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The Internet

The Race Is On For .net 85

mikrorechner writes "As reported previously, ICANN is looking for a new registrar for the .net tld. The biddings are in now, and The Register has a lengthy article about the five contenders. Their guess is that only two really have a chance: VeriSign and DeNIC. We will know more in two months."
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The Race Is On For .net

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  • Fraud (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:36PM (#11448103)
    Speaking of domain registration, I found this [] website that allows you to register the domain

    What a fraud!!

    Anybody knows who to complain or what to do to take this idiot down?
    • Re:Fraud (Score:4, Funny)

      by randomblast ( 730328 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:43PM (#11448139) Homepage
      > Anybody knows who to complain or what to do to take this idiot down?

      Yeah, post the link to slashdot...
    • Re:Fraud (Score:5, Funny)

      by simcop2387 ( 703011 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:55PM (#11448216) Homepage Journal
      fraud you say?
      i just bought from them!
    • Well, when you go to the page to pay, it says This is a DEMO Server. Your Credit Card WILL NOT be Billed. So its either just a site which is still being set up or a bigger fraud than parent post said.
      • Re:Fraud (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Judging by the very OpenSRS look of their interface and the names of the CGI scripts, I'd say they are in the process of setting themselves up as a reseller. OpenSRS requires a "testing" phase for new resellers, wherein they have to connect to a "demo" server and successfully submit a certain number of domain registrations of various configurations. I.e., deomostrate to OpenSRS that they have the script correctly configured.

        That demo server doesn't actually verify the availablity of domains requested, sinc
    • the ultimate dupe!
    • Speaking of which they even have for sale :)
      i think u can get a lot more hits if u buy that...
    • Anybody knows who to complain or what to do to take this idiot down?

      Well, as far as taking them down, posting a link to them on Slashdot was probably a good first step...
  • microsoft (Score:4, Funny)

    by myukew ( 823565 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:40PM (#11448126) Homepage
    Isn't .Net (c) by Microsoft already?
  • by H_Fisher ( 808597 ) <hvfisher&hotmail,com> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:41PM (#11448128)
    P. J. O'Rourke wrote that giving money and power to government was like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. With VeriSign's track record being what it is, I'd say that giving them .net might end up being the same kind of bad decision.

    I know there's no totally-impartial, non-profit-driven corporation or entity that can do this job well, but Verisign's past practices ("Site Finder" and its blind ignorance of how the Internet should work is a perfect example) have led me to see them as worse than the rest of the pack. I simply don't trust them to do the job right because they can't understand that the Internet != the WWW.

    • by wertarbyte ( 811674 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:51PM (#11448197) Homepage

      I know there's no totally-impartial, non-profit-driven corporation or entity that can do this job well,

      Actually, DeNIC is a non-profit organization (, and they manage 8336375 .de-Domains at the moment ( html)

    • > ... ("Site Finder" and its blind ignorance ...

      Blind ignorance?

      Or open-eyed arrogance?
    • "I know there's no totally-impartial, non-profit-driven corporation or entity that can do this job well"

      I'd say that Nominet do an excellent job of managing .UK domains

    • It seems like the whole 8.3 filename issue all over again. Is there a better way to dilute the domain name space such that we don't have to rely on 2 databases( .net and .com that make the bulk of websites) run by 2 corporations that are in it entirely for profit?

      I think it is possible to develop some type of DNS system that is decentralized and secure enough to be reliable and trustworthy, but how do we move to a place where REGISTERING for a domain isn't centralized on 2 corporations? Country codes like
      • What's so wrong about a registrar being in it for profit?

        As long as we have someone to bitch to when it fails, and something is done.

        If the not-for-profit organisations such as ICANN and friends actually worked, your point might be taken with more than a grain of salt. But as it is, the commercial registrars at least do what they have to (in order to keep their profit).

  • anyone but verisign...

    they royally stink. Just google "verisign" to see why.

    • Re:Verisign stinks (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ThogScully ( 589935 )
      Not that I disagree, but just sending people to a bunch of discussions about Verisign on Slashdot is not exactly incontrivertible evidence that they suck. There are lots of reasons, but the Slashdot crowd not liking them is not a reason that speaks to anyone but the Slashdot crowd.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:47PM (#11448164)
    Q: How do you know your sysadmin is on the phone with a Verisign rep?

    A: You can hear screams of "YOU FUCKING INCOMPETENT COCKSUCKERS!" from six cubes away rather than the usual three.

    • Our server hosting site is verisign??

      Wow... live and learn.
    • Should have been a +5 Informative...

      I've been on hold for at least 20 minutes with them because their web system rejects my dns servers. Listening to the same 1 song on infinite repeat. I'm sure (if they actually answer) they'll say something like "Your user ID doesn't give you permission to change DNS". Ignoring, of course, that we called two weeks ago to make sure we had the right access. They'll fix it as soon as I send my blood type on fake company letterhead.

      The last domain I transfered from them was
    • You must work in my office! Sorry about that - they wouldn't fix the DNS entry.
    • Wait... you actually got a Verisign rep on the phone?

      Please submit your answer via facsimile.
  • Not for profit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wertarbyte ( 811674 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:47PM (#11448170) Homepage
    As you can see here [], DeNIC is an organization that does not aim for profit:

    "In Deutschland ist es die DENIC, die diese Aufgabe als "designated administrator" im Sinne des RFC1591 übernommen hat. Sie erfüllt sie ohne Gewinnerzielungsabsicht zum Nutzen und Wohle der gesamten deutschen Internet Community, neutral und unabhängig, fachkundig und verantwortungsbewusst, diskriminierungsfrei und in Übereinstimmung mit den international anerkannten Standards für den Betrieb einer Domain-Registrierungsstelle."

    This roughly translates to

    "In germany, DeNic took this duty as 'designated administrator' according to RFC1591. It achieves its duty without any aim for financial profits, but for the benefit of the hole internet community, neutrally and independently, competently and responsibly, withouth discrimination and in accordance to international standards for domain registration services."

    • Re:Not for profit (Score:4, Informative)

      by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @01:12PM (#11448315) Homepage
      DENIC is not as neutral as it claims to be. It pursues the interests of its members (like every good co-op should do), not those of all Internet users. Sometimes, the interests diverge. For example, DENIC members generally want easy domain transfers with as little validation as possible (because they make money by transferring domains), but most corporate users want rock-solid delegations that cannot be altered by anyone except themselves.
      • The fact is that denic does a pretty good job without much overhead. That's why there are so many de domains.

        I believe that a Co-op is the right organisational framework.

        Don't get the UN or Verisign involved. The UN is a diplomat's talkshop with a lot of overhead. Esp. those Internet Governance people shall get wiped out. They make a lot of fuzz in the lobby of ICANN an they know that they had real success at the ITU (=UN)
    • Re:Not for profit (Score:2, Informative)

      by joel48 ( 103238 )
      There is an "unofficial" translation of their domain guidelines here []. The first entry containing the phrase "without any profit motivation".
  • by Staplerh ( 806722 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:48PM (#11448183) Homepage
    Seems a little sketch. The article clearly argues that DENIC eG will win the contract. These two snippets say all, despite their conclusion that doesn't really support the evidence that they themselves introduced. From TFA regarding DENIC eG:

    So Denic isn't messing about and while ICANN would love nothing more than VeriSign to lose the .net registry, it would be equally delighted to see Denic win it. Why? Because Denic is the most powerful registry outside of ICANN control.

    So it appears that The Registrar thinks that DENIC eG will win the bid. This is especially apparent when contrasted with their earlier snippet about Verisign's bid:

    These very reasons are also why ICANN would desperately love for its old foe to be humbled. With VeriSign weakened, ICANN can start to assert itself properly over the Internet. It may even mean the end of the lengthy legal battle that VeriSign has been running against ICANN - something that is as much a bartering chip as it is a legal dispute.

    So there, the Registrar actually thinks that DENIC eG will win, despite their own conclusion and the story submission.
    • So Denic isn't messing about and while ICANN would love nothing more than VeriSign to lose the .net registry, it would be equally delighted to see Denic win it. Why? Because Denic is the most powerful registry outside of ICANN control.

      So it appears that The Registrar thinks that DENIC eG will win the bid. This is especially apparent when contrasted with their earlier snippet about Verisign's bid:

      That was just an unfortunate choice of words by The Register. Reading further one sees that Denic is aggressive

      • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @01:49PM (#11448527) Homepage
        so what the article author meant was that ICANN would hate to see either Verisign or Denic winning the bid.

        In which case, I suspect that ICANN would probably have stuck with the Devil they already knew and hoped that the move would have smoothed the troubled waters between them and Verisign. That would however have led to all sorts of allegations about the selection process. Assuming that he's come to the same conclusions as the Register then the appointment of the independent body is quite a canny move by Dr. Twomey. Whatever happens, they should hopefully avoid any mudslinging after the announcement and can get on with what they should be doing.

