Internet Governance Glossary - 2. Infrastructure and standardization
The most popular of all Internet services and applications (often used interchangeably with the Internet) that provides users with the ability:
•to access information and services while connected to the Internet,
•to publish information, and
•to offer services that can be accessed by anybody else in the Internet.
The World Wide Web is one of the biggest services running on the Internet. The multitude of other services implemented over the Internet includes e-mail, file transfer, voice over IP (VOIP), digital TV, remote computer control, newsgroups, and online games.
System of transmission media – such as telephone wires, fibre-optic cables, satellites, microwaves, and wireless links – on which communication services can be set up thus facilitating today’s convergence of Internet, telecommunication and multimedia technology and applications.
The key international organisations involved in the regulation of telecommunications and telecommunication infrastructures include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In addition to legal and economic regulations there are numerous technical standards.
Authoritative document with technical regulations necessary to ensure the smooth technical interoperability of the Internet.
The technical standards of the Internet include many interdependent technical rules, specifications or guidelines covering also aspects of interoperability, accessibility and. The most important software standards for the Internet are comprised in the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
Collective term for all hardware and software systems that constitute essential components in the operation of the Internet.
Physical transmission lines of all types, such as wired, fiber optic and microwave links, along with routing equipment, the accompanying critical software services like the Domain Name System (DNS), e-mail, website hosting, authentication and authorization, storage systems, and database servers are considered critical Internet components. If any of these systems and services were to be interrupted for a significant period of time … [t]he Internet...as we know it would collapse
Access to the Internet comprising at least three main aspects:
- technically speaking referring to the bandwidth of the access (which may be narrowband or broadband)
- socio-economically speaking referring to the access by passive users (e.g. households) or active users (e.g. businesses, etc.),
- eAccessibility, i.e. access by persons with disabilities (PwD).
Refers to access to the World Wide Web (WWW) by means of the use of browser-based Internet services, from a handheld mobile device (such as a smartphone or a feature phone), a notebook or a tablet computer etc., connected to a mobile network or other wireless network.
Collective term for all main technical, information and service resources accessible through or constituting the Internet.
Under a legitimate “Internet for all” aspiration linked to the prospects of development and democratic citizenship the Internet has become a critical resource of its own to be managed with a maximum of rights and services subject to a minimum of restrictions and a level of security which users are entitled to expect, which make the lives of people, communities and groups more fulfilling.
Bandwidth for high-speed access to the public Internet at downstream speed equal to, or greater than 256 kbit/s
Fixed or wired broadband can include for example cable modem, DSL, fibre-to-the-home/building and other fixed broadband subscriptions. Wireless broadband can include satellite Internet, terrestrial fixed wireless and fixed WiMax and fixed wireless access; it also includes broadband terrestrial mobile wireless access. All of the above are based on technical standards.
Traffic management process of measuring and controlling the communications (traffic, packets etc.) on a network link, to avoid filling the link to capacity or overfilling the link, which would result in network congestion and poor performance of the Internet.
One of the main aspects of bandwidth management is routing.
Bandwidth management process designed to send a data packet over multiple networks using packet switching technology and routing information to make decisions.
Generally speaking traffic management is becoming increasingly sophisticated with respect to routing Internet traffic in the most optimal way in order to provide quality of service.
Measure of overall network performance that reflects the quality and reliability of a connection commonly seen as the guaranteed minimum level of performance by the users of the network.
In packet-switched networks like the Internet with its abounding multimedia content and delay-sensitive applications, QoS is affected by various ‘human’ or ‘technical’ factors, resulting among others in the following problems as seen from the point of view of the sender and receiver:
- Low throughput,
- Dropped packets,
- Out-of-order delivery.
Large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet.
The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.
Information and communication technology (ICT) service of delivering application software, services or content to end users via network access to a scalable and elastic pool of shareable physical or virtual resources with on-demand self-service provisioning and administration.
Model communications infrastructure consisting – besides its telecommunication infrastructure – of a layered system of protocols that control various aspects of the Internet architecture.
The Internet architecture comprises the following layers of protocols:
- Application layer,
- Transport layer,
- Internet layer,
- Network access layer.
At each layer various technical protocols are working based on rigorously developed technical standards dividing methods into a layered system of protocols. The Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) is the most important set of protocols of this layered system of protocols.
Organization that supplies the bandwidth capacities to other information and communication technologies (ICT) service providers.
These high-speed transmission lines are known as Internet Backbone.
Physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISP) exchange Internet traffic between their networks (autonomous systems).
Internet exchange points (IXP) reduce the traffic portion of an Internet service providers’ (ISP) which must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the average per-bit delivery cost of their service. Furthermore, the increased number of paths learned through the IXP improves routing efficiency and fault-tolerance.
Computer networking model and communication protocols combining numerous technical standards used in the Internet and other networks based on the Internet Protocol Suite.
The Internet Protocol Suite is the most important set of protocols of the Internet (collectively called Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol Suite – TCP/IP) and allows large, geographically diverse networks of computers to communicate with each other quickly and economically over a variety of physical links. It is maintained and developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
Main internetworking technical standard underlying the Internet that specifies how data is moved through it based on three principles: packet-switching, end-to-end networking, and robustness.
The IP is implemented in two versions, IPv4 and IPv6 both based on technical standards of which different implementations exist. It is often used interchangeably to the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
Connectionless internetworking protocol version 4 in the Internet’s Internet Layer supporting 32-bit IP addresses which allows for approximately 4 billion unique IP addresses.
IPv4 as used on packet-switched networks operating on a best effort delivery model is still dominantly in use today, the number 4 is the protocol version number carried in every IP datagram.
Version 6 of the internetworking protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet.
Unique numerical address for every computer by which a location in the Internet is identified.
Computers on the Internet use IP addresses to route traffic and establish connections among themselves; people generally use the human-friendly domain names made possible by the Domain Name System.
Internet registry responsible for the allocation of IP address resources within a particular region.
Internet registry (IR) that primarily assigns address space to the users of the network services that it provides.
Organization which handles the registration of domain names for entities or individuals.
System allowing a familiar string of letters (the domain name) to be used in addition to the IP address thus helping users to find their way around the Internet.
top-level-domain (TLD) which designates a specific country or special area of geographical interest, such as .uk (United Kingdom), .cn (China), .in (India).
ccTLD are managed according to the international standard ISO 3166 (multipart) “Codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions”. Some ccTLD are still managed by a variety of institutions or individuals that received accreditation in the early days of the Internet, when some governments were not all that interested in such matters.
top-level-domain (TLD) which includes domains that could be obtained by anyone, such as: .com, .info, .net, and .org.
For each gTLD there is one generic top-level-domain registry that maintains an address list. The salesman function of the registry is performed by registrars; for example, the .com gTLD is managed by VeriSign. ICANN provides overall coordination of the domain name system (DNS) by concluding agreements and accrediting registries and registrars.
Domain name that includes characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet
An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese.
The Domain Name System security extensions are a set of extensions to the Domain Name System (DNS) which provide to DNS clients (resolvers) origin authentication of DNS data, authenticated denial of existence, and data integrity, but not availability or confidentiality.
As the Internet architecture was not designed with cybersecurity in mind, incorporating security protection requires substantial changes to the very basis of the Internet, the TCP/IP, including among others:
- Security by design
- Security architecture
- Hardware mechanisms that protect computers and data
- Secure operating systems
- Secure coding
- Capabilities and access control lists.
The balance between cybersecurity and human rights, especially the right to privacy, anonymity and freedom of expression, is in constant flux.
Sum of the processes and technologies used to protect information assets from unauthorized acquisition, disclosure, manipulation, modification, or damage and loss.
Information security on the one hand refers to the act of ensuring that data is not lost when critical issues arise, such as: natural disasters, computer/server malfunction, physical theft, or any other instance where data has the potential of being lost. On the other hand it refers to unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, perusal, inspection, recording or destruction.
Identification of an organization information and communication technology (ICT) assets as well as information assets, followed by the development, documentation, and implementation of policies and procedures for protecting these assets.
Security might not bring monetary gain but it does prevent monetary loss and other damages. Organizations and states increasingly develop services capable of stimulating an economy by having a good cybersecurity approach. “Therefore, security management must be a dynamic process – one that is constantly evolving to counteract the evolution of security risks.
Trust-based identity attribution, providing a codified assurance of the identity of one entity (viz. a person or an organization) to another.
Traditionally, governments were the only players who had the power and the know-how to develop and deploy powerful encryption in their military and diplomatic communications.
Refers to techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties by constructing and analyzing protocols that overcome the influence of third parties.
Electronic document used to prove ownership of a public key including information about the key, its owner's identity, and the eSignature of an entity that has verified the certificate's contents are correct.
Result of a cryptographic transformation of data that, when properly implemented with supporting infrastructure and policy, provides for a digital message or document the services of origin authentication, data integrity and signer non-repudiation.
A valid eSignature gives a recipient reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender, such that the sender cannot deny having sent the message (digital authentication and non-repudiation) and that the message was not altered in transit (data integrity).