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Newsletter (March 2005)
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What’s New

APTLD

July Members Meeting – Dates to be confirmed
The APTLD Board will shortly finalise the meeting date for the next APTLD Members’ meeting. This will be held in Singapore and is likely to be early in July, timed to coincide with the July ICANN Meeting in Luxembourg. Please consider attending this meeting. More information will be provided shortly.

APTLD welcomes Two New Members
APTLD’s Board recently approved membership applications from .MO (MONIC) and .MN (.MN Domain Registry). We welcome these new members and hope to meet them again at the APTLD Member’s meeting in Singapore.

Research

Site Finder and Internet Governance by JONATHAN WEINBERG (University of Ottawa Journal of Law and Technology)
Abstract: In this paper, I unpack the Site Finder story. Site Finder was highly undesirable from a technical standpoint; it contravened key elements of Internet architecture. ICANN had power to force VeriSign to withdraw it, though, only if VeriSign was violating the terms of its registry contracts. The arguments that Site Finder violated VeriSign’s contractual obligations are plausible, but they don’t derive their force from Site Finder’s architectural or stability consequences. The registry contracts gave ICANN no hook to invoke those concerns; if VeriSign was in breach, it was by happenstance. Part of the lesson of Site Finder is that there needs to be an effective institutional mechanism for protecting the domain name space infrastructure from unilateral, profit-driven change that bypasses the protections and consensus mechanisms of the traditional Internet standards process. Notwithstanding ICANN’s flaws, it may be better suited than any other existing institution to protect against that threat. Yet ICANN regulation is itself highly problematic, and so any plan to expand its authority must be approached with care.

“Who Rules the Internet? Understanding ICANN”
A new briefing paper published by Panos institute, describes the issues behind Internet governance that made it a heated subject at the 2003 WSIS meeting in Geneva. It is the first of a series of briefing papers that will cover other Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) issues. It also gives important background information on the issues being raised at the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November 2005.

Does Online Dispute Resolution Need Governmental Intervention? The Case for Architectures of Control and Trust by Thomas Schultz
Many believe that cyberspace was born out of a world of no regulation. And many believe that the future of dispute resolution lies in the absence of the state. The general view of online dispute resolution (“ODR”) follows from these beliefs: it is a new and promising form of dispute resolution, and it takes place in cyberspace; consequently it should be left to self-regulation. It is this view that I want to challenge. I contend that ODR requires governmental intervention to develop fully, to lessen the gap between its potential and its actual use—a gap that is huge. The argument for this assertion follows a simple path: ODR is in need of trust, trust can be provided through architectures of control, and such control should be in the hands of government in order to induce trust. My article moves in two parts, the first descriptive, the second prescriptive. Part I provides that confidence is hardly present in the absence of control. I begin with an examination of the confidence problem ODR faces. I then propose a solution to that problem: control. The lack of control induces a lack of confidence in ODR. Control of ODR needs to be established. This entails setting in place an architecture of control of ODR in order to increase confidence. Only then will it be utilized on a large scale. Part II maintains that this control should be in the hands of the government.

ICANN

ICANN Meeting Roundup
Find details of the most recent ICANN meeting on their website here.

ICANN signs in .eu
Addresses within the new top-level domain for the European Union will be available from the end of 2005.
more articles – the Register | Eurid

ICANN board approve agreement with EURid (news release and updated timetable)
At a board meeting today, ICANN approved delegation of the .eu top level domain and authorised their CEO to sign an agreement with EURid. more

ICANN Looking at .Net Bids
ICANN is now seeking public comments regarding the .net bids. Unlike before, I am not going to offend one friend or another by siding with one proposal over another. They are all qualified and experienced registry operators. Instead, I will make some general observations.

Final call for comments on ICANN Strategic Plan 2004 – 2007 (closed)
The call for comments on the ICANN Strategic Plan closed on 10 February 2005.

GNSO Council Election for ICANN Board
seat 14 February – March 2005 – CALL FOR NOMINATION

ICANN Completes Negotiations with Applicants for .JOBS and .TRAVEL
ICANN has completed negotiations with the applicants for the .JOBS and .TRAVEL sponsored top-level domains. The .JOBS and .TRAVEL sponsored TLD registry agreements have been posted on the ICANN website and submitted to the ICANN Board for approval.

Proposed Change to ICANN Bylaws Regarding Number of GNSO Council Representatives – Public Comment Forum

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
On 3 September 2004 the ASO Address Council forwarded a new IPv4 policy concerning IANA allocations of IPv4 address to Regional Internet number Registries to the ICANN board for action, affirming that the policy had been approved in accordance with the four RIR’s local policy development processes.

Update Regarding .NET Selection Process
ICANN posts a status update and next steps in the .NET registry operator selection process. Also posted: the draft .NET Registry Agreement.

Generic Names

Experts: international domain names may pose threat
Security experts are warning about a new threat to Web surfers: malicious Web sites that use international domain names to spoof the Web addresses of legitimate sites.

International characters in domain names leave door open for new phishing trick
Phishers can use a new trick to fool users of Web browsers (currently Opera 7.54, Konqueror 3.2.x., and Mozilla-based Web browsers such as Firefox 1.0) into believing Web addresses.

Domain system opens door to scams
A system to make it easier to create website addresses using alphabets like Cyrillic could open a back door for scammers, a trade body has warned. The IDN system has been a work in progress for years and has recently been approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force. But the UK Internet Forum is concerned that the system will let scammers create fake sites more easily. The problem lies in the computer codes used to represent language.

Addressing

CENTR

CENTR Comments on ICANN Strategic Plan
CENTR comments on the ICANN Strategic Plan 2003-4 to 2006-7.

WSIS

Serious concerns for World Summit on the Information Society
A joint monitoring visit to Tunisia undertaken by members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange has found serious cause for continuing concern about the current state of freedom of expression and of civil liberties in Tunisia, including gross restrictions on freedom of the press, media, publishing and the Internet.

A UN Controlled Internet – China decries U.S. ‘monopolization’ of net
China’s ambassador to the United Nations last week lashed out against what it called the U.S. “monopolization” of the internet, and urged the UN to employ a “more rational and just” governance system. The call to move Internet management away from ICANN and into UN jurisdiction has grown louder, a number of countries complaining ICANN operates with an American bias.

WIPO
Domain Name Dispute Cases Increased by 6.6% in 2004
In its February 18, 2005 press release, WIPO has reported filing an average of 3.4 UDRP and UDRP-based cases per calendar day in 2004, bringing the total number of cases received in 2004 to 1,179 — an increase of 79 cases (or 6.6%) as compared to 2003. Also mentioned in the report is a 37 percent increase in ccTLDs cases over the previous year. Listed below are a number of additional facts and figures reported.

WIPO to Combat Cybersquatting
Tthe WIPO announced it will continue efforts to combat the abusive registration of trademarks as domain names, a procedure known as cybersquatting.

Free case book of domain name decisions
The WIPO has published an overview of trends in its 7,000 domain name dispute decisions since 1999. It is, in effect, a free on-line case book about cybersquatting that can help parties to gauge their chances before action. More articles The Register | Domain Times

WIPO Offers New Tool for Analysis of UDRP Trends (news release)
The Arbitration and Mediation Center of the WIPO has created and made available online a new information tool that offers a concise overview of trends in decisions taken under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) – a quick and cost effective dispute resolution procedure relating to Internet addresses. The WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions considers common and important substantive and procedural questions that have been extracted from the over 7,000 UDRP cases handled so far by WIPO. More: The Overview .

GOVERNANCE
UN panel may end web war
A UN-sponsored panel aims to settle a long-running tug of war for control of the internet by July.

India pushes for changes in Net governance
India will push for dilution of control of US-supported ICANN over global Internet governance. It will also suggest setting up an inter-government organisation to co-ordinate issues related to Internet and IP-based services at the UN-sponsored Working Group on Internet Governance meeting to be held in Geneva between February 14 and 16. (see page 6)

DNS — root concern for Pacific
Root server vulnerability concerns raised during UN internet governance forum.

UNDP-APDIP announcing major regional survey on Internet governance All stakeholder groups are encouraged to participate. The online questionnaire is available in 12 languages.

General

Asia, a Potential of 100 Million New Domain Names in Next 10 Years
EuroDNS announced the launch of www.asiadns.com to expand into the Asia/Pacific region, the world’s largest and fastest growing Internet Market. more

5 mln domains registered in Q3 2004
Over 5 mln new domain names have been registered in Q3 2004, with 66.3 mln domain names currently registered worldwide. The quarterly and total numbers are the largest ever in Internet history.

March 2005 Web Server Survey Finds 60 Million Sites
We now find more than 60 million web sites on the Internet, as the March 2005 survey received http responses from 60,442,655 sites.

us: Registrars End Effort to Block Domain Name Service
A group of registrars suing to block a controversial service for the back-ordering of domain names has dropped its lawsuit, but the service remains mired in legal disputes.

Fake tsunami appeal website terminated
A bogus website masquerading as that of the Disasters Emergency Committee has been taken down. The enforcement action follows warnings on 3 February that the site, decuk.org, which claimed to be collecting funds to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster was not to be trusted. More articles The Register | BBC

:How the U.S. Anticybersquatting Act May Adversely Affect Foreign Trademark Owners
Foreign trademark holders may be inadvertently compromised by the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”), which was passed to protect the rights of U.S. trademark holders. Thus, this may ultimately impact the business of U.S. domain name registries.

Whois Privacy vs. Anonymity
(on the elimination of private domain name registrations for .US domain names) The Internet is often a lawless place. Everyone knows that there are many tricks and traps lurking on the Internet, just waiting to prey on unsuspecting and innocent users. Some of these traps will trash your computer while others will turn your PC into a zombie that will broadcast messages at the virus writer’s command. …The list of annoyances and downright criminal activities seem endless. … To make the Internet a safer place both legislators and law enforcement are now focusing on the Internet. In the crossfire that’s taking place there are many ideas that are being offered up. Some of them are good and some are not. One bad decision that was recently forced upon the Internet community (without hearings — more on this later) was to eliminate private domain name registrations for .US domain names. …It’s important to understand the difference between privacy and anonymity.

Apple wins website secrets battle
A CALIFORNIA judge has ruled in favour of Apple Computer’s bid to find the source of trade secrets posted online, saying that websites were not protected by constitutional guarantees granted to journalists.

Google gets rights as Web site registrar
Google has become accredited to register and sell Web addresses under ICANN, the governing body of domain names.

Google’s domain move sends rivals searching for answers
After Google disclosed that it had been granted the right to sell domain names, the question in many minds was, “Why?”

Internet Pioneers Cerf and Kahn to Receive ACM Turing Award
The Association for Computing Machinery has named Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn the winners of the 2004 A.M. Turing Award, considered the “Nobel Prize of Computing,” for pioneering work on the design and implementation of the Internet’s basic communications protocols. More articles Zdnet | ICANN

Members Corner

AU

au: Merry chase but no need to Panix
Following the theft of the Panix.com domain name over the weekend of January 15-16, a prominent New York ISP discovered the true meaning of the World Wide Web when a hijacker absconded with its domain name this month.

au: Protect yourself against domain name theft
The domain name hijacking of panix.com highlights a weaknesses in the Internet’s registrar system and should serve as a warning to all companies. It could happen to anyone.

au: Domain that moved in the night
When Simon Bettison registered a domain with the registrar Dotster in April last year, he never thought that he would have to jump through hoops in the event that he decided to transfer it to another registrar. And he never guessed that the domain would silently slip from one registrar to another without his having to do a thing.

au: ICANN asked to probe all transfer problems
Melbourne IT says it hopes the ICANN will investigate all registrars who do not adhere to its domain transfer policy with the same zeal it has shown in investigating the hijacking of the domain of New York ISP, Panix. More articles Netcraft | ICANN

au: ICANN review blames Melb IT for hijack
ICANN has placed the blame for the domain hijacking of panix.com squarely on the shoulders of Melbourne IT.

au: Searcher twists name rules
WOULD-BE search king Ansearch has ruffled a few feathers among Australia’s top corporate brands by registering misspellings of well-known internet domain names in an attempt to drive traffic to the search engine.

au: Aust businesses embrace .au domains
The combined number of .com.au and .net.au domain names has reached the 500,000 mark, two and a half years after .au Domain Administration (auDA) took over management of the .au domain space. More articles SMH | Australian

com.au and net.au domain registrations exceed 500,000 (news release)
The combined number of .com.au and .net.au domain names reaching 500,000 confirmed the success of the .au regime and demonstrated Australian business’ unwavering enthusiasm for the Internet according to the CEO of auDA, Mr Chris Disspain.

Australian domain policy faces radical shakeup
auDA said last night it planned to sell off previously-prohibited geographically-based domain names in the .com.au and .net.au spaces in AU$500 bundles, as well as implementing a host of other significant changes.

au: Government calls domain tender
The federal government has released a tender for the provision of registration services for the gov.au domain.

.au domain prices drop as war begins
Australia domain prices have hit an all time low as domain registrars compete for a greater market share.

au: Aust domain administrator warns against .biz scam
auDA is warning Australian businesses to be wary of an organisation it believes is falsely positioning itself as the global domain name administrator. More articles: Australian | The Age (reg req’d)

auDA Consumer Alert – auDA warms Australian businesses to be wary of American domain name organisation

CN

.CN domain name registration fees drop

After last week’s Chinese Domain Name Registrar Conference held in Kunming by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), many domain sellers have dropped their prices for .CN domains by as much as 40%.

JP

jp: JPRS Makes JP Domain Name Management and Administration Compliant with the Personal Information Protection Act from April 1
On February 1, JPRS announced that it would reflect the requirements of the Personal Information Protection Act in the JP domain name management and administration services from April 1st of 2005.

KR
NU

.NU ccTLD implements EPP and reduces prices
.NU logo.NU ccTLD offers its registrars the new standard Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP). The implementation of this standard provides registrars the ability to use a single interface for all TLD registries and streamlines integration processes, thus reducing registrars’ costs. The Internet organization ICANN, which oversees the Internet’s domain name system, now requires all generic top domains, such as .COM, .NET, .ORG, to adapt to EPP. more

NZ

nz: Enum trial to link phone, internet addresses
Enum is about to arrive in New Zealand. more

nz: New 2LD proposal calls for submissions
A new second level domain, .parliament.nz, has been proposed to InternetNZ in order to provide some distance between parliamentarians and executive government.
(pdf version of application)
(text version of application)

nz: Consultation on establishing a dispute resolution process for the .nz domain name space
InternetNZ has previously set up a Working Group to look at dispute resolution processes for .nz domain names. After an evaluation of the options, including previous reports and consultation, the Working Group’s initial view (although not all members of the WG necessarily share this view) is that a dispute resolution process should be established for the .nz domain name space.

nz: 30,000 more .nz domains
The number of domain names registered in the .nz name space rose by more than 30,000 last year, the highest growth rate since 2000.

NZ company victor in domain dispute
New Zealand polling company DigiPoll has gained control of the domain name digipoll.com, more than three years after it was registered by someone else in the US. … DigiPoll had to prove three key elements to win: that the disputed domain name was “identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark”; Kumar had no legitimate interest in using the name; and the registration by Kumar had been in “bad faith”.

PH

ph: CICT chief wonders why Disini is after him
VIRGILIO Peña, chairman of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), wonders why Joel Disini, embattled administrator of the .ph Internet domain, is now after him.

Open letters to Chairman Virgilio Peña (referred to in the above story)
http://registrarnews.ph/dotphnews/archives/lesspolitics.pdf
http://registrarnews.ph/dotphnews/archives/whowillrun.pdf

ph: Embattled .ph administrator hits gov’t re-delegation process
Joel Disini has once more hit government’s plan to start the procedure of re-delegation of the “.ph”domain. more

ph: CICT initiates re-delegation of ‘.ph’ domain
THE COMMISSION on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) announced on Friday that it has initiated procedures of re-delegation of the “.ph” domain.

SG
VN

vn: Registering domain names remains a blurry issue
The legal confusion over intellectual property rights regarding Vietnamese domain names and websites might be solved with more centralised monitoring and regulation. The law on the “.vn” domains remains blurry and difficult to enforce.

vn: VeriSign Digital Branding Bulletin – March 05
The March edition includes a notice that the Public Sunrise for Vietnam (.VN) registrations is delayed until mid-April.