Prefixes of the Net-Driven Economy e‑ / virtual / cyber / digital or net ?

The prefixes e‑ / virtual / cyber / digital / net are used to describe various ICT/Internet developments. Typically, they are used interchangeably. Each prefix describes the Internet phenomenon.

Yet, we tend to use e‑ for commerce, cyber for crime and security, digital for development divides, and virtual for currencies, such as Bitcoin. Usage patterns have started to emerge. While in our everyday language, the choice of prefixes e‑/virtual/cyber/ digital/net is casual, in Internet policy the use of prefixes has started to attract more
meaning and relevance.

Let’s have a quick look at the etymology of these terms and the way they are used in Internet policy. The etymology of ‘cyber’ goes back to the Ancient Greek meaning of ‘governing’. Cyber came to our time via Norbert Weiner’s book Cybernetics, dealing with information‑driven governance. In 1984, William Gibson coined the word cyber‑space in the science‑fiction novel Neuromancer.

The growth in the use of the prefix ‘cyber’ followed the growth of the Internet. In the late 1990s, almost anything related  to the Internet was ‘cyber’: cybercommunity, cyberlaw, cybersex, cybercrime, cyber‑culture, cyber… If you named anything on the Internet and you had ‘cyber’. In the early 2000s, cyber gradually disappeared from wider use, only remaining alive in security terminology.

Cyber was used to name the 2001 Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention. It is still the only international treaty in the field of Internet security. Today there is the USA’s Cyberspace Strategy, the ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Policy on Cyber Defence, Estonia’s Cyber
Defence Center of Excellence …

Cyberpunk author and Wired columnist Bruce Sterling had this to say:

I think I know why the military calls it ‘cyber’ — it’s because the metaphor of defending a ‘battlespace’ made of ‘cyberspace’ makes it easier for certain contractors to get Pentagon grants. If you call ‘cyberspace’ by the alternate paradigm of ‘networks, wires, tubes and cables’ then the NSA has already owned that for fifty years and the armed services can’t get a word in.

‘E’ is the abbreviation for ‘electronic’. It got its first and most important use through e‑commerce, as a description of the early commercialization of the Internet. In the EU’s Lisbon Agenda (2000), e‑ was the most frequently used prefix. E‑ was also the main prefix in the WSIS declarations (Geneva 2003; Tunis 2005). The WSIS follow‑up imple‑
mentation is centred on action lines including e‑government, e‑business, e‑learning, e‑health, e‑employment, e‑agriculture, and e‑science. Nonetheless, e‑ is not as present as it used to be. Even the EU has been distancing itself from using e‑ recently.

Today, the EU works on implementing a Digital Single Market Strategy.18 Digital refers to ‘1’ and ‘0’ – two digits which are the basis of whole Internet world. Ultimately, all software programs start with them. In the past, digital was used mainly in development circles to represent the digital divide. During the last few years, digital has
started conquering Internet linguistic space. It is likely to remain the main Internet prefix. Jean‑Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, used the ‘digital’ prefix 10 times in his initial speech at the European Parliament, presenting his policy plan for the five‑year mandate. In addition to the EU, Great Britain now has
digital diplomacy, and an increasing number of diplomatic missions have a dedicated person for digital issues, usually covering them transversally.

Virtual relates to the intangible nature of the Internet. Virtual introduces the ambiguity of being both intangible and, potentially, non‑existent. Virtual reality could be both an intangible reality, (something that cannot be touched) and a reality that does not exist (a false reality). Academics and Internet pioneers used virtual to highlight the
novelty of the Internet, and the emergence of ‘a brave new world’. Virtual, because of its ambiguous meaning, rarely appears in policy language and international documents.

Today, there is truce in the war for prefix dominance. Each prefix has carved its own domain, without a catch‑all domination which, for example, cyber had in the late 1990s. Today, cyber preserves its dominance in security matters. E‑ is still the preferred prefix for business. Digital has evolved from development issue use to wider use by the government sector. Virtual has been virtually abandoned.


Source: 7th edition of An Introduction to Internet Governance.
You can download the book using following links:
English version:
Spanish version:

What does #InternetGovernance mean?

During The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)1 came up with the following working definition of Internet governance:

Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the
private sector, and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles,
norms, rules, decision‑making procedures, and programmes that shape the
evolution and use of the Internet.

Source: 7th edition of An Introduction to Internet Governance.
You can download the book using following links:
English version:
Spanish version:

Do you know which types of network attacks are out there? #Privacy #CyberAware

A key aspect to any war is to get to know your enemy. Hence, is important to know which ones are the most common kind of attacks that are out there. However, the below list of network attacks is a basic-kind-of network-attacks list, and since technology is always changing more attacks are created and evolving every day.

  • Social Engineering: in an attack in by which the attacker manipulates people who work in a capacity of some authority (including the authority capacity that you have over your own data).
  • Dumpster diving: is an attack by which a dumpster diver would look through trash and other unsecured materials (including the recycle bin of your laptop or server)
  • Password cracking: the attacker wishes to gain authentication (and authorization) to network resources by guessing the correct password
  • Flooding: A flooding attack can overwhelm the processing and memory capabilities of  a network system or a server
  • Spoofing: is any attempt to hide the true address information of a node and usually associated with IP spoofing is not always an attack
  • Birthday attack: any attack based on favorable probability
  • Buffer overflow: is very common when attacking application level servers and services. Basically a buffer is a memory stack that has a certain holding size. Through a specifically and maliciously crafted packet, information can overflow in that stack, causing a number of problems. Some buffer overflow result in a simple denial of service while others can allow for system compromise and remote takeover of a system. Patches are usually issued to defend against specific buffer overflow issues.
  • Sniffing: an attack in which the attackers “sniffs” information, either off the media directly or from a regular network traffic. In order to compromise the confidentiality or integrity of the information*

If  you  know any other type of attacks I will encourage you to share in the comment section below.


Copy of Infographic – 7cyberattacks

Source: information subtracted from COMPtia Security+ Training Book.

Why the convergence of Public Policy and Internet Governance requires technical people #netgov

Cyberspace was created almost 50 years ago with the first Internet enabled connection.
Recently, with the rise of the sharing-economy, and as time goes by Internet has impacted more aspect of how people find a romantic or business partner, a taxi, rent a hotel, the precision on how hospitals store our medical records, just to name a few examples.
All these changes, imply issues for public policy, Internet is now an essential part of the community stability and welfare.Internet Governance, must continue to ensure human rights such as freedom of speech, privacy and security of personal information security. Furthermore, it should encourage innovation and the creation of new market niches so the  economy can to continue to grow.
Open government and data collection are trends that demand certified professionals with technical  knowledge that can also understand stakeholders public policy implications.
Certainly, challenging times will remain  in regards of  the convergence of Public Policy and Internet Governance. Public policy administration is a matter of principles, processes and compliance while in the cyberspace, huge changes are often, a couple of clicks away.
For example, in March 2014, NTIA initiated the transition of some key Internet functions to ICANN a non-for-profit organization based in Los Angeles. This process has been known as NTIA IANA stewardship transition functions. For this matter, ICANN had to demonstrate accountability. ICANN stated a plan developed by the international Internet community that, after being approved, will lead to global stewardship. This achievement will not only impact one country but instead, the  entire cyberspace,  indeed. In this scenario, the processes and policies developed during this transition had at least 36 months, while the technical aspects will not take long time to process.
Global policy aspects are imminently present when different stakeholders are involved in important decisions for the cyberspace and this will only increase since Internet is impacting the society daily activities. The understanding of Internet Governance for attendants and decision makers of policies, is critical. It’s mandatory to understand the convergence of  public policy and cyberspace technology, likewise.
At some point, technical careers curriculum should include governmental affairs and public policy theory to prepare professionals interested in the broad field of cyberspace regulation.

Shaping the future of Internet: everyone is responsible

Public policy and the civil society,  in regards to technological innovation,  require plenty of qualified professionals that are interested in this convergence of technology and governmental affairs. As a professional of the ITCs and as an immigrant engaged with different organizations in this matter, it is on my genuine interest to keep collaborating with organizations that are shaping the future of the Internet. Besides my professional interests as part of the civil society we are co-responsible as end users to understand the terms and agreements in which our information has been or could have been used, and this is a point that everyone will need to ensure.

Internet Governance Forum USA JULY 14! #IGFUSA2016

The Internet Governance Forum has been celebrated since 10 years ago. According to the IGF main website, the IGF. It was established by the World Summit on the Information Society in 2006. Since then, it has become the leading global multi-stakeholder forum on public policy issues related to Internet Governance.

This year, the great event will be celebrated in my birth country, Mexico on December 2016 however, some countries are celebrating their Internet Governance Forum in preparation towards the main event by the end of this year. So for all those who live in the home of the brave The IGF-USA will take place on 14 July 2016 in Washington DC at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. For more information, please visit the IGF-USA website, here.

If  you are  interested in Internet Governance and want to learn more about it I want to invite you’all to the IGF-USA ! The registration notice will go out this week.

’m very interested in spreading  privacy awareness and on Internet regulatory environments and I’m pretty sure this will be a great event to learn more about this topic.  I’m a true believer that all the Internet users are responsible of keeping the Internet safe, so with a RT of with a re-post, please spread the word  about the upcoming IGF-USA and I’m looking forward to see you in DC!

On my way to #SSIG

Today begins my journey to Washington D.C. Maybe for me it is not such a long journey as for the rest of the participants who come from other Latin American countries to participate in the South School on Internet Governance to be held from March 29 to April 1st that is going to be held at the headquarters OAS in Washington DC. This is the Eighth South School on Internet Governance organized by CCAT LAT OAS and with the support of ISOC Chapter Argentina.
The entire program of activities can be tracked remotely and streaming audio channels in Spanish and English video.
The agenda of activities here

I encourage you to participate remotely. Some people ask me if I attend this school in order to  pursue a certificate, and besides  that I’m eager to participate  to acquire more knowledge on these topics. Because this curiosity awoke writing a simple blog post telling my experience on online privacy and I today leads me to  OAS. When I broke the silence of what had happened to me on the Internet I started to find opportunities to acquire more information and actively participate in these initiatives. Particularly in this edition of the SSGI Cybersecurity issues and freedom of Speech in the Web are the main topics to be discussed within. We will have the opportunity to listen and learn from experts like Vinton Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet and now Vice-President of Google,  just to mention one of the experts involved in this activity.

Anyway. I’m excited to learn more and be able to share more of this topic.