        Personally, I'd have to say that DeNIC is much better positioned than Verisign to be our .net gTLD overseer come July. DeNIC already runs a ccTLD with more domains that .net, so there should be no problems there. Moving the .net gTLD to DeNIC means that all the main gTLDs are managed by seperate entities; diversity is good here. Moving control of gTLDs about is certainly doable because .org has already been reassigned, and DeNIC has the additional advantage of knowing where PIR had problems. Finally, DeNIC is not a US company which addresses another issue for ICANN; they can use that as an argument against the UN/ITU's claims that control of the Internet is too US centric.

        By contrast, all Verisign seems to be offering is a continuation of the status quo, for which they have managed to earn themselves a less than stellar reputation. Sure, they can do the job, but where's the vision? Big changes are afoot for the Internet over the next few years with VoIP, streaming media services and more all gaining momentum; I hardly think "status quo" is going to be a winning argument against that dynamic backdrop.

  • root for Afilias (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MagicMerlin ( 576324 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:48PM (#11448184)
    Afilias runs the .org domain on PostgreSQL. It has been pretty smooth, no matter what the article says, and it was a huge embarassment for Oracle who ran a huge disinformation campaign against PostgreSQL and open source in general.

    • I happen to know people at Afflias. I also know for a fact that they have Oracle licenses that were purchased when Affilias was formed. (2001'ish) I cannot imagine spending the money on Oracle and not using it. This of course doesn't mean that they couldn't use Postgres too.
      • Afilias employees are regulars around the PostgreSQL mailing lists (and important developers). The company also funds development of important features and related projects (notably Slony-I [], a bsd licensed replication engine).

        From the Afilias Website []:

        July 7-11, 2003: Afilias database expert Andrew Sullivan will present the session "Backing a 24/7 Registry with PostgreSQL" at the O'Reilly Open Source Software Convention 2003 at the Portland Marriott Downtown.

        Thatindicates to me that Afilias conducts its

      • Unfortunately, you don't know what you're talking about. Afilias runs all of their registries on Postgres, and has done so since day one. (I know, I was there helping them go live with .info.)

        If you want independent confirmation, check out their bids for the registries, such as nts-13.htm#Response13TheInternetSocietyISOC []
        They got considerable flak for this the first couple times (orchestrated none too subtly by Oracle) ... but the competitors seem to ha
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ICANN has become an incredibly corrupt government entity. In reality, all bidders should have a chance. But when you're ICANN, you like to short-circuit the process. I suspect other bidders may not have been willing to give ICANN the $0.75 tax/fee they want from registrations, since it is wrong. VeriSign is the only one they know can control. Hence the contract will pass to them.
  • The biddings are in now

    That's an interesting turn of phrase. Perhaps our old friend Timothy should have done some minor editing.

    It's amusing how the Register comments on the credibility of various bidders, while acknowledging that verisign has been conducting a full-court press campaign.
  • I'll take it!
  • I've got a .NET domain registered (with for the next 9 yrs. I assume this will transfer over automatically?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, and the money will all go to the _current_ registry. If Verisign loses, whoever follows in its steps will have to keep your domain in the database for free until you need to renew it.
  • by r5t8i6y3 ( 574628 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @12:59PM (#11448250)
    from: /28482 []

    Subject: Re: Registrar and registry backend processes.
    Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 18:16:25 -0800

    [second posting attempt, apologies if the first identical post ever arrives]

    On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 15:47:50 -0700, Michael Loftis> wrote:

    >It's clearly broken, and needs to be put up for
    >public review by 'the powers that be' so that it can
    >be fixed. What's happening now feels close to a
    >boiler room poker game, noone seems to know all the
    >players, and even fewer know all the rules, so in the
    >end everyone is a loser.

    i suspect part of the reason for it feeling this way is because of the large amounts of money that are made specifically off of the .com and the .net registries. ~$1.2 _billion_ for .com and ~$30 million for .net annually (numbers from the following article). for what? the actual costs involved in administering these databases can't be anywhere near the revenue generated. the public is being bled for the greed of a few (as usual), imho.

    anyhow, it also makes me wonder about the motivations behind this incident coming so close to the application deadline for administration of the .net registry ($30 million/year x 6 years minimum = $180,000,000). i dislike conspiracy theories but i'm also a realpolitiker.

    can anyone comment on the reputations of the .net registry administration contenders (no need to comment on verisign)?

    VeriSign Has Challengers to Run .Net, the Domain
    The New York Times

    Published: January 17, 2005

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - As long as the Internet runs smoothly, few people think too much about its workings. But later this month, the system's underpinnings will become a topic of debate when rival companies publicly bid to run .net, one of the Internet's most popular domains.

