the Afilias .info rollout - a registry and new extension launch that I think will
always be remembered for its deceit and deception.
Many .info preregistrants thought
they were buying places in unique or exclusive cueues, only to have that registrar's
or shop front's cueue submitted to another registrar for cueuing at the registry.
the .info Sunrise I repeatedly tried to have one well respected registrar confirm
that their Landrush cueue would be exclusine/unique and repeatedly I received email
responses that avoided giving me that assurance.
After questioning another unique/exclusive
cueue registrar about refunds for names I had preregistered with them, but which
had been taken fraudulently in the Sunrise because of Afilias's "after the event"
policy to protect against TM fraud, I was advised that they were afiliates of the
registrar which had avoided giving me an assurance that their cueue was unique/exclusive.
unique/exclusive cueue afiliate was relatively expensive and produced no Landrush
registrations for me. The "well, we are sort of an exclusive cueue registrar",
like the afiliate, produced nothing more than a hole in my credit card.
I got caught
and wasted money as did many others in the Afilias .info rollout, due to a lack of
transparency, due to a lack of business ethics (perhaps an oxymoron) of some of the
registrars and their afiliates.
Given the fact that the Internet is in its infancy,
but has apparently already - perhaps because it is still so young - attracted some
corporate players who have behaved during the .info rollout as though they schooled
in used car lots, it's time for the appointment or establishment of an ethical regulatory
authority to stop the abuses which characterised the Afilias .info launch.
as currently constituted is patently not up to the job.
While incredibly valuable,
web sites such as Garry's and Richard's - when it is permitted to operate - can't
protect all the Internet community.
That job is for a public interest corporation
or entity which the current ICANN is not, despite its public proclamations.
operated public interest and consumer protection web sites must be encouraged, but
the Internet community will continue to be at risk as long as the type of scamsters
and carpetbaggers which characterised the Afilias .info launch are permitted to operate
without apparent concern for the welfare of their customers or their negative impacts
on the beneficial operation of the Internet.
Where are we now? We are at
that point where honest men walk away from the Afilias partnership describing the
.info launch process as an abomination; a new extension is launched with an "after
the event" TM fraud and cybersquatting policy which produces around 10,000 fraudulent
registrations - processed by registrars and the registry without checks but described
by Hal Lubsen on December 6, 2001 as "improperly submitted"; where an Afilias Director
falsifies TM details in order to register names such as hawaii.info, but choses to
describe the registrations as a trial error; where .info registrars engage in a form
of insider trading by grabing lists of registrations, way beyong the limits imposed
by ICANN; where registrars such as RegLand go belly up and disappear during the launch
process with the preregistrations fees and chances of the people like the author
who has yet to receive any advice from the company as to where his money went.....the
list goes on.
It seems that there are too few honest men and women in the domain
business at present - and until the directions and preferences of ICANN are changed
through a change of executive personnel, the interests of the broad Internet community
will be ignored in favour of the current big players and entrenched interests.