1. Welcome to DNTrade. If you want to find out about the latest domain name industry news or talk, share, learn, buy, sell, trade or develop domain names - then you've come to the right place. It's a diverse and active community, with domain investors, web developers and online marketers - and it's free! Click here to join now.
    Dismiss Notice

Huge News Regarding auDA

Discussion in 'Domain News' started by neddy, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
  2. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    http://www.afr.com/brand/rear-windo...lian-domain-authority-dispute-20171019-gz3x6a
    "Government wades into Australian Domain Authority dispute
    • Oct 19 2017 at 10:30 PM

    [​IMG]
    Former State Liberal member turned auDA CEO Cameron Boardman.
    [​IMG]

    by Myriam Robin
    Disgruntled members of the Australian Domain Authority – which governs the sale and usage of .au domains – will be given a chance to take their concerns straight to the Federal government, with the government on Thursday launching a review into whether auDA is being run in a manner "consistent" with "government and community expectations".

    The review, which is expected to be finalised in early 2018, marks the first time the government has considered auDA's role since it endorsed it to govern .au domains. It'll soon be open for submissions.

    It comes after a rather tumultuous 12 months for the organisation, beginning with the resignation of long-running chair (and ex-federal comms minister) Tony Staley, who had been on the auDA board since the organisation's foundation. He was replaced by Stuart Benjamin, who himself abruptly stood down in July after members forced a special general meeting to address their concerns about what they characterised as the non-consultative manner in which the organisation was run.

    Two other board members have since resigned, with one, Dr Leonie Walsh, making a statement via the board minutes that "[she] no longer has confidence" in the board process, while also taking a swing at "some members" who criticised individual directors. Several key staff members have also left the not-for-profit in contested circumstances, building pressure on newish CEO Cameron Boardman, a former state Liberal politician who has led the body since August last year.

    And then there's been conflict with AusRegistry, the private company to which the highly technical task of running a domain registry is outsourced to. auDA appeared to consider bringing this function in-house earlier this year – one of the key points of contention that led to the special general meeting – but this is now subject to a broader review (which Boardman says was the intention in the first place).

    All of this has been watched on high of course by the Communications Department, which has representatives along to observe board meetings and is well aware of the various disputes with stakeholders that have taken place this year. A spokesperson for comms minister Mitch Fifield said stakeholders had been asking for this sort of review.

    Read more: http://www.afr.com/brand/rear-windo...thority-dispute-20171019-gz3x6a#ixzz4vxvOEkOa
    "
     
  3. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/628856/government-scrutinises-auda-oversight-au/
    Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 19 October, 2017 13:39


    "The government will review the management of Australia’s country code top-level domain, .au. Communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield today released terms of reference for the review.

    .au is currently managed by .au Domain Administration (auDA), a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1999.

    Then communications minister Richard Alston in December 2000 on behalf of the federal government formally endorsed auDA’s administration of .au.

    The terms of reference released by Fifield sate that the new review will examine the most appropriate framework for the management of the .au top level domain, how to ensure that government and community expectations inform auDA’s operation and decision-making, and mitigation strategies to address future risks to the security and stability of the TLD.

    The Department of Communications and the Arts will shortly release a discussion paper on the issue.

    “The .au domain is an intrinsic part of the identity of many Australian businesses and organisations operating on the internet,” a statement released by Fifield siad.

    “Consumers visiting .au sites know they are Australian and are protected under Australian consumer laws.”

    auDa said in a statement that it welcomed the review.

    The review follows a period of turmoil for auDA.

    auDA last year appointed a new CEO after ending the contract of the organisation’s inaugural CEO.

    In July this year auDA chair Stuart Benjamin resigned ahead of a special general meeting of the organisation that would have considered a no-confidence motion in Benjamin/

    Following the SGM, auDA committed to reinstating publishing of board minutes — a demand made in the request for an SGM by auDA members. It also revoked a controversial code of conduct for members.

    Concerns have also been raised over the cost of .au domains.

    auDA consults on direct registration

    auDa itself is currently holding a public consultation on the direct registration of .au domains (e.g. example.au).

