Michele Neylon

Michele Neylon

MD of Blacknight Solutions
Joined on March 3, 2004 – Ireland
Total Post Views: 355,850

About

Michele Neylon is MD of Blacknight Solutions, an Irish domain registrar and hosting company (http://www.blacknight.com)
He is also involved with the Irish Internet Association (http://www.iia.ie ) and the ISP Association of Ireland (http://www.ispai.ie ).
He currently sits on the ENUM353 policy advisory board where he acts as the Irish Internet Association's representative. He is also actively involved in several ICANN GNSO working groups.

Featured Blogs

Former ICANN Board Member to Congress - ICANN Needs Oversight

Karl Auerbach has written a quite long but very detailed and well thought out letter to Congress. It's not clear which members of Congress were sent the letter. Karl Auerbach is a former member of ICANN's board and is probably best remembered by many as having taken ICANN to court (and winning) in order to gain access to the organisation's financial records. more»

European Data Protection Supervisor Smacks ICANN Over Privacy Issues With 2013 RAA

ICANN has been sent a letter by the European Data Protection Supervisor calling them out with respect to both data collection, retention and privacy within the context of the 2013 Registrar contract (RAA). The letter is the first instance of one, to my knowledge, which makes reference to the ECJ's recent ruling that rendered the data retention directive null and void. more»

Closed Generic TLDs - The Final Battle?

Over the past couple of years I've posted several times on the issue of "closed generics". In essence these are new TLD applications where the string is a "generic term" AND the applicant wanted to keep all domains in the registry for their own use. The baseline registry agreement with ICANN now contains language that resolves the issue, or at least it would appear to do so. more»

DotGreen Is No More

Kevin reported on this last night. As you can see from the reactions to his post a lot of people are surprised, shocked and even quite upset that the DotGreen application has been withdrawn. It's not the only application for the string, which is why it was withdrawn, but to many people in the ICANN space it was the applicant everyone associated with the string. The unfortunate reality of the new TLD process is that money speaks more loudly than anything else. more»

Google's .App TLD Application Under Fire

I've written about "closed generic" new TLD applications several times over the last year. I'm opposed to them, as I've said in the past and continue to say today. However I've generally been supportive of "restricted" TLDs. The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) has serious concerns about Google's application for .app and want ICANN's board of directors to treat as a "closed generic". more»

Rebooting Whois

As some readers probably know, I spend quite a bit of my time working on Internet policy related matters. Some of it may appear incredibly boring, but it matters. (If you really want me to explain why it matters I'd be happy to do so!) Since earlier this year I've been part of a small team of people drawn from the four corners of the globe and asked to re-examine "whois". more»

Belgian Country Code Now Supports Internationalized Domain Names

Earlier this week dns.be launched Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). The Belgian registry opted to support the accented characters for Dutch, French and German. In so doing they've also ended up providing support for other European languages, such as Swedish, Finnish and Danish... The registry reported quite a bit of interest in the launch with over 3000 IDN domains being registered in the first hour. That number had practically doubled by close of business on the first day. more»

Google Does the Right Thing Opening Several Closed Generic TLD Applications

Over the last few months one of the areas of attention in the new TLD project has been "closed generics". I've written about this several times in the past and I've also raised the issue in as many fora as possible. Yesterday ICANN published a letter they'd received from Google with respect to several of their new TLD applications. more»

Google Bows to Pressure on Closed Generics

The debate surrounding "closed generics", which has been covered several times in the past, has attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks. At the centre of the debate were a number of new TLD applications from large companies including Google, Amazon and others. Google had stated that they planned to establish a number of domain extensions and operate them as "walled gardens". At the ICANN public meeting in Toronto Google attempted to defend their plans and their position until today was unchanged. more»

Booksellers Weigh In On Amazon's New TLDs

Some pretty big companies are beginning to show an active interest in ICANN's new TLD project. The most recent of them is bookseller Barnes & Noble. The letter, which is available both on the ICANN website, is quite narrow and pointed in its scope and focusses on the perceived competition issues with Amazon's bids for several "closed generics". more»

5 Reasons Why Closed Generic New gTLDs Should Be Opposed

I'm on the record multiple times over the last few months for my opinions on "closed generics"... Since then I've sent several letters to ICANN (supported by many others) and have been quoted and referenced in several articles on the subject including Politico.com... If you're not a domain "geek" then the danger of this issue might not be that easy to understand, so here are five reasons why "closed generics" are a really bad idea. more»

