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Re: NetSol takes over .us TLD and does this

  • From: Robert Cannon
  • Date: Thu Aug 09 21:01:08 2001

There is much more to the story.  A lot of information
can be found at

On August 3, 1998, NTIA released a Request for
Comments for enhancement of the .us domain and then
held follow up public forums. On August 17, 2000, NTIA
released for comment a draft statement of work.
Comments were filed by various groups, however, NTIA
apparently never released a public document evaluating
the comments and setting forth its decision, based on
a rational basis and in compliance with the
Administrative Procedures Act.  Instead, the
Department of Commerce went straight to releasing a
requestion for quotations (in other words government
procurement, the first step of setting up a govt
contract through competitive bids), posted by NIST, on
June 13, 2001 (NIST apparently had to conduct the
procurement as NTIA lacks appropriate authority). 