Highly regarded auDA Chair from 2000 to 2015 Tony Staley passed away this week, aged 83. Staley came to prominence as a “hard man” in Australia’s conservative Liberal Party, and as Minister for Posts and Telecommunications in late 1977 until he left politics at the general election in 1980. He was also Federal President of the Liberal Party from 1993 until 1999.
auDA has released a Request for Tender (RFT) for a backend registry operator for the .au ccTLD and the 4.2 million domain names under management.
From none in February, second level, or direct, .au registrations have taken off, reaching 716,278 as of 31 December 2022, or 17.2% of all .au domain names. The figures were part of auDA’s latest Quarterly Report for the fourth quarter of 2022.
The long overdue launch of .au second level domains has been a success to date with over 700,000 registered as of the end of November 2022. And even retired Australian cricketers are getting in on the act. Listening to the ABC Radio cricket commentary today during coverage of the Australia v South Africa test match, former Australian players Shane Watson and Glenn McGrath were discussing Watson’s self-published book Winning the Inner Battle where Watson made reference to it only being available from shanewatson.au. Watson also has the .com.au domain, but it redirects to the .au.
Afilias made the jaw dropping announcement to registrars this week that the .au wholesale, or registry fee, is being reduced by a whopping A$0.05 or 0.63%.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) recently launched .auCheck to help internet users check their website, email and internet connections for use of the latest and most secure internet standards. It’s aimed at .au domain names but appears to be able to check domain names in any top-level domain. And the .au policy and regulatory body, auDA, and registry, Afilias, don’t come out well.
It’s not been a good week for auDA, the .au policy and regulatory body, and their backend registry provider Afilias. First on Tuesday there was a security incident that auDA claims saw “a small number of domains” disappear for half an hour. Then today with the launch of second level (or .au direct) registrations, there has been another stuff up that sees all new second level/direct registrations having to be manually entered after registration with no timeframe given for a resolution.
March 24 is a big day for .au domain names. It’s the day auDA is launching second level .au domain names. It comes on the back of a security outage that reportedly saw around 15,000 (out of 3.4 million) .au domain names out for 30 minutes on 22 March. But when it comes to second level domains, what’s the point? It comes on the back of me pondering various websites around the world setup to highlight issues with Russia’s current war against and invasion of Ukraine. Under .au until tomorrow I couldn’t set up a website using a .au domain name to serve as information, for example, unless I was part of an organisation that is an official business. That’s how ridiculous the previous eligibility requirements were for .au.
This week Australia’s Internet Governance Forum event, NetThing, is happening virtually with a host of discussions and presentations covering Australia’s critical infrastructure, internet standards, vaccine passports and digital rights, the internet as an essential service, tech and environmental sustainability, misinformation and disinformation, DNS abuse, trusted digital platforms, blockchain, protecting at risk voices, will technology save the planet, adult content online and mass surveillance and democracy. The theme for the 2021 NetThing Forum is “Building Bridges.”
The Estonian Internet Foundation, the .ee registry, Estonian Internet Foundation, has launched a simple three-in-one personal identification service.