Tag Archives: New Zealand

SIDN Signs Up For nic.at Anycast Network RcodeZero In More Industry Consolidation

The Dutch and Austrian ccTLD managers, SIDN and nic.at, have signed a cooperation agreement under which all domains managed by SIDN will additionally be hosted on the nic.at anycast network RcodeZero DNS. The agreement was announced by SIDN’s CEO Roelof Meijer and nic.at CEO Richard Wein on the sidelines of the ICANN meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“We are very happy and proud to offer our technical services to the third largest European ccTLD,” says Richard Wein, CEO of nic.at. The agreement covers the almost 6 million domains registered under .nl, .amsterdam, .aw and .politie and sees SIDN becoming the biggest customer of the RcodeZero TLD DNS network. A network which already hosts twelve different TLDs at thirteen highly available redundant locations all over the world.

Roelof Meijer, SIDN’s CEO, explains the reasons why they decided for RcodeZero DNS: “First of all, it was important for us to have a partner under EU jurisdiction and data protection law. Secondly, we were impressed by nic.at’s technical know-how and flexibility, as well as their readiness to develop their product further based on our needs.” In recent years, SIDN has constantly been improving and optimising its DNS infrastructure with anycast partners to guarantee the best possible availability of .nl domains.

RcodeZero DNS will soon be expanded with additional nodes in Australia and South America to provide better performance and lower latency for customers in those areas, too. However, RcodeZero DNS, had other attractions for a technician, as confirmed by Marc Groeneweg, Coordinator of DNS Ops Team at SIDN: “It’s important for us to have comprehensive statistics and real-time DNS traffic information to further analyse our infrastructure, as a basis for continued improvement of our infrastructure.“

The technical work of integrating all Dutch domains into the network has just been completed and the set-up is now ready for public production.

The agreement is a sign of further consolidation and expansion within the top level domain registry industry, using their experiences in areas such as security among others. In the security area, a big issue for business worldwide, the domain name business is one of the leading providers of online security solutions. Some registries, such as nic.at and SWITCH, the Swiss registry operator, also run CERTs.

Others, such as CIRA, the Canadian ccTLD manager, has been active in recent months signing agreements with Uniregistry, DNS.PT (Portugal’s .pt) and InternetNZ (New Zealand’s .nz) to provide global domain name system services. SIDN itself has acquired a controlling stake in Connectis, one of the Netherlands' leading suppliers of secure log-in solutions and redesigned SPIN, their open-source system for protecting the internet and end-users against insecure IoT devices in home networks. And DENIC, the German (.de) ccTLD manager, has been approved as an authorised New gTLD Data Escrow Agent to offer both to ICANN-accredited registrars and registries an escrow service which fully complies with the European legal framework.

Ex-Pat Kiwi Comes Home to Head NZ’s Domain Name Commission

NZ Domain Name Commission logoBrent Carey has come home and will be heading New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission, according to an announcement from the Chair and Board of the Domain Name Commission. Carey will take the DNC into a new phase after the Organisational Review of the InternetNZ group during 2017.

“Brent left the Office of the Australian Telecommunications Ombudsman to join the DNCL in July 2017 as the Chief Operations and Policy Officer after an international recruitment process. We are pleased to have found someone with extensive compliance, commercial and stakeholder skills in Brent”, says David Farrar, Chair of the DNCL Board

Brent Carey has over 18 years’ experience in customer service, regulatory, compliance and integrity roles throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Brent has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington and a graduate diploma in Dispute Resolution (Industry) from BoxHill Institute, Australia. He is a life member of the Australian Privacy Foundation, a past board member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals Australia/New Zealand and a member of Veski Connection a leading group of scientists and business leaders committed to supporting the State of Victoria’s science and innovation communities.

Brent is excited to bring his experience in innovation to the .nz space. He is a Director of Taranaki based online butchery startup Green Meadows Beef Ltd and has been a past chairman of a not-for-profit organisation, Rainbow Youth NZ.

“This is an exciting time for the .nz space. I am looking forward in the first few months in the role to tell our story better, work with our data and to involve all of .nz’s stakeholders to ensure we work together for the future of New Zealand’s internet communities.” Says Brent Carey.

Mr Carey will act in the role from 15 January before his formal appointment in the middle of March 2018.

Streamlined InternetNZ Group Appoints Jordan Carter as CEO

A review of the InternetNZ Group, which includes InternetNZ, NZRS and the Domain Name Commission, and who manages all aspects of New Zealand’s ccTLD .nz, has led to the organisation being streamlined under one “roof” with one Chief Executive. One of the first changes to come out of the review is the announcement today of the appointment of existing InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter to lead the newly integrated organisation.

The organisational review was announced in late 2016 and in October a report was released announcing changes that would:

  • Bring New Zealand Registry Service’s functions, people and assets into InternetNZ.
  • Keep the Domain Name Commission as a separate company, with a focus on the regulatory and enforcement aspects of .nz policy and contracts. DNCL will be governed by a smaller board, chaired by the new Chief Executive.
  • See InternetNZ’s role in .nz expanding to include responsibility for the .nz policy framework and its evolution and development over time.
  • See proposals to reduce the number of elected members of the InternetNZ Council from twelve to nine, along with a new ability to appoint two additional Councillors to balance skills and experience.
  • Have one Chief Executive to lead the new InternetNZ recruited through an open recruitment process.
  • Maintain the scope of the whole group’s work – a change to how InternetNZ is organised, not what they do.

Today’s announcement notes that Carter has been Chief Executive of InternetNZ since 2013 and will commence the new Group Chief Executive Officer role on 15 January 2018. Prior to this Carter has worked in a range of internet policy roles. Of particular interest to Carter, says the InternetNZ announcement, is the role of the internet in New Zealand’s economic development, and global internet policy making systems. He holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from Victoria University of Wellington.

“Jordan was chosen for this critical new role due to his ability to distil complex ideas so that anyone can understand what is important and what should be done,” Jamie Baddeley, President of InternetNZ. “He will build on the strengths we have across the group, to deliver more for the New Zealand Internet community and to face the inevitable challenges the Internet faces. He is a leader who brings people together to get things done, and that collaborative approach is important to us and our community.”

“Council is looking forward to Jordan successfully bringing the organisation closer together and realising the untapped synergies and areas of specialism that exist within the high performing staff of InternetNZ and NZRS, and building a stronger collaborative working relationship with an independent Domain Name Commission.”

“As a result of that Council is expecting the organisation as a whole to be more effective in delivering on the objectives of the incorporated society and expects no compromises on the delivery of the .NZ domain name system. Carter has outlined a plan which will see InternetNZ even more in touch with the needs of the local internet community and making sure what we do aligns with that.”

Jamie Baddeley said that he was pleased with the process the organisation followed to get to this point and Council is very happy with the plan that was agreed following an inclusive and open process with staff and stakeholders. He added that Council is looking forward to Jordan Carter delivering bigger and better outcomes in a more integrated operating environment and wishes Jordan every success.

“I am delighted to have the chance to serve InternetNZ in this role,” said Jordan Carter. “Bringing InternetNZ and NZRS together and implementing the changes set out in the Organisational Review is a significant challenge. I’ll be talking with staff and stakeholders informally over the next few weeks and look forward to setting out my plans in the New Year.”

“The work InternetNZ does for New Zealand is very important, and as the Internet plays a bigger role in all our lives, that won’t change. Our voice is an important one and the services we offer are important for Kiwis who want to make the most of a free and open Internet.”

Details regarding the organisational review and decision can be found here:

Registry Consolidation Continues as SIDN and Uniregistry Choose CIRA to Enhance DNS Security and Performance

Canadian Internet Registration Authority CIRA logoThe 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 CIRA’s 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 Associação 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 SIDN’s Michiel Henneke said the registry has been experimenting with opportunities in similar areas.

“DNS 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. We’ve also taken over an e-identity company with 12 million users, so we believe this will be a significant contributor to future revenue.”

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.

CIRA’s 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.

.NZ Shows How to Consult Over Plans to Merge 3-into-One

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.

Personal .NZ Registrations To Get Whois Privacy

Individual registrants who register their .nz domain names for personal use will be able to withhold their phone number and contact address from publicly appearing in domain registrant searches from 28 November.

The change to the public registrant details has come about after the Domain Name Commission completed a review of the Whois domain registrant search. After five rounds of consultation and 133 submissions from individuals and organisations, their input led to the development of this policy to become a major change in the .nz space.

The option to withhold contact information will be available from the 28 November 2017 with all .nz registrars having to offer the service from 28 March 2018. This timeline allows the registry and registrars to make any changes required in their systems.

The Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan is pleased with the robust discussion around this privacy measure and encourages individual registrants to think about using this option if they feel it's best for them.


.NZ Works To Resolve “Conflicted” Domains

The .NZ Domain Name Commissioner has issued proposed changes to enable the resolution of “conflicted” domain names following the release of second level domains. The changes aren’t changes to the process, which currently has no time limits, but rather one of engagement and requiring action to resolve the conflict.

The problem has arisen where registrants of domains for the New Zealand country code top level domain (ccTLD) such as anyname.co.nz, anyname.net.nz and anyname.org.nz all have rights to the second level domain, anyname.nz, and they cannot reach agreement about who can register anyname.nz.

At the time of the release of second level registrations on 30 September 2014, it was documented in the policy that the process for considering registrations of conflicted names would be reviewed two years after that date. The DNC have now done that review and identified some proposed changes.

Currently there are 2 ways to resolve conflicts – either an agreement is reached between the parties that have currently registered the conflicted domains or for all but one of the conflicted names to be cancelled and released, leaving only one remaining.

When second level registrations were launched there were 36,771 conflicted domains but only 5,903 have done anything to resolve the problem. The proposed changes gives registrants of conflicted domains 12 months to resolve the problem.

In the case of a conflict set involving 2 domain names, the failure of one registrant to lodge a preference would mean the conflict was resolved in the favour of the registrant who had lodged a preference, assuming the preference they lodged was to try and get the shorter version of their name (currently 91.8% of preferences lodged are for this). Where no preferences are lodged in a conflict set, the conflict would automatically be resolved with the name becoming available for registration on a first come, first served basis.

For more information on the proposed changes, see the .NZ Domain Name Commissioner announcement here.

CIRA Announces New Ventures With .NZ And .PT To Deliver Anycast DNS Services As ccTLD Registries Look For New Opportunities

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

.KIWI Gives 200,000 Domains To Umbrellar In Bid To Prevent Cybersquatting

A joint venture between New Zealand’s largest domain name and web hosting company Umbrellar and the Dot Kiwi registry will see 200,000 domains put on hold for a year, protecting them from abuse, and giving their potential registrants time to develop their domain strategy. And for .kiwi, to register their domain.

dotKiwi logoThe plan is to help thwart potential phishing attacks and unwanted cyber-squatting in the new generic Top Level Domain. There are currently 202,000 .kiwi domain names registered, however in mid-November there were 10,600 registrations, presumably before the transfer took place.

The 75,000 people and entities that own 200,000 domain names with Umbrellar, will have the equivalent .kiwi domain put on hold for a year while they decide if protecting .kiwi fits in with their overall domain name strategy.

Brendan Wilde, Marketing Manager at Umbrellar, says that globally, cyber security breaches and domain squatting are on the rise, and in general New Zealanders are too relaxed about taking steps to protect themselves.

“We saw a risk for our customers and approached Dot Kiwi to see how we could help protect them. This deal gives our customers some breathing space, allowing them to decide whether or not they want to purchase the .kiwi domain. As a result, no one else can come along and purchase this version over the next year.

“We’ve got more than 200,000 domains that we manage and the reality is that most of their owners haven’t stopped to think about what else they need to do to protect their space online. For a lot of them protecting the .kiwi version is a wise decision,” says Mr Wilde.

To overcome ever-increasing breaches, including phishing scams, which are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information including usernames, password, and/or money, and cybersquatting, which is the practice of registering domains in the hope of reselling at a profit, New Zealanders need to consider the implications of not protecting themselves online.

Angus Richardson, Managing Director of Dot Kiwi, says after the introduction of hundreds of new domain names in the last three years, businesses and individuals need to change their thinking about domains and be aware of the potential risks like that from spear phishing, which uses information from a company’s website or social media to replicate their content and design.

“Recent research in New Zealand shows one in ten Kiwis are likely to fall for scam emails. Globally, spear-phishing directed toward company employees increased by 55% last year. So the risks are very real.

“Businesses aren’t going to own every iteration of their URL and email address, there are just too many options available. But they need to think about which ones resonate with their customers, and stakeholders. All it takes is for one scam email to be sent to your customers from a domain matching your brand, and the reputational damage could be substantial.

“Umbrellar’s initiative will give a large number of New Zealand domain owners time to assess their needs, and overall domain strategy. Most importantly, with instances of phishing and spear-phishing on the rise, it also offers them some protection for the next 12 months,” says Mr Richardson.

.NZ Introduces WHOIS Privacy For Individual Registrants

From today (1 November) individuals registering, or who have registered, a .nz domain name are able to mask the registrant’s contact address from being publicly displayed due to privacy and personal safety concerns the Domain Name Commissioner (DNCL) announced.The change is provisional as there is currently a major review underway to determine what information should be displayed when a WHOIS search is done on a .nz domain name. Throughout the review, DNCL has become aware that some individual registrants are concerned for privacy and personal safety reasons about having their contact address publicly displayed.The provisional address masking option has been introduced to help alleviate these concerns while DNCL carries on with its WHOIS review. Those wanting to take advantage of the option will have his or her contact address masked with a unique reference code and DNCL’s P.O. Box address.Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says DNCL is currently running a public consultation – asking for the community’s feedback on two policy options for withholding some information in the WHOIS, including contact address information.”In the meantime,” she says, “the address masking option announced today is intended to allay any personal safety concerns around public display of address information while we finish up our review and implement any permanent policy changes – expected to be later in 2017.”With the provisional address masking option, any individual registrant can ask that their contact address is masked from display in the .nz WHOIS. This doesn’t change their contact address information recorded on the .nz Register; it just means that information can’t be seen when someone does a WHOIS search on their domain name. Any mail sent to the masked address displayed on the WHOIS will be forwarded to the address on the Register, by DNCL.Importantly, says Monahan, the masking option is open to any individual registrant who is concerned for whatever reason about having their contact address publicly visible. She encourages all individual registrants to make use of it if they feel the need.The address masking is a straightforward process, but can only be effected by DNCL. It works by having individual registrants email DNCL from their email address on record. The DNCL office will then run some basic verification checks before applying the masking.The option is not available to businesses or organisations.