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Re: [atlarge-discuss] Re: .info LR2 process and failure of ICANN to heed warnings
- To: "Richard Henderson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [atlarge-discuss] Re: .info LR2 process and failure of ICANN to heed warnings
- From: "W. E. (Ted) Murray" <Fred@knowcon.ca>
- Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 00:44:24 -0400
- CC: "Jim Archer" <email@example.com>, DEvans@doc.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, "vint cerf" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>
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- Reply-To: "W. E. (Ted) Murray" <Fred@knowcon.ca>
Wednesday, July 17, 2002, 5:47:18 PM, you wrote:
I obviously need to study more, but this account is mind blowing!
Speaking for some of the less informed list lurkers, there is no
longer a switch "to be asleep at".
Be seeing you ..... Ted.
RH> Hi Jim
RH> I've done an analysis of 250 of the most popular names, to get a feel for
RH> the way the names were distributed, and to see how names were distributed to
RH> different registrants within one registrar's list.
RH> My views to date are:
RH> I actually think the execution of the randomised selection itself seemed OK.
RH> There is a rationale and spread of names, once external factors (like the
RH> length of a registrar's queue) is taken into account. So I don't tend to
RH> think there was any problem at the actual randomisation and selection level.
RH> (Having said that, I am not aware whether there was any independent watchdog
RH> supervising theprocedure, and in the interests of openness and transparency
RH> there certainly should have been.)
RH> Turning to the names distributed to specific registrars, and the way
RH> different registrars compiled their lists:
RH> Here there were serious problems. You will have recognised yourself that,
RH> although RegTek's conduct and treatment of the public were exemplary, you
RH> only got 1 really top name out of your 172 successful registrations. The
RH> same thing happened to many other registrars who opened their lists fully to
RH> the public.
RH> This was because of the very short and exclusive lists submitted by certain
RH> registrars, which resulted in the "hi-jacking" of many of the very best
RH> names. Clearly, if you only submitted 5 or 6 applications (like Signature
RH> Domains) you were likely to get many of those in the first 5 or 6 rounds.
RH> This is what happened - they got 3 very good names... for all I know they
RH> only submitted 3 names, as they got no other names at all. In contrast, if
RH> you submitted (say) 1500 names, your very best names were probably going to
RH> emerge in round 70 or round 135 and if unlucky in round 1499. By then, of
RH> course, most of the best names had been snapped up by people like Signature
RH> I refer to Signature Domains specifically because of their track record of
RH> submitting short exclusive queues. In the .biz2B they only got 10
RH> registrations and every single one was registered to their Business Partner,
RH> Joshua Blacker. He admitted his part in this to me over the phone. It
RH> totally disadvantaged registrars like you, who opened their lists fairly to
RH> the public.
RH> In LR2, the following registrars submitted very short lists or caused me
RH> Signature Domains: 3 "top 250" names and 0 other names
RH> ATech: 2 "top 250" names and only 4 other names - I also noted that ATech
RH> was founded/owned by Jason Hendeles and he applied for himself for one of
RH> those top names (adult.info)
RH> AAAQ: submitted a very short list and got 11 "top 250" names and just 2
RH> other names... however, to be fair to Jeff Field, they did open their list
RH> to the public
RH> Sitename: 17 "top 250" names and just 9 other names - I think they shifted
RH> most of their applications to the GalComm list and saved Sitename for
RH> special names - including, Moshe Fogel got domains.info - which I think was
RH> poor judgement, an Afilias Director using a short (exclusive?) list to get a
RH> premium name, when Afilias themselves share responsibility for the name
RH> being hijacked the first time round. I don't think Moshe Fogel should have
RH> done that.
RH> Xin Net Corp: 7 "top 250" names - and just as in the .biz2B, all of their
RH> registrations appear to have gone to Lin Zansong. I disagree with a
RH> registrar "selling" a list to an individual, and excluding the Internet
RH> public, because I think that is not a fair and open distribution of the DNS.
RH> I warned Dan Halloran and Vint Cerf in advance that these things would
RH> happen in LR2 after they occurred in .biz2B, but 68 days after sending the
RH> e-mail (and repeated copies) Dan Halloran has yet to acknowledge receipt.
RH> ICANN and Afilias chose to preside over this process and just let these
RH> hings happen.
RH> Nordnet: 11 "top 250" names and just 29 other registrations. This was a very
RH> short list, and out of those 11 top registrations, 8 of them went to Francis
RH> Piet himself at Nordnet. It appeared to me, that they made application as
RH> unattractive as possible to reduce the size of their list, then filled it
RH> with best names for themselves. You can distinguish their own registrations
RH> from their customers, because customers had to apply for 10 years
RH> registration, but Piet's names were only registered for 2 years.
RH> Domain Investigator: The size of their list was fair, but it was made up of
RH> what seems to me on my analysis to be ONE person's applications, namely Ross
RH> LeBel (who also applied through many other registrars and did very well).
RH> Basically, Domain Investigator's list seemed to be closed to the rest of the
RH> BondiLLC: 7 "top 250" names and just 26 other pretty good names. ALL these
RH> names were registered to Marco Publishing Corporation ( Marc Ostrofsky?) who
RH> appear to have "bought" the list. This was a re-run of .biz2B where Marco
RH> Publishing again used BondiLLC as if it was its own personal registrar.
RH> Again, I warned Dan Halloran and Vint Cerf that this would happen but they
RH> did nothing.
RH> EPAG: They submitted a normal-size list, but it was dominated (exclusively?)
RH> by Alexander Schubert - the same issue arises: should registrars deal just
RH> with one person, or should they be more open?
RH> Multiple Lists: some registrars submitted multiple lists, which enebled them
RH> to channel favoured/special names into one shorter list, and channel the
RH> majority of names into a separate list. Moshe Fogel appears to have done
RH> this with Sitename and GalComm although I stand to be corrected. Sitename
RH> got 26 successes. Galcomm got 167. This fairly well indicates the relative
RH> size of lists. The fact remains that Moshe Fogel had twice as many lists as
RH> you or most other registrars, and is that fair? How can you compete fairly
RH> if a competitor is able to do this and manipulate his lists perhaps?
RH> Directi used at least 3 lists. Their main Directi list got 218 successes.
RH> They also "bought" Global Media's list and submitted fewer names through
RH> them, getting 86 successes. Finally, they used part of BookMyName's list.
RH> I'm not criticising Bhavin for using his business instincts to do the best
RH> for himself and his clients (which included me): but I feel ICANN and
RH> Afilias should have realised that some kind of rules were needed to protect
RH> other registrars like yourself.
RH> Register.com were the most dramatic multi-list applicants. They submitted 4
RH> lists. Their ordinary Register.com list was enormous, getting 890 successes.
RH> They also used Virtual Internet's list for some of their clients and got 155
RH> successes through them. They used Best Registrars and got 76 successes
RH> through them. And they used Net Searchers and got 26 successes through hem,
RH> usinng a much shorter and more exclusive list. The outcome for Register.com
RH> was that they gained 19 "top 250" names (compared to 1 for RegTek). This is
RH> a fair indication of the uneven playing field you were playing on.
RH> My view is that Afilias had a duty to guarantee no undue advantage was
RH> gained by individual registrars. It was disappointing to me that the Lubsens
RH> also operated a single application interface but a dual list, with
RH> DomainBank and DomainPro. As CEO of Afilias, I do not think Hal Lubsen
RH> should have been associated with this kind of method, and I'd be very
RH> curious to know what criteria he used to decide which names went on which
RH> list (since all applications from either registrar were processed on the
RH> same webpage).
RH> So in conclusion, I believe ordinary, honest registrars like yourself were
RH> cheated out of many of the best names (or rather, your customers were). I do
RH> business with you because I value integrity, but what is to stop other
RH> customers moving their business elsewhere if you failed to get a good
RH> success rate with the best names? I would say your business was
RH> disadvantaged by the process, and I would say that Afilias and ICANN knew in
RH> advance that the process would be what I'd call corrupt, but chose to do
RH> nothing about it.
RH> Please don't misunderstand me. I did very well out of LR2. I got some great
RH> names (though none through RegTek). So it's not sour grapes on my part. I
RH> just believe that the DNS is a worldwide resource, and ICANN and the
RH> Registries have a responsibility to the global internet community to
RH> guarantee the fair distribution of names. Clearer, more definitive rules
RH> should be drawn up in advance, and steps should be taken to stop individuals
RH> hi-jacking the best names or "buying" a whole registrar's list. In my
RH> opinion, every participating registrar should have an online interface open
RH> to the internet public. And I think registrars should only be allowed to
RH> submit one list. I don't blame the registrars who submitted more than one
RH> list. I blame the Registry and ICANN for allowing it to happen.
RH> It's 68 days since I sent Dan Halloran the first warning of these problems,
RH> in the wake of .biz2B, and raised serious concerns and questions with him.
RH> The fact that he has never even acknowledged my mail indicates the extent of
RH> contempt in which members of the internet public can be held. It is a
RH> shocking demonstration of the lack of openness and transparency that exists
RH> within ICANN. The refusal to engage in dialogue or to respond to awkward
RH> questions reflects their negative and defensive attitudes. It is very
RH> disappointing, and Nancy Victory ought to consider their "promises" of being
RH> more open and transparent very very carefully, when in fact they display
RH> such a lack of openness.
RH> In conclusion, I'd like to say thank you. You got me precisely 0 names in
RH> LR2. But you acted with integrity and that is more important to me. I'd say
RH> the same about Bob Connelly at PSI-Japan, who protected his Landrush 1
RH> customers and stood by his commitment to them. When he resigned from the
RH> Afilias Board last autumn, in protest at Afilias's dereliction of Landrush 1
RH> customers and what he called the "Abomination" of Sunrise, he was
RH> marginalised as a malcontent. At the time, Roland LaPlante was playing down
RH> the whole shambles and denying the scale of the problem. In the event
RH> Connelly was proved right and 25% of the names turned out to be false (and
RH> there are still many others not dealt with).
RH> Because there is growing pressure from other Governments for more say in the
RH> running of the Internet, and because the US Govt retains oversight, when
RH> ICANN acts without responsiveness and accommodates corruption (what action,
RH> for example, have they taken against the registrars who committed fraud in
RH> the .info Sunrise - none, they're still accredited and promoted by ICANN)...
RH> it puts the US Government (as its sponsor) in a very poor light indeed. It
RH> doesn't reflect well on the American people either. I feel Nancy Victory
RH> should consider very carefully whether ICANN is truly committed to openness,
RH> transparency and accountability - or whether that is all just words.
RH> As we are talking about the distribution of a world resource, it is vital
RH> (in the interests of registrars, and indeed in the interests of the US
RH> Government) that procedure is seen to be honest, decent, and open.
RH> In this .info fiasco, it has not been.
RH> I believe some people should be called to account.
RH> Best wishes
RH> Richard Henderson
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
W. E. (Ted) Murray - KnowCon Inc. (Knowledge Consultants)
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