    “Direct registration will not only provide Australian users with additional choice but will also signal that Australia is a digital economy moving with the times,” an issue paper released by auDA states.

    The proposal has previously drawn ire, including from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) which in 2015 said that small businesses were concerned about the need to potentially undertake defensive registration of additional domain names."

    https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/5...cern-over-proposed-domain-name-system-changes
    http://accan.org.au/our-work/submissions/1110-direct-registrations-draft-recommendations-submission
     
  4. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    https://www.smartcompany.com.au/tec...ges-experts-say-cost-smes-literally-millions/
    Government launches review into .au domain governance as auDA considers changes that experts say could cost SMES “literally millions”
    Dominic Powell / Friday, October 20, 2017
    [​IMG]

    After months of pressure, the federal government has launched a review into the administration of the .au top level domain name, as the regulatory body overseeing the domain name continues to consider changes that experts say could have million dollar implications for SMEs.

    The investigation will look into whether the .au domain is being managed “consistent with Government and community expectations” and comes off the back of months of alleged upheaval and mismanagement at auDA, the self-regulatory body established to oversee and administer the .au domain name.

    Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said in a statement that the .au domain was an “intrinsic” part of many Australian businesses’ identities and the government’s inquiry is to ensure the management of the domain would still fit the needs of Australian customers.

    “The review will be undertaken by the Department of Communications and the Arts and will examine the most appropriate framework for the domain. The review will also identify risk and mitigation strategies for the security and stability of the .au domain,” Fifield said.

    The terms of reference for the review note the investigation will involve public consultation around the future of .au management and “mitigation strategies to address future risks to the security and stability of .au”.

    AuDA is a self-regulatory body and is made up of members and is governed by an elected board and chief executive.

    Earlier this year, auDA chair Stewart Benjamin resigned due to an upcoming extraordinary general meeting that was to consider a vote of no confidence for him, reports Fairfax.

    “A total mixed bag” of governance
    Speaking to SmartCompany, former auDA board member Josh Rowe says this recent focus on the .au domain is just one small part of a longer-running series of concerns about management at auDA, saying numerous board members and executive team members have left over the past 18 months.

    “There seems to be a real issue happening with staff retention, and nearly every staff member on the board is brand new,” Rowe says.

    “AuDA is also meant to be transparent and do things on behalf of its members, but under new management it has stopped doing that.”

    According to auDA’s website, three of its board members were only appointed this year and four were appointed in 2015.

    The self-regulatory body decided earlier this year to stop publishing board minutes on the organisation’s website, reports Fairfax, leading to a number of its members — including Rowe — crowdfunding a Freedom of Information request to have the unpublished minutes revealed.

    After the request, Rowe says the board claimed to have changed its ways, but he claims members are having to “hassle” the board to receive minutes.

    “AuDA’s governance has been a total mixed bag recently and it’s getting hard to keep a pin on it,” he says.

    Proposed changes to .au domains could cost SMEs “literally millions”
    Rowe says the government’s review comes at a critical time for the .au domain name, with auDA considering proposed changes to allow simple .au domain names without the need for .com or .net.

    This would mean websites such as www.smartcompany.au would become available — a change which chief executive of StewArt Media Jim Stewart says would cost businesses “literally millions”.

    “Making these .au domains available would cost businesses literally millions and cause a lot of grief in the process. Sites would lose traffic, and there’s no guarantee Australians will trust and recognise it as a result,” Stewart told SmartCompany.

    “AuDA is still talking about doing it, and the decision was made without industry or member consultation. It will devalue existing [.com].au assets and provide another player in the field.”

    Review “good practice”, says auDA
    In response to the review, auDA interim board chair Erhan Karabardak told SmartCompany the organisation welcomes the inquiry, saying it’s been 17 years since the government first gave auDA the delegation for administering .au domains and it is “good practice” to review it at this time.

    “In any contemporary governance structure, you need to review these things. We’ve also got our own set of governance reviews and strategic reviews going on at the moment to support it,” Karabardak says.

    In response to the allegations surrounding auDA’s management structures, Karabardak says the organisation has been doing a number of things to improve member engagement, and “further improve transparency and accountability”.

