News, views and what I choose to dos



Tag : The Register

74,000 .eu domains suspended

I’ve just done a quick story about the 74,000 .eu domains that EURid has suspended and the 400 registrars it is suing.

First of all, thanks to John McCormac who sent me an email earlier today pointing it out with a link to his blog with more info. EURid, I discovered soon after, had stuck up a press release and I called up Patrik Linden at EURid for more info and, as ever, he was incredibly straightforward, honest and helpful.

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Whois data: winning back the Net

I’ve written a piece for The Register which went up this morning about Nominet having to deal with a US company surreptiously data-mining the Whois details for .uk domains to use in their products.

It’s an interesting story in that it highlights something that most people are really very unaware of, plus helps outline the risks we face in not building sufficient privacy laws with digital technology. Nominet is a rare example of a main Net registry that provides a minimum of Whois information about domain owners and also has an opt-in to remove all information except your name.

This system about thanks to two Australian con-men a few years ago taking the entire Whois for .uk domains and then using it to send people letters telling them they had to pay extension fees to keep their domains. It was a scam, but one that 50,000 Nominet customers were fooled by.

That isn’t my main point however. My main point is that while under European law, the Whois data is copyright and therefore protected, under ICANN rules, all global top-level domains – which means all dotcoms, dotnets, dotorgs etc – have to make all people’s contact details publicly available, and that means home address and telephone number and email address.

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First thoughts about Geneva Internet meeting

Well, it’s 3.15pm Geneva time and the afternoon session of Sub-Committee A at PrepCom3 of WSIS at the UN in Geneva will start in 15 minutes.

What does all that mean? That for the next few hours a group of around 100 people in a room will start making fundamental decisions about how the Internet will run forever more.

These sessions were getting behind. In fact there was only supposed to be one of these a day but a slow start last week has seen them running two a day and possibly three, with a third tonight.

It was pretty much doom and gloom right up until yesterday. Factions have built up and fallen down. The US and Canada – who always stick to give in the world politics stakes, mostly it must be said because of a pretty similar world view – have started edging apart.

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T-Mobile caught out purposefully misleading customers

I was very nearly tied into a 12-month contract with T-Mobile. In fact, I only had two days left before my seven-day grace period with my new phone ran out. The issue was that I had chosen a new phone for one reason and one reason only – I wanted to be able to pick up my email on it.

I received the phone and spent four days calling T-Mobile and Nokia and trawling the Internet to try to get my phone to work (to access my email) but even inputting numerous settings into the phone by hand didn't word. Finally I popped into Carphone Warehouse and the bloke there told me that T-Mobile simply did not allow me to pick up external email – at all.

This was news to me. So I called T-Mobile for the third time that week, determined to get a straight answer.

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Kevin Spacey loses pivotal cybersquatting court case

Movie actor Kevin Spacey has lost a landmark court battle over ownership of www.kevinspacey.com.

Judge Gary A Feess, of the United States District Court of the Central District of California, ruled on 14 November that if Mr Spacey wished to take ownership of the domain to court he would have to file in a Canadian court, where its current owner – the notorious “cybersquatter” Jeffrey Burgar resides.

The decision, in which Mr Burgar and his lawyer Mr EC Grimm “raise a novel threshold question regarding the exercise of personal jurisdiction where the Defendants’ ‘contact’ with the forum have taken place in cyberspace”, should at least allow a more level playing field in relation to future domain disputes. From now, complainants are unlikely to be able to chose where a case is heard, removing any incentive for law courts in certain areas to advertise their stronger approach to large companies and rich individuals.

This decision (case CV-3848) effectively ruins any hopes Mr Spacey had of taking over the domain, without buying it.

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