    This will be the first time that VeriSign's .net franchise will be challenged. While .net is not as ubiquitous as .com, it has more than five million registered domain names, which translates daily into millions of page views, 155 billion e-mail messages and some $1.4 million in commercial transactions, according to VeriSign, the company in Mountain View, Calif., that manages .com, as well as .net.

    About 40 percent of government domains allow access through .net, including the White House, the United States Senate, Homeland Security agencies and the Social Security Administration, making it a vital Internet transportation layer, said Tom Galvin, a spokesman for VeriSign.

    So far, at least three companies in addition to VeriSign have indicated that they plan to vie for the franchise, which expires June 30. They are NeuStar, a Sterling, Va., company that runs .biz, and Afilias, which manages .info. A nonprofit firm in Frankfurt, Denic eG, which manages Germany's eight million registered .de domain names, has also indicated that it is planning to bid.

    Selecting the domain manager is the job of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. But Icann finds itself in a ticklish position because it has publicly clashed with VeriSign over the company's proposed Site Finder service, which would redirect queries from inactive or defunct Web addresses to a search engine supported by advertisers signed up by VeriSign.

    When Icann concluded that was an unacceptable diversion and refused to allow the service, VeriSign accused the group
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 )
    .Net? Hell, I thought Microsoft owned that already.
  • by r5t8i6y3 ( 574628 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @01:13PM (#11448322)
    from: /28565 []

    From: David M. Besonen>
    Subject: Re: Registrars serve no useful purpose
    Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 09:06:31 -0800

    [a dated, biased (what isn't?), insightful, and
    relevant interview]

    Published on Policy DevCenter
    ( karl.html

    Karl Auerbach: ICANN "Out of Control"
    by Richard Koman

    Editor's note: Strong forces are reshaping the Internet these days. To understand these forces--governmental, business, and technical--Richard Koman interviews the people in the midst of the changes.

    This month, Richard talks to Karl Auerbach, a public board member of ICANN and one of the Internet governing body's strongest critics.

    October's distributed, denial-of-service attack against the domain name system--the most serious yet, in which seven of the thirteen DNS roots were cut off from the Internet--put a spotlight on ICANN, the nongovernmental corporation responsible for Internet addressing and DNS. The security of DNS is on ICANN's watch. Why is it so susceptible to attack, when the Internet as a whole is touted as being able to withstand nuclear Armageddon?

    It's religious dogma, says Karl Auerbach, a public representative to ICANN's board. There's no reason DNS shouldn't be decentralized, except that ICANN wants to maintain central control over this critical function. Worse, Auerbach said in a telephone interview with O'Reilly Network, ICANN uses its domain name dispute resolution process to expand the rights of trademark holders, routinely taking away domains from people with legitimate rights to them, only to reward them to multinational corporations with similar names.

    Auerbach--who successfully sued ICANN over access to corporate documents (ICANN wanted him to sign a nondisclosure agreement before he could see the documents)--will only be an ICANN director for a few more weeks. As part of ICANN's "reform" process, the ICANN board voted last month to end public representation on the board. As of December 15, there will be zero public representatives on the ICANN board.

    How does ICANN justify banishing the public from its decision-making process? Stuart Lynn, president and CEO of ICANN, said the change was needed to make ICANN's process more "efficient." In a Washington Post online discussion, Lynn said: "The board decided that at this time [online elections] are too open to fraud and capture to be practical, and we have to look for other ways to represent the public interest. It was also not clear that enough people were really interested in voting in these elections to create a large enough body of voters that could be reflective of the public interest. This decision could always be reexamined in the future. In the meantime, we are encouraging other forms of at-large organizations to self-organize and create and encourage a body of individuals who could provide the user input and public interest input into the ICANN process."

    Former ICANN president Esther Dyson is also supporting the move away from public representation on the board. "I did believe that it was a good idea to have a globally elected executive board, [but] you can't have a global democracy without a globally informed electorate," Dyson told the Post. "What you really need [in order] to have effective end-user representation is to have them in the bowels (of the organization) rather than on the board."

    Auerbach isn't buying. "ICANN is pursuing various spin stories to pretend that they haven't abandoned the public interest," he says in this interview. "ICANN is trying to create a situation where individuals are not allowed in and the only organizations that are allowed in are those that hew to ICANN's party line."
  • The fact that Verisign is still allowed to bid for .net highlights the precise problem with capitalism; even when the company has shown itself to work against the public interest, Verisign's money is all that counts.

    And yet, this is just one of the smallest examples of capitalism's rule of profit over people. Heh.
  • Am I the only one reading on Slashdot: "The Race Is On For .net" and thinking that Microsoft launched some sort of competition for their .NET platform? :-)
  • I like what a coworker of mine said better; .yet

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong