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Username: Antipodes
Date/Time: Tue, August 21, 2001 at 1:52 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.74 using Windows 98
Subject: different levels of fraud


Seems to me to be several levels of fraud and fraudsters now in the public eye. 

First is the poor, silly individuals, who registered one or just a few names - most likely after seeing the number of names being fraudulently taken in the .info Sunrise phase by organised and well cashed-up squatters, or, at the urging of those registrars who sent us emails proposing that a fraudulent Sunrise application was likely to be rewarded as it was unlikely to be challenged.

Second - the registrars who acted as provocateurs and encouraged the fraud of the first category.

Third - those registrars who, gauging by the way in which they designed their web sites and and withheld information, never gave the average person much of a chance.  I am sure there are people, who having encountered the webs and the practices of some of the worst cases in this category, will never again attempt domain investment and be very wary of making future purchases on the net.

Fourth - those registrars who, not satisfied just to take sometimes monster pre- reg and registration fees, submitted applications on their own behalf.

Fifth - those individuals and groups who set about the wholesale plundering of the generic names in the English language and heavens knows how many others, through a fraud which collectively may be the biggest the net has seen or will see for a long while - if measured in terms of the names market values - assuming they had been acquired legally.

Sixth - those influential people in Afilias who obviously misled ICANN into believing they had the experience and ability to run a registry effectively.

Seventh and finally - those people in ICANN who are not effective, who approved the detail of the Afilias roll out, and like those in Six  above - misled their political masters into believing they had the experience, ability and integrity to oversee and ethically regulate their industry in a manner to ensure its continuing viability and vitality and to not bring it into disrepute.

I feel sorry, very sorry, for the members of ICANN and Afilias who are honest and able people, and I am aware that there are registrars who are exemplars of ethical practice and professionalism.

However, that said, as a Landrush applicant with my "top ten" names stolen by fraudsters in the Sunrise phase and looking like having to kiss my eight months of work and a great deal of money good bye, not to mention the dreams of business advantage were I lucky enough to win the lottery - I can't be sympathetic for very long.

I remain hopeful that there will be an announcement very soon from Afilias or ICANN, that the integrity of the .info registry will be re-established, through Afilias's purging of all fraudulent Sunrise registrations, before the Landrush phase begins, or, that a system is implemented whereby the original and reasonable expectations of the Landrush applicants are acknowledged as in the proposal being called the Simple Solution.

Fraud should not be ignored, and must not be rewarded.

As gauged by the events of the Afilias .info roll out, neither ICANN nor Afilias as they are currently constituted and managed are up to the task.

I hope that everyone with a grievance rising from this fiasco will notify a journalist or news agency every day as I am doing, and continue to write to ICANN and try to network as much pressure as possible upon ICANN and Afilias, so that there will be a short term equitable solution for the Landrush and legitimate Sunrise applicants.

For the longer term, the more media attention this fraud receives now, the greater the chance there will be changes to management and management practices at both Afilias and ICANN which will make them both responsible and reliable entities at a future date.

It is pretty much up to you as to whether there is likely to be the necessary changes, or we continue to have Afiliass* - the place the world goes to see incompetence - and ISCAM - Internet's Centre for Amateur Management.

*Thanks to another poster.



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