Blacknight Solutions has dropped its local ccTLD, .ie, from the free domain name program it offers in partnership with Google to Irish small businesses.
It’s being replaced with .co, the repurposed Colombian ccTLD, which has been getting an indecent amount of traction in regional projects targeting small business recently.
“Unfortunately, while we may be the market leader for .IE, we feel that the restrictions on the domain impose too many restraints to benefit program participants,” Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon said.
Supporting the highly restrictive ccTLD was imposing too many costs and headaches, Neylon said. The company will continue to sell the domains, just not through the program.
Blacknight, Google and the Irish postal service have been offering companies a free year domain registration and hosting under the banner of Getting Business Online for over a year.
In May, Blacknight reported that in the first year only about 21% of companies participating in the program chose .ie.
The .co domain is of course unrestricted.
It’s another regional win for .CO Internet, which markets .co as the TLD of choice for startups.
Just last week .CO Internet announced that Startup Britain, a private-sector entrepreneurial campaign backed by the UK government, had switched from a .org to a .co.
Pretty soon, if you want to register a domain name in a gTLD you’ll have to verify your email address and/or phone number or risk having your domain turned off.
That’s the latest to come out of talks between registrars, ICANN, governments and law enforcement agencies, which met last week in Washington DC to thrash out a new Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
While a new draft RAA has not yet been published, ICANN has reported some significant breakthroughs since the Prague meeting in June.
Notably, the registrars have agreed for the first time to do some minimal registrant identity checks — phone number and/or email address — at the point of registration.
Verification of mailing addresses and other data points — feared by registrars for massively adding to the cost of registrations — appears to be no longer under discussion.
The registrars have also managed to win another concession: newly registered domain names will be able to go live before identities have been verified, rather than only after.
The sticking point is in the “and/or”. Registrars think they should be able to choose which check to carry out, while ICANN and law enforcement negotiators think they should do both.
According to a memo released for discussion by ICANN last night:
It is our current understanding that law enforcement representatives are willing to accept post-‐resolution verification of registrant Whois data, with a requirement to suspend the registration if verification is not successful within a specified time period. However, law enforcement recommends that if registrant Whois data is verified after the domain name resolves (as opposed to before), two points of data (a phone number and an email address) should be verified.
Among the other big changes is an agreement by registrars to an ICANN-run Whois privacy service accreditation system. Work is already underway on an accreditation framework.
After it launches, registrars will only be able to accept private registrations made via accredited privacy and proxy services.
Registrars have also agreed to some of law enforcement’s data retention demands, which has been a bone of contention due to worries about varying national privacy laws.
Under the new RAA, they would keep some registrant transaction data for six months after a domain is registered and other data for two years. It’s not yet clear which data falls into which category.
These and other issues outlined in ICANN’s latest update are expected to be talking points in Toronto next month.
It looks like a lot of progress has been made since Prague — no doubt helped by the fact that law enforcement has actually been at the table — and I’d be surprised if we don’t see a draft RAA by Beijing next April.
How long it takes to be adopted ICANN’s hundreds of accredited registrars is another matter.
ICANN and several domain name companies have been slapped with a bizarre, virtually incomprehensible anti-cybersquattng lawsuit in Virginia.
Canadian Graham Schreiber, registrant of landcruise.com, has beef primarily with CentralNic — the UK-based company that sells third-levels domains under us.com, uk.com and the like — and one of its customers.
As far as I can tell, the complainant, who’s representing himself pro se, has issues with CentralNic’s entire business model. Here’s his complaint (pdf).
He discovered that a British individual named Lorraine Dunabin — who has a UK trademark on the word Landcruise — had registered both landcruise.co.uk and landcruise.uk.com.
Having failed to take the .co.uk using Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (repeatedly referred to in the complaint as UDRP), Schreiber has instead filed this lawsuit to accuse Dunabin of “Dilution, Infringement [and] Passing off” by registering the .uk.com.
CentralNic is named because it owns .uk.com and various other geographic pseudo-gTLDs, which Schreiber says “dilute the integrity of .com” and amount to a “shakedown”.
Verisign is named as a contributory infringer because it runs .com. Network Solutions and eNom are named because they manage uk.com and landcruise.uk.com respectively as registrars.
ICANN is named because… I don’t know. I think it’s because all of the other companies are ICANN contractors.
Schreiber is seeking monetary damages from all of the defendants, most of which he wants donated to the Rotary Club.
Go Daddy plans to offer customers affected by its downtime yesterday a “good faith gesture” in the coming days.
We have let our customers down and we know it. I cannot express how sorry I am to those of you who were inconvenienced. We will learn from this.
I’d like to express my profound gratitude to all our customers. We are thankful for your straightforward feedback and the confidence you have shown in us.
In appreciation, we will reach out to affected customers in the coming days with a good faith gesture that acknowledges the disruption. We are grateful for your continued loyalty and support.
The post does not specify the nature of the gesture.
Some customers will have lost money as a result of the downtime, which lasted about up to six hours, but there will be many more who won’t have even noticed they were affected.
Go Daddy’s outage last night was caused by an internal cock-up and not an attack.
The official line is that the downtime, which many reports had attributed to an Anonymous attack, was actually caused by “a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables”.
The company, whose customers suffered from four to six hours of downtime yesterday, just issued the following statement:
Go Daddy Site Outage Investigation Completed
Yesterday, GoDaddy.com and many of our customers experienced intermittent service outages starting shortly after 10 a.m. PDT. Service was fully restored by 4 p.m. PDT.
The service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a “hack” and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS). We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com. We have implemented measures to prevent this from occurring again.
At no time was any customer data at risk or were any of our systems compromised.
Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS infrastructure. This is the level our customers expect from us and the level we expect of ourselves. We have let our customers down and we know it.
We take our business and our customers’ businesses very seriously. We apologize to our customers for these events and thank them for their patience.
- Scott Wagner
Go Daddy Interim CEO
I reported earlier today that the incident bore many of the hallmarks of a DDoS attack, but that’s clearly now proven to be incorrect.