DNS: That Temporary Addition

DNS: That Temporary Addition

From: James Robinson <james§zed.com.au>
Date: Sun, 05 Jan 1997 17:20:30 +1100
This email is in response to a posting made by Mr Peter Gerrand, CEO of
MelbourneIT, on Thursday, 02 Jan 1997 at 12:55:51.

I must say that I don't usually make waves and openly try to put peoples
noses out of joint but the points he has raised in his posting have
moved me to voice my opinion on the matter.

Peter Gerrand wrote:
> > +> I see how Melbourne-IT will be avoiding bounced email from non-deliverable
> > +> email.
> > +>
> > +> XAA26934: XAA26935: return to sender:
> > +>      Host unknown (Name server: melbouneit.com.au: host not found)
> > +>                                 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > +
> > +I have temporarily added 2 MX records to the com.au zone file which will
> > +ensure that mail send to melbouneit.com.au DOES get through to us.
> >
> > does anyone else have a problem with melbourne it just adding things to the
> > com.au zone file when they feel like it....
> >
> In response to Skeeve Stevens, Kim Davies, Ross Wheeler,
> markd&#167;mira.net.au and any others who feel aggrieved on this matter:
> The addition of the additional MX records is, as Andrew indicated,
> temporary, and will expire on the March 17 deadline for com.au renewals.
> It was a practical, administrative solution to avoid the greater evil of
> inconveniencing several thousand registered Administrative Contacts for
> com.au domain names with follow-up email messages.  Given an absence of
> applications for the temporarily allocated "MelbouneIT.com.au" (sic)
> domain name from any other parties, we are scratching our heads to see
> how this action could possibly have had any downside for the com.au
> community.

The downside is that it is not only a breach of the COM.AU Domain Name
Administration General Policy but has also set a very dangerous
precedent.  A precedent that WILL NOW become abused by people who feel
unhappy at the actions of MelbourneIT and the way they are attempting to
administer the domain by brute force.

How can MelbourneIT honestly expect the internet community to take them
seriously when they act in such a frivolous way.

On re-reading the COM.AU Domain Name Administration General Policy it
states that "A legal entity which is a commercial organisation and which
trades in Australia may register only one domain name in COM.AU to
the exclusion of all other DNS domains."

This is VERY precise - "one domain name".  I consider their actions a
clear breach of not only this (their) policy document but also a breach
of trust among fellow internet users and administrators.

It is also stated above by Mr Peter Gerrand, the CEO of MelbourneIT,
that this "addition of the additional MX records is...temporary, and
will expire on the March 17 deadline."

Again, this appears to be a breach since in the policy document it
states that "Registration constitutes a licence to use the domain name
for a given period (two years for the initial registration) and annually
biennially renewable by paying the appropriate fee."

The policy document does not allow for "temporary" names. All names are
considered registered for two years, as per the policy document which
states that "Registration constitutes a licence to use the domain name
for a given period (two years for the initial registration).." 

Therefore we are stuck with this "temporary" name until the two years
have concluded.

The policy document also states that its own rules shall "apply after 1
November 1996."  Since this "addition" was made very well after this
time why are melbourneIT totally disregarding it.

You cannot just pick and choose which rules you want to follow and which
rules you wish to disregard.   

If they expect us, as the internet community, to abide by the rules then
they should begin by following the rules themselves.

> Of course Melbourne IT short-circuited the normal registration process
> to achieve this administrative solution. It is a privilege, and a
> responsibility, of being the DNA to take this kind of action, and it is
> not an action that we enter into either lightly or frequently, for
> obvious reasons.

They openly admit that they breached their own policy by making the
above statement.  

Can somebody please point me to the policy point that states that
MelbourneIT have the right to asscert this "privilege".  I cannot find
it.  It is a blatant mis-use of power that should be reprimanded
immediatly by either Mr Robert Elz, by taking back control of the domain
and calling for public tenders to take over administration, or by the
internet community as a whole, by completly boycotting MelbourneIT and
as a community publicly calling for tenders by "RESPONSIBLE" operators.
Another point that struck me is whether MelbourneIT paid the prescribed
fee for this registration.  The policy document clearly states that
registration can only occur after "paying the appropriate fee." 

I call on Mr Peter Gerrand to inform the Australian internet community
as to whether MelbourneIT actually paid the appropriate fee.    

If MelbourneIT did NOT pay the "appropriate fee" then I would like to
suggest that since they have openly breached their own policy document
and have caused such bitter complaint and loathing among the internet
community that they, MelbourneIT, donate a sum of money - to same value
as they should have spent in registering this "temporary" addition - to
a worth while charity or group.  Not to an internet association but
possibly to disavantaged children or some such organisation that the
Australian internet community mutually agrees on. Possibly by email

> We have only had to take this kind of expedient action
> once in the three months since taking on the DNA responsibilities for
> com.au   Hopefully it will be the last for this year - touch wood.

This point nearly knocked me off my chair.  You mean to tell me that you
have fiddled with the DNS before because of incompetance?

If so you have now confirmed publicly that if an operator mis-spells
their domain name you WILL add a name to the records (for a two year
period).  Remember what I said earlier about setting a precedent and
then people abusing that precedent - You have started the ball rolling
yourself!  I am totally amazed.

   From the desk of
    James Robinson
     Sys Admin &
   Managing Partner
Phone: +61 2 9310 5660
 Fax: +61 2 9310 5669
Received on Sun Jan 05 1997 - 17:41:23 UTC

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