Have Your Say: auDA Privacy Policy and Data Breach Response Plan

auDA is seeking community feedback on two of its corporate policies:

  • Privacy Policy
  • Data Breach Response Plan

 

auDA Corporate Policies set out how auDA conducts its business as the administrator and self-regulatory policy body for the .au ccTLD,  including how it complies with its legal obligations under Australian law.

The draft documents for can be found in Public Comment section of this site.

How to have your say

You can email feedback on these documents to corporate.policies@auda.org.au.

All feedback must be received by no later than 5pm AEST 8 November 2019.

auDA will publish any submissions received.  The submissions will be collated and provided to the auDA Board for consideration. A person making a submission to auDA consents to the collection, publication, use and disclosure of their submission to develop and amend the draft policy.

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How to Pick a Hosting Provider

How do you choose a hosting provider when there are thousands of hosting companies available online? It’s like searching google.com trying to find restaurants. There are lots of them. Hopefully these tips will steer you in the right direction. Important factors in selecting a web hosting company include the percentage of server uptime. 99% uptime is the dream standard for server uptime, 65% is unacceptable. The higher the downtime of a server, the lower the potential for traffic at your web site. Another consideration is how much space is provided for the files that will make up your web site. How much bandwidth is in your package? Monthly bandwidth is the amount of data transfer allowed for visitors to view and use your web site.

With today’s changing trends in web hosting services, it is important to get as much server space and bandwidth as you can. This will allow for necessary updates and increased traffic to your site as it becomes more popular.

It is equally important when purchasing business web hosting that PHP and CGI access is provided; along with features such as MySQL, Real Audio, Real Video, and Cold Fusion (which some companies sell as an add on component). A crucial feature necessary for doing ecommerce is SSL, or Secure Socket Layer. This encrypts all order and credit card information until it reaches you. An SSL certificate can be purchased from most web hosting providers. Displaying it on your ecommerce web site verifies that your site transactions are safe and secure.

You will also need a domain name that reflects the nature of your business. For instance, a sports business might have a URL that is www.sydneysports.com.au . To get your own unique domain name, you must first check the availability of the name with a domain name search, offered by domain registrars such as Domain.com, Namecheap, Crucial Paradigm and the oldest registrar Network Solutions.

There are many service providers to choose from. If you do your homework, you’ll find some good deals that will fit your budget.

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auDA RRP Decision 20193787

auDA today acknowledges the decision of the independent Registrant Review Panel (RRP), in regard to seoco.com.au, teesnow.com.au and 184 others.

A copy of the RRP Decision Summary can be found here: RRP Decision 20193787.

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Identify With Your Domain Name

Use common sense when choosing a domain name because your domain name, or URL, can have an impact in both the online and offline marketing of your web-site. Long or difficult to spell domain names can make people ignore your web site and it has to be pretty good for them to stick with it (for an example, go to www.thedolphinsmakemecry.com website. Short domain names register better with people’s memory and are easy to remember.

Obtain a domain name that will help you in your marketing niche and strategy. Like I stated before, you can use your business name as your URL. If your business name is already taken by someone else then get a URL name close to what you are doing. Purchasing a business name domain name isn’t the only way to go, and when a keyword domain name could do just fine.

If you plan on using the .net extension, you may want to wait on deciding your name until after you have found an available domain name that is suitable to your type of business. If you follow the steps below, you should be okay in identifying your name brand to the internet community.

Structure Your Brand Name – Put your domain name on your letterhead, business card, printed materials; put it on your phone recording, the side of your car; don’t forget to include it with your email.

Keep it Short & Memorable – Don’t get a URL that uses all 26 letters of the alphabet.

Secure a .com URL – I strongly recommend purchasing a .com domain name as opposed to a .net, .info, .biz or anything else. If your chosen domain name is not available in a .com, keep looking until you find one that isn’t taken. There is nothing wrong with the other extensions but when you have a .com extension, it sounds like you’ve been on the net a long time.

Remember, your domain name is an extension of your business and your brand of product or service.

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First ICANN Managed Root Server Instance Installed in Shanghai

SHANGHAI, China – 3 September 2019 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced the successful installation of an ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) instance in Shanghai, China.

A root server is a name server for the Domain Name System (DNS) root zone. Root servers respond to DNS lookup requests made by DNS resolvers generally operated by Internet service providers. When the request is a query about the root zone itself, the root server will respond authoritatively with the answer. For all other queries, the root server will respond with either a referral to the appropriate top-level domain (TLD) name server or an error response (e.g. to indicate a non-existent TLD). Each root server is made up of a number of machines at multiple locations. These machines are known as instances.

An instance makes use of an Internet traffic routing technique known as "anycast" that allows all the root server's instances to have the same two IP addresses (an IPv4 address and an IPv6 address) and to serve the same DNS content, including information about the name servers for TLDs. Increasing the number of instances improves the overall fault tolerance of the DNS, bolsters the resilience against certain types of cyber threats such as Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and can reduce the response time that local Internet users experience during DNS queries.

