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Registry Services / Featured Blogs

Did ICANN Over Regulate VeriSign?

CircleID recently interviewed Jonathan Weinberg, Professor of Law at Wayne State University to discuss legal and regulatory issues that have been raised against Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). VeriSign, the registry operator of the two most popular top-level domains .com and .net, filed a lawsuit against ICANN on February 26, 2004 complaining that the Internet regulatory body has extended "its authority beyond the scope of its contracts". Did ICANN cross its contractual boundaries? To what extent does ICANN's contract limit its technical coordination functions and how much of a threat does VeriSign's lawsuit impose? Jonathan Weinberg explains... more

TLD for Online Communities and Social Networking?

A company called PW Registry Corporation makes the following announcement regarding the .PW ccTLD originally designated for the country of Palau: "The PW Registry Corporation announced today plans for the activation of the PW top- level domain (TLD), the Internet's first and only domain extension devoted to "Communities of Shared Interests". Unlike other domain extensions, such as .com, .biz, and .info, PW is aimed at providing individuals and consumer/affinity organizations a highly-personalized, permanent and portable e-mail address and a managed platform for community and social networking." more

Where Did the .Root Top-Level Domain Come From?

It was pointed out to me the other day that the ICANN/NTIA/Verisign root zone file contains a previously undiscussed top level domain. The contents of this TLD suggest that it was created by Verisign, the company that actually constructs the root zone file used by the dominant set of root servers. (The same zone file is also used by at least one of the competing root systems.) That TLD is .root. It's existence is as real as any other TLD such as .com or .org... more

Verisign vs. ICANN: More at Stake than Sitefinder

It's easy to dismiss Verisign's antitrust suit as a ploy to push through Sitefinder. But whether one loves Sitefinder or hates Sitefinder, the complaint raises a much more significant issue that won't go away even if ICANN lets Verisign roll out Sitefinder. At the heart of Verisign's complaint is the lack of any definable process for decisionmaking, and its a complaint shared by others. A settlement between Verisign and ICANN that does not create a clear process for decisionmaking at ICANN that includes trustworthy independent review will merely delay the inevitable. Eventually, some other party will become just as frustrated and again challenge ICANN -- either in U.S. court or by enlisting the help of the U.S. Commerce Department, non-U.S. governements, or multinational treaty organizations. ICANN must recognize that the days of ad hoc decision making based on realpolitick must end and give way to stable processes that ICANN staff cannot control. more

Registrars File Lawsuit Against ICANN and VeriSign

Newman & Newman, the law firm representing an ad hoc coalition of ICANN-accredited domain name registrars, has filed a lawsuit today against ICANN and VeriSign to Stop 'Anti-Consumer, Anti-Competitive' Wait List Service Implementation. ...The complaint attacks ICANN and VeriSign based on 1) Unfair Trade Practices Act Violations; 2) Violation of California Business & Professions Code; 3) Unlawful Tying Arrangement; 4) Attempted Monopolization; 5) Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; 6) Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; 7) Breach of Contract; and 8) Declaratory Relief. more

Report on TLD Preference by Country

Which domain extensions do people prefer? How do these preferences vary by country? This article reports the results of a poll of domain extension preference by country of residence conducted from May through October, 2003 by Domain Name Journal and the DomainState forum. Approximately 133 people from 34 different countries participated. This poll has limitations that we will discuss, but it does measure the extension preferences of domain registrants and developers in a manner that has not been done elsewhere and it produces some interesting results. more

ALAC on New Domain Registry Services

This is a preliminary input for the current policy-development process on "new registry services" that was prepared by ALAC members; Jonathan Weinberg has provided input and comments in response to earlier drafts. The ALAC is currently soliciting comments on this text. Comments can be submitted either to CircleID (see comment section), or to the ALAC's public comment address at forum@alac.icann.org. ..."In the present document, we will focus on substantive criteria to be used by ICANN in evaluating requests to review proposed changes to the architecture or operation of a gTLD registry. We are, however, not stating any opinion about the kinds of requests that ICANN currently has the authority (or obligation) to consider." more

TLD Operators: Cleaning Up Lame Delegations

ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SECSAC) recently released some recommendations regarding the DNS infrastructure, specifying among other things, that sub-zone delegation be kept up-to-date. ...The SECSAC report doesn't mention, but I believe is trying to address, is the alarming fact that nearly 10% of the name servers listed in the root zone are lame, either they aren't authoritative for the zones they are supposed to be, or they are unreachable much of the time.
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CENTR Replies to ITU Study on ccTLD Governance

The Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR) announced today their response to Professor Michael Geist's draft survey report "Government and country-code top level Domains: A global survey", which was conducted on behalf of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in December 2003. "In the last decade the general trend has been to de-regulate markets in the Communications Industry, which continues to stimulate economic growth and innovation, and it seems perverse that this ITU supported report is seeking to go against the proven successful trend," said Paul Kane, chairman of CENTR. more

VeriSign's New Security Seal Too Trusting?

On November 4, 2003, VeriSign announced a new "trust enhancing" seal which they built using Macromedia's Flash technology...While there are problems inherent to VeriSign's approach that call into question their understanding of "The Value of Trust," there are ways they could have made this particular implementation less trivially spoofable. The flaws I demonstrate on this page are flaws in the concept and the execution rather than anything inherently flawed in Flash. Overall this kind of graphical "trustmark" is extremely easy to forge just by recreating the artwork. But in this case, you don't even have to do that. The seal can still be called directly off the VeriSign servers, yet it is easily modified, without recreating artwork, and without doing anything untoward with VeriSign's servers! more