Re-delegation of country code top level domain (ccTLD) is a process which entails changing of designated managers. The country code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) is the body in charge of delegating, re-delegating, or terminating and examining how the country codes are being managed. The re-delegation of the ccTLD is done based on the policies stated in RFC 1591 and summarized in ICP-1 document. The entire policies as well as the processes are all reflected in the reports of IANA where considerations are illustrated concerning the decision on the re-delegation. The ccNSO thoroughly and meticulously studies the related issues before it decides on the appropriate action that it has to take.
Eberhard Lisse is the managing Partner of .na ccTLD, also known as Namibian Network Information Centre (cc) (NA-NiC) and former ccNSO chair. It is the internet services of Omadhina that runs the co.na, a domain registry of Namibia and the only source for the Namibian domains. Eberhard Lisse started by managing a non-profit as well as non-commercial registry for local use only and ICANN funded his company to become a commercial registry. However, in the minutes of xxTLD-ICANN meeting in Geneva in February 19 2001, during their coffee break Mike Roberts pointed out the structure of Class 3 where he said as quoted, “The question of where the registries are sufficiently small size that the annual contribution ought to be a very nominal. We had some inputs that US$1000 was excessive for the floor. That is why we set the annual fee to US$500. But certainly there is expectation that small registries would not be required to make a contribution in their term was exorbitant.”
There have been controversy in the management of .NA ccTLD registry which is run by three individuals namely Dr. Eberhard Lisse. Dr. Bennet Fuller, and Detlef Lang. They controlled and use the .na domain for their personal interest and by earning enormous profits from it. The extent of the control have shown by Lisse’s website stating the suspension of the customer’s domain services or a fine of N$500 and €500 as nuisance fee to someone who is contacting him via his private email. Because of the violation that the manager of .na ccTLD has committed there have been complaints raised regarding the high cost in registering for the top level domain in Namibia. In addition to this the owner of the domain registry company named NamIT also filed fraud as well as extortion charges based on the 2003 competition act :“directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions; limiting or restricting production, market outlets or market access”. The internet community in Namibia is now demanding for wider or open management of ccTLD resources on a non-profit basis.
The cost of registration for Namibians for commercial sites (.com.na) can be up to N$1300, for organizations and NGO’s (.org.na) can be up to N$1300, for commercial or alternate commercial can be up to N$1700, and for .na ccTLD can be more than N$4000, which most companies in the country cannot afford. And the cost for the domain registration for foreigners can at times cost up to ten times a Namibian would pay.
This only shows that NA-NiC is persistently violating ICP-1/RFC1592 administration policy, as summarised in ICP-1.
The following conditions in the ICP-1 summary document, outline the requirements managers of TLD ought to meet, which the current manager is not adhering to:
(a) Delegation of a New Top Level Domain. Delegation of a new top level domain requires the completion of a number of procedures, including the identification of a TLD manager with the requisite skills and authority to operate the TLD appropriately. The desires of the government of a country with regard to delegation of a ccTLD are taken very seriously. The IANA will make them a major consideration in any TLD delegation/transfer discussions. Significantly interested parties in the domain should agree that the proposed TLD manager is the appropriate party. The key requirement is that for each domain there be a designated manager for supervising that domain’s name space. In the case of ccTLDs, this means that there is a manager that supervises the domain names and operates the domain name system in that country. There must be Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity to the nameservers and electronic mail connectivity to the entire management, staff, and contacts of the manager. There must be an administrative contact and a technical contact for each domain. The administrative contact must reside in the country involved for ccTLDs. The IANA may choose to make partial delegations of a TLD when circumstances, such as those in a developing country, so dictate. It may also authorize a “proxy” DNS service outside of a developing country as a temporary form of assistance to the creation of Internet connectivity in new areas. [N.B. The IANA continues to receive inquiries about delegation of new gTLDs. This is a significant policy issue on which ICANN will conduct a careful study and review based on the established decision making procedures. Information about this study will be disseminated on the website at icann.org.]
(b) TLD Manager Responsibility. TLD managers are trustees for the delegated domain, and have a duty to serve the community. The designated manager is the trustee of the TLD for both the nation, in the case of ccTLDs, and the global Internet community. Concerns about “rights” and “ownership” of domains are inappropriate. It is appropriate, however, to be concerned about “responsibilities” and “service” to the community.
(c) Fair Treatment. The designated manager must be equitable and fair to all groups in the domain that request domain names. Specifically, the same rules must be applied to all requests and they must be processed in a non-discriminatory fashion. The policies and procedures for the use of each TLD must be available for public inspection. Generally these are posted on web pages or made available for file transfer. While variations in policies and procedures from country to country are expected due to local customs and cultural values, they must be documented and available to interested parties. Requests from for-profit and non-profit companies and organizations are to be treated on an equal basis. No bias shall be shown regarding requests that may come from customers of some other business related to the TLD manager. For example, no preferential service for customers of a particular data network provider. There can be no stipulation that a particular application, protocol, or product be used.
(d) Operational Capability. The TLD manager must do a satisfactory job of operating the DNS service for the domain. Duties such as the assignment of domain names, delegation of subdomains and operation of nameservers must be done with technical competence. This includes keeping the IANA or other higher-level domain manager advised of the status of the domain, responding to requests in a timely manner, and operating the database with accuracy, robustness, and resilience. Because of its responsibilities for the DNS, the IANA must be granted access to all TLD zones on a continuing basis. There must be a primary and a secondary nameserver that have IP connectivity to the Internet and can be easily checked via access to zones for operational status and database accuracy by the IANA.
What do you think is the best course of action?