Re: [DNS] fairfax article

Re: [DNS] fairfax article

From: Larry Bloch <larry§netregistry.au.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Nov 1999 13:24:45 +1100
Please see comments below.

Larry Bloch

At 16:34 26/10/1999 +1000, you wrote:

>I was a vociferous and strong critic of ADNA. I don't see the same reasons
>to be critical of auDA. In fact, ISOC-AU is supportive of auDA and I echo
>that support from a personal perspective.
>
>I would like to see auDA work, and I would like to see a clear timeline for
>transition of .AU to auDA, via a government agency to clarify that .AU vests
>via the government. For me, this is more than symbolic: it provides the clear
>reason for a legal challange to auDA should there ever be questions about its
>competency to manage, and shows that elected government asserts its ownership
>in the act of vesting to a specific body. (I do not presage a challenge, I
>just think its prudent to cover for it)
>
>I am considerably less happy that people are canvassing changes to  2LD
>policy at this time. Since MIT is in near-IPO state, there are strong
>financial issues at stake in any discussion of the com.au policy and I
>personally feel they are inappropriate in this context.

As a founding (and now ex) board member of AUDA, I think that this last 
point is a hugely important issue. Any changes to policy to - for example - 
allow generic registrations will result in a massive surge in 
registrations. This windfall will result in further profits to a private 
company.

It is far more appropriate for auDA to work on introducing a competitive 
registrar structure. Access to the .com.au registry is preventing 
competition, keeping prices artificially high and contributing to a de 
facto 'Internet tax' in Australia - a tax collected by a private company, 
and used to finance a business model that is not to the direct benefit of 
the Australian internet community. That Prof. Gerrand advocates an auction 
of generic names is a clear indication of the advancement of INA's thinking 
on the profitable commercialisation of the .com.au namespace.

.au is a national resource - it belongs to the Australian people. .com.au 
is by far the major component of .au in terms of registrations and 
coverage. For a single private company to continue to monopolise this 
without returning any of the massive profits resultant is a national scandal.

I also have concerns that Dr Roberts - who managed and guided the process 
that led to the formation of auDA - is now INA's representative on the auDA 
board. Dr Roberts made clear governments desire to see INA accommodated 
within a new self regulatory regime. It was articulated by Dr Roberts  that 
it was not in the interests of the .au namespace for INA to take the 
adversarial position that NSI did with ICANN and that therefore it was 
undesirable to press models for AUDA that would place the registry function 
in another vehicle, such as happened in the UK and NZ.. Operational 
stability of the .au namespace was the phrase used to justify this 
approach. I find her appointment to AUDA inappropriate under these 
circumstances.

I look to the new board of AUDA to clearly state that no change to policy 
that is likely to result in a major increase in the number of registrations 
will occur prior to the implementation of a suitable and equitable 
competitive environment ensuring accredited registrars can have equal 
access to the .com.au and other commercial registries.

I draw particular attention to Objectives (iii), (iv - ii & iv) of the AUDA 
constitution and ask the AUDA board what progress has been made on these 
points. I suspect the answer is: NONE.

FROM THE CONSTITUTION OF AUDA:
The principal purposes of auDA are:

i. to be the administrator of, and the Australian self regulatory policy 
body for the .au ccTLD and its associated Second Level Domains;

ii. to maintain and promote the operational stability and utility of the 
.au ccTLD;

iii. to ensure a cost effective administration of the .au ccTLD and its 
sub-domains;

iv. to develop and establish a policy framework for the development and 
administration of the .au ccTLD including:
        i. rules governing the operations of second level domain registries;
        ii. the creation of second level domains;
        iii. rules governing the accreditation of registrars and registry 
administrators;
        iv. rules governing the registration of names within second level 
domains and access to second level domain registries;
        v. ensuring that registrars have equal access to second level 
registry services.

v. to manage the operation of critical technical functions including:
        i. the primary and secondary .au name servers;
        ii. zone files for second level domains; and
        iii. a searchable data base containing information on registrations 
within the .au ccTLD.

vi. to liaise with national and international bodies on issues relating to 
the development and administration of domain name systems.

vii. to establish appropriate complaints handling and dispute resolution 
processes to provide for conciliation or redress of grievances on matters 
associated with the administration of the .au ccTLD.


>It is also worth noting that KRE retains substantive control of com.au and the
>current "operating lease" for want of a better word is up for renewal, so the
>timing issues here are very sensitive. (this is all a matter of public record
>as I understand it. MIT do not "own" com.au)
>
>I wish people would stop confusing the issues. .AU should transit to a
>competent authority. I think that is auDA. It demonstrates (for me) the
>processes, and the level of commitment and buy-in that ADNA lacked.
>
>Now doesn't look to me to be the time to start to discuss generics, or
>name policies, or any other issues in the 2LD. I can't see how it is going
>to help make KRE feel comfortable about the transition. We have a documented
>process how we CAN discuss these things. Lets not pre-empt them.
>
>cheers
>
>-George
>--
>George Michaelson         |  DSTC Pty Ltd
>Email: ggm&#167;dstc.edu.au    |  University of Qld 4072
>Phone: +61 7 3365 4310    |  Australia
>   Fax: +61 7 3365 4311    |  http://www.dstc.edu.au
>
>
>--
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Received on Tue Nov 02 1999 - 10:24:48 UTC

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