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The Internet

US Gov't irritated with NSI 41

Cjoh writes "Apparently Slashdot users aren't the only ones ticked off at the new site change. The government is pretty ticked off too." I'd say that NSI recognizes their time is ending, as the switchover to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers draws near. Mmm...I just love crass commercialism!
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US Gov't irritated with NSI

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    OTOH, maybe a ./ effect on that one will kill it, and then we'll all be angrier..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @10:31AM (#1964521)
    If enought people complain, email, and call.
    They will probably change it
  • It's their job to try and make money. They have to milk it for all its worth. Personally, however, I'd like to see a list of DNS registrars at


  • Posted by Mike@ABC:

    NSI believes that the InterNIC registry information that it's been gathering belongs to them, and they've been providing it free out of the goodness of their heart. That may change, though....(shameless plug -- I'm doing a piece for the weekend on

    As for WHOIS, that's available under Member Services from the homepage. And no, you don't need to be a member.

    And as for competition...I wouldn't be surprised if they couldn't drum up enough interest for others to take on NSI's 800-lb gorilla.

    This whole thing is kinda weird. I would suggest everybody keeping an eye on this could get stranger.
  • Posted by MAOinhibitor:

    Everyone who works with domains should get a whois client utility if you don't have one. The InterNIC web whois gateway takes too much time, and some of the International domains do not operate web interfaces to their whois databases. NetLab for Win32 has a decent whois, and Peter Lewis's Finger for MacOS is fine too. Of course, UN*X whois is ideal.

    Researching domain names or in-addrs? See:

    Domain Name Registries Around the World- links to every single registrar out there:

    Survey The Net (previously the Martinet whois gateway)- multifunctional whois gateway that queries most everything, including ARIN and international TLD registries, with no fuss:

  • It's their job to try and make money.
    True, but the important distinction is how they make it. Offering better services is good; screwing people over because they have a monopoly is not. It's possible to be ethical and profitable but NSI isn't even trying...
  • by Kabby ( 1265 )
    does it really matter?
    Their monopoly time is running out and price tag is still the same.
  • I was speaking about "" which resolves to "" at an unreachable IP. You can indeed retrieve domain name-specific forms and information from "".

    Unfortunately, I can't locate anything on their web site that mentions these facilities are available. For the newcomer to the world of domain names, their web site leads them into believing they must subscribe to NetSol's value-added services.

    Yes, they're a company, and yes they have a legal right to go out there and tout their wares, but in the past was always handled as a public resource, with information and links that were used quite frequently by DNS administrators and the technically competant. NetSol has basically removed most all of these "public" services and have turned the previously community resources into something proprietary and decidedly commercial.
  • by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @12:21PM (#1964529)
    A lot of you seem to be missing an important point here. The government isn't angry because they're trying to make money, they're angry that NetSol is pulling much of the registry information from public view and treating it as if it were proprietary information. They've killed their telnet WHOIS service, killed (where most people pick up documents and forms for managing their domain names), made major changes to their existing WHOIS services, and completely obfuscated their web interface to all of that information so you're forced to deal with NetSol as a business rather than a custodian of information.

    The WHOIS database has to date been treated as a community resource, but NetSol is making it as proprietary as they can, to suit their own business interests. In the process, they're making our lives extremely difficult by making it nearly impossible to retrieve information about domains and contacts or to retrieve domain name templates and the like to manage domains/contacts by any means other than NetSol's web forms (which many of you will agree are extremely painful when we're used to e-mail templates).

    The bottom line is that they've taken information and services that were once very public and widely used and without any warning whatsoever either dropped many of these services altogether or bastardized them to the point where many are all but useless. They did this so that everyone would have to interact with them through a single interface: the Network Solutions corporate web site, where they can now mislead you and try and sell you hundreds of dollars of crap that you don't need. It's all about ethics.

    The * forwards there now. You need to dig around until you find the right place to go.

    What pisses me of most about this, is their blurb about also registering .net and .org domains when you get a .com. It's unquestionably nauseating for the group in charge of name registration to promote namespace pollution.

    But then, that's corporate greed for you.

    Fucking dinosaurs. Get out of our digital age.
  • I noticed this new service a couple of months ago, and I was not impressed. This is the exact opposite of what this company should be doing. I think most will agree that it's bad enough for NSI to have a monopoly on domain registrations, and now they're abusing it by trying to put WSPs out of business with this new service. I can't wait till they are gone!
  • I just talked to all of the InterNIC guys at the IETF, just two days before NSI pulled this stunt. Either NSI is really good at keeping their techie guys ignorant of upcoming policies, or the techies are really good at keeping their mouths shut.

  • I'm convinced that more people are using
    voice recognition.
    Is there anyone, native-speaker-of-English or not,
    whe mistakes "are" with "our", or "loose" with "lose"?
    Or is it that freshman English isn't the barrier
    it used to be?
  • by Falsch Freiheit ( 7780 ) <freiheit&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @11:15AM (#1964534) Homepage
    There are other solutions... try [].

    AlterNIC is a "cool" idea, but it's hardly a viable alternative for anybody right now. AlterNIC domains only work from sites which have added their info to their root servers info.

    It's difficult to find any DNS servers that do have the AlterNIC TLDs added in. More importantly, it's even more difficult to find systems configured by default with the AlterNIC TLDs preconfigured.

    If you want to use a domain to do business or reach people, "" will still have a better chance than a nice, short, AlterNIC domain. Why? Because only a trivially small percentage of people will have any chance of reaching your domain unless you have a domain that's in the "standard" list of TLDs.

    And if you were brave enough to try and register and 'push' both domains, you'd be running too much of a risk that lots of people would try the AlterNIC domain and give up without trying the 'normal' domain.

    It'd be nice if AlterNIC were a viable alternative, but it's currently nowhere close to being that. Too bad.
  • I submitted an article to slashdot the other day about an article [] over at about the domain change, and how many people were upset. It wasn't posted, but I still think it's pretty good. I also noticed today that there's another article [] concerning how ICANN [] and NTIA [] aren't happy with Network Solutions, and also whether or not Network Solutions is violating their agreement with ICANN [].
    NTIA [] and ICANN [] may also be good sources to voice opinions to concerning this sudden change Network Solutions has performed.
  • Is that they are under a government contract, and are trying to claim that they own the work from that contract, not the government. I'd love to see the actual contract between the USgov and NSI.

    It's also much more than just ethics. There's now alot of civil law involved now.

    With the story on the Federal Courts considering domain names property, the "redirection" of to NSI is (ahem) interesting. The gov't is effectively having its domain "stolen" by NSI. I can see this as a perfect excuse for the gov't to terminate their contract, demand the contents of the WHOIS and registry databases, and walking away from NSI.

    Here's to hoping they do exactly that.


  • Netsol wouldn't have to pull this stunt if they actually did a good job, and had a good reputation. Let's face it -- they done a lousy job, and they're resorting to cheap tricks like that in order to stay ahead.

    They know that the jig is up, and are grasping at straws. If I ever need to register any more domains, no way I would pick Netsol, if I have a choice.

    I can't help but see a parallel between Netsol's shtick, and MS forcing IE down everyone's throat, in order to kill the competition - NS.

  • This article raises a good point about Network Solutions trying to increase their profile before they lose their monopoly. I especially like this tidbit from their explanation of why you should register .net and .org while you are registering a .com: (Being a dumb Canadian, I guess I read to much into the difference btw. the 3 TLD's.)

    So, come to Network Solutions to Register the Web Address you need... we're the dot com people and we've put more .com, .net and .org Web Addresses into service than every other Internet company combined.

    Funny how that works when you have a "lucrative, exclusive government agreement"!!! And luckily it's with the government of internet inventor, Al Gore.

  • No, they haven't changed the price for registering a domain - they've obfuscated the wording. If you 'reserve' your domain for $119, you not ONLY get the domain, you also get your DNS servers and page that says 'Under Construction' or has a little info about your company (Their 'dot com biz card') This is what they are pushing.

    Listed below that, it also mentions you can REGISTER your address for a mere $70 for two years, but you need an ISP to manage it for you, then. So the option IS still there, but not at all clear that it's sufficient, and you don't need to pay the $119. Once you get to the point where you actually choose one or the other, it makes the pretty obvious, but still...

    The webpage is designed to make it look like you have two options for your domain - hosted by Network Solutions, or hosted by someone else, when in actuality, you have a domain ($70 for two years) and another $49 for Network Solutions, just another ISP in this regard, to host the simple 'Under Construction' page + DNS servers. Just putting a spin on the text, though, but could snare unsuspecting people in.
  • by phred ( 14852 ) on Wednesday March 24, 1999 @10:40AM (#1964540)
    What's not clear in many of the news reports is that while NSI's monopoly on domain registration will be ending soon with the selection of the four other domain registrars, they will still run the actual central domain registry itself for quite some time -- I believe their contract runs through late 2000.

    This means, in effect, that the other registrars will have to give a cut of their proceeds to their competitor NSI.

    NSI has proven to be a marginally competent, arrogant, greedy, empire-building bureaucracy.

    Something needs to be done.


  • Thanks for the number!

    If I were a moderator, I would give you a score of 2.
  • I registered 2 domain names a few weeks ago for $70 a pop. The article says they're $119 now. Am I missing some fine print somewhere, or did they just ratchet up the prices a couple of notches?

    *Sigh*... You know, I was totally okay with having a single organization for domain names, I didn't mind the fact that it was a govt-sponsored monopoly, as long as it was quick, convenvient and did what it was supposed to. Now the internic seems to be following the trend of software bloat, focusing on self-promotion instead of doing its job.
  • NSI have pulled down both those back doors when I checked 'em just now.
    Man they suck
  • If ever something could be more postponed(besides certain free software releases of course)...hopefully, the lack of time efficiency on their part is more of a "lets make sure it works", than "lets make more money".
  • They didn't jack them up, they just confused the issue a bit. It's now $119 for Network Solutions to register the name for you and provide for you a 'Coming Soon' page or some sort of business card or something online. Think of it as registering the name AND providing minimal webspace of which you have no control.

    It's still $70 to register a name the old-fashioned way. They refer to "their" way as "Reservation" and to the "old" (and correct) way as "Registration".

    Damned Internet Rapists.
  • There are other solutions... try [].
  • Whether we like it or not, a company is in business to make money. Their business practices may be far from ethical, and while this causes me to get rather pissy, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it but boycott their services. The fact that the government has essentially given their approval of this monopoly for so long is what disturbs me the most. Although I think we do need some sort of order in domain-registrations, there's no need for it to be handled by ONE entity. Bah.
  • Anybody else find it funny that the dot com people are selling "web adresses" and not domain names? Makes you wonder what kind of people are buying domains these days.
  • You'd be surprised but even some new media agencies can't get it right. It took me a year to educate the PHB to the fact that you registered _domain names_ and not _websites_. I never succeeded in educating him to the fact that domain names do _not_ all begin with "www."

    In short, the corporates have taken over the net, so the Internet service companies have to be dumbed down by at least seventy IQ points. A hundred and ten if the site in question is being read by account managers and marketing staff.

    -- /\/\ .

    "If it's a bad idea, trash it. If it's a good idea, steal it and release the source code."
  • Almost three weeks ago I registered for a new domain and since then I have not heard word one from Internic, Network Solutions or whatever I should call them. I emailed them to ask what is going on about a week ago and still no response to that either. I looked at their webpage lately and it says orders will be reviewed within 24 hours. Well to me three weeks is a lot longer than a day.
  • I was at looking at what other sites are doing to help with domains. looks as if they are trying to do the old thing. I tryed to see if it was up and nope. But if you all are looking for domain redirection or domain hosting go here... [] You can get all them things at a site just for domain services which are free.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.