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Dyson Says: "NSI is stalling" 59

webmaven writes "Check out This story in which Esther Dyson accuses NSI of stalling the switchover to ICANN. " What, you mean we have to give the internet back? How's that fair? Poor NSI *cough*.
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Dyson Says: "NSI is stalling"

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  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    NSI's arrogance is really making them look like another Microsoft. I mean, come on.. A legal statement at the bottom of all returned whois queries?

    You agree that you will not reproduce, sell, transfer, or modify any of the data presented in response to your search request, or use of any such data for commercial purpose, without the prior express written permission of Network Solutions.

    Hey, NSI, I've got news for you.. I'm going to modify, reproduce, transfer and thereby sell (for commercial purposes) some of my whois results today. And without prior express written permission from you. What do you think of that?

  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    What gave them the right to own information I paid them to distribute?

    I'm not sure, but it is nice to know that NSI considers our names and contact information their proprietary trade secret. (-:

  • You are so right about ICANN. By the way, that MST3K parody of the Dyson letter is hilarious. An absolute must read.
  • I personally don't think ICANN is much better. It's really sad to see but the old Internet where the actual people who used it mattered is in on the verge of death. Some things survive, such as the open membership IETF working groups and their insistence on unecumbered standards, but I think this will rapidly become a rearguard action. Witness the rise of "standards" such as MP3 that are owned by corporations, and the growth of corporate dominated standards bodies such as the W3C. And the ICANN bootlicking of corporate trademark holders.

    As much as people hate the guy, it's really too bad that Karl Denninger's AlterNIC never really took off. That would have been a real free market solution to the DNS problem: multiple, independent, competing name registrars. The ideas were right. Too bad the people were wrong for it.
  • Wasn't ICANN set up as a successor to IANA after Jon Postel died?

    Bah, I'd feel a lot better having Jon in charge of this mess than whoever's currently handling it =\
  • However, just as I can blame, I must also take the blame for ALLOWING them to get away with it. After all, what good is a fee, law, or suggestion if nobody accepts it?

    The whole reason NSI was supposed to be government controlled is that it is an essential facility for the Internet. Telling people that they should not accept their terms is like telling people they should not use their phone because the phone company has unfair terms. It's not going to happen because business would come to a screeching halt. This is why the government is supposed to take responsibility for the monopoly that they created. We need the service and cannot boycott it in any significant numbers. Therefore it has to be reigned in by the government. They did an extremely poor job of this (as usual).

  • Look at their stock price. They consistantly make profits whereas many other companys dont and have twice or more the price.

    It's not too tough to turn a profit when you have a monopoly that is protected by a government that doesn't seem to care that you are making people pay to give you their information and then turning around and selling it back to them. It's ridiculous that the government ever let it get this out of hand. I can only hope that competition improves the situation. The situation can only improve if the government doesn't allow NSI to use its power to harm its competitors before they have become well-established and the monopoly has been thoroughly broken.

  • Bogus. The government is not your mother here to make every little problem in the world dissapear.

    Exactly. I wouldn't want them screwing with my rights or trying to protect me from something that I don't need protection from.

    BUT, since this problem wouldn't even exist if it hadn't been for the government using its power to grant NSI a monopoly, I damn well expect them to clean up their own mess!

  • Unfortunately, you'd have to toss out virtually an entire party to make any difference whatsoever. Many government officials are appointed by other officials. You have to follow the chain back. Then you can't just pin it on one person usually, but on a particular group of people who decided how things should be done, usually the majority of one party or another. Then you have to somehow make more noise than that party can. That's not easy. They have lots of money. They have lots of political backing from other groups for various reasons. You can't just get someone or many people tossed out for something like this. Other groups have too big an investment in these people. They won't let it happen. You'll end up fighting not just against a politician, but many "ordinary citizens" who just happen to be part of various groups that this politician is helping out in return for support and contributions.

  • The real solution is for the Internet community to wrest control from the territorial governments. The problem with both NSI and ICANN is that they are getting their power comes from an organization that simply does not understand the Internet.

