RE: [DNS] Have IRA gone one lie too far?

RE: [DNS] Have IRA gone one lie too far?

From: Chris Disspain <ceo§>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 09:46:48 +1100

With respect, I have, on several occasions, through various fora including
this one, requested re-sellers and ISPs etc to email our Consumer Alerts to
their customers. I do not know how many have done this. I would have thought
that providing this information to them would be valuable for the customer
and good business/marketing for the re-seller/ISP.

auDA does not, at present, have the funds to instigate a public awareness
campaign which by necessity would be scatter-gun in its approach (newspaper
ads etc). The re-sellers have the ability to deliver targeted bullets by
making their customers aware of the problems.

Of course, our aim is to ensure that marketing such as that used by IRA
ceases as soon as possible. Once we have introduced the new regime then I
believe we will succeed. However, it is important to note that in the new
model our jurisdiction is only by way of our Agreement with a Registrar and
vicariously, through the Registrar to the re-seller. We have no legal powers
that are equivalent to ACCC. All we can do is to terminate a Registrar or
re-seller from being 'auDA Accredited' and possibly sue them for damages for
breach of any Agreement.

It really is the role of ACCC to police business practices over and above a
particular industry's Code of Practice and that will remain the case for
this industry after the new model comes in.

I understand that many in the business find the current situation
frustrating. I find it extremely frustrating. As I recall I have, in the
past, on this list, expressed my surprise that ACCC is either unwilling or
unable to take any action. I still feel that way.

Let me once again clarify the position as we see it:-

1. We have no legal relationship with re-sellers and have no 'terms' to
which we can make them adhere.
2. Melbourne IT has a legal contract with all re-sellers and they can take
action under that if they wish. So, MIT could terminate IRA's licence as a
re-seller if they believe it has been breached. Whilst that might not stop
IRA from trading it would mean that they could no longer use references to
being 'authorised' etc.
3. There are only 3 things that IRA and others can breach at the moment
a) The TPA in which case, over to ACCC.
b) Their Licence Agreement with MIT in which case, over to MIT.
c) The interim Code of Practice which is voluntary and therefore cannot be
4. In the future we will have a far greater degree of control because of the
Registrars Agreement and the published policies which will include the Code
of Practice.

Incidentally, FYI, the following organisations have so far notified us that
they will abide by the Code of Conduct:
* Bunyip IT Services
* Get Started Australia
* Highway 1
* Island Internet Services
* Satlink Internet Services Pty Ltd
* SydneyBiz

Chris Disspain
CEO - auDA

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Stark [mailto:ronstark&#167;]
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2001 21:37
To: 'dns&#167;'
Subject: RE: [DNS] Have IRA gone one lie too far?

Don, you have highlighted another fundamental problem.  The way auDA
currently seems to operate is to place publicly important information (such
as the release of the CoC, comments thereon, consumer alerts) on their
website, is if that somehow absolves them from further action.  However,
this passive form of publicity effectively hides the relevant information
from everything but a dedicated effort at discovery, and only then by
persons who have prior knowledge of its existence.

Not one of my clients to whom I've spoken has ever heard of auDA.  None know
of the website's existence.  So who is accountable, then, for the ignorance
in our marketplace?  More importantly, how can auDA redress it?  Such is one
reason why predators thrive.

In reaction to your suggested model:  As attractive as it is, I believe it
has one inherent weakness - the supposition that whatever authority sets the
parameters has sufficient information / feedback from the coalface to know
what parameters need to be set.  In other words, are we ready for it?

So we're back to where we started to some extent - needing grass roots
consumer input.

Ron Stark

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Cameron [mailto:donc&#167;]
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2001 9:02 PM
To: dns&#167;
Subject: Re: [DNS] Have IRA gone one lie too far?

>> self-regulation can work (snip)

Agreed Ron, there are many examples of this working very well in a variety
of Australian industries.

>> but only if we entrench the power to act decisively (snip)

Again, agreed, and in your comment... "I'm fearful that we risk being
emasculated by apathy", you have no doubt highlighted the fundamental

I am perhaps less surprised than might be expected, that my comment on the
proposed Code of Conduct is only one of two to be received by auDA... and
the other is from an anonymous sender. Clearly the Internet industry itself
is not keen on self-regulatory measures being implemented, and I'm sure the
broader Internet user-base is largely unaware of the existence of the draft
Code, or that comments are even being requested. (PS - has auDA removed the
documents section from their web? - Admitedly I only spent ten minutes
searching, however I can no longer find any links to the document archives,
yet I'm sure these were available/visible from the front-page only a few
days ago - I would hope with the appraching AGM that these will be placed in
a position of prominance).

Accepting that industry regulation is desireable, yet acknowledging the
roles, rights and responsibilities of Government in .au administration,
perhaps the 'best' option might be for NOIE to take a more active role in
these matters. NOIE could adopt the industry self-regulatory model being
implemented by another Federal Authority in AQIS (The Australian Quarantine
Inspection Service). AQIS are granting authorities for industry regulation
to industrial partners, however the policies for regulation (Codes of
Conduct and industrial procedures etc.) are set by AQIS for industry to
follow. In essence, AQIS sets the paramaters, and industrial bodies ensure
compliance through the processes of self-audit and recognised Quality
Assurance procedures (such as I outlined earlier in respect to records
management - ISO15489).

This model would go a long way towards alieviating the burden of the
Internet industry itself setting community protection policies (when clearly
some sections of the industry object to these policies), however the rights
of administering and auditing policy compliance would remain with the
industry itself - in this case auDA - this model would provide the 'muscle'
without removing the self-regulatory authorities, and (I feel) would go a
long way towards helping to create a structure that protects the customers
as well as those who profit from .au sales.

Regards, Don

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Received on Tue Nov 20 2001 - 22:55:02 UTC

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