Tag Archives: auDA

Public Consultation Opens .AU Registration Policies Review

Registration policies for .AU domain names are currently being reviewed by the 2010 Names Policy Panel as part of the regular consultation process that takes place with the Australian community.

Some of the key issues discussed by the panel and raised in the discussion paper include should:

  • the restriction on registrants being Australian remain in place
  • the fixed 2 year domain name licence period be changed
  • single character domain names (a-z, 0-9) be introduced
  • leasing of domain names be permitted
  • registrations be allowed at the second level, i.e. name.au
  • who is eligible to register a .AU domain name change
  • what type of second level domain name (e.g. COM.AU, ASN.AU, ORG.AU, NET.AU) registrants are eligible to register be changed
  • individuals be eligible to register domain name relating to personal interests (currently this is not allowed)
  • the Reserved List that includes a number of brand names be continued or changed
  • changes be made to the Domain Monetisation policy.

As a result of the consultation process, the panel will make recommendations to the auDA board on changes, if any, that they believe should be made to .AU registration policies.

AuDA has released an issues paper canvassing the issues involved with public comments due by 21 January 2011. Comments can be made by email or fax and there is also an online survey available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/2010namespolicysurvey covering the questions raised in the issues paper.

The 2010 Names Policy Panel was appointed by auDA in August 2010 to:

  • review the policy framework underlying the allocation and use of domain names in the .au domain space
  • provide recommendations to the auDA board about what changes (if any) should be made to the policy framework.

To read the discussion paper [PDF], see www.auda.org.au/document.php?documentid=1238

For further information, see www.auda.org.au/2010npp/2010npp-index/

Disclaimer: the author of this article is a member of the auDA 2010 Names Policy Panel

AuDA CEO Nominated to ICANN Board

The CEO of auDA, Chris Disspain, has been nominated as the ccNSO Council nominee to the ICANN Board. With no other candidates his approval was approved and his nomination will be formalised on 19 October at the ccNSO Councul meeting.

Disspain has been CEO of auDA (.AU Domain Administration), the policy and regulatory body for .AU, for around ten years and has been an active participant in ccNSO and wider ICANN activities for much of that time.

His nomination came from Keith Davidson, the former Executive Director of InternetNZ, manager of .NZ, and was seconded by a number of registry representatives.

“InternetNZ has a strong appreciation for Mr Disspain’s leadership of the ccNSO since its inception, and believes he has the necessary skills and understanding of the ICANN model and processes to make a valuable and solid contribution to the ICANN Board,” said Keith Davidson, External Relations Director for InternetNZ.

The ccNSO has two representatives on the Board.

More information on the process and nomination is available from ccnso.icann.org/announcements/announcement-11oct10-en.htm.

AuDA Reviews .AU WHOIS and Registrant Contact Policies

AuDA, the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .AU domain space, has announced it is conducting a review of its WHOIS policy and its Registrant Contact Information Policy.

Closing date for comments by interested parties on the policy review is 15 October.

More information and links to the existing policies is available from www.auda.org.au/news-archive/auda-17092010.

.AU/.NZ and .INFO Best Practice Awards Open

The registries for .AU (Australia) and .NZ (New Zealand), auDA and InternetNZ, have announced their Best Practice Awards for 2010 while .INFO registry Afilias has opened its fourth annual .INFO Awards programme.

The 2010 Australia and New Zealand Internet Best Practice Awards recognise organisations, businesses, groups and individuals that have made significant contributions towards the security openness, diversity and accessibility of the internet.

The awards are based on the four main themes of the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum (IGF) with this year’s categories being:

  • Best Security Initiative – Initiatives that are at the forefront of developing solutions to security threats, building trust and confidence in the online environment
  • Best Openness Initiative – Initiatives that enable Internet users to benefit from increased access to online materials, knowledge or information
  • Best Access Initiative – Initiatives that aim to combat the digital divide, facilitating access for groups such as the elderly, disabled or socially disadvantaged
  • Best Diversity Initiative – Initiatives that encourage expressions of cultural diversity and identity, including the promotion of multilingualism and indigenous cultures online
  • Best Youth Initiative – A project led by an Australian or New Zealander who is under the age of 28 on 20 August 2010 and is eligible for entry under the four main categories.