    I think we need an Internet government, elected by people "in the know" (maybe a vote based on % of inet traffic that goes through your network), with power to enforce standards on an internet wide basis. Enforcement could be done easily by blocking traffic from sites if they chose to be intransigent.

    This government could easily setup new root servers and TLD's NOT under the control of NSI.

    This is the only way we are going to deal with issues like spam, domain name shortage, etc. The US government will not do it for us.

    The biggest problem I see is that any rational allication of votes is going te result in a lot of people I don't necessarily like having a lot of power... On the other hand, if we make it a real democracy then all the Windroids would dominate.

    My opinion...

  • The government can't make every little problem disappear, but its pretty damn good at making a lot of them appear.

    The government wouldn't have had to protect us from the NSI problem if it hadn't caused it in the first place. The registration should've gone from the government funded organization directly to a non-profit organization.

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday June 17, 1999 @05:15AM (#1846321)
    Controversial? Yes. But I really don't think any of this is NSI's fault. They're a company, and a company at the verge of losing their monopoly and thus their massive profits.

    The real fault here lies (as is usually the case) with the U.S. Government. They're the ones who allowed a private company to turn public databases into a propriatary internal corporate database. They're the ones that allowed a company granted a legal monopoly to take the facilities that were payed for and developed with taxpayer money and file for a public offering.

    They're the ones who didn't forsee these problems.

    But I doubt anyone should be suprised. This is a government that has shown time and time again to the US public and the world at large that it is grossly inept at dealing with change at the pace that the new information economy requires.

    Some people put the blame on the administration, or congress, but the real problem is the hundreds of thousands of redundant government workers. Policies aren't decided by congresspeople or Presidents -- most of them hardly know that the box next to their monitor isn't called a hard drive. The problem comes from the people working under them that either don't understand the issues or deliberately manipulate the issues to said elected figureheads in order to protect their own interests.

    Could be worse, there are other industries that are even more poorly impacted by government incompetance that represent greater problems for the general public than the information industries. Medical research for one.

    So NSI may be manipulative, and using tactics that would make any elected official proud to spread FUD and keep control of name registrations, but does anyone blame them? They were taught to do that and told to do that by the people who suck up our tax dollars. Lets put the blame where its due.
  • One thing I remember from those presidential campains waged by Clinton and Gore was that there would be no technology have and have-not classes. The opposite is true. I see a leadership that is not leading, but taking credit for other people's work. and leading the internet into decay. The so called leaders do not seem to be a part of the community. Rather, I see monopolies that steal information from the communities that create it all under the protection of "Mr. I Invented the Internet." It seems like irresponsible polititions can really do much damage to community driven projects for their political gain.
  • If NSI registers domains under government contract, how can they claim proprietary ownership? For the public good? What kind of rationale is behind this besides greed?
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Thursday June 17, 1999 @04:48AM (#1846324) Homepage Journal
    Is the NSI trying to become the next Microsoft? Are the non disclosures really necessary? What intellectual property? I thought this was the internet where it was necessary to share the load and resources. It seems to me NSI is some kind of raging cancer out of control bent on eating any healthy competition. They need to cut that behavior.
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Thursday June 17, 1999 @05:01AM (#1846325) Homepage Journal
    I paid NSI $70 for the privilige of my information being freely distributed and they choose to lock it up, effectively stealing it. What gave them the right to own information I paid them to distribute?
  • Now that we've seen all the things that can go wrong and ahve to be guarded against (monopolies, not enough numbers for everybody's fridge to have it's own static IP, squatting, etc.) isn't it time to end the experiment and put together the real internet?

  • We reinvent the process and this time make it open.

    We can point our root name servers anywhere and if every distribution of linux/freebsd came with dns set up to reflect our new root level servers we have effectively taken control back of something that should be free in the first place.

    We can also make an open database of contact information that anyone can query...

    ... but sadly this won't happen. This isn't a passionate enough issue for enough people to get the support it would need. Convincing someone to shoulder the machine/network cost would be practically impossible as well, unless say, redhat, debian, etc... decided it would really help out their products.

    Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...
  • Your anti-government ideology is so strong that it blinds you to the truth.

    ARPA and the NSF did an excellent job managing the Internet through its many years of astronomical growth. This government (and government contractor) design out-competed all of the commercial, proprietary networks, which are slowly dying out. Despite the problems, hundreds of millions of people successfully use the net. It's been a huge success.

    The net has been a success precisely because its design violates most of the prejudices of libertarians: though run as a government project, the net is far more decentralized than the proprietary networking schemes of the times (from IBM, DEC, or the telephone companies, for example). Libertarians seem to think that a government would produce a centralized system and a private company would produce a decentralized system. In most cases, the opposite is more likely to be true: companies are dictatorships, and they need a central point to get the money out.

    By saying things like "they're the ones who didn't forsee these problems" you are imposing an impossible standard. No one forsaw the day, back when NSI was granted the contract, when would be on every billboard. The net was run by researchers and academics who made one very serious mistake: they assumed that people would act decently. There were two places in the system that were centralized: IP address assignments (run in a decent manner by Jon Postel) and top level domain administration (run in a less decent manner by NSI).

    So yes, in the process, some mistakes were made. The primary mistake appears to be that Network Solutions' contract wasn't written as carefully as it should have been, so that NSI has managed to subvert the original intent.

    But it's not clear that your central charge is at all correct: They're the ones who allowed a private company to turn public databases into a propriatary internal corporate database. Says who? NSI says that the whois database is their property, but many others disagree and no court has so ruled.

    Whatever federal agency that administers NSI's contract should sue NSI for the database. It doesn't belong to NSI, they simply had the contract to run it. Yes, they put in labor to collect the database, but they have already been compensated for this labor.

  •, which used to be registration ser vices, now just has a page saying "if you want to register a domain, go to" They're trying to make it as opaque as possible to people not in the know about the registration process.

    Go! (or something.)

  • I'd like to point out that we were having no problems until the US gov't made the arbitrary decision to to "privatize" domain registrations. NSI wasn't doing a bad job, and the prices were quite reasonable ($50/yr and then bumped down to $35). The decision to "open up the market" was purely political. Thus, in my view, the problems now evident were created by the thoughtless actions of thoughtless people. Instead of opening up "the market," all they've done is open up a can of worms.

  • Controversial? Yes. But I really don't think any of this is NSI's fault. They're a company, and a company at the verge of losing their monopoly and thus their massive profits.

    This is a company that was given its monopoly by the government, and with the knowledge that this monopoly wouldn't be permanent.

    They seem to be doing just about anything and everything to retain their monopoly, despite the efforts of the ICANN.

    Blame them? I most certainly can. What gives them the right to the information in the WHOIS database? When I registered a domain name, I did not grant NSI the sole authority to do what it wants with that information; it was given so people would know who to contact if there were any problems with the maintenance of the domain!

    NSI now claims that this information, originally a public database, is their proprietary information in retrospect.

    They are also raising stumbling blocks as the domain competition gets underway. So far, of the five companies selected by ICANN, only one is able to do the registrations. And we are talking BIG companies here... like AOL! Since there is no competition for this service right now, except from NSI, the price hasn't gone down (big surprise!).

    I won't go so far as to say that NSI is another Microsoft. That would be going a bit too far. But they are trying to retain their monopoly at all costs, and they are spreading FUD and rumors, and they are stalling any REAL competition in the domain registration arena. This isn't any ethical business practise that I would want to be associated with. But I guess for them, the bottom line is money -- this is understandable in a business, but I don't have to personally like it.
  • I think they're too busy at the shooting range to sponsor a domain system right now.
  • >You mean start the .freedom TLD? :)
    good idea. i think i'll do that. anyone wanna join? ckrakes.freedom [www.ckrakes.freedom] is mine. i'll volounteer to set up a root.freedom with a 'freewhois' database of some kind, too.

  • I have been as vociferous a critic of NSI on the issue of the whois database as anyone I know.

    But then something interesting happened. They hired someone I know, Jim Rutt, who was the CTO at Thomson, to run the show at NSI. Jim has been on the Well for the better part of a decade. In the early 1980s he worked at The Source, the primordial ISP. He knows the Internet in a way I'd bet most of the greedheads who currently run NSI can only dream about.

    The accusations of ICANN having a "pro-corporate" bias fail on two counts: (1) ICANN has just begun its operations and it's hard to discern any such bias so far, arguments about the composition of its board and working groups aside; (2) corporations are, after all, the dominant driving force of the net these days, unlike a decade ago. Until real evidence of bias can be shown, I am writing off all such complaints as fearmongering by self-interested scribblers.

    All of this is also a distraction from an issue that matters a great deal today: NSI's appropriation (daylight robbery) of the whois database. It is quite clear that it was never the Department of Commerce's intention for NSI to claim intellectual-property ownership of that data. They were hired to manage that data. They can't even claim they have added value, since from the user's perspective the whois database looks and acts just like it did before they took over in 1993.

    Blaming "the government" for this is a cheap, lazy shot. Did it ever occur to those who fling such blithe accusations that maybe people in the government are trying to do a good, responsible job on behalf of the American taxpayer? No, it's easier to belittle something you don't care about and don't understand, isn't it.

    The whole point being that the government as well as ICANN has made very strong comments contradicting NSI's current version of how they get to their claim over the whois database.

    And that is where Jim Rutt comes in. I don't think any one individual can completely change a company, and NSI has evolved from a small tech services firm into a classic Beltway bandit, replete with self-aggrandizing management and sloppy and uninterested service (how about that, you government bashers! -- here's your sainted private sector at "work"). But the CEO does make corporate policy happen, and Jim knows how to do that.

    I am betting he will do the right thing, which is to renounce the NSI claim on the whois database, which is and should be a public trust, and instead focus on cleaning up NSI's act and offering a better-mousetrap service that will have the world beating a dotcom path to its door. That's the only way to win in a truly competitive market. NSI has got to get off the quasi-monopoly gravy train, everyone knows it. I hope Jim follows that path.

    So Esther Dyson's shot across the bow is designed to get NSI's attention. Realistically, that's what this is all about.

  • That's capitalism, American-style: socialized losses, privatized profits...
  • Both the NSI and ICANN are both major problems. They are both trying to privatize the Internet and exploit it for their own profit. They both must be eliminated, either by political means, economic means, or if it comes to it, shutting them down by hacking into and screwing up their servers. Get around both NSI and ICANN by only using the *.us domain and other country code based domains. That is how you get around NSI and ICANN's control. If everybody does this, they will be financially in the hole, and forced to give in.
  • I'm not sure if this is what you're saying or not, but if it is I agree with it: those who have money to throw away (like the good people at []) are already registering frivolous domains, NSI's monopoly is only allowing those who can afford it to do it. So, hey, shouldn't we all have the right to register stupid domain names?
  • I'd take NSI over ICANN any day of the week. At least NSI is honest in it's intentions, it's a company so it's going to operate like one.

    Whereas ICANN..
  • There's a big difference between ALLOWING someone to stick it to us and working within the system to fix it. People accept the terms of agreement, not necessarily because they really agree with them, but because the alternative is less desirable.
  • by jellicle ( 29746 ) on Thursday June 17, 1999 @09:22AM (#1846342) Homepage

    People are missing the entire point here (which is what Dyson wanted you to do, but...). In a nutshell, Esther Dyson and ICANN are doing a number of things to set major policies for the entire internet so that they will favor mega-corporations and totally exclude individuals from any participation in governing the internet. They're levying taxes, setting trademark policies, etc., while operating behind closed doors without individual input. The issue is rather complicated, too complicated for the amount of time and space I have here - do some research, as many, many people have protested ICANN's actions.

    The letter which prompted Dyson's response was an accusation from two consumer advocates about ICANN's current policies. (See [] for Dyson's response, the original letter, and a parody response to Dyson.) Dyson's response, instead of making any real consideration of the issues, was to blow a lot of smoke and essentially blame NSI for all the bad things that have ever occurred in the history of the world.

    Now, NSI is attempting to stake a claim on the .com DNS system, no doubt about it. And they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. But most of the things which Dyson blamed on NSI are actually ICANN's - Dyson's - fault. ICANN is responsible for not opening up the .com registry to competition, not NSI. ICANN is responsible for approving trademark rules which will allow any company to unilaterally take away domain names from individuals without even having to notify them in advance that the name is being challenged. Etc., etc.

    Don't fall for Dyson's misleading letter. Corporations see the internet as a tremendous source of income, if only they can establish sufficient control over it (which means keeping governments and individuals from having any input). ICANN is giving away the store to them instead of setting up democratic means of governance. NSI is attacking .com/.org/.net. ICANN's actions will affect the entire internet, DNS, IP allocation, everything. Which one is the greater threat?

  • The libertarian party does cooperate with other groups (usually the ACLU and the like) on some issues. The problem is resources. The LP's budget is miniscule compared to the republicrats, and much of it is spent campaigning to get a few more people in office each election. IMHO, the LP is fighting to make the world a better place, and they have my (albeit tiny) donation. I think there are some issues (such as this one) where the FUD can only go on so long. I certainly hope I'm not mistaken, but I think NSI's grip on the domain registration monopoly will succumb to the pressure before long.
  • Isn't our society driven by capitalism ?! Who would want to give up a good thing. Not I.

    Esther Dyson to me is like a little kid screaming for attention. I think NSI wants to get this over with asap so it can get on with its "life." Look at their stock price. They consistantly make profits whereas many other companys dont and have twice or more the price.

    NSI is down the road to having competition, they already have one registar sharing domain name registration with more to follow.
  • My gf is studying political science, and she showed me an interesting piece the other day. The writer proposed how democracy will change as technology changes, into technocracy, where the world will be run by the technical people, because of the technology changing so rapidly that politicians won't be able to have the knowhow to effectively govern a country. They will be dependant on the technical community on everything, and the politicians will be forced to show the public that they really did invent the internet.. :P

    (using the bad example of Al Gore..)

    Well.. it's only a theory, but I will vote for Rob ;)

  • While it's true that individual admins can point their name servers at any roots, the problem lies in reaching critical mass. Until such a time as enough people are using the new roots (and thus the new tld's) to make it a viable alternative, there will not be large scale support.

    This is the same problem the government would face if they were to set up new root servers. This is why ICANN is working hard to wrestle administrative control of the existing root servers away from NSI.

    So far as just running the root, the bandwidth and administrative costs are not nearly as high as you think. The majority of the traffic going to the existing roots is for the gTLD queries. A name server need only query the root when the root name servers expire, or when somebody misspells a tld.

    The Internet Namespace Cooperative [] is one of the alternative roots out there, already running a root with more gTLD's, and servers on several continents. This may be biased, since I'm a member of this effort.
  • I'd have to agree that I don't think ICANN will be much better.

    It seems up till now it's just been eccentrics or idealists and greedy corporations working towards replacing the roots and adding additional gTLD's. Perhaps the ongoing showdown between ICANN and NSI will force more of the pragmatists that are actually running the net to look at alternatives. Perhaps Vixie will start bundling pointers to alternative roots with the BIND distribution. Perhaps I'm also becoming an idealist.....
  • Of course, Gates is looking for an "heir" :)
    http://www.seattl []
  • Rather, I see monopolies that steal information from the communities that create it all under the protection of "Mr. I Invented the Internet."

    In what way has Al Gore, personally, protected NSI? Details, please.
  • One issue I have seen addressed in other monoploy discussions is what happens when competition is introduced to a monoploy-power controlled environment? One could argue that NSI's steep fees and centralization do much to sort out "frivolous" domain registrations. Not to say these don't already exist, but when the price exponentially reduces who is to stop others from registering thousands of domains which a steep price might have prevented?

    Of course the flip side is that NSI was a monopoly in all sense of the word and they have no right to charge astronomical prices or to say who can register a "useless" domain or a profane one. If the Internet is free and owned by the public then the public should do what they want on it? After all, that is an argument that surfaces much in talks of the CDA I and II, and recently in our discussions of whether anonymous posting should be allowed.

    Who should police the Internet? Who should protect our children? Who should control our computers? I say ourselves. As to NSI, the future will be interesting...
  • I think you raised a good point, but still, who gives the Government power? Blaming the "Government" or some other reified force merely escapes the real issue.

    Here is an example of what I am talking about. During the Vietnam war 18 year old American males were drafted and forced to serve in the war. If you disagreed and wanted to vote for someone who opposed the draft you could not because of your age. Some called it "Too young to vote, but old enough to die". The result? Protest, and the voting age was lowered.

    My point is that laws limit what we do, and in this case how we register on the Internet. A Government is just a term to call a group of individuals designed to govern the a country. They get thier power from the citizens. We have to GIVE them that power and when we do so when we accept and pay astronomical fees.
  • That NSI's reign is breaking, consumers have a choice, and will pay less is evidence that Capitolism is working.
  • According to your logic, then the Government is not to blame. You cite that thousands of incompetant workers get little done and can manipulate things. The blame can be spread to us all. After all, NSI's reign lasted longer than it "should" have because people and organizations were willing to accept NSI's conditions. "High price for a domain and high annual fees? Sure, I will do it. I have to get my business online."

    This is the exact problem with banks today. What happens when you use an ATM card at a different bank? You can be subjected to a service charge from that bank as well as your own. That problem keeps getting worse and will continue to do so as long as customers will accept it.

    You made a great argument and I in no way feel NSI or the Government is innocent. In fact, I hold them accountable. However, just as I can blame, I must also take the blame for ALLOWING them to get away with it. After all, what good is a fee, law, or suggestion if nobody accepts it?
  • > The real fault here lies (as is usually the case) with the U.S. Government.

    Bogus. The government is not your mother here to make every little problem in the world dissapear.

    Let's put it this way: Did you oppose both CDA attempts? If so, why? The government was just trying to protect you from a problem it foresaw...

  • Network Solutions has authorized an illegal transfer (breaking their own policy) and hijacked my domain and handed over its ownership to America Online.

    Subj: Network Solutions Policy Breach
    Date: 6/22/99 11:19:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    From: WiredNetFX

    Dear Sally Abel,
    I understand that you are involved in overseeing an ongoing investigation of Network Solutions. The situation that I find myself entangled regarding NSI and their practices in on a small scale compared to the scope the Justice Deparment's case must involve. But it does have far reaching implications for the integrity of NSI's business ethics regarding its customers.
    I'm writing to tell you about Network Solutions (NSI) arrogantly abusing it's power. If you canoffer any advice, assistance or pass this along to others who might be ina position to help, I would greatly appreciate anything you have in your power to do. Thank you.............
    What happened to me is a cautionary tale that of what may befall other businesses who register domain name through NSI.
    In June of '98, my grandmother, Nancy Roberts, registered a domain for me so that I could build a website for the black community called African-American Online Search. {
    The website was considered a standout page which garnered critical acclaim and attracted a thriving audience until mid-May of 99; when NSI approved a simultaneous deletion and transfer to America Online.
    [note* I wasn't surprised that AOL was trying to sneakily steal my site away because America Online had sent me a threatening letter mid-April telling me to turn my site over to them because they wanted to use it for a new search site they're putting up.]

    When I was notified of this unauthorized attempt to have my domain name hijacked away form me and promptly called NSI headquaters where they assured me that no one could take away my domain without my written approval via email. Unfortunately, the website transfer went through inspite of my vocal protest and NSI's empty assurances.

    My website hosting company, PrimeGen, wasn't notified of the transfer and subsequently have billed me to continue hosting They unsuccessfully tried to transfer my domain back to their servers and have been told by NSI, that I approved the transfer. Untrue.

    I spent over a month trying to get a straight answer from NSI president Jim Rutt and business office head Dave Graves as to why the domain was deleted and transferred.

    Finally, Dave Graves presented me with a reason why. He said that AOL "supposedly" couldn't contact me at my legal business address and that NSI sent me a piece of snail mail giving me 30 days to make my information in the WHOIS database current. He said that that piece of mail was (oh so convienently) returned to them...He says that NSI waited 30 days for me to update and when i didn't he had the right to delete my domain name and give it to AOL.
    I never received email and/or anything by registered/certified mail asking to make the WHOIS info current; so it was 100% impossible for NSI to say they gave me 30 days notice, when they didn't actually contact me. They contact'd me by email for ten other reasons, why couldn't they contact me for something so important ?
    Very fishy.
    And just so you know my business address information was and is correct and current in the whois database. It's verifiable by many sources, including bills from NSI themselves (one bill in my possession is dated two days apart from when Dave Graves said NSI sent me mail and had it returned ! )
    Also my certified business registration is on file with the postmater in New York City.
    Mr. Graves actually admitted that my information was current and correct himself,
    but he officially refuses to rightfully return my domain to me.
    As you can see, this means that if the postal service loses mail, that NSI will not bother to even email the contact that they have 30 days to comply; instead they will know its impossible for the registrant to update the info and will simply let time run out and delete their entry.
    According to NSI's past and present rule policy, a domain can only be deleted in the whois information is not current or correct. And since my information was correct and the domain was deleted and transferred through no fault of my own, NSI has no real excuse not to transfer my domain back to me.
    It's obvious that they'd rather butt heads with me than a big competitor such as America Online.
    I have started up dialogues online and on the phone with various organizations who oversee a/or keep an eye on NSI's activities. ICANN's Mike Roberts and Esther Dyson's assistant have both told me that ICANN doesn't yet have the power to mediate on the actions of NSI. Dept. of Commerce Internet Head Becky Burr has written me that there's not much she can do to change NSI decisions.
    If the goverment and agencies for the goverment are powerless to right NSI's wrongs the public needs to know right away what a big problem NSI is turning out to be........
    I am attaching all vital correspondences at the bottom of this email for your perusal.
    The website for African-American Online Search still resides on its original I.P. address and can be found at , also the original ftp site is still up and shows that aolsearch was operational until May 99
    Additionally, you can visit for updates and full info on this story....
    Sincerely yours,
    C. Emanuelle
    WebmasterFX/MegaSpark/AOLSearch Web
    201-656-8524 &

    Subj: No surprise here.........
    Date: 6/22/99 11:43:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    From: WiredNetFX

    AOL developing search engine
    By Jim Hu
    Staff Writer, CNET
    June 21, 1999, 4:00 a.m. PT
    America Online is quietly testing a search engine that will list results from its proprietary service and the entire Web, in an effort to expand on its "keyword" and directory-type services.

    The new service, called AOL Search, will launch later this fall, AOL said. AOL is previewing it in its proprietary service and expects to use it throughout its other Web-based properties, including Netcenter and CompuServe.

    Until now, getting to specific areas within AOL required typing in a "keyword" or clicking on a specific channel on the navigation bar. But with AOL Search, finding areas in the online service more or less resembles finding content on the Web.

    "It's a redesign of the overall search function," said Wendy Goldberg, an AOL spokeswoman.

    She added that AOL Search will combine internal search technology and outside search partnerships.

    Already, AOL has signed on Inktomi as one of its external search partners. Excite has been powering AOL's Web search products, such as AOL NetFind. But with the Inktomi partnership signed last week, Goldberg said Inktomi's search technology will replace Excite's.

    AOL has changed its relationship with Excite given cable Net access firm @Home's acquisition of Excite and AOL's acquisition of Netscape Communications. AOL is embroiled in a battle with @Home and others over high-speed Internet access over cable.

    AOL wants to offer a high-speed cable access service to its members. But cable companies argue that they built the networks and don't want to open them up to their competitors.

    A court recently upheld a ruling in Portland, Oregon, to require cable operators to open their lines to outside competitors. AT&T, the largest cable provider in the country, and the largest shareholder in @Home, appealed the ruling last week.

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