For example, the auDA compliance officer (Shane Honey) under instructions from the CEO (Chris Dispain) was told to send an email to the company Domain Directors regarding the domain auregistry.com.au and give them only 48 hours to respond prior to the domain auregistry.com.au being taken from them. What’s worse is that Domain Director’s has owned and operated auregistry.com.au as a registrar for the past 8 years!
It is clear from an official statement by Mr Honey that Chris Dispain initiated the action and ordered him to send the email to Domain Directors. After many years of service at auDA Shane Honey was dismissed on the grounds that he took three days leave for his honey moon in February last year. It seems highly suspicious that a staff member that has worked at auDA for many years has not been sacked due to an infringement nearly 12 months prior. More than likely Shane Honey has been painted as the scape-goat for Chris Dispain and auDA’s behaviour in the ongoing court case.
When the auregistry.com.au reached court, Justice Chersterman asked the important question of where auDA’s power to cancel domains actually originated from. He then ordered a temporary injunction to stop auDA from cancelling auregistry.com.au.
The auDA normal process for deleting a domain name provides the respondents 14 days to justify their claim for the domain. What is strange is that the publically available auDA board minutes indicate that auDA has abided by all of its policies in the matter with Domain Directors. It’s clear that either the board is unaware of its own policies or that they have not been completely told the truth around the matter.
So why did Chris Dispain go after auregistry.com.au? It just so happens that Ausregistry runs the domain name registry for the .au namespace and it is clear that that they were wanting the domain. The problem for Ausregistry is that Domain Directors had registered the auregistry.com.au prior to Ausregistry even existing as a company. The only way that Ausregistry can try and get the domain is via its relationship with the governing body auDA.
To make matters worse, Ausregistry has just had its contract renewed to manage the .au registry. It’s estimated that this agreement will be worth at least $40m over the next 4 years and even though auDA is bound to put the contract out to tender this was not done.
It’s clear that auDA has developed an extended history of abusing its power as the .au regulator and that this time they may have bitten off more than they can chew with Domain Directors. The lack of transparency, lack of appeals and the continued flaunting of policies and processes by the CEO would suggest a culture has developed in auDA that may only be changed by Senator Conroy, the minister of communications stepping in. There is one thing for sure, domains are the fundamental underlying structure of the Internet and that com.au needs to be cleaned up for the benefit of all Australian businesses.
: Posted on WhizzBangsBlog
by Michael Gilmour -- Reprinted with permission -- February 27, 2009
In the last couple of days documentation has been lodged with the Supreme Court of Queensland that has confirmed that the Australian domain industry regulator, au Domain Administration Ltd, has invented complaints in order to strip businesses of their Au domains.