    “We’ve set up a policy panel to review all auDA public policies, which has a number of member representatives along with other internet users such as ACCAN and the Australian government,” he says.

    “We have also got a member’s constitutional reform committee which is a 100% member group, which is reviewing our governance structure from the member’s perspective. We want to give members a real opportunity to be part of the organisation and the reform process.”

    “This is a two-way conversation with members all the time, and we want this to be a member-driven process”.

    While the review isn’t due to be completed until early 2018, Rowe and Stewart are hopeful it will mean auDA will return to being more member-focused.

    “I hope it will come back to the way it was previously being run. Being more consultative with members and more transparent with what they’re doing. It needs to be an ask, not a tell,” says Rowe.

    Stewart says more SMEs should be sitting up and taking notice of auDA, believing many business owners wouldn’t even know it exists.

    “I’d like to see it become more member-driven and more involved in the space, with letting people know what they need to do to get involved with governance,” he says.

    “People need to understand more about the domain name, what it means, and how they can have a say in big decisions.”
     
    snoopy likes this.
  5. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    https://www.smartcompany.com.au/tec...ges-experts-say-cost-smes-literally-millions/

    Erhan did you say this and is it actually true? If not perhaps a media release to state it was not true.
    Certainly it is misleading for people to read if not accurate.

    “We have also got a member’s constitutional reform committee which is a 100% member group which is reviewing our governance structure from the member’s perspective. We want to give members a real opportunity to be part of the organisation and the reform process.”

    “This is a two-way conversation with members all the time, and we want this to be a member-driven process”.
     
    Nicole Murdoch likes this.
  6. Nicole Murdoch

    Nicole Murdoch Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    131
    "Two-way"? auDA has a different definition of that term to the one I know. /s
     
  7. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
  8. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    Can you post the Minister's or auDA'S response to your complaints & letter regarding auDA's apparent flawed membership process handling?

    https://www.auda.org.au/about-auda/membership/
    "Membership of auDA is open to all stakeholders of the Australian domain name system.This includes domain name holders (registrants), industry participants and the general public (see below for membership classes).
     
    Nicole Murdoch and snoopy like this.
  9. Nicole Murdoch

    Nicole Murdoch Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    131
    When I receive it yes. I haven't received anything other than the generic acknowledgment email from the Minister. I also have no response from auDA.
     
    DomainNames likes this.
  10. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    Nicole, maybe you need to write to the non existent auDA "member’s constitutional reform committee"?

    "https://www.smartcompany.com.au/tec...ges-experts-say-cost-smes-literally-millions/
    “We have also got a member’s constitutional reform committee which is a 100% member group which is reviewing our governance structure from the member’s perspective. We want to give members a real opportunity to be part of the organisation and the reform process.”

    “This is a two-way conversation with members all the time, and we want this to be a member-driven process”.
     
    snoopy likes this.
  11. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,533
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    Anyone else find it odd that all comments from AUDA in these articles are being fielded by the Interim Chair? Where is Boardman? He does almost all AUDA media commentary usually?
     
    Nicole Murdoch likes this.
  12. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    http://smartoffice.com.au/govt-calls-auda-review/

    "The Turnbull Government says it is undertaking a review of management of the “.au” domain in order to ensure it remains fit for purpose in serving the needs of Australians online. A statement published by Comms Minister Mitch Fifield says the not-for-profit .au Domain Administration (auDA) oversees the operation and management framework of the .au domain which was last considered 16 years ago.

    “In that time, the digital landscape has changed significantly as the economy increasingly revolves around the Internet,” Fifield said.​

    The review would be undertaken by the Department of Communications and the Arts and would examine the most appropriate framework for the domain, he added. It would also identify risk and mitigation strategies for the security and stability of the .au domain, the Minister said.

    The Government expects the review to be finalised by early 2018."​
     
  13. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    https://ia.acs.org.au/article/2017/bigchangescoming-au-.html

    "The federal government has launched a review into the administration of the .au domain, following months of turmoil.

    .au Domain Administration (auDA) currently oversees the management of domain names in Australia.

    “The Turnbull Government has announced a review of the management of the .au domain to ensure it remains fit for purpose in serving the needs of Australians online,” Minister for Communications, the Hon Mitch Fifield said in a statement last week.

    “The review will be undertaken by the Department of Communications and the Arts and will examine the most appropriate framework for the domain.”

    Interim Board Chair at auDA, Erhan Karabardak, welcomed the review.

    “The .au domain is one of the most trusted domain zones in the world and we look forward to working with the government and Australian internet community to maintain and enhance that position,” he said.

    “It is critical that we have the best possible model for managing the domain, and that our risk and mitigation strategies are among the best in the world.”

    The review will seek industry and community views on best practice approaches for management of the .au domain and make recommendations on mitigation strategies to ensure the stability of the .au domain.

    It will also reassess the government’s expectations for the management of .au, which were established in 2000.

    The review comes following a period of unrest at auDA, which has seen a total of eight directors leave since June 2016, including former Independent Chair Stewart Benjamin, who resigned in July this year, amidst a planned vote of no confidence against him.

    “auDA is an organisation that did not change for a long time, and it has been through a period of accelerated change in recent months,” he said at the time.

    “Driving transition is hard for the Board, it can sometimes be hard for staff, and it’s clearly created concerns for some members.”

    The “change” is most likely to refer to the 2016 decision to follow New Zealand and the United Kingdom in allowing second level domains.

    This would mean domain names could be directly registered as second level domains, for example ‘youdomain.au.’

    While the proposed change has mostly received support, it has raised a number of concerns regarding its implementation.

    Questions over who gets priority registration rights for matching .au names and the mechanisms for implementing direct registration remain unanswered.

    There is also discussion over whether certain domain names, such as ‘police.au’ and ‘Australia.au’, be 'reserved' (withheld) from the public.

    auDA has created a .au Policy Review Panel and is currently welcoming written submissions for the implementation of second level domain registrations."​
     
  14. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    Independent News For The Australian Public Service

    Edition Number 574. Updated Tuesday, 24 October 2017


    http://www.psnews.com.au/aps/574/news/web-name-review-casts-net-over-domain

    Web name review casts net over domain

    The Department of Communications and the Arts is to review the management of the ‘.au’ internet domain to ensure it remains fit for purpose for Australians online.

    Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield (pictured) said the ‘.au’ domain was an intrinsic part of the identity of many Australian businesses and organisations operating on the internet.

    “Consumers visiting ‘.au’ sites know they are Australian and are protected under Australian consumer laws,” Senator Fifield said.

    “The not-for-profit .au Domain Administration [auDA] oversees the operation and management framework of the .au domain, which was last considered 16 years ago.”

    ‘.au’ addresses to be checked
    He said that in that time the digital landscape had changed significantly as the economy increasingly revolves around the internet.

    Senator Fifield said the review would be undertaken by his Department and would examine the most appropriate framework for the domain.

    “The review will also identify risk and mitigation strategies for the security and stability of the .au domain,” he said.

    “The Government is committed to working closely with stakeholders on Australia’s internet governance.”

    Senator Fifield said the Department would shortly release a discussion paper seeking input from interested industry and community stakeholders.

    The Minister said he expected the review to be completed by early next year.

    The terms of reference for the review can be accessed at this PS News link.
     
  15. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
  16. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    http://www.innovationaus.com/2017/10/Spotlight-put-on-net-governance
    "Spotlight put on net governance

    The controversial group tasked with managing the .au internet domain is under scrutiny as part of an upcoming Federal review of governance arrangements.

    Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced a review into the governance of the .au domain late last week, to “ensure it remains fit for purpose in serving the needs of Australians online”.

    “The .au domain is an intrinsic part of the identity of many Australian businesses and organisations operating on the internet. Consumers visiting .au sites know they are Australian and are protected under Australian consumer laws,” Senator Fifield said.

    The .au Domain Administration (auDA) is the organisation at the centre of this, operating and managing the framework of the domain after being launched in 2000.

    “In that time, the digital landscape has changed significantly as the economy increasingly revolves around the internet,” Senator Fifield said.

    The review would be conducted by the Communications department, and will make recommendations on the most appropriate future management of the .au domain, and how to ensure government and community expectations inform auDA’s operation and decision-making, and mitigation strategies to address future risks to its security and stability.

