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Newsletter (Oct – Nov 2005)

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APTLD Meeting in Amman, Jordan – October 2-3, 2005
The most recent APTLD Meeting was held in Amman, Jordan on 2-3 October 2005. The generous hospitality of the local hosts is gratefully acknowledged in making the meeting a well run and productive event. The Communique is available, as are links to all the presentations made by meeting participants. Audio of the meeting and minutes of the members and Board meetings will be published before the end of November 2005.

APTLD Tech Forum
TWNIC has established an online forum for discussion of APTLD Techincal issues. You can participate in the forum as you wish here.

General Manager Appointment
Members at the meeting in Amman agreed to the appointment of a General Manager for APTLD. Recruitment material will be posted on APTLD lists on Monday 14 November 2005.

APTLD Draft Business Plan 2006
Amman also saw the first debate on a draft Business Plan for 2006 for APTLD. The copy presented at the meeting is available in .pdf format here. It will be revised to reflect discussion at the meeting, and submitted to members for electronic debate and agreement before the end of the year.

Members Corner (October/November 2005)

au: AusRegistry keeps domain services contract
The provider of domain name registry services for second-level .au domains will continue to operate the service until mid-2010 under a contract awarded Friday.

au: auDA announces preferred tenderer for registry (news release)
.au Domain Administration (auDA) announced that the preferred tenderer for the provision of registry services in .au second level domains, commencing 1 July 2006, is AusRegistry Pty Ltd.

au: Domain registration rules face change amid protests
Australia’s Internet domain name regulator is considering changing the rules governing how certain domain names are allocated after reports some companies and individuals may be exploiting the current system.

au: Watchdog warns on domain name scams
SMALL-BUSINESS operators can be easy prey for fraudsters trying to winkle out money for unsolicited and unneeded “services”, says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said domain name solicitations, in particular, were a frequent source of complaints to the ACCC and fair trading agencies.


cn: Domain names related to earth’s summit preemptively registered
Domain names similar to 8844, the new height of meters of Mount Qomolangma confirmed on Sunday, have been heatedly registered by Chinese cyber speculators, according to a report in Monday’s Beijing Morning News.


New Board of Directors of HKIRC (.hk Registry) for 2005/06
The third Annual General Meeting and Board of Directors Election for Year 2005 was successfully held on 27 September, 2005. Some resolutions contributing to the well-being of HKIRC were passed during the AGM. Also, the new Board of Directors for Year 2005 was elected. Two new Directors joined the Board. The other eleven Directors either continued their term or got re-elected.
Mr. Christopher To, Secretary General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), was re-elected as the Chairman of the Board in a subsequent Board meeting.
The new Board of Directors will continue to guide HKIRC and its subsidiary, Hong Kong Domain Name Registration Company Limited (HKDNR), to provide high quality service to meet the needs of different sectors in the local community.


in: Govt working on multi-lingual domain names — HCL Tech adopts `.in’ globally
THE Government is working to evolve a roadmap for implementing multi-lingual domain names in Indian scripts. “The Government is in the process of evolving a roadmap for the implementation of Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) under Devnagari and Dravidian scripts,” said the Union Minister for Communications and IT, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, after launching HCL’s global integration of the `.IN’ domain and inauguration of new Remote Infrastructure Management facility on Wednesday.


jp: Police warn of threat to Web site security
Domain names, a core component of how computer users interact with the Internet, could be vulnerable to hijacking, say police and government officials.


nz: Spoof site faces religious lawsuit
A New Zealand website spoofing Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and his religion of choice is facing legal action from the Church of Scientology. … Stollery will change the website name to Passion of Cruise but says he won’t be relinquishing the scienTOMogy name to the church. http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411419/620780

i.ph Domains See Rapid Growth
The i.ph personal domain is now the fastest growing segment of the .PH ccTLD namespace.

The popularity of i.ph has been driven by a bundled blogging service, called Calliope, that was developed and released by the DotPH Registry earlier this year.

The growth of i.ph shows that personalized domains, bundled with blogs and photo/video galleries, is a great way for a small ccTLD to offer low-cost domains — without affecting registrations from corporate and small business clients.

The i.ph domain has been available for registration since late 2004, but users initially found little use for just a domain — even one that came with e-mail. But combining the domain with a solution that allows users to easily post entries, photos and videos on their own website has been the key to widespread acceptance.

The i.ph personal domains were made available because of feedback from the local Internet community. Users wanted a low-cost domain and DotPH went a step further by offering them free for life, relying on ads for revenue.

“We listened to our community, and this is what they want,” said Jose Emmanuel Disini, .PH ccTLD Administrator. “The Google AdSense revolution has made solutions like this possible.”

And its not just ccTLDs that can benefit from this kind of solution. Dotster Inc., one of the largest domain Registrars in the world, will soon offer the Calliope blogging solution to its clients. After reviewing various blog tools, Dotster chose Calliope because it was a robust solution accessible to all levels of Internet users, including complete beginners.

With effect from 1 September 2005, SGNIC will reduce its prices to registrars for 2nd-level and 3rd-level ‘.sg’ domain names from S$40 to S$30 per domain name. The new fee offers registrars savings of up to 25% of their domain name registration costs.

SGNIC launched a bundled promotion for 2nd or 3rd level ‘.sg’ domain names for registrars. For every 3rd level ‘.sg’ domain name registered, registrars can receive a complimentary matching 2nd level domain name. For instance, if xyz.com.sg is registered, registrars need not pay SGNIC for xyz.sg. The promotion only applies to new registrations and is subject to both domain names being available. This promotion started on 1 September 2005 and will end on 28 February 2006.

Effective from 1 October 2005, SGNIC will replace its S$70,000 performance bond requirement with alternative measures. For a start, companies interested to be accredited by SGNIC will need to have at least six months of experience in domain name registrations (i.e. as a domain name re-seller or a domain name registrar of other registries) and two years of audited statements showing a minimum working capital of S$50,000. Companies (e.g. start-ups) which do not have the required audited statements will be allowed instead to offer a S$30,000 performance bond. Secondly, SGNIC will step up its performance measures by requiring that registrars maintain a total of at least 500 new registrations per year to remain accredited.

SGNIC is inviting companies to participate in an Electronic Numbering (ENUM) Pilot Trial to see how numbers can be used innovatively for multiple services in addition to IP Telephony. The pilot trial provides companies a test bed to test the technical and commercial feasibility of their innovative ENUM services. To ensure that the full potential of ENUM is tested, companies participating in the trial will be required to provide a suite of ENUM services such as ENUM registration, ENUM server hosting and ENUM-based services.


VeriSign and ICANN Reach Agreement, Settle Lawsuit (VeriSign news release)
VeriSign announced it has reached agreement to settle its lawsuit with the ICANN.

ICANN’s Deal Could Prove Costly
As more registrars digest a proposed settlement deal between VeriSign and the Internet governance body ICANN, at least one is feeling some heartburn over higher rates they could be facing.

Deal lets Verisign hold onto .com
The key net oversight body has settled a long-running dispute with Verisign, a company which has significant influence over how people find websites.

Generic & IDN Names

Welcome to the Root, .MOBI
mTLD’s .mobi entered the root zone on Tuesday, quietly contrasted amidst all of the recent ICANN/VeriSign announcements. The .mobi mTLD is a Dublin, Ireland based joint venture between the Nokia Corporation, Vodafone Group Services Limited, and Microsoft.

Mobile Web sites face stringent standards regulation
mTLD is to be the first TLD operator to insist the sites under its jurisdiction follow strict standards of Web development

WSIS & Governance

Worldwide but Homegrown (New York Times editoral)
Some foreign governments are uncomfortable with the United States’ controlling the nuts and bolts of the Internet. That is understandable. So much of the success of the global economy depends on its smooth functioning and the United States has not been a model of receptiveness to other nations’ concerns in recent years. There may be a multilateral solution down the road, but right now it is in everyone’s best interest to keep control of the Internet where it was founded, in America.

Expanding Internet Access Must Remain World Focus at Summit
The future of the Internet and its role in the lives of people around the world come into international focus November 16-18 as negotiators gather in Tunis, Tunisia, for the final round of discussions in the WSIS.

US rejects changes to net control
The US has rejected calls by EU officials to give control of the net over to a more representative UN body.

EU outlines future net governance
An oversight body of international governments will decide the top-level of the internet from now on, pulling it away from the US government and enshrining the revolutionary medium in international law.

Does the ITU get the internet?
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is angling for a wider role in running the internet, to the extent that it is hosting the WSIS meeting taking place in Geneva at the moment.

U.S. Senator: Keep U.N. away from the Internet
A new resolution introduced in the United States Senate offers political backing to the Bush administration by slamming a United Nations effort to exert more influence over the Internet.

Who Will Control the Internet? by Kenneth Neil Cukier
Foreign governments want control of the Internet transferred from an American NGO to an international institution. Washington has responded with a Monroe Doctrine for our times, setting the stage for further controversy.

Keep the Internet free By Carl Bildt
…It would be profoundly dangerous to now set up an international mechanism, controlled by governments, to take over the running of the Internet. Not only would this play into the hands of regimes bent on limiting the freedom that the Internet can bring, it also risks stifling innovation and ultimately endangering the security of the system. … It’s time for Blair and Barroso to take charge. Otherwise they might endanger one of the most powerful instruments of freedom and prosperity in our time.

Breaking America’s grip on the net
After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments

The sorry state of the domain name game
The Domain Name System has certainly taken its share of lumps over the years. In January 2001, Microsoft’s Web properties–which included CarPoint, Encarta, Expedia and MSN–were taken offline by a DNS configuration error. More recently, security researcher Dan Kaminsky reported that about 230,000 name servers, or roughly 10 percent of those scanned, were susceptible to DNS “cache poisoning.”

Internet ‘more robust’ than thought
The Internet can withstand attacks on its infrastructure better than people think, say Australian researchers.

EU says internet could fall apart
A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding to maintain a key role in the network it helped create and other countries demanding more control.
Where countries stand


kz: OSCE media freedom representative asks Kazakhstan to withdraw Internet regulation
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, has asked the Government of Kazakhstan to withdraw a newly established regulation on the registration of domain names for websites.

Lance Armstrong wins cybersquatting case
The Lance Armstrong Foundation, a Texas-based charity set up by the American cycling champion to raise funds for cancer research, on Tuesday won the right to evict cybersquatters from Web sites selling Livestrong bracelets.

Sex.com thief arrested
The con-man who stole the most valuable domain name in the world, Sex.com, has been arrested by Mexican police and handed over to US agents after nearly six years on the run.

Internet backbone weakened by vulnerable DNS servers
A large number of DNS servers are wrongly configured or running out-of-date software, leaving them vulnerable to malicious attacks.

eu: Beware of .eu domain scammers, report warns
The majority of businesses expect the forthcoming .eu domain name to be important to their businesses in Europe, but must be wary of fraudulent domain sellers, a new report warns.

eu: Registration for .eu domain names begins Dec. 7
The registry for the .eu Internet top-level domain will accept reservations for second-level domain names from Dec. 7. The domain is intended to identify activities or information related to the European Union and give companies based there the opportunity to use a pan-European Internet identity to complement their individual national sites.


Political Oversight of ICANN: A Briefing for the WSIS Summit: Concept Paper by the Internet Governance Project
WSIS seems to be foundering on the issue of “political oversight” of the Internet. IGP issues a new paper that clarifies the issues and provides concrete proposals for moving forward. We explain why WSIS must separate discussion of the role of governments in setting policy for all Internet issues from discussion of the narrower problem of ICANN’s oversight. By means of a careful analysis of the contractual instruments used by the U.S. government to supervise ICANN, the paper shows how the problem of U.S. unilateral oversight can be addressed in a way that is both politically feasible and avoids threatening the stability or freedom of the Internet.

Voices from Asia-Pacific – Internet Governance Priorities and Recommendations: An ORDIG Input Paper for the UN Working Group on Internet Governance and the WSIS
The purpose of this paper is to present a snapshot of those priorities at a particularly important moment in the network’s history. As the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) heads towards its meeting in Tunis, debates over the future of the Internet, and in particular the future of Internet governance, are gathering momentum. Much is at stake in the WSIS process: there is a sense that very real and important decisions may soon be reached. At such a moment, it is critical for every region and stakeholder group to have a voice; whatever new Internet governance arrangements may emerge must be as inclusive as possible.

Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation
[This report is currently available in its prepublication version from the National Academies Press.] Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation examines the performance and prospects of the Domain Name System from technical and institutional perspectives, and also looks at how navigation technologies and institutions facilitate finding and accessing Internet resources. It describes the evolution of the technologies and institutions that have supported the growth of the Internet and provides the basis for future decisions that will enable its productive evolution.

Public Policy Questions for Internet Governance by Geoff Huston
There is little doubt that the Internet has formed part of the impetus for a revolutionary change in the nature of the global communications industry. “Revolutionary” in the sense that the past decade has seen fundamental and highly disruptive changes in the nature of the underlying technologies used by the industry, changes in the composition, ownership and role of industry players, changes in the nature of services offered to the end consumer, changes in the associated financial models used by the industry, and changes in the regulatory environments in which this industry operates.

Net firms reach deal to avoid new blackout
A dispute between major Internet backbone companies that wound up blacking out portions of the Net for thousands of people earlier this month has been settled for now, preventing new blackouts next month. http://news.com.com/Net+firms+reach+deal+to+avoid+new+blackout/2100-1038_3-5920071.html

The “Robust Yet Fragile” Nature of the Internet
One purpose of this paper is to explore how this SF depiction compares with the real Internet, and explain the nature and origin of some important discrepancies. Another purpose is to suggest that a more coherent perspective on the Internet as a complex network, and in particular its RYF nature, is possible in a way that is fully consistent with Internet technology, economics, and engineering. A complete exposition relies on the mathematics of random graphs and statistical physics, which underly the SF theory, as well as on the very details of the Internet ignored in the SF formulation. Nevertheless, we aim to show here that the essential issues can be readily understood, if not rigorously proven, using less technical detail, and the lessons learned are relevant well beyond either the Internet or SF network models.

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