Winners may also be showcased at Regional and International Internet Governance Forums as examples of Australian and New Zealand best practice.

The .INFO awards are into their fourth year and recognise the best .INFO websites around the world. From August 9th to September 10th any .INFO domain owner may submit their website to the .INFO Awards for a chance to win honours as the “Best .INFO website of 2010.”

“.INFO is an intuitive domain name choice for anyone looking to share their information with the world,” said Roland LaPlante, Chief Marketing Officer for Afilias. “.INFO has been the most successful new TLD ever launched, as evidenced by the millions of sites now operating worldwide. The .INFO Awards program not only gives us the opportunity to highlight the best .INFO sites from around the world, but also to allow Internet users to voice their support for their favourite ones.”

The winners of the 2010 .INFO Awards will be awarded the following cash prizes:

  • 1st Prize: US$7500
  • 2nd Prize: US$5000
  • 3rd Prize: US$3000.

For information on how to enter the 2010 Australia and New Zealand Internet Best Practice Award, terms and conditions and details of previous winners see bestpracticeawards.org.au. Entries for the Awards close on 30 August 2010.

Information on the .INFO Awards is available at info-award.info.

.AU To Get More Secure with DNSSEC

AuDA (.au Domain Administration) has announced the launch of a phased plan for the deployment of Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) in the .AU domain.

The plan, developed in conjunction with the .AU registry operator, AusRegistry, outlines a five-stage process to introduce DNSSEC into .AU and its second-level zones (com.au, net.au etc).

“When the Internet was first developed, it was designed to be massively scalable, not inherently secure” said auDA’s CEO, Chris Disspain. “DNSSEC can provide an extra level of security to help ensure that Australian Internet users will be directed to the website or service they expect when they enter a domain name into their browser.”

“Once the .AU zone and its second level zone are signed, it will be up to ISPs, registrars and corporate entities with a significant web presence to extend the reach of DNSSEC to the end user” said Disspain.

“Given there are no immediate commercial incentives for them to do so, auDA believes that the Australian Government will play an important role in helping to deliver the message about the importance of DNSSEC for the security of Australia’s internet infrastructure.”

The implementation plan, scheduled to commence in September, allows for:

  • experimentation and testing of core systems
  • the gradual “signing” of second level .au domains and the .au TLD
  • a trial implementation for .AU domain registrants
  • full production rollout to registrants.

At the end of each stage, a review will be undertaken by auDA’s independent Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), chaired by Professor Bill Caelli from the Queensland University of Technology.

DNSSEC is a security extension that facilitates the digital signing of internet communications, helping to ensure the integrity and authenticity of transmitted data. Once fully implemented, DNSSEC offers additional protection against a range of vulnerabilities such as cache-poisoning, man-in-the-middle attacks and the Kaminsky exploit.

Given DNSSEC operates via a chain-of-trust, it will be most effective once every element between the Internet’s core infrastructure and the end user is DNSSEC-enabled. Accordingly, the fifth stage of the implementation plan will be the active encouragement of Australian ISPs and domain name registrants to adopt DNSSEC.

Asia Registry logoTo register your .AU domain name, check out Asia Registry here.

Australian Registrar Bottle Domains Termination By auDA Confirmed By Court

auDA, the.AU policy and regulatory body, has terminated the registrar accreditation of Australian Style Pty Ltd, who trades as Bottle Domains, following a the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria dismissing Bottle Domains’ appeal in proceedings against auDA on 23 July 2010.The termination came about following a serious breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement by Bottle Domains.In February 2009, auDA was notified by the Australian Federal Police that there had been a security incident which affected customers of Bottle Domains. Refer to auDA Announcement 10/02/09.auDA subsequently discovered that Bottle Domains was the subject of an earlier security incident in April 2007, which auDA believes may have caused or contributed to the security incident in February 2009.Bottle Domains failed to notify auDA at the time of the April 2007 security incident, which was a breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement. Bottle Domains also failed to take appropriate remedial security action and alert customers of the incident.These failures led to auDA’s decision to terminate Bottle Domains’ registrar accreditation on 15 April 2009, however the termination had been suspended pending the conclusion of legal proceedings.Following Friday’s decision in its favour, auDA has today re-initiated the termination process. Approximately 8,900 domain names registered by Bottle Domains have been transferred to auDA, and the registrants of these names will be sent instructions on how to transfer to another auDA accredited registrar.”The domain names of Bottle Domains’ customers are NOT at risk. auDA is in the process of contacting all those whose domain name is registered through Bottle Domains to provide them with all the information they need” said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain.In its decision, the Court of Appeal recognised the importance of the system governing domain name allocation and use in Australia and that “protecting the system against unauthorised entry is therefore of paramount concern”.The Court also endorsed the actions of auDA, and its CEO, Chris Disspain: “Given the importance of the .au domain name system as a public resource to be administered in the public interest, it is in my opinion appropriate that this Court say clearly that it endorses the approach taken by Mr Disspain.”In his judgement, Justice Harper also said Bottle Domains “sought to persuade the trial judge that what on careful examination was clearly one thing, was actually another. His Honour was not persuaded.”However despite the damning judgement, Bottle Domains is claiming there are no problems anymore and the company sought to have their registrar accreditation reinstated in a statement they issued late Friday according to IT News.A spokesman claimed the company was “now operating at or above industry standards for internet security following a series of system improvements in line with auDA requirements,” reported IT News.”We have complied with auDA’s requirements and remedied all of the problems that had concerned the authority,” the spokesman said.He also claimed auDA-appointed security auditors had reviewed Bottle Domains’ security environment and “had been satisfied with their findings.””Given [our] commitment to the highest possible security standards, [we call] on auDA to now remove any doubt about the future of the registrar agreement which allows Bottle Domains to operate,” the spokesman said.The full court decision is available from:

AuDA Releases Report on Draft .AU 2LD Recommendations

AuDA, the .AU policy and regulatory body, has released draft recommendations on the introduction of new, and reactivation of dormant, second level domains following a consultation period with interested parties in recent months.The proposals were put forward in a report by a second level domain advisory panel that looked at possible new and proposals for existing but unused second level domains, the latter including the future uses of conf.au and info.au.In the report, the Panel suggests that current policies relating to creation of new 2LDs are broadly supported, but will recommend a small change which relieves the proponent of a new 2LD of the entire responsibility for developing a business case for it.On the second issue, the Panel has found that there is inadequate support for the creation of blog.au or event.au, or for the reactivation of info.au. The Panel also found that there is no evidence of general user demand for the reactivation of conf.au or info.au, although there is a case for grandfathering (ie. continuing) linux.conf.au, the sole but strongly-supported example of a long-standing use of the second level domain.The draft recommendations followed an issues paper that was issued in April 2010.The closing date for comment and submissions on the draft recommendations is Friday 23 July 2010.For further information, see www.auda.org.au/new2ldsap/new2ldsap-index/

New 2LDs Considered for .AU

AuDA, the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .AU domain space, is currently considering whether to create new second level domains (2LDs) in the .AU domain space.AuDA’s New 2LDs Advisory Panel, chaired by Derek Whitehead of Swinburne University, has released a discussion paper inviting public comments on two matters:

  • new 2LDs in general
  • specific suggestions for creating new 2LDs or changing existing 2LDs.

The Panel’s job is to evaluate proposals for two little-used existing 2LDs (info.au and conf.au) and also proposals for two suggested new 2LDs (blog.au and event.au).”The Panel’s focus is on whether the creation of a new 2LD is in the public interest,” said Derek Whitehead. “The Panel is very keen to know what people think about new 2LDs and whether they would improve the Australian domain name system.””We encourage all Australians to contribute to the future development of their own domain space.”It should be noted that the proposals do not include opening up .AU to non-Australian registrants.The Panel’s discussion paper is available on auDA’s website at www.auda.org.au/new2ldsap/new2ldsap-index. The closing date for comments is 23 May 2010.Following submissions, the panel will make draft recommendations to the auDA board as to whether there should be new 2LDs or changes to existing 2LDs.

Australian registrar Safenames breaches auDA Registrar Agreement

auDA, the policy authority and industry self-regulatory body for the .AU domain space, has found that the accredited registrar Safenames has breached the Registrar Agreement by:

  • using its related entity (SafeAgent Ltd) to register domain names on behalf of foreign entities that would not otherwise be eligible to register .au domain names; and
  • using its related entities to register domain names for purposes other than the provision of registrar services, in breach of clause 14.2.3 of the Registrar Agreement – refer to auDA’s Clarification of Permissible Own Use by Registrars (2008-11).

AuDA have noted that despite being given ample opportunity to do so, Safenames has failed to take action to remedy its breaches of the Registrar Agreement. Consequently, auDA has taken the following actions:

  • the domain names in question have been deleted; and
  • auDA will continue to monitor all domain name registrations effected by Safenames, and will immediately delete any registration that does not comply with auDA policy requirements, until such time as we are satisfied that Safenames is capable of complying with its obligations under the Registrar Agreement.

The above information was sourced from the auDA announcement at:

Registrar Secures Victory Against auDA

Brisbane, Australia

26 March 2009


Domain Directors, an auDA and ICANN accredited registrar, had an impressive victory over auDA, the regulator for the “.au” domain space, in the Supreme Court of Queensland on Friday 20 March 2009.  auDA had given an undertaking to reinstate a domain name that it had unilaterally deleted, and the Court ruled that auDA had to pay a significant part of Domain Directors legal costs as a result of auDA’s actions.

In November 2008, auDA deleted one of Domain Directors’ long standing domain names, auregistry.com.au, without informing Domain Directors.  Domain Directors has owned and used the auregistry.com.au domain name for over eight years.

Once Domain Directors discovered that the domain name had been deleted, by being placed on the “pending delete list”, Domain Director’s solicitors, Mallesons Stephen Jaques, tried to negotiate with auDA to have the domain name re-instated.

After days of correspondence and repeated requests to have to domain name re-instated, Domain Directors was forced to file proceedings in the Queensland Supreme Court just 3 business days before the domain name was due to be permanently deleted.

Justice Dutney, of the Queensland Supreme Court, ruled that Domain Directors had no choice but to initiate legal proceedings to protect their interest in the domain name.  Justice Dutney stated that auDA did not do anything to indicate that litigation was not necessary.  Instead, auDA’s actions indicated that the only way Domain Directors was going to get its domain name back was by taking legal action.

As a result of auDA’s behaviour, Justice Dutney ruled that auDA had to pay Domain Directors’ legal costs associated with filing the application in the Supreme Court of Queensland and the initial hearing of the application.

Domain Directors’ CEO, Tony Lentino commented:  “The evidence presented to Justice Dutney showed that Chris Disspain, the CEO of auDA, took a personal interest in this matter.  AusRegistry had made a complaint to auDA earlier in the year about this domain name, that was dismissed by auDA’s policy compliance officer.  Mr Disspain then took it upon himself to unilaterally cancel our domain name, despite the auDA policy compliance officer disagreeing with his actions.”

Mr Tony Lentino said: “By pursuing auDA in the Court, auDA  backed down.  We got our domain name back, a Court order stating that they have to pay a significant part of our legal costs and we showed them that if they act improperly again, they will have to explain their actions to the Court.  auDA is not above the law.  This is a significant victory not just for Domain Directors but for all Internet registrars and their customers.”

About Domain Directors

Domain Directors is an international registrar and provides an extensive range of over 200 country code Top Level Domain name extensions across Europe, America, and the Asia Pacific regions.

Domain Directors is a global supplier in the Domain Name and ENUM industry, with its head office in Melbourne, and offices in New Zealand and China.

For more information about Domain Directors, and its associated company, Instra Corporation, please visit http://www.instra.com

For Media Enquiries, please contact: media@instra.com