The installation of the Shanghai instance is a joint activity between ICANN, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), and the local community. Shanghai Telecom supplied the equipment necessary for the installation and the bandwidth needed to support the instance.

"We appreciate CNNIC's efforts to host this IMRS instance. This commitment improves root zone DNS service, and augments the technical stability and resiliency of the DNS in the region," said David Conrad, ICANN Chief Technology Officer.

Contrary to common misconception, root servers do not control the Internet. The operation of an instance also does not provide any mechanism to alter content of the DNS. Any modification of root zone content will be mitigated by a part of the DNS protocol known as the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and if an instance fail to respond to a query, resolvers will ask the same question to another instance or root server.

Regardless of which root server the resolvers are sending queries to, spreading more instances geographically leads to a more resilient, dispersed system that reduces the risk of Internet users being taken offline by a problem or attack. The increased distribution of instances also ensures that the turnaround time of a DNS query and response is as fast as possible, resulting in better experiences for Internet users.

The root name server system is comprised of over 1,000 instances operated by 12 independent organizations, including ICANN. Currently, ICANN manages more than 165 IMRS instances located all over the world, where most of which are hosted by third parties.

This is the third IMRS instance installed in China, and the first one located in eastern China. The other two instances are located in Beijing.

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For more information about IMRS, please visit www.dns.icann.org/.

For more information about the global root server system, please visit www.root-servers.org.

Media Contacts

Liana Teo
Head of Communications, APAC
Tel: +65 6816 1259
Mobile: +65 9113 2001
Email: liana.teo@icann.org

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique, so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world.

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The Mystery behind Domain Names

There are approximately 142.5 million .COM domains registered. That’s a lot of domain names out on the Internet that are either already taken or just parked in some obsolete spot gathering dust and all kinds of age. The most common names like loser.com. Jamesbrown.com are already taken by net investors who resell the rights to the names. Can you imagine someone having www.elvis.com ? He’s just waiting on the highest bidder!

There are 900 possible combinations for two letter sequences. If you’re looking for “ET” then you just won’t find it! Even allowing for digits, again every single web address is taken. Of course, that’s ignoring the fact that .COM registrars now mandate a 3-character minimum length, so it wouldn’t be an option.

All of the three-letter sequences for the main TLD extensions are also taken and adding digits to a domain name just creates a number of garbage domain entries. If you’re dying to acquire great domains and unique domain names, they’ll free up sometimes only to be auctioned off through unique domain name sales.

The longer the domain name that you choose, the more that the possibilities are that it could be available presuming that you’re willing to accept an arbitrary sequence of letters and/or digits. For example, most organizations have 4 letter acronyms (WQAM.com and AFTA.org so you may have a chance using over 4 letters to get the domain name that you want in acronym style!

Of course many of the registered domains are ever, visited, with a huge percentage having nothing more than a “parked page” (users pay domain registrars to put up ads for themselves on these type of parked pages). There are so many combinations and back door tricks to domain name cataloging and classification until the possibilities are endless.

The rule is to obtain a domain name that closely resembles who you are about which gives you an identity and brand on the internet.

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Finding The Best Rated Web Hosting

You want the best hosting provider for your website. You want a host that is reliable, trustworthy, and inexpensive. You need a web host that can handle the space of your website as it is now as well as any future growth. Bandwidth limits may be important as well if you are expecting (or hoping for) large amounts of traffic to your website. And, you need a host that has a fast connection so that your website visitors will not have issues in connecting to your site.

The problem is that many web hosting providers may fit all of these qualifications. So, how can you know which one may be the best choice for your website?

Perhaps the easiest way to select the best web host is to compare several hosting providers. Luckily, you do not have to do this manually; there are many websites that compare and contrast web hosts in many different categories.

Many of the comparison websites state that they list the best rated web hosting packages. But, since the various comparison directories do not all list the same exact web hosts, it is likely that each website uses its own system for rating the hosting providers. Therefore, you will need to study at lest a few of these hosting comparison websites in order to get a clear picture of which web host will truly be best for your website.

The best rated web hosting comparison directories do share some common categories in describing each web host. Most of these websites list the monthly price for a hosting package, as well as the amount of disk space and bandwidth offered by each package. Also, there is typically some sort of feature or service list that details what is offered by each web host.

Many of these directories list several free web hosting packages at the top of the ratings list, presumably because these hosting packages are offered at no cost. However, it is best to look at these web hosts with a very critical eye – remember the saying, “You get what you pay for.” While there may be a free web host that is perfectly adequate, you may not want to trust your most important website to a no-cost provider.

Some web hosting directories include a great deal of information, and this data can help you to come to a decision about which host will be right for your website. For example, you may want to have a certain type of control panel for your host, maybe cPanel is what you are used to, and you would like a host that includes it. Or perhaps you need an unlimited number of email accounts or an unlimited number of domains with your website host. By reading carefully through web directories, you can get this type of information about many web hosting providers.

The best rated web hosting listed at any one website may not be the best host for you. Do your own research and find out which host fits your needs before making a choice.

You can read more about web hosting at: https://newtechhosting.com/.

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Update on the Introduction of Second Level Registrations and the new .au Licensing Rules

Dear Associate Members

I am writing to update you on when we will implement direct registration at the second level of .au, and introduce new licensing rules that will apply to all Australian name spaces.

As you know, direct registration will extend to more users the many benefits of using a .au domain name.

While we had previously estimated direct registration and changes to the licensing rules would be implemented in the fourth quarter of 2019, it is critically important that the changes are widely understood, backed by an education program and supported by robust business processes throughout industry. It is also essential that these changes are implemented in a way that minimises imposts on business and avoids unintended consequences.

For these reasons, the auDA Board has this week decided to conduct an additional three-month long public consultation aimed at promoting awareness among new audiences, sharing more widely our plans to simplify the licence rules, and thoroughly understand and avoid any potential implementation issues. During this three-month period we will also take the opportunity to partner with industry to further test software changes, improve complaint processes and work with registrars to efficiently check the eligibility of applicants.

The outcome of this public consultation, together with a summary of technical and process improvements, will be considered by the auDA Board in late 2019 or early 2020, after new governance arrangements have been implemented and the reconstituted auDA Board is in place. This means that the launch of direct registration and changes to licensing rules are now likely to occur in the first half of 2020.

While the introduction of direct registration at the second level of .au and changes to licensing rules will be delayed, we remain committed to their delivery and look forward to providing you with further updates as we progress towards implementation.

The auDA Board takes its responsibilities very seriously and is committed to best-practice levels of transparency, accountability and consultation in overseeing the operation and management framework for the .au domain. The minutes of our meeting will be posted on the auDA website once they are approved at the next Board meeting, in line with the organisation’s standard practice.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Ewart
Chair, .au Domain Administration Ltd

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From the auDA Chair: Update on the Appointment of auDA Directors

Dear Associate Members,

I am writing to update you on the progress and process for the reconstitution of the auDA Board.

As previously advised, the .au Domain Administration Ltd Nomination Committee was established earlier this year and in accordance with its charter is now moving to select candidates for a reconstituted auDA Board.

The Board will consist of six independent directors, one of whom will be the independent Chair plus four elected directors.  An advertisement calling for expressions of interest for the positions of Independent Chair and five independent directors appeared in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, 19 July 2019. A very strong response has been received. The independent Directors will be recommended by the Committee for appointment to the Board.

An advertisement calling for expressions of interest for the positions of four elected directors will now appear in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, 9 August, 2019. auDA Associate Members will elect these four Board members from a slate of candidates approved by the Committee later this year.

Kathleen Townsend Executive Solutions has been engaged to assist the search process.

We look forward to keeping you informed throughout this process.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Ewart
Chair, .au Domain Administration Ltd
 

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Call for Expressions of Interest: Elected Non-Executive Board Directors

.au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA) is Australia’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) administrator which oversees the operation and management framework of the .au domain of the Internet.  auDA is a not for profit public company limited by guarantee and endorsed by the Australian Government and by the global Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its job is to provide a safe, secure and operational namespace for more than 20 million Australian Internet users.

Following a Federal Government review, auDA is reconstituting its Board. This presents an important opportunity for Board members to exercise a leadership role, shaping the future of the organisation and the policy agenda for the .au domain industry, directly influencing its strategic direction.

The Nomination Committee is in the process of receiving and assessing applications for a Chair and five independent non-executive directors and are now seeking candidates for four elected non-executive directors. The Nomination Committee will assess applicants for the elected positions prior to a ballot by the associate members of auDA to determine the four elected directors.

Candidates wishing to be considered for election will need sound analytic and communication skills, a deep understanding of good governance and commitment to ethics and integrity and both the willingness and time to contribute constructively to the Board.  Collectively, the Board Directors will need to cover a broad mix of skills including:

  • Strategy, planning and policy development
  • Governance      
  • Relevant technical and industry knowledge         
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Finance and audit            
  • Leadership

The auDA Board is expected to meet monthly in Melbourne. 

The Directors will be remunerated and reasonable travel expenses to attend meetings will be reimbursed.

Depending on their role, candidates who are selected for appointment may be required to obtain and maintain a Negative Vetting 1 security clearance.

For a full candidate information pack and instructions on how to express your interest in being a candidate for election to the auDA board, please email admin@kathleentownsend.com.au.

Candidates who have already applied for nominated director positions and who indicated preparedness to be considered for election do not need to apply again.

Applications close 9.00am 23 August 2019.

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