program is now receiving projects under two basic categories: research projects and ICT development projects.

For each project, FRIDA will provide up to USD 20,000 (twenty thousand US dollars), to be executed within a maximum period of twelve months.

Projects may be submitted under four categories: a) Devices, infrastructure, and technologies. Accelerating and expanding access; b) Creating and developing skills and content for sustainable human development; c) Mobile Internet for social inclusion, growth, political participation, and active citizenship; d) Internet for promoting, guaranteeing, and exercising Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

To make it easier to prepare the proposals, we will be offering online workshops in the months of March and April. For more information, please go to http://www.programafrida.net/grants

New Registration Data Query System

A new system for querying registration data developed by LACNIC engineers to address the shortcomings of the traditional WHOIS service is now in production.

Known as Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), the system provides a new way to query registration data that has functions similar to WHOIS but also includes major advances and improvements and makes use of modern technologies.

Gerardo Rada, Software and Development Engineer and part of LACNIC’s technical team, noted that RDAP standardizes both how queries are submitted and the format in which responses are provided, adding that it also allows queries that include special characters.

Why was the new Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) service created?

RDAP is an initiative that appeared within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) with the goal of standardizing how we interact with registration data on IPs and ASNs.

Who participated in the development of this registration data query system?

Each Regional Internet Registry (RIR) has its own implementation. In the case of LACNIC, it was an in-house development based on code libraries developed by RIPE NCC.

What advantages does RDAP offer as compared to the traditional WHOIS service?

Having standardized queries and responses is a major benefit when implementing automations. Another advantage is that responses are in JSON format, which makes understanding and parsing responses much easier. In a way, RDAP enables the development of new tools, monitoring, statistics, security, notifications, systems that can be built around RDAP.

You’ve said that this service standardizes responses and addresses issues such as internationalization. What does this mean?

The IETF has defined exactly what the format of the queries should be and what the answers provided through RDAP should look like. This means that it should be possible to access any implementation of this technology in the same way and that responses will have exactly the same format.

As to internationalization, RDAP supports UTF-8, which means that both queries as well as responses can include every character supported by this format. In LACNIC’s case, texts in Portuguese and Spanish can include accent marks, dieresis, tildes (also known as squiggles), c-cedillas, etc.

Why do you believe that RDAP is easier to use or integrate with other systems?

The use of the JSON format is quite widespread and the clear way in which it presents text is easier to understand and parse. We would be hard-pressed to find a programming language that didn’t include libraries that allow integrating data in this format.

Why is it now possible to include special characters in queries?

Searches by patterns are an important benefit that RDAP provides as compared to the traditional WHOIS. The new service allows performing searches based on patterns. For example, if we want to find every user beginning with “ca” we could perform a query using the ca* parameter, which would send back every Carlos, Carolinas, Carmen, etc. that exists on LACNIC’s registration system.

For RDAP, LACNIC will introduce the use of API keys, access tokens that will allow users to receive differentiated services. What does this mean?

API keys are a way to identify users. Their use makes it possible to provide differentiated services, extending the number of queries for certain users, and even facilitates the integration of LACNIC services with third party systems.

LACNIC’s Role in the IANA Functions’ Stewardship Transition

*By Andres Piazza

One of the major milestones of 2014 was the announcement made by the US government in the month of March that it would be transitioning stewardship of the IANA functions to the global Internet community. This announcement was made simultaneously with the release of a statement by a group of organizations representing the technical Internet community (I*, a group of which LACNIC is part).

Although it must be recognized that the announced transition is a logical consequence of the evolution of the institutions that gave way to ICANN’s creation during the 90s, there are also reasons that lead us to think that the decision has to do with the well-known events of 2013, highlights of which include the discovery of mass surveillance episodes (brought to light by Snowden), the Montevideo Statement issued by the technical Internet community through I* (which added to the two preceding statements made by the Regional Internet Registries), and the imminent organization of the NetMundial event in 2014.

As a consequence of the announcement, the Internet community began a process of intense debate within the three specific communities affected by the IANA functions: the numbers community (Internet addresses), the domain names community, and the protocol parameters community.

As regards to LACNIC in particular, our organization has actively participated in the discussions of the global numbers community, as well in as a consultation process among the regional community.

Certain relevant activities are worth highlighting within the process conducted by the regional community: a panel was held during the LACNIC 21 event in Cancun; a mailing list was created to discuss Internet Governance issues; a list of information resources was published; community representatives were appointed to lead the consultation process; a panel was held during the LACNIC 22 meeting in Santiago, Chile; the results of this consultation with the community were compiled; and representatives were appointed to the CRISP team for the global process.

In December 2014 and during the first half of January 2015, the CRISP team conducted an open discussion process through which ideas were consolidated. The goal of submitting a single consolidated proposal on behalf of the five regional numbers communities to the Internet Coordination Group (a group that receives input from the three different communities affected by the IANA functions) was achieved and a global process that will continue its course until October was defined.

SINGAPORE. The final proposal prepared by the CRISP team was submitted to the ICG in due time (15 January). http://www.nro.net/crisp-final-proposal. One remarkable aspect of this report has to do with the consensus reached among the communities of the five Regional Internet Registries, where there were not objections.

During the ICANN 52 meeting held in Singapore during this month of February, the ICG (Internet Coordination Group) analyzed the CRISP team’s proposal and interviewed Izumi Okutani, who chairs the CRISP team.

During the ICANN Public Forum held after the organization’s 52nd meeting, Steve Crocker, Chair of the ICANN Board, said that nothing contained in the IETF and CRISP proposals were cause for concern.

Keeping in mind the date set by the NTIA (30 September), during this entire year, the Internet community will continue working on the various elements needed to achieve the final transition. Among other things, this will imply informing and consulting with our communities during our events (LACNIC 22 and 23) as well as between these meetings.

For more information, check out the Transition section on LACNIC’s website http://www.lacnic.net/web/transicion/inicio

First Online Course on IPv6 at the LACNIC Campus

LACNIC’s Training Center announces the start of the first introductory course on IPv6, which will be held at the LACNIC Campus, a virtual space that adds e-learning to LACNIC’s existing training offerings.

The introductory course con IPv6 will take place between 9 March and 25 April and will be free to attend. The training will be provided online, through four modules which participants will be able complete in their own time, at their own pace.

The proposal will provide extensive information on the new Internet protocol and has been especially designed for network administrators, software developers, network equipment providers, as well as IT students, teachers and professionals.

Monica Baez, Head of Training at LACNIC, noted that this introductory course on IPv6 seeks to address the Latin American and Caribbean community’s increasing demand for training on this topic, which is essential for Internet development.

After logging in to the LACNIC Campus, participants will find a very user-friendly environment, with courses based on brief “content capsules” in video format. This first introductory course on IPv6 comprises four modules, each of which includes a series of videos explaining a specific topic as well as practical exercises and evaluations that each participant must complete. It also includes an additional module with extra IPv6-related materials and resources.

Between them, the four modules will address 22 of the most relevant IPv6-related topics.

After completing the course, LACNIC will provide certificates of participation.

The number of participants is limited to 100.

Registration opens on 9 March. To register, please go to http://campus.lacnic.net/course/index.php?categoryid=3

Warning about Spam-Generating IPs

During its first five months of operation, the Warning Advice and Reporting Point (WARP) created by LACNIC has already managed 39 issues within the region.

According to Graciela Martinez, Head of LACNIC’s Warning Advice and Reporting Point, spam was the top concern for LACNIC’s coordination team, as in just one month 38 million unsolicited messages were sent from 1,575 IP addresses in the region.

Together with the region’s companies and organizations, LACNIC WARP facilitated handling of the 39 security incidents reported during those five months and attempted to coordinate with the affected parties in order to strengthen their response capabilities.

In addition, WARP alerted the rest of the community about the most relevant computer security threats in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Spam. Martinez noted that spam causes huge losses for the Internet, as it involves large amounts of processing energy, use of systems, and network bandwidth. As an example, she noted that 1,500 Latin American and Caribbean IPs generated 38 million spam messages in the month of December alone. “These figures are very high and quite concerning,” Martinez remarked.

Based on the information that is being gathered, LACNIC will begin to alert spam generators and issue recommendations on how to manage spam, ensuring complete confidentiality.

“This process of collecting and analyzing sensitive information serves to generate security warnings, promote the use of best practices throughout the region, and raise awareness about potential threats and solutions in case of computer security attacks,” Martinez added.

In this sense, information exchange agreements are being signed with companies and organizations in the LACNIC service region.

LACNIC WARP also managed denial of service, brute force, and phishing attacks, having achieved immediate responses for eliminating the fraudulent websites.

New information service

This month LACNIC began distributing LACNIC Biweekly, a new service designed to provide information to the members of our organization.

The service will provide users with a calendar of regional and global Internet community events, as well as recommended readings on relevant topics.

LACNIC Biweekly will also provide details on the workshops and forums organized by LACNIC and the participation of LACNIC staff in different events and seminars.

Every two weeks, more than 4000 LACNIC members will receive this service.

Oscar Robles assumes as LACNIC CEO

Oscar Robles, a recognized leader and Mexican Internet governance policy expert, took over as LACNIC’s Chief Executive Officer this month and is already serving in his new capacity based out of the organization’s headquarters located at Casa de Internet de Latinoamérica y el Caribe in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay.

Robles was appointed to his new position by the LACNIC Board of directors after a deep and thorough selection process.

LACNIC’s new CEO is a well-known personality and well-respected by the global Internet community. At regional level, he has promoted the creation of Latin American and Caribbean Internet organizations such as LACTLD (which he chaired), LACNIC and .LAT.

The last remaining IPv4 addresses

Since the announcement was made in June last year and more restrictive Internet resource assignment policies came into effect in Latin America and the Caribbean, LACNIC has assigned 38% of the space reserved for Phase 2 of IPv4 exhaustion.

In the past six months, 808 704 IPv4 addresses were assigned to Latin American and Caribbean Internet organizations (see chart) that are LACNIC members. Only 1 288 448 addresses remain before Phase 2 comes to an end and the region enters the third and final IPv4 exhaustion phase.

During this period, Brazil was the country that received the highest number of available IPv4 block assignments (641), followed by Argentina (60), Chile (22), Mexico (21), and Colombia (14).

July was the month during which the highest number of IPv4 addresses was assigned (more than 153 000; see chart).

At the current rate, it is expected that the space reserved for Phase 2 will be depleted in February 2016, said Sergio Rojas, responsible for LACNIC’s registration service. At that point, the reserve for new members (/11) will be activated, thus triggering Phase 3 of the IPv4 exhaustion plan designed by LACNIC and the National Registries. According to the policies in force, during this final phase only new members will be able to request IPv4 addresses, which will be assigned in blocks of between 1024 (/22) and 256 (/24) addresses. Each new member will only be able to receive one assignment from this space.

Slowly but surely: IPv6 deployment in Latin America and the Caribbean

By Jorge Villa *

Since its inception, the creators of IPv6 envisioned that the Internet we enjoy today would use this new protocol as the basis for communication. However, this has not been the case for different reasons ranging from purely economic aspects to a poor understanding of the importance of IPv6 for the current and future Internet, where mobility and the integration of “things,” data, and processes are changing countless paradigms and triggering a new wave of innovation.

Despite efforts to promote and adopt the new protocol, in December 2014 IPv6 traffic barely represented 5% of total Internet traffic (source: Google). Although some may consider this figure negligible, it is interesting to watch the growing trend it is exhibiting. In early 2013, barely 1% of traffic was IPv6 traffic but during the past 24 months IPv6 growth has been almost exponential and this trend is still on the rise.

A combination of data from Google and APNIC shows that the areas with greater visibility in terms of IPv6 penetration are Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, USA, Norway, France, Romania, and Peru (our region’s main representative on the list). It is interesting to note that areas in which steady work is being carried out in relation to IPv6 (e.g., Brazil and certain Asian countries including China and India) do not yet rank well in these statistics.

Starting in September last year, restrictive IPv4 assignment polies came into force at the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). While it is still possible to obtain IPv4 addresses under certain conditions, it is increasingly difficult to propose sustained development based on IPv4. With the exception of AFRINIC, the African RIR, the remaining registries have very limited numbers of IPv4 addresses, as does the Central Registry (operated by the IANA) which receives the IPv4 address blocks that have been recovered to be redistributed equally among the five geographical regions into which the Internet world is divided. This situation will necessarily result in higher levels of IPv6 adoption.

In the specific case of Latin America and the Caribbean, the largest percentage of LACNIC’s IPv6 assignments have been made to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Local Internet Registries (LIRs), which places the region in second place (after Europe). As to assignments to organizations that do not resell their services to other parties (i.e., in this context, those considered end users), our region is only ahead of Africa. Despite these numbers, LACNIC has the highest percentage of users with IPv4 and IPv6 address blocks.

The fact that most Latin American and Caribbean IPv6 prefix holders are LIRs/ISPs seems to indicate that the region is currently enjoying conditions that will favor significant growth in the use of this protocol. Brazil is by far the leader in terms of total assignments, followed far behind by Argentina; Colombia, Mexico and Chile are following their steps, though they are still a bit further behind.

However, the effort to achieve large-scale IPv6 integration in the existing Internet infrastructure cannot depend solely on the Internet number community. It is vital for all stakeholders including governments, civil society, network operators, and application and content developers, among others, to become involved in the process.

The Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for the global coordination of the unique identifiers related to the Internet and for ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation. By design, it includes the participation of the various stakeholders involved and interested in Internet development. In this scenario, the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) is the number community’s only representation.

At the moment, I am serving as Latin American and Caribbean representative to the ASO’s Address Council (AC). Although our primary responsibility lies in the development of global policies that guide the work between the central registry and the RIRs, during the past several ICANN meetings, taking advantage of the audience’s multistakeholder nature, we have prepared and taught tutorials on IPv6. Likewise, we have also set up working sessions with different stakeholders to provide visibility to the number community. The first 2015 annual ICANN meeting will be held next month in Singapore. Fortunately, the second meeting will be held in Buenos Aires during the month of June and should provide a new opportunity to promote IPv6 adoption within our region.

In the case of IPv6, the Latin American and Caribbean region is in a favorable position to participate in this global Internet change. We must rely on our strengths and capabilities, achieve results, and not waste any time waiting for guidance from more developed countries on how to move forward, otherwise we may once again be left behind and unable to implement the protocol properly.

*Representative of the Latin America and Caribbean region to the ASO Address Council (AC)

The Value of national Internet Governance initiatives in the Caribbean

by Kevon Swift

Internet Governance and multistakeholderism

The notion of global governance of the Internet has been receiving widespread attention ever since the two-phased World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 and 2005. One of the most significant outcomes of WSIS was the creation of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) which brings together a variety of people from different stakeholder groups to openly discuss public policy issues related to the Internet on an equal footing.

This engagement principle relative to the IGF is known as multistakeholderism, although there may not be one set multistakeholder practice among concerned entities for activities that range from participation to decision making for a transnational issue. When it comes to critical Internet resources however, multistakeholderism is still recognised as the best facilitator of sustainable governance frameworks as opposed to anything intergovernmentalism could ever produce[1]. Given the high rate of innovation associated with the medium, its governance should naturally reflect this key characterisitic. Looking at the big picture, Internet Governance (IG) has indeed produced novel concepts in global governance, as it is neither centralised nor anchored in governments but instead embraces recalibrated power and authority in a distributed network.

The principle of multistakeholderism had been cited countless times in the Tunis Agenda. In particular, Article 80 of the Agenda calls specifically for multistakeholder processes at the national, regional and international levels:

to discuss and collaborate on the expansion and diffusion of the Internet as a means to support development efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.”

While some international relations theorists may argue that globalisation has diminshed the relevance of national boundaries – a sentiment that is echoed by some Internet idealists albeit admittedly the routing of Internet traffic does not respect any boundaries – the above mentioned Article is more accepting of layers or levels of governance where a common denominator is set as a target among communities despite varying stakes and interests among stakeholder types. If we use Yochai Benkler’s three-layer conceptualisation of the Internet consisting in the physical infrastructure layer, the technical standards layer and the content and applications layer, we can begin to better visualise the correlations of development efforts with the Internet. For example, a set of national communities in the developing world may place a premium on Internet connectivity and access and deploying Internet infrastructure such as IXPs, while another set may be more inclined to focus on privacy, security and intellectual property concerns in tandem with Internet development at their location.

These differences in priorities remind us that while we all need to maintain global interoperability of the Internet to continue to enjoy its benefits and leverage networked governance to arrive at broad solutions, localising issues including the implications of global policy is one of the chief ways of pursuing effective Internet development and ensuring robust IG. The complexity and multidimensionality of Internet issues are some of the key reasons for multistakeholder approaches as the exigencies of new forms of governance include new knowledge-building, policy formulation and negotiation processes, and it may even be possible that expertise and solutions to these complex problems are closer to users at the edge of the network as opposed to traditional actors at the core of governance. There are, nonetheless, nuances between broad ideas and solutions proposed at the global level and their suitability along different tiers of the global Internet community.

Some observers have noticed that stakeholders from many developing countries, who constitute the great majority of new Internet users, are either scarce or altogether absent from global IG dialogue. At the surface, it may appear to be a for-or-against proposition for forums such as global IGF but the reasons run much deeper than that. There may be an underlying issue that is attendent to multistakeholder approaches for IG, which deals with demonstrated interest, expertise and resources by participants in global dialogue. Demonstrated interest is indeed in keeping with the spirit of multistakeholderism and serves as an equalizer among stakeholder types, especially governments used to conducting club diplomacy in international relations. Expertise can be seen to bolster demonstrated interest, but can be specific to an individual as opposed to a stakeholder group depending on the meeting. Resources are more implicit and serve as determinants to effective participation in global IG dialogue, or sometimes mobilisation to pursue action having adequately identified an issue and its solution.

What is more, there is specific challenge regarding the constraints some small communities face when compared with large ones, which include but are not limited to: knowledge divides, low capacity, numerical shortcomings and low potential to “punch above one’s weight”.  Most times, learning curves in global IG dialogue are overcome through consistent participation of a stakeholder. Even when finances are not an issue for Caribbean stakeholders, the scope of issues at an international meeting may be overwhelming for the very individuals that are expected to juggle participation with every tasks at their job. Coincidentally, less organisation around IG issues and weaker governance structures in small communities affect their room to manoeuvre in global IG dialogue and lend to the perception of exclusion. Inasmuch that there are still challenges in global IG dialogue of all sorts, it would be of added-value to scrutinise regional and national IG dialogue with a view to enhancing it from within.

Regional IG dialogue in the Caribbean

While we often speak about the proliferation of regional and national Internet Governance dialogue as ensuing from the global IGF, it is interesting to note that the Caribbean had been at the forefront of this type of activity owing to its ingenious approach to WSIS, and in particular the second phase. The Caribbean IGF – the world’s first regional, multistakeholder IGF – was held from 5 to 6 September, 2005 in Georgetown, Guyana with the support of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). Anticipating the impact that WSIS would have on its regional development, the Caribbean IGF was used to establish a regional policy framework that would, inter alia, stimulate harmonised national policies and facilitate the exchange of best practices in IG, as a means of coping with resource constraints for Internet public policy formulation across these small and micro communities. To better describe how the Caribbean IGF works, various stakeholders from across the region come together to discuss issues deemed as priorities with the aim of producing a non-binding output document that will guide Caribbean policymakers and mobilise existing regional organisations for various aspects of IG.

This policy framework, known as the Caribbean Internet Governance Framework (CIGF), is a work-in-progress set against the backdrop of the region’s ambitions to forge a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). It outlines six strategic areas for IG policy development in the Caribbean including Infrastructure for Broadband Connectivity, Internet Technical Infrastructure and Operations, Legal Frameworks and Enforcement, Internet Content Development and Management, Public Awareness and Capacity Building and Research.

Value of national IG dialogue in the Caribbean

Judging by policy rhetoric, the Caribbean has recognised for a very long time the value of the Internet and Internet Governance for its own social and economic development. So why then should the Caribbean turn to national IG dialogue almost a decade later? To answer this question we may need to take account of the Caribbean reality and reflect once again on the concept of levels of IG. Here are three assertions on the Caribbean Internet reality that may warrant further analysis:

–      Though characteristically small in size, Caribbean Internet development is relatively disparate across communities, resource limitations are signficant and as a result regional priority identification becomes difficult. A quick glance at regional statistics on ICT/Internet development would reveal that some territories are undeniably more advanced than others.  Most statistics, however, are largely centred on telecommunications infrastructure and there is often a dearth of data to support  the variety of issues featured in Internet Governance debate. This issue, however, may not be unique to the Caribbean.

–      There has been a low impact of previous actions addressing Internet Governance. Linked to the previous assertion, despite the awareness of activity and interventions by external agencies, statistics reveal that ICT/Internet development might be quite slow across many territories or perceived to be at a standstill.

–      Pathways to advocacy and policy entrepreneurship for Internet issues  at national levels are not very visible if they exist. Even when Caribbean stakeholders participate in global or regional IGFs, situating the context of debates or understanding clearly how to use newly acquired knowledge to effect change may be problematic. The issue of pathways relies strong on cultural tendancies within the national community.

To understand why national IG dialogue is needed we can also draw from Lawrence Lessig’s appreciation of the technological architecture of the Internet and its governance, which facilitates distributed governance of the global resource and the diversity of its communities of users. Though beneficial to some extent, the CIGF’s centralised approach from infrastructure to social issues unfortunately cannot compensate for disparate knowledge and awareness levels across stakeholders, and may be hindered until such time that organic, bottom-up dialogue occurs for problem identification, solution finding, implementation and enforcement. The question of solutions and/or recommendations should be inevitably reconciled with the culture and politics of the concerned national community.

Furthermore, given that Caribbean Internet realities are more heterogenuous granularly, national IG bodies appeal to the principle of subsidiarity to address IG issues at the appropriate level, and complementarity to help raise the profile of the local implications of global policy. While subsidiarity and complementarity may bolster IG within small communities in its own right, we can also anticipate that national IG dialogue seeks to address capacity issues along the way and ultimately support Internet development within national communities through increased instances of policy entrepreneurship and private ordering. What do we mean by these concepts?

Subsidiarity

We can roughly define subsidiarity as the application of the most practical problem-to-solution approach based on locality. Insofar that national frameworks on their own are insufficient to address transnational Internet issues, where some solutions are devised they may exclude the particularities faced by a particular national community, especially in the absence of effective participation. However, by their very nature global solutions to Internet issues will tend to be broad for a number of reasons, including exclusion of specific cultures and values, and the general level of compromise required to achieve rough consensus. Subsidiarity provides one of the best means of promoting knowledgeable users and experts within a national community from the edge to the centre of IG and can encourage effective knowledge sharing where issues commonly affect users at a location.

Complementarity

Like subsidiarity, complementarity is useful in knowing when and how to elevate an issue, and develop momentum for the same. This may be extremely useful in conducting advocacy, where one would want to build support for a proposition that he/she believes should be considered at higher levels. Complementarity should also consider the varying levels of discussion on the online world, as well as the offline one, as they complementarily foster knowledge validation among stakeholders.

As far as the Caribbean is concerned, the Caribbean IGF already serves as a platform to garner support of a proposition at the regional level. National IG dialogue stands to strengthen this activity, and can possibly leverage the Caribbean IGF as an intermediary step to raising an issue in global IG dialogue.

Capacity building

Under capacity building we can look more closely at the acquisition of technical/theoretical knowledge and  practical knowledge or know-how. Discourse on national IG facilitate critical analysis and can assist in identifying gaps in technical knowledge, while the act of participating under a mutually set number of principles lend towards practical knowledge and problem-solving. As with any multistakeholder process a considerable amount of collective learning takes places through the multitude of engagement and exchange. National IG dialogue adds another avenue for stakeholders within national communities to share experiences, learn through interdisciplinary exchanges and better understand and identify local issues and shortcomings through discourse.

Development

The culmination of new knowledge-building, policy formulation and negotiation processes enhance the implementability and enforcement prospects of solutions and/or recommendations. While some solutions must ultimately rely on the acquiscience of the government, there are a number of opportunities for non-state actors to take charge of certain governance aspects, whether through, inter alia, the establishment of community rules and oversight of the same by said community or private ordering as done by some information intermediaries. Enhanced national community engagement is certainly one of the essential ways to support the empowerment of members of those communities so that they can share their values and perspectives before Internet actors in pursuit of an open, stable and secure Internet. For Caribbean stakeholders, having a greater understanding of the multiple levels of governance is also a fundamental step in conducting advocacy, policy entrepreneurship or private ordering.

There is no fixed formula as to the extent to which national IG dialogue should be formalised. Within the wider Latin American and Caribbean region, the experiences in national IG dialogue within three countries, namely Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, demonstrate that any mix of approaches as encouraged by the culture and objectives of a community serves the intention of making IG more robust at the national level. Mexico convenes an informal multistakeholder committee to increase understanding in IG, and places emphasis on representativity by having two representatives participate from five identified stakeholder groups (Civil Society and End-Users, Academia, Private Sector, Technical Community, Government). In Colombia, all stakeholder groups are officially convened and organised before participation at an international IG meeting and are in tune with that Government’s national IG strategy, in which issue, stakeholder and forum identification are key elements. Argentina has sought to formalise its national IG dialogue with the creation of an Argentine Commission for Internet Policy which supports an internal multistakeholder process while coordinating state representation at international IG meetings. There is, undoubtedly, merit to each type of approach based on preconditions and resources.


[1] Key view expressed in Kleinwächter W [ed] (2011) #2 Internet Policy Making. Multistakeholder Internet Dialog Co:llaboratory Discussion Paper Series, No. 1. Available at http://www.collaboratory.de/index.php?action=ajax&title=- &rs=SecureFileStore::getFile&f=/1/14/Mind_02_neu.pdf

Does limiting freedom of expression and privacy enhance Internet security?

Once again, various governments are attempting to solve current security problems by introducing Internet control measures that may limit freedom of expression and the right to privacy. Certain approaches such as banning encryption have even been proposed that would conspire against Internet development itself.

Many of the problems encountered are real and based on genuine concerns, particularly given the growing importance of the Internet in people’s daily lives. However, these approaches stem from a false dichotomy: curtailing individual rights in order to meet the challenges posed by the new technological platforms.

Andres Piazza, External Relations Officer at LACNIC, notes that the real challenge is improving Internet safety while at the same time enhancing online freedom of speech and access to information.

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, the governments of France and Britain have announced tighter controls over the Internet and social networks aimed at limiting terrorist groups’ propaganda or detecting potential threats. Are the proposed measures for controlling the Internet not a limitation on freedom of expression and the right to privacy?

As no concrete regulation proposals have been made public, it is too early to understand the actual scope of the “exceptional measures” of which some political leaders are speaking.

There is, however, an unfortunate history of regulations that were written in the heat of a terrorist attack which have indeed encroached on rights, for instance the US Patriot Act.

It’s important to wait and see how some of these current expressions will take the form of legislative initiatives, given that Europe in general and France in particular have an important history of respect for legal guarantees as well as a regulation on Personal Data Protection.

Isn’t a false dichotomy being proposed according to which meeting the challenges of today’s Internet is only possible if certain rights are curtailed?

This is indeed a false dichotomy, as the main result of citizens’ unrestricted access to the Internet leads to a greater exercise of their rights (freedom of expression, access to information).

However, the desired balance between security and privacy continues to be one of the greatest challenges of this era.

Is cybersecurity trying to be used as an excuse to obtain greater access to personal and corporate data?

Internet security is not an excuse, but a relevant agenda item which must be addressed as such. In fact, this is one of LACNIC’s strategic priorities. However, for some time now we’ve been seeing cases where it is ultimately used as an excuse. This is not the only one.

If the already prevalent mass surveillance, which implies the ability to break security barriers in order to access user information, is compounded with the prohibition of using encrypted services, the picture becomes quite disturbing. Paradoxically, while it would mean removing some of the obstacles that law enforcement agencies are facing, instead of the desired positive effects, this prohibition might have a negative impact on users’ safety instead.

Eventually, it would lead to a situation where the right to privacy would be lost without necessarily having gained anything in terms of security.

How can greater restrictions and controls affect Internet development?

Coupled with surveillance practices, even if they occur outside the region, this type of restrictions on encrypted communication services would not only affect privacy and security – they would also have the ability to place the Internet’s global interoperability at stake.

The Internet can only drive development if there is broad user access to an open, stable and interoperable network.

Great Britain has gone so far as to propose banning popular messaging applications and social networks that deploy encryption techniques to protect user data. Is this feasible?

It is true that certain statements have been made seeking to prohibit encrypted communications, but no specific regulatory initiatives have been proposed so I believe we should wait.

Should this type of measures be raised, not only would their viability be doubtful but the impact of their unintended consequences on citizen rights and security would be much higher than the dangers against which they are intended to protect.

According to one interpretation, the scope of the ban proposed in Britain encompasses the encryption technology that protects online communications, shopping, banking and personal data. How would this affect the global Internet?

It’s hard to imagine a scenario such as this in the UK, as it could be extremely harmful to Internet users in that country. However, in order to have a global impact, these prohibitions should at the least cover the entire European Union, which seems even more unlikely given the high privacy standards contained in European regulations.

How can the challenge of improving Internet security be reconciled with the improvement of online human rights?

This question is very difficult to answer. The challenge is not only avoiding the tension between security and privacy, but also ensuring that rights such as freedom of expression and access to information are observed.

Security approaches and criminal prosecution should be a collaborative effort between the various agents, on that will maintain the guarantees provided by the existing legal framework and encourage extensive debate between government representatives and the other stakeholders involved.

The more serious and broader the debate, the lower the chances of a merely repressive and restrictive approach to Rights.

What is the Latin American community doing in regards to these attempts to limit Internet rights?

The Internet community is comprised of our governments, private sector companies, activists, members if academia, and organizations such as LACNIC that represent what is called the “technical community.”

It can be said that our region’s outlook is relatively positive, as this type of statements or actions of which we’ve spoken are isolated cases. The dialogue that exists among the various stakeholders is worth highlighting, as it is fluid and should be furthered.

LACNIC in 2014

IPv6 Tour

Starting in February, LACNIC organized a series of visits and meetings with officials and businessmen in different Latin American and Caribbean countries. These visits and meetings aimed at creating awareness on the exhaustion of the regional pool of available IPv4 addresses and providing information on the technological changes that need to be implemented in relation to IPv6 so that the Internet can continue to grow.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-visitas-informativas-colombia

IPv4 Exhaustion

In May, the region’s pool of available IPv4 addresses reached the 8.3 million limit and Latin America and the Caribbean entered the IPv4 exhaustion stage. This triggered a global policy for the IANA, the organization that oversees the global assignment of IP addresses in accordance with the five Regional Internet Registries.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-no-hay-mas-direcciones-ipv4-en-lac

“An historic moment”

More restrictive resource allocation policies came into force in June, once the stock of IPv4 addresses (4,194,302 addresses) was officially exhausted. Raúl Echeberría, LACNIC’s CEO at the time, considered it to be “an historic moment.”

FRIDA+ Awards

Five initiatives that in the past year contributed to the development of the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean were presented with LACNIC’s FRIDA+ Awards.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-frida-5-iniciativas-premiadas

Start-Ups

In 2014, four ICT projects received a “Start-Up” award. Each of the four projects received up to USD 14,000.

Digital Inclusion

FRIDA, an initiative that promotes digital inclusion throughout the region, also awarded grants to six of the research projects submitted during the 2014 call for proposals. Grant recipients received a total of over USD 120 thousand.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-frida-grants

Haiti on the Move

During its second year of activities, Ayitic helped strengthen the technical skills of more than 200 Haitian information and communications technology students and professionals.  Ayitic “Internet for Development” is a LACNIC initiative supported by the Internet Society, Google, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, ICANN, and NSRC.
http://www.ayitic.net/es/index.html#sobreAyitic

LACIGF: A Model to Be Followed

More than 150 representatives from 21 different Latin American and Caribbean countries participated in the seventh Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (lacIGF) held this year in El Salvador.
http://www.lacigf.org/sp/lacigf7/index.html

365 Days

On World Internet Day, LACNIC emphasized the sustained and steady development of Information and Communication Technologies within the region, home to more than 10% of the world’s Internet users, and reaffirmed its commitment to working towards a stable, secure, open, and participatory Internet.

Broadband

During the 2014 JIAP meeting, one of the most important technology events to be held in Uruguay, LACNIC President Oscar Messano spoke about the challenge of balancing profitability and developing connectivity to ensure access to broadband.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-jiap

Montevideo Valley

LACNIC welcomed Montevideo Valley, an initiative that seeks to bring together the Uruguayan community of entrepreneurs and professionals involved in information technology (IT).

Lifetime Achievement Award

Italian engineer Ermanno Pietrosemoli received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 2009, each year LACNIC has honored those individuals who have permanently and significantly contributed to the development of the Internet and the Information Society in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/trayectoria/inicio

Leaving a Mark

On 30 June, Raúl Echeberría resigned his position as LACNIC’s CEO, a position he held for 12 years. Echeberría was part of the group that initially began working on the creation of LACNIC back in 1998. In June 2002, he formally joined LACNIC’s Interim Board of Directors, which he chaired until November 2002.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-ceo-lacnic

From Mexico to Chile

During the months of May and October, respectively, Cancun (Mexico) and Santiago (Chile) welcomed the LACNIC community to discuss key issues related to the region’s Internet. More than 400 experts and professionals representing private companies, organizations, governments, and Latin American and Caribbean universities participated in each of these meetings.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-santiago-de-chile-acogera-evento

Always Aiming Higher

According to a study conducted by Merco Plus Latin America, LACNIC members are highly satisfied with the work and services provided by the organization responsible for managing internet numbering resources for Latin America and the Caribbean.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/lacnic/2014-encuesta-de-satisfaccion-de-clientes

The New Internet

Held in Brazil with significant involvement on the part of LACNIC, the NetMundial summit demanded that the Internet be managed in a multistakeholder manner as a step towards reducing the United States’ hegemony over the Internet.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-i-post-netmundial-meeting-statement

New Functions

After a long consultation process, the Latin American and Caribbean Internet community concluded a fruitful discussion by providing input and contributions for the new stewardship of the IANA functions relating to the management of Internet number resources.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/transicion/inicio

Incident Response

LACNIC launched a computer security incident response coordination center for the members of its community. This team will coordinate and facilitate incident handling so that the members of the regional community can manage their computer security issues and gain access to confidential information regarding latent threats in Latin America and the Caribbean.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/warp/inicio

Among the Best

For the third consecutive year, Great Place to Work ranked LACNIC among the top ten companies to work for in the category of up to 150 employees.
http://www.lacnic.net/web/anuncios/2014-gptw

The Region’s Proposal for the IANA Transition

After a lengthy and intense consultation and discussion process, the LACNIC community has prepared a proposal for the transition of the stewardship of the IANA functions related to Internet number resources.

The LACNIC community believes that stewardship of the IANA functions for managing Internet number resources should be transferred to the RIRs, represented by the NRO, through the creation of a Multistakeholder Oversight Numbers Council (MONC) made up by representatives of the various Internet stakeholders: operators, governments and members of each RIR’s community.

Under this proposal, MONC would meet at least once a year to rule on the performance of the IANA functions as they relate to the administration of Internet number resources. The Council’s opinions would be b