Category Archives: Cybersecurity

ICANN Takes a Lick at Domain Tasting by Larry Seltzer

Opinion: Larry Seltzer writing his regular column in eWeek says, “Most people who hear about domain tasting are immediately horrified and ask why ‘they’ don’t stop it. But ICANN has more studying to do, and others find it in their own interest.”Larry describes domain tasting, and goes on to note that PIR “became concerned enough about tasting to ask ICANN for permission to charge a 5 cent excess deletion fee for registrars performing deletions in the AGP in excess of 90 percent of registrations.” The new PIR policy only went into action in June, so as Larry notes, it’s too early to see if it’s working or not.Larry has previously called for a “restocking fee for abusers”, however he’s been advised this isn’t possible under the current agreement with VeriSign. Larry begs to differ as he can’t find anything to rule it out. But Patrick Jones from ICANN disagrees.Larry’s article concludes, “The bottom line of my read on the subject is that it would be easy to do something about tasting if VeriSign were interested in doing so. Clearly it’s not. VeriSign obviously thinks that the cost to it of an enormous amount of adds and deletes in the registry is overwhelmed by the registry fees it gets.”If you’re interested in the domain tasting issue I recommend reading the report, but don’t get excited about the prompt action you’d expect it to trigger. That’s not the way ICANN works. After all, they’re the folks who created the mess that allowed domain tasting and ignored it for years. Already they’re spending inordinate amounts of time investigating things everyone knows to be true, effectively protecting the interests of people everyone knows are scammers.”For the full eWeek article, go to http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2167112,00.asp

Pharmacy.com for sale

It’s not often a premium domain name comes up for sale, but pharmacy.com is currently up for grabs, albeit for a little more than your daily lunch money! FairWinds partners is attempting to flog it off for over US$50 million!

If you’re interested, you’d better hurry, the deadline for notification to FairWinds of intent to bid is 7 September. The auction itself is on 30 September. Well, FairWinds say 31 September, but as the saying goes, “30 days has September, April, June and November…”

The news release announcing the sale is below:
FairWinds Partners, an Internet strategy consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C., has been hired as the exclusive broker for the sale of Pharmacy.com. FairWinds’ philosophy is to accept domain name placement projects exclusively when the name has substantial and clear commercial value. FairWinds uniquely assess qualitative and quantitative components of the name, raise awareness through consulting and advocacy, and then allow market forces to price the domain appropriately.

Industry experts’ and FairWinds’ valuations point to Pharmacy.com breaking the single sale record for online real estate. Other multimillion-dollar sales include Wine.com, Perfume.com, and Diamonds.com, but no names are nearly as applicable to commercial use as Pharmacy.com have ever come along. Business.com was recently acquired by R.H. Donnelly for a record $345 million, but with that investment came $15M EBITDA and a less intuitive Web address for “doing” business than Pharmacy.com.

Generic domain names enable market interaction through direct navigation, the practice where Internet users type the address of their anticipated destination directly into the browser’s address bar. These users convert to online sales at a rate of 2 to 1 opposed to search engine users, highlighting the value of simple and straightforward domain names. While not all generic domain names are as ideal for e-commerce storefronts, Internet users who type in Pharmacy.com do so looking to make a purchase.

“The owner of Pharmacy.com will have a competitive advantage to corner the online market for prescriptions, over the counter medications, personal care and hygiene products, and health and beauty products. The buyer may choose to focus on one or a combination of these markets,” said Josh Bourne, co-Founder of FairWinds Partners.

In 2007, the online retail world dealing in pharmaceuticals, health and beauty products stands to take in over $12 billion in sales. Because of its commercial relevance, Pharmacy.com is poised to become the industry leader or assist an established business with growing their online presence and market share.

“We opted to pursue a private sale for this high value asset. Pharmacy.com is not an auction item, but the foundation for a $1 billion dollar standalone business or driving similar new volume to an existing one. It will provide great leverage for the buyer, presumptively one of the largest online or traditional retailers in the United States,” stated Phil Lodico, co-Founder of FairWinds. “From Mark Cuban to Walgreen’s, over 100 potential buyers have been notified of the sale and how we are proceeding.”

FairWinds Partners, with an unconventional approach in a new age market, will help the future owner realize greater success online. According to Bourne, “in our domain placement practice, we view both the seller and buyer as a FairWinds client. Win-wins are crucial.”

See http://fairwindspartners.com/pharmacy.html for more information, including information on the timing of the sale and the news release.

Fellowships to Ensure Global Voices Heard at ICANN

Program builds on the successful pilot program run at San Juan meetingMore voices from across the globe will be heard at ICANN’s 30th International Public Meeting in Los Angeles later this year thanks to the global fellowships program being launched today.”ICANN has a global mandate and it’s important that we do what we can to support participation from every corner of the world. This program makes sure we have involvement from individuals from developing and least developed nations who otherwise may be unable to attend,” said Theresa Swinehart, ICANN’s Vice President, Global and Strategic Partnerships. “The pilot of the fellowship program at our San Juan meeting was a success and has helped us refine the program for the upcoming ICANN meeting in Los Angeles.”The 33 fellows from 24 countries who played an active role at the San Juan meeting were chosen from 125 applications received — and 65 per cent of the fellows and 68 per cent of applicants had never attended an ICANN meeting.Priority will be given to applicants who are current residents of developing and least developed nations who are interested in participating in ICANN and its supporting organizations, such as the Governmental Advisory Committee, the Country Code Names Supporting Organization, and the Generic Names Supporting Organization. The fellowship will assist in covering airfare, hotel and a stipend. Recipients will be expected to actively participate in and contribute to ICANN processes. As always, registration for ICANN’s meetings is free for anyone wanting to attend. The Los Angeles meeting will be held from 29 October to 2 November 2007.”ICANN is working on major efforts with internationalized domain names and new top-level domains — efforts that represent some of the biggest changes to the Internet since it was invented,” Swinehart added. “ICANN wants as much input and global engagement as possible on issues like IDNs and top-level domains — and the fellowship program has a key role in helping us accomplish that goal.”Applications will be accepted from now until 1200 PDT (UTC -7) on Friday 24 August 2007.See http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-02aug07.htm for more information.

New Monthly Magazine Provides the Inside Scoop on ICANN

All the latest news and developments in your inboxICANN launched a new magazine that will provide all the latest news and developments within the organization to online subscribers.Produced monthly, each issue will review recent developments in policy topics, provide details of recent Board meetings, the latest news from around the world, and other developments within the organization, complete with links to further resources.”We want people to understand what issues are pending before ICANN, how interested stakeholders can contribute and when decisions will be made. This magazine will help that understanding” said Paul Levins, ICANN’s Executive Officer and Vice-President Corporate Affairs . “This is the latest in series of improvements to accountability and transparency at ICANN. Some of these changes include improved Board reporting, a blog, an annual report, an improved website, a public participation site and extensive consultation on our budget and strategic and operating plans.” Levins saidThe magazine will also feature interviews. This first edition includes interviews with ICANN President and CEO Dr Paul Twomey and ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee chair Janis Karklins, There are also stories about online developments and details of how to participate in ICANN’s processes.It is written in an informal style to interest people who are new to ICANN but should also prove informative and interesting to those with greater experience and knowledge of the organization.The magazine has its own page on the ICANN website at http://icann.org/magazine where you can sign up to automatically receive each issue direct to your inbox. The page will also feature the most recent issue and an archive of previous issues.ICANN welcomes feedback on the magazine. Please send any comments to our general manager of public participation, Kieren McCarthy, at kieren.mccarthy@icann.org.
http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-03aug07.htm

IP address shortage to limit Internet access

The seemingly boundless Internet is running out of a key resource: new IP addresses. The evaporating supply of new addresses – which some estimates say could dry up in about three years – could drive up the price of Internet access as well as disrupt the growth and performance of the network, warn some experts. Worried that opportunists will hoard addresses to speculatively sell them, the organization responsible for handing out addresses in North America announced that it would try to regulate the emerging trade.

This Christian Science Monitor article addresses the looming shortage of IPv4 addresses, the subject of the ARIN statement and media release below as well as an article by Patrik Fältström.

ARIN Confirms IP Address Distribution Practices; Policies Do Not Encourage Profit-driven Speculation [news release]
The American Registry for Internet Numbers Board of Trustees released a statement today that assures ARIN will continue to facilitate the policy development process that defines how Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are distributed in its region, and also reaffirms that ARIN’s policies do not encourage profit-driven speculation in IP addresses.
http://arin.net/media/releases/200701August_Release.pdf

Statement of ARIN’s Board of Trustees regarding future Internet address policy in the ARIN region
The global Internet requires numeric addresses for the routing of communications traffic. These addresses are necessarily finite in nature and have been defined in two groups. One group, called “Internet Protocol version 4,” or IPv4, was defined in 1979 as a pool of approximately 4,300,000,000 addresses. In anticipation of the Internet growing larger than can be accommodated by the IPv4 pool, a second group, called “Internet Protocol version 6,” or IPv6, was defined in 1995 as a pool of approximately 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 addresses, an address space billions upon billions of times larger.
http://arin.net/media/200701August_Statement.pdf

ARIN Statement on the Future of Addressing Policy by Patrik Fältström
ARIN has just released a statement on the future of addressing policy. Specifically addressing the future of IPv4 addressing. What ARIN does is to emphasize the current policies and say they will be enforced even stronger than today if needed. I.e. there is no announcement of a change in policy.
http://www.circleid.com/posts/arin_statement_addressing_policy/

auDA interim policy on use of wildcard DNS records

auDA has published an Interim Policy on Use of Wildcard DNS Records in .au. The interim policy is based on the findings and recommendations of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (ICANN SSAC), contained in its report “Redirection in the Com and Net Domains”, 9 July 2004. The interim policy will apply pending advice to the auDA Board from the auDA Stability and Security Advisory Committee (auDA SSAC).
For more information and links, see http://auda.org.au/news.php?newsid=379

Berlin senate will not support the Berlin domain .berlin

The Berlin senate will not support the TLD .berlin, which is being promoted and planned by the company dotBerlin GmBH. The new TLD is designed to provide a home for Berlin-based companies, associations and citizens of the metropolis. “With the new namespace .berlin we’ll create a regional identity for the Berlin community,” the initiators of the campaign write in English on their homepage. The Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit (Social Democratic Party; SPD) fears that this might lead to an undue blurring of the public and private realms. In his response to a parliamentary question by the parliamentary group of the opposition Free Democratic Party he is, according to the German news agency dpa, said to have stated that the senate did not intend to promote competition to berlin.de, which the senate supports.

The full article in Heise is available here – http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/93776

CIRA Launches Search for New CEO

CIRA logoThe Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has announced that founding CEO Bernard Turcotte will leave CIRA later this year and that CIRA is launching a nation-wide search for the best candidate to succeed him.

CIRA’s news release goes on to say:
“We wish to thank Bernard for his tremendous contribution to CIRA’s growth and development since 2001”, said Debi Rosati, Chair of CIRA’s Board of Directors. “He has served the Canadian Internet community and overseen the development of our organization from its beginnings into one of the world’s best-run ccTLDs, with over 850,000 dot-ca domain name registrations, supported by a great team of dedicated professionals.”

“CIRA has been a tremendous experience for me and it has been a pleasure to work with the exceptional team which has come together over the last few years,” said Mr. Turcotte, whose experience also includes ground-breaking contributions at CANARIE, CRIM, RISQ and CDNCC, all key players in Canada’s successful Internet adoption. “There comes a time when it is right to move on to the next great challenge. It has been truly rewarding to participate first-hand, and to witness the impact CIRA has made nationally and internationally to ensure that all Canadians have and continue to benefit fully from dot-ca Internet domain name registrations.”

“All of us who use the Canadian Internet every day owe Bernard a debt of gratitude,” said Ms. Rosati.

To see the news release on CIRA’s website, or for more information on CIRA, see: http://cira.ca/

.SE launches domain names in Swedish minority languages

.SE (the Internet Infrastructure Foundation) has made available the possibility to register domain names in all the official minority languages, as stated by Swedish law. In addition to the minority languages Finnish, Meänkieli, Sami, Romani and Yiddish, it will be possible to use the special characters of all the other Nordic countries, i.e. Danish, Norwegian, Faroe and Icelandic, in .se domains. The sunrise period for the new IDN (Internationalised Domain Names) starts July 4, 2007.
For more information see the .SE news release at http://iis.se/english/nyheter/news/2007-05-14?lang=en