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Commerce Chief Faces 5 Internet Emergencies

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Assuming former Washington Gov. Gary Locke (D) is confirmed by President Obama as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, he will need to immediately begin addressing a number of issues related to Internet infrastructure. For starters, Locke will need to appoint someone to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Commerce Department agency that deals with most Internet infrastructure issues. But Locke will also have to take steps to deal with a number of issues himself.

For instance, Locke will need to deploy DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) on the root zone — a move that the Internet engineering community has been waiting for the Commerce Department to take. Deploying DNSSEC on the root zone is important because doing so will allow the technology — which prevents hackers from redirecting Web traffic to fraudulent sites — to operate at its highest level of effectiveness. Locke will also need to decide whether to keep ICANN as a part of the Commerce Department or make it independent once its memorandum of understanding expires in September. In addition, Locke will need to deal with the controversy swirling around ICANN's proposal to create hundreds of new top-level domains. Finally, Locke will have to take steps to promote the use of IPv6, which replaces the current Internet communications protocol, IPv4.

Experts say that the Commerce Department can speed the transition to IPv6 — which creates new IP addresses — by integrating the protocol into its own processes and procurement plans.

From Network World
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