    The government would release a discussion paper on the matter and seek public submissions on “best practice approaches and processes” for the management of the .au domain.

    The review is expected to report back early next year.

    It has been a turbulent last 12 months for auDA, starting with the resignation of its chair Tony Staley last year, who was a founding board member. His replacement, Stuart Benjamin, resigned in July this year in the lead up to a special general meeting where he was facing a vote of no confidence.

    “Driving transition is hard for the board, it can sometimes be hard for staff and it’s clearly created concerns for some members,” Mr Benjamin said at the time.

    Members of auDA had been disgruntled over the removal of board minutes from the organisation’s website, a new code of conduct that prevented them from criticising the group in public, and the decision to bring the running of .au in-house.

    Several other board members have also recently resigned from auDA, which is now led by CEO Cameron Boardman.

    The organisation has also ignited heated debate with a plan to reform the .com or .net part of a domain, making it just google.au for example.

    The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (www.accan.org.au) said this change would adversely impact local small businesses and make it more expensive to register a domain. auDA is currently seeking public submissions on this plan.

    The current expectations for auDA, as set out in 2000, include operating as a fully self-funding and not-for-profit organisation, being inclusive and accountable to all Australians, promoting competition, establishing appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms and representing Australian internet industry interests in the internet domain name system.

    Whether auDA is meeting these expectations, and whether the expectations themselves need changing, will be investigated with the government’s new review.

    Interim auDA chair Erhan Karabardak said he welcomed the review.

    “The .au domain is one of the most trusted domain zones in the world and we look forward to working with the government and Australian internet community to maintain and enhance that position,” Mr Karabardak said.

    “It is critical that we have the best possible model for managing the domain, and that our risk and mitigation strategies are among the best in the world.”

     
  17. DomainNames

    DomainNames Membership: Community

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    516
    www.aph.gov.au/~/media/.../ec.../Communicationsandthearts/q327_Urquhart.pdf

    "Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications

    Answers to Senate Estimates Questions on Notice

    Additional Estimates Spill-over hearing March 2017
    Communications Portfolio
    Department of Communications and the Arts


    Program 1.1Hansard Ref: Written, 31/03/2017
    Question No: 327


    Topic: Internet Governance
    Senator Urquhart, Anne asked:


    1. For the year of 2016 please advise what ICANN meetings/processes the Australian Government took part in, including dates and details of the involvement.
    2. For the year of 2016 please advise what auDA meetings/processes the Australian Government took part in, including dates and details of the involvement.
    Answer:

    1. The Department represents the Australian Government in ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). One officer participated in all three of ICANN’s 2016 meetings:
    • ICANN 55 in Marrakech, Morocco, 5-10 March
    • ICANN 56 in Helsinki, Finland, 27-30 June
    • ICANN 57 in Hyderabad, India, 3-9 November
    In addition to these meetings, the Department participated in some meetings of an ICANN working group that was working on measures to ensure that ICANN would remain accountable once the US Government relinquished its historical oversight of key technical internet functions. One officer participated in face to face meetings on 4 March, 26 June and 2 November that were held in conjunction with the ICANN meetings, and in meetings via webinar on 19 January, 2 February, 8 February, 16 February and 23 February.

    One officer also participated in numerous teleconferences throughout 2016 relating to the work of the GAC. Providing exact details of these teleconferences would be an unreasonable diversion of resources.

    2. Representatives from the Department may choose to attend meetings of auDA’s Board as observers. In 2016, Departmental participation in Board meetings was as follows:

    1. 15 February – one officer attended via teleconference for part of this meeting (the first part related to a staffing matter)
    2. 24 March – one officer attended in person
    3. 18 April – two officers attended in person
    4. 20 June – one officer attended in person
    5. 25 July – two officers attended in person
    6. 30 August – two officers attended in person
    7. 10 October – two officers attended in person
    8. 14 November – no officers were able to attend
    9. 12 December – no officers were able to attend

    Two officers also attended as observers auDA’s Annual General Meeting on 28 November 2016.

    In addition to official auDA meetings, three officers attended the Australian Internet Governance

    Forum that was hosted by auDA on 11-12 October."​
     

    Attached Files: