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Username: richard_henderson
Date/Time: Thu, January 3, 2002 at 4:42 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: Hal Lubsen and the need for openness, honesty and transparency


I note with regret that Hal Lubsen (CEO of Afilias) has failed to respond to my specific and detailed concerns, voiced on behalf of many members of the Internet community who have got no answer from him on the ICANN and gTLD-Registries forums. He has also failed to reply to a succession of messages sent to him directly. Our concern, clearly expressed, was that consumers were defrauded by the Afilias roll-out, and that Hal Lubsen's company DomainBank had profited from the submission of ineligible data in the Sunrise, at the expense of honest customers. The evidence for this has been presented in detail in the forums mentioned above, and is all in the public domain.

We were also dismayed that over half of all fake Sunrise claims had been submitted, for profit, by Afilias executives or directors. We shared the view of honest Afilias director Robert Connelly that this Sunrise fraud and roll-out was "an abomination".

Honest Landrush customers were defrauded of (in the region of) $3million and workable solutions were not put in place to protect their interests, in the wake of Afilias's defective Sunrise processes.

Hal Lubsen is a member of these forums/fora but has failed to respond to these very serious concerns. Of course, everyone knows that he is under no obligation to answer any questions raised here, but bearing in mind that a major purpose of the forums is to promote "openness and transparency", his failure to answer serious issues directed specifically at him is hugely disappointing.

Is this a rogue industry where the customer is simply ignored?

Or could Hal Lubsen simply give open and transparent answers to questions put to him.

I find his silence and evasion a dismal sign of the contempt in which honest customers appear to be held. I am co-operating closely with Ram Mohan of Afilias over the Challenge process, and it was my own website - TheInternetChallenge - which first brought the scale of the Fraud to the attention of the public at a time when Roland laPlante was hailing Sunrise as a success and denying the numbers we were quoting. I have nothing to gain or lose in all this personally. However I do believe Mr Lubsen has a duty to the Internet community to explain - in total honesty, openness and transparency - why he thought it was alright for his company (and the company Speednames, represented on the Afilias board) to receive a total in the region of $513,000 to support the submission of thousands of names with "NONE" placed in all fields, or facially ineligible details, with the result that Afilias's own system was abused and honest consumers robbed of millions of dollars in the overall fraud (because they had paid for the chance to 'win' these names at Landrush, and they were deprived of that paid-for-right by the fraudulent applications submitted by Hal Lubsen's DomainBank and by Speednames and certain other registrars.

I also believe we, as consumers, have a right to honest and open answers as to why - when these fraudsters publicly admitted their deception - their fake Sunrise names were not immediately returned to the pool in time for Landrush. Why, for example, William Lorenz sent 23 (documented) e-mails admitting 93 names submitted by DomainBank (who profited around $13000 for these alone) were totally fake, and in an effort to put things right, requested that Mr Lubsen delete all 93 names so honest customers could get them... and yet these repeated requests were declined.

And again, why Board members of Afilias are STILL holding Sunrise fakes themselves, five months after submitting fake data, and yet the Afilias CEO has presided over that (check out for example).

And why the commonsense "Domebase" solution proposed by Professor Connor was dismissed, when it would have safeguarded everyone.

And why in all these five months, Mr Lubsen has failed to enter into dialogue or respond to these points.

Come on Hal, please do the decent thing and answer.

Happy New Year to everyone

Richard Henderson


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