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Username: antipodes
Date/Time: Wed, September 26, 2001 at 12:59 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.74 using Windows 98
Subject: evidence that Spy and other(?)registrars didn't have even


a basic understanding of the rules about the Afilias .info rollout.

Bob, you have given us a lovely insight here into the operations of one and possibly more registrars.

It is apparent from your account that SpyProductions, for at least some part of the .info rollout, were not familiar with the detail of the all important challenge process, which of course is so intimately linked to fraudulent Sunrise applications, and to the diligence of registrars, who according to Afilias's undertaking in its Description of TLD Policies document to ICANN and NSI were required to obtain TRUE AND ACCURATE registration information from all domain name registrants.

In that same document, Afilias indicated that to establish benchmarks for the operation of a new gTLD by a new registry operator, Afilias would implement new policies and practices which would include "The implementation and MONITORING of policies imposed on registrars directly by the registry operator via an RLA, without need for close involvement by ICANN.  THIS DIRECT ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM will test whether private parties can manage a gTLD for the benefit of the Internet community at large."

What we now have to determine is whether the Afilias ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement undertakings were transferred to Afilias's  RLAs, namely, the requirement for (1) "registrars to obtain true and accurate registration information from all domain name registrants", and that Afilias would (2) implement and monitor it policies and practices directly via its RLAs -  for the benefit of the Internet community at large.

Now we seem to have some contradictions.  Afilias has said in places other than its ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement that it would not be checking the the bona fides of registration applications at the registry, and Spy announced to all the world that (most) registrars would not be checking whether applicants were attempting fraud.

Who has a copy of an Afilias RLA - will a straight registar please advise us whether their RLA said they were to check the detail of Sunrise applications and whether the RLA stated that the Registry planned to monitor their adherence to the policies and practices outlined in the Afilias Registry Agreement?

What I would like to know is if Afilias's Registry Agreement undertakings were infact incorporated in Afilias's RLAs, which together with Afilias's undertaking to directly monitor the performance of registrars was the basis for Afilias claiming the close involvement of ICANN would not be needed in the operation of the .info rollout and normal operation.

If Afilias's Registry Agreement undertaking to combat cybersquatting were transferred to their RLAs, the question now is, at what point and by what means were the registrars advised not to take precautions against cybersquatting - as SPY announced that it and other registrars would not be checking the bona fides of Sunrise applications - and effectively that they and other registrars and the registry Afilias would assist those planning to submit fraudulent registration requestss.

Which brings me to the matter of the difference between fraudulent registration requests, fraudulent registration applications and fraudulent registrations.  Also important here is the matter of the Afilias Registry Agreement stating that the registry will be indemnified against any and all claims, as a registrant waives the opportunity for action at the time they enter into a registration agreement with the registrar.

I am not an expert in law, contracts or the technology behind the operation of the DNS, but it appears to me that a person with domain name registration request planning fraud can only complete a fraudulent application with the compliant registrar, or with a registrar not practicing due care.  And that a fraudulent domain name registration is achieved only when a compliant or negligent registrar submits a fraudulent application to a compliant or negligent registry.

Where does that leave Afilias?  In its proposal to ICANN-NSI in order to win its rights to administer the .info registry, Afilias indicated its intention to impose safeguards against cybersquatting in the form of requirements on registrars to check the bona fides of Sunrise applications, which Afilias said it would momitor itself.  Yet it is apparent from the actions of SPY, that inside the Afilias accredited registrars, there was no such direction and no such monitoring.  Afilias has said, in apparent contradiction to its Registry Agreement, it would not itself be doing any checking.

I am sorry that I have rambled again - but what has to be remembered is that 10,000 or more times, Afilias failed its undertaking in its Registry Agreement to take measures to stop cybersquatting - indeed it is apparent that rather than guarding against cybersquatting, the Afilias management of the .info rollout promoted fraudulent domain names registration requests which were processed in turn by a compliant or negligent registrar and then a compliant or negligent registry.

As if that is not enough, once it became apparent that the largest ever single instance of cybersquatting was in process, nothing was done to stem the flood - indeed, some registrars took the opportunity to fraudulently take more money from Landrush applicants for names already registered in Sunrise - but that will be another area of future investigation when this whole abomination is reviewed and the principals who orchestrated it will be dealt with.

Heaven help the Landrushers - as Afilias and ICANN can't be bothered!!



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