ICANN Should Clarify Position On Key Word New TLDs

Back in September a number of domain name industry leaders wrote to ICANN to express deep-felt concerns about some companies' declared plans for generic domain name extensions. We have sent ICANN another letter this week which is also planned to be distributed in a press release included here in this post. more»

Letter to ICANN on Big Brands Proposed Usage of Generic Domain Extensions

We have been taking an active interest in the development of the new TLD program by ICANN and excited by the many opportunities and challenges that this "opening up" will bring to us, our customers and the internet ecosystem as a whole. However, we also have our concerns about how some entities wish to use generic domain name extensions as "walled gardens". more»

ICANN 44 Prague: A Look at the Future

ICANN's 44th public meeting is about to start in a few days with a number of topics on the agenda. Some of them are new, while some of them are ongoing. First off, ICANN will be announcing the new CEO this Friday afternoon in Prague. Whoever it is will be coming to the organisation at a time when it faces a number of significant challenges. While the actual official meeting does not start until Monday morning there will be plenty of meetings on over the weekend as well... So what's on the "menu" for Prague? more»

Big Brands Trying to Corner Generic Domain Namespaces?

Trying to make sense of the nearly 2000 new TLD applications is not something that anyone can do quickly. Sure, you can look at the list and see who has applied for what, but it's only when you actually read the "public" part of their submission that you can get an insight into their plans. Let's call a spade a spade. If a big brand wants to get its own TLD then it's pretty much their own business how they use it, as long as they don't do any "harm" to the rest of the internet ecosystem... more»

Don't Make Us Treat Our Customers Like Criminals!

Crime, fraud, scams etc., they're all very bad things. They're also not going to go away anytime soon. As a domain name registrar and hosting provider we're constantly "at risk", as we sell a lot of services that are both cost-effective and also give criminals the tools they need to attack 3rd parties. Again, this isn't exactly news. We've always taken a very pro-active approach to dealing with criminal activity and network abuse... But recently I've been losing sleep. more»

ICANN Takes "Fail" To A Whole New Level

Today is April 12 2012. It's also meant to be the day that the new TLD application window closes. Now it's not. ICANN has spectacularly failed to manage the new TLD process and will miss its own deadline by over a week... In a rather badly worded announcement ICANN states that it's extending the deadline for online applications (the only way to apply) until April 20th at 23:59 UTC. more»

ICANN To Publish New gTLD Applicants On April 30th

In a recent press release ICANN has stated that they will publish the list of applicants for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) on April 30th. Previously many had spoken of a "big reveal" on May 1st, though that would have coincided with a public holiday in many countries and might have been "missed". However ICANN CEO, Rod Beckstrom, claims that the organisation had always planned to publish the list two weeks after the application window closed. more»

Nominet to Apply for .Wales and .Cymru Top-Level Domains

In the run up to the launch of new TLDs there were a lot of rumours about which organisations would apply for which strings. Detractors might pick holes in the entire project, but it's very hard to argue against the merits of new TLDs specifically in the context of cultural linguistic communities that fall outside the realm of ccTLDs (country code top level domains). The case of Catalonia and .cat is probably the best one and has been vaunted as the poster child for new TLDs in some circles. more»

New TLD Application Window Opens Tomorrow - What Does It Mean? (Here are Answers to Some Basic FAQs)

Tomorrow, January 12th 2012 ICANN will open the application window for new TLDs. This post includes answers to some of the based frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions/queries, or if something is unclear please let me know via the comment at the end of the post. more»

ARIN Launches WHOWAS: Trial Service Providing Historical Information for a Given IP Address

American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is running a trial service that gives users access to historical IP whois data – that is, it will tell you who was responsible for an IP address or block of IPs. The service is not automated and if you want to access it you will need to submit a request via email with information about not only what you want to know, but why you are interested in accessing the information. more»

European Commission in Favour of New IANA Contract - Disapproves of US Only Bidding Process

In a move that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, the EU Commission has given a rather mixed welcome to the IANA bid. While they obviously like a lot of what they are seeing, they're also not overly impressed with the contract only being open to US companies. more»

RIPE Members Vote To Continue RPKI Work

RIPE 63 is on this week in Vienna, Austria. Yesterday evening saw the General Meeting where members were asked to vote on a number of motions. While some of the motions were more formalities than anything else, the votes on RPKI and the membership fee structure for 2012 provoked some emotive debate. more»

ICANN Chief Announces Departure Via Twitter

ICANN's CEO and President, Rod Beckstrom, has announced that he will be stepping down in July of next year. The announcement came via Twitter of all places, with a press release, presumably with more details, due sometime soon... With the launch of the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program scheduled to officially launch early in 2012 maybe Beckstrom feels that his job "is done", or maybe there's another motive behind his departure. more»

Some Considerations for New TLD Operators from a Registrar Perspective

The "hot topic" at the upcoming ICANN meeting in Singapore will, of course, be whether or not the new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) will actually launch or not. Sure, they'll launch at some point, but ICANN has been pushing to make the big announcement at Singapore. There has been a lot written over the last couple of years about new TLDs over the last couple of years. We are now coming into what might be called the "end game". more»

ICANN Hires Black Hat Founder as New CSO

ICANN has apparently hired Jeff Moss (aka Dark Tangent) as CSO. Moss is a well known figure in the internet security community and was founder of Black Hat and the Def Con conferences. However isn't Moss a bit conflicted? Isn't he on one of the review teams? more»

DotCo Launch: Over 90 Thousand Domain Names in 15 Minutes!

DotCo, which is the ccTLD for Colombia, is opening up to general public registration today. According to official sources from both Neustar and CoInternet the registry has handled over 90 thousand registrations in the first 15 minutes! ... While the initial registration phase of any new domain extension can attract a lot of media interest and a flood of registrations you need to look at the "big picture". more»

Domain Transfers… Domain Hijacking… Make Your Voice Heard

ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) has formed a working group to consider changes to the domain transfer process to enhance security and reduce hijacking. The working group consists of registrars, aftermarket players, domainers and other members of the ICANN Community. The group published its preliminary recommendations at the ICANN meeting in Brussels two weeks ago and the 20-day comment period has just begun. more»

ICANN Nairobi Kicks Off This Weekend - So What Is Cooking? .XXX , New TLDs and More

The ICANN meeting in Nairobi starts officially next Monday. However, as is normally the case, by the time Monday rolls around people will already have been working since Saturday morning (if not earlier). All ICANN meetings seem to be surrounded by some bit of controversy and excitement, but the Nairobi meeting is possibly more dramatic than many others. The last attempt to hold a meeting in Nairobi failed, with ICANN opting to hold the meeting near LA's airport, LAX, instead. more»

XXX Saga Continues

Sex and the internet. Put the two together and you are bound to find an interesting story. While the saga surrounding sex.com took a new twist in the last couple of days, with the current owners going dotbomb, the .xxx story also took an interesting turn... For several years ICM and ICANN tangoed. more»

Domain Name Registry and Registrar Separation Now Probably Going to Be a Policy Debate

Again on the subject of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) ... One of the "issues" that concerned a number of people is the concept of "vertical separation". The basic idea is that domain name registries and registrars should be kept separate. While that is a wonderful Utopian ideal, the reality is that in the real world companies own other companies, people trade in stocks and shares etc., etc. So it's far from being a simple "cut and dried" situation. more»

Big Brands Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

One of the topics that keeps coming up in ICANN policy discussions and as part of the new TLD application process is "transparency". ICANN, and the internet community in general, has had plenty of issues in the past with "bad actors" who have caused a lot of issues for everyone (think of many of the registrars who have lost accreditation in the last couple of years for example). On more than one conference call or policy discussion the issue of a company or a person's track record has come up. more»

IDN Scaremongering: Mashable and Times Online Screw Up

Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) might be a slightly "hot" topic at the moment following on from ICANN's launch of the IDN country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) program recently. However, IDNs are NOT a new topic. Far from it. They've been around for quite some time. Unfortunately neither The Times Online or Mashable seem to have done any homework. more»

Berlin the Latest New TLD Battleground?

If you've been following the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) process within ICANN over the last year or so you will have probably been aware of how slow and tortuous development has been. To recap, ICANN, which oversees domain names globally, announced that it was "opening up" the internet so that "anyone" could get the domain extension they wanted. Of course it's not really "everyone" and the process to date has been far from smooth. more»

Google Launch of DNS Service and OpenDNS Reply

Earlier today Google announced the launch of their new DNS service. They're pushing it as part of their "better experience" and "speed" drive that Matt Cutts and Co have been harping on about for the last while. OpenDNS, however, has been offering a similar service for quite some time... So it was quite interesting to read OpenDNS' response to the Google service. more»

Informal Working Group Publish Report On New TLDs

In an interesting move several members of the ICANN community formed an "informal" Working Group to discuss the concept of "expressions of interest" in new Top-Level Domains (TLDs). This all happened very quickly, which is more or less the opposite to how most ICANN related activities progress. ...The report, which runs to about 11 pages, is concise and seems to have covered most of the areas of interest. more»

DotEco Bids Heat Up - Catfight Anyone?

The new Top-Level Domain (TLD) process is occupying a lot of people in the domain name industry at present. While some people are obviously very much against the entire concept of new TLDs, there are plenty of people and organisations who support the project. But what happens when you have more than one organisation vying for the same namespace? ...Seemingly the competition between two rival bids for .eco (doteco) has been getting more than a little dirty in the past few weeks. more»

ICANN Culls Three More Domain Name Registrars

ICANN has announced that three more domain name registrars have lost their accreditation due to non-compliance with the RAA. The three registrars have been informed that their agreements with ICANN will not be renewed. South American Domains (NameFrog), Simply Named and Tahoe Domains have been sent letters by ICANN outlining the decision and the reasons for it. So what now? more»

EU Throws Down Gauntlet to ICANN

A few weeks ago the EU Commissioner Viviane Reding published a video where she talked about the EU's views towards ICANN and internet governance. The video received quite a bit of attention at the time, but it wasn't an official position of the EU at that juncture i.e. it was Ms Reding's. Earlier today that changed when the EU issued an official release on the subject calling for "a more open, independent and accountable governance of the Internet". more»

New TLDs For Dummies (Sort of)

There's been a lot of media attention on the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) process in the last few days, which is a good thing. Unfortunately most of it is badly written, misleading or simply misinformed. Let's look at the reality. To start with, there are currently 20 gTLDs i.e. "global" Top-Level Domains (extensions)... more»

Do You Care About Your Privacy?

ICANN is currently going through a complicated process in order to introduce more Top-Level Domains (TLDs). While the launch of new TLDs is something that a lot of people will welcome it is not without its issues. One of the areas that has been receiving quite a bit of attention is in relation to intellectual property rights. So what has this got to do with privacy? more»

Gillette.ro WIPO Decision Provides Interesting Comments

One of the WIPO decisions published today relates to gillette.ro. The registrant (respondent) didn't make any submissions in their defence, so the decision could have been quite banal. However some of the panelist's comments under the "Registered and Used in Bad Faith" section are quite interesting... more»

ICANN IRT Report Open for Comment With Short Timeframe?

The Intellectual Property Constituency's draft report on trademark issues is now available for comment. The draft report was put together behind closed doors, which would appear to go against the normal policy development process at ICANN, which is quite worrying. Its contents, however, are even more disturbing... more»

New gTLD Comment Period Closes

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been holding a public comment period on the second draft of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD) handbook. This period was due to close yesterday. Prior to yesterday afternoon there was a healthy number of comments, but in the past 24 hours a significant number of new comments have been submitted... more»

IRMA Threatens Irish ISPs

I don't want to get into the entire Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) vs Eircom and IRMA vs ISPs debacle. The only reason I'm even writing this is because I'm getting a bit tired of all the "quotes" of "quotes" and other unclear and misleading things that people have been saying about ISPs over the last few weeks. more»

Dublin.tel Grabbed by Lantec

During the sunrise period for .eu domains there was quite a bit of controversy, as a number of high profile names were grabbed by companies that had no legitimate right to them. One of the domains that caught my attention at the time was dublin.eu (see Irish Times article). So what about the .tel sunrise?
Were companies like Lantec, who grabbed the dublin.eu domain, actively seeking high profile names this time round? more»

ICANN Slaps Joker.com and DNS.com.cn

If you have rules and regulations but don't enforce them then there's little point in having any rules or regulations in the first place. One of the criticisms that is often leveled at ICANN is with regard to compliance issues. There are a number of areas where ICANN accredited registrars may be flounting the rules, but if nobody does anything about it then none of the registrars will have any incentive to actually comply. more»

Time to Redelegate IE Namespace?

I've written extensively about Ireland's country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) '.ie' and its current registry operator IE Domain Registry (IEDR) in the past. While I've always tried to be fair and balanced in my coverage of the issues facing the IE namespace, I'm afraid my patience with the current registry operator has worn thin. While things may have improved over the course of the last few years, it is becoming abundantly clear that the current registry operator is probably not the best organisation to manage the ccTLD in the future. more»

Fun and Games In the ccTLD World

There must be something in the air. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but there are a lot of things going on in the ccTLD world at the moment. In the UK Nominet's Annual General Meeting (AGM) is being held this week. This would normally provoke a yawn from most people -- it's an AGM -- how exciting can that be? This year's AGM looks like it could be quite entertaining, although it probably isn't going to be particularly beneficial for its membership. more»

Nominet Position Paper on Front Running

Nominet has published a very detailed and comprehensive position paper on "front running". Although the paper is a mere 5 pages long it covers all the areas that the topic encompasses very well and is well worth a read. The topic of "front running" has received some publicity in the last few months. If you're not familiar with the concept Nominet's definition is helpful... more»

Domain Management White Paper

Businesses may rely on domain names to conduct their day to day work, but that does not mean that they really understand what they are using or how important they are. Of course those of us in industry may feel tempted to either scoff at people's naivety or feel terribly frustrated with their ignorance, however neither action is particularly productive. Loic Damilaville, however, has tried to take a more practical and positive approach by publishing a white paper on domain name management. The document was published a few months ago in French and has since been made available in English. more»

EURid Suspends More Domains

EURid, the entity charged with managing the .eu namespace, is reported to have taken action against an alleged cybersquatter based in China, Zheng Qingying... The last suspension "en masse" was directed against Ovidio when over 74 thousand domains were suspended. This time round the number is much lower -- a paltry ten thousand! In this instance there seems to have been a pattern of cybersquatting, with over a dozen ADR proceedings against the registrant in question. more»

ICANN Investigating Domain Tasting

ICANN has announced that it is seeking input and feedback on the topic of domain tasting. (See their announcement for full details) Interestingly enough Michael Gilmour published an article a couple of days ago covering the same topic - "Why domain tasting is great!", which will probably raise a few hackles! One point that in particular caught my eye... more»

Bringing a New Top-Level Domain to Life

One of the key elements in any domain space is usage. It doesn't matter how potentially "cool" or "interesting" a Top-Level Domain (TLD) is if nobody is actually using it to provide content. It may be overused and totally abused, but "content is king"! The guys in dotMobi posted yesterday about some of the more interesting domains that they had come across recently. What did that lead to? Well I actually got out my phone and browsed the sites to see what all the fuss was about and I was truly impressed. more»

EU NameSpace is Dead?

The European Union's .eu Top-Level Domain (TLD) sunrise and landrush has probably been discussed to death, but what is the landscape like over a year later? A lot of industry insiders were right to express their doubts about the stability of .eu following on from the high profile squats that have been discussed here at length. Of course any discussion on a new TLD would have to wait until after the first wave of renewals. That happened in April, so now, in July, it's a good as time to take stock of the situation... more»

Personal IE Domains Available Soon?

I've mentioned the topic of personal IE domains on here more than once in the past [also discussed here on CircleID] and in my conversations with the IE Domain Registry. Just to recap; Under the current rules you cannot register johndoe.ie if your name is John Doe. You would have to add a number to the name, thus rendering it totally useless eg. johndoe7.ie or something of that style... more»

Mergers and Acquisitions in Domain Industry Increasing at an Impressive Rate

As the year progresses the number of mergers and acquisitions in the domain industry is increasing at an impressive rate. Hot on the heels of GoDaddy's acquisition (saving?) of RegisterFly another media company acquires a domain company. Is anyone beginning to see a pattern emerging? Oversee.net has acquired SnapNames... It's an interesting acquisition for Oversee.net which already owns DomainSponsor as well as a very interesting portfolio of domains. more»

Irish Government To Kill IE ccTLD?

While I was in LA last week John sent me details of the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2007. While there are some potentially positive aspects in the Bill some of the Bill's contents are, for lack of better word, simply crazy... more»

IE Namespace: We Need Personal Domains!

In my day job I run one of the largest registrars / resellers of IE domains (the IE ccTLD is the domain name for Ireland). In the course of doing that I have spent quite a lot of time becoming accustomed to the rules and regulations that govern both the naming and general registration criteria of IE domains. In some cases I can understand why rules are the way they are, whereas in others I am completely baffled... more»

Ireland's .ie To Come Under Government Control

The Irish domain registry (IEDR) is to come under the control of the Commission for Communications Regulation ComReg. At present the registry is managed by a "not-for-profit" company, however it has come under increasing criticism with regard to both its management and policies. Although there are approximately 40,000 IE domains currently registered, it is still one of the strictest and most expensive ccTLDs in the world. more»