A couple of reports from the people behind .nz have shown the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on New Zealanders and their internet use in recent months. Statistics for .nz shows increased DNS activity, including a surge in registrations that has taken registrations to close to 715,000.
The integration and streamlining of the management of New Zealand’s country code top level domain continues with the announcement that New Zealand Registry Services merged with InternetNZ on 1 April.
Following a consultation with staff and stakeholders of the InternetNZ Group, including InternetNZ, NZRS and the Domain Name Commission, in 2017, it was decided to bring all of the InternetNZ Group under one management. In November it was announced that the existing InternetNZ Chief Executive would head the newly integrated organisation.
In January it was announced Brent Carey would be the incoming Domain Name Commissioner to lead the Domain Name Commission into a new phase after the Organisational Review of the InternetNZ group during 2017.
And the latest announcement saw Carter announce the merger of InternetNZ with NZRS, the registry and operator for .nz domain names.
“The integration of InternetNZ and NZRS is an important shift within the Internet space in New Zealand,” said Jordan Carter, InternetNZ Group Chief Executive. “The change to our structure is designed to slimline our governance and to be able to deliver more for the Internet and for New Zealanders. Our purpose is to support the benefits of the Internet for all New Zealanders. This change will help us further that goal and we’re excited about it.”
“NZRS has a proud record of innovation, service delivery and contributing to the Internet both here and globally, and that foundation is an essential part of the new InternetNZ we’re building this year.”
Carter says the team plans to build on the strengths InternetNZ have across the group, InternetNZ, NZRS and DNCL, to deliver more for the New Zealand Internet community and to face the inevitable challenges as the potential of the Internet grows.
“The work InternetNZ does is important, and as the Internet plays a bigger role in all our lives, our work will continue to reflect that. We speak on behalf of New Zealanders who use the Internet, and the services we offer are essential for Kiwis who want to make the most of a free and open Internet,” says Carter.
InternetNZ doesn’t just manage the .nz ccTLD. It also has a proud history of outspoken advocacy, a voice for the people and helping to implement policy. Since its inception, over the past 20 years InternetNZ has delivered outstanding service to the public through the management of the .nz domain, returned over $2m to the community through grants programmes, influenced a range of public and technical policy debates, and supported and hosted a wide range of community events.
It has also contributed on the regional and global stage, to the framework of a free and open Internet; developed innovative products such as the National Broadband Map, and maintains a leading technical research programme.
“I’m not taking these reigns lightly or on my own, we have strong foundations that we will continue to build on. That’s something the whole team is proud of, it’s why they turn up in the morning and continue to do the great work they do, often changing lives under the radar.
“This year, we will bring our organisations together and take a close look at our strategy. Our job is to serve our community and customers with leading technology, community support and fresh policy ideas. That will remain our focus,” Carter says.
The top level domain business continues to consolidate as registry operators look for partners to provide services rather than provide bespoke services every time. One of those registries that has recently been aggressive in seeking partners is CIRA, the registry operator for the Canadian ccTLD, who this week announced Uniregistry and SIDN have signed on to receive CIRAâs D-Zone DNS services for their TLDs.
Both partnerships were announced at the ICANN public meeting currently underway in Abu Dhabi and follows the announcement in February of two other joint ventures with the New Zealand and Portuguese ccTLD registries, InternetNZ and AssociaÃ§Ã£o DNS.PT, to deliver Anycast DNS services.
SIDN who manages the .nl country code top level domain (ccTLD) for the Netherlands, with more than 5.7 million domains under management, has itself been branching into other services. Speaking at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna earlier this year SIDNâs Michiel Henneke said the registry has been experimenting with opportunities in similar areas.
âDNS is required for e-billing so SIDN became a co-creator of a DNS billing service in the Netherlands, but there are few other markets that are as attractive when it comes to revenue as domain names and the e-billing service is just a small part of revenue. Weâve also taken over an e-identity company with 12 million users, so we believe this will be a significant contributor to future revenue.â
Uniregistry, the other partner, operates .ky, the Cayman Islands ccTLD, along with 25 new generic top level in domains (gTLDs) in the global marketplace, including .link, .game, .mom and .photo.
The CIRA D-Zone Anycast DNS that the registries have signed up to use is built for resilience with a strong footprint at each node across a global, well-peered network that is recognized as best-in-class by some of the most discriminating buyers in the industry.
CIRAâs solution started with the needs of the .CA TLD at its heart, and is now finding great partners around the world who are committed to building a better internet for their users.
Establishing one or more secondary DNS footprints is considered an internet infrastructure best-practice that can help to mitigate the risks posed by DDoS that increasingly focus on DNS providers, where they can do the most damage. The DNS is fundamental to ensuring that websites, email, and web applications remain online and optimized for performance.
The InternetNZ Council has released plans to merge the 3 bodies that manage different aspects of .NZ into one. The plans follow an organisational review of the InternetNZ group (InternetNZ, the Domain Name Commission and NZRS) initiated by the Council in late 2016.
The current structure was designed in 2002 and has not been reviewed since 2008. The scale and impact of the Internet on society over the past decade has been enormous and is evolving rapidly – making InternetNZ’s role as a voice for the local internet community even more important. The review sought to understand whether we are still best setup to deliver on our vision in this changing environment.
InternetNZ’s current organisational approach was developed from 2000 to 2002 to support responsibilities for running the .nz ccTLD. This saw the membership-based incorporated society setting up two focused centres of expertise and governance:
- a domain name policy function, to develop and enforce the .nz policy framework, authorise registrars, represent .nz internationally, provide a Dispute Resolution Service and assure the service quality of the .nz offering (now DNCL)
- a registry function, to develop and operate the Shared Registry System and the DNS infrastructure for .nz (NZRS).
InternetNZ is responsible for “the strategic direction and operationally deliver on the Objects of the Society.”
The consultation paper notes that the “evolution of the policy framework for .nz is largely complete, and no major policy issues are foreseen in the near future. DNCL has been considering how to best resource the current work programme which may result in a smaller organisation.”
The Council is now consulting on a proposed change to our organisational design which, if accepted, would see the three organisations merge to become one, governed by one Council. If the proposals are accepted, the size and composition of the Council will be reviewed in 2018 including whether to reduce the size and how to ensure the right skills are on board to support high quality governance.
If the proposed changes are accepted they would be implemented in 2 key phases:
- The first phase would be to establish a new Chief Executive position for the proposed consolidated organisation, employed by InternetNZ and appointed by the Council
- In the second phase, the person appointed to the proposed new Chief Executive position would be tasked with reviewing and proposing a structure for the organisation with little change below the Chief Executive level.
In this interim period, the current senior managers in InternetNZ, DNCL and NZRS would move to report to the new Chief Executive, with a small number of other minor changes to reporting lines in order to ensure the number of direct reports to the proposed new Chief Executive is manageable.
Employees, members and stakeholders are welcome to provide feedback on these proposals, with the consultation closing on 30 June.
The changes are in stark contrast to plans across the “ditch” for .au where auDA has announced they will be taking over running the registry, which has been run since 2002 by AusRegistry (now owned by Neustar) with the consultation to take place after the decision has been made.
The consultation paper is available to download here.
The Canadian ccTLD manager has announced two joint ventures this week with New Zealand and Portugal’s ccTLD registries to deliver Anycast DNS services.
The joint venture with New Zealand’s ccTLD augments .nz’s DNS infrastructure with a global network of nodes and peering to over 2,300 networks. As part of this deal, CIRA and NZRS will also be working together to build a new Pacific node for CIRA’s Anycast cloud.
“In selecting DNS hosting providers, NZRS looks for providers with deep DNS expertise who are committed to building a world class network and can provide a global reach for the .nz TLD,” said Jay Daley, CEO at NZRS Ltd. “In CIRA we see an organisation that not only amply demonstrated this but also shares our vision of building a better Internet.”
For the Portuguese ccTLD, CIRA’s D-Zone Anycast DNS instantly augments .pt’s DNS architecture, adding new global nodes and comprehensive global peering with over 2,300 networks.
CIRA’s D-Zone for TLDs service offers advanced query monitoring and reporting that enables ccTLDs to access packet capture (PCAP) data for expanded analysis and R&D projects.
D-Zone was built to sustain the performance and resiliency standards of the .CA domain name space, and as such is well-suited for modern ccTLD and gTLD businesses.
“The ccTLD community, and in particular .PT, is driven by a common objective of improving the global Internet and ensuring the safety and security of the global domain name system,” said Luisa Gueifão, Chair of the board of directors at Associação DNS.PT. “This partnership with CIRA give us an excellent tool to contribute to respond to new global cybersecurity threats, scaling our DNS architecture to meet the needs of a growing global domain name.”
These announcements follow news two weeks from DENIC the .de registry, that EURid was now its largest customer for the shared use of its global anycast mesh. DENIC now provides DNS slave services covering some 6.5m domains for seven TLD clients, in addition to running its own .de nameservice for more than 16.1m DUM, this way increasing its contribution for the security and stability of the Internet as a whole.
And they follow concerns by a number of ccTLD managers of where their next growth is to come from, a topic of discussion at the Domain Pulse conference in Vienna in February. Domain name registration growth has been fairly static for a few years now, as outlined in a CENTR report presented at the conference. So some country code top level domain registries are looking for new business opportunities outside their own market. SIDN, the .nl registry, has expanded by co-creating a DNS billing service in the Netherlands and taking over an e-identity company with 12 million users. Others, such as the Austrian ccTLD registry nic.at, have set up as new generic Top Level Domain registries
[news release] New Zealanders will be able to better secure their web presence from today, thanks to a major technical security deployment by InternetNZ subsidiaries .NZ Registry Services (NZRS) and the Domain Name Commission (DNCL).
Following more than two years of behind-the-scenes work, the DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions) protocol has been implemented across New Zealandâs un-moderated second level domain space, including the widely used .co.nz. The next few months will see DNSSEC progressively adopted across all moderated second level domains, including .govt.nz.
DNSSEC is a security protocol that sits atop the Domain Name System (DNS). Developed early in the history of the Internet, the DNS maps IP addresses to human readable domain names. However, the original security built into DNS was weak and hackers have developed ways to ‘spoof’ DNS data and redirect legitimate traffic. DNSSEC combats this vulnerability.
Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says now that DNSSEC has been deployed across the top level and open second level .nz domain space New Zealand website owners can make use of the protections it offers.
âDNSSEC is akin to a driver knowing that the road sign they are looking at is pointing them in the right direction and not leading them astray,â she says. âOnce website owners implement DNSSEC, visitors to their site can be guaranteed they are reaching a legitimate site. This will be highly attractive for banking institutions or other organisations or individuals wanting to transact securely with their customers.â
Monahan describes DNSSEC as a milestone in the security of New Zealandâs Domain Name System. It is one of the key building blocks to securing a web presence and an important tool in mitigating against malicious online activity involving domain names.
NZRS DNS Specialist Sebastian Castro designed and managed the implementation of DNSSEC in .nz. He says enabling DNSSEC is the first step to supporting a new set of security services and extensions such as DANE, that rely on the ability to securely authenticate and verify DNS data.
âWe are proud of the open process the Domain Name Commission and .nz Registry Services followed for this project, and recognise the important involvement of New Zealandâs technical community. This approach sets an example to other countries regarding technical policy development and innovation,â he says.
Already, over 50 countries have deployed DNSSEC and adoption is expected to rapidly pick up over the next few years, both in other country code domains and amongst infrastructure and service providers.
More information about DNSSEC in New Zealand is available at www.dnc.org.nz/dnssec. Included is key information on how people can set up DNSSEC on their .nz domain names.
This InternetNZ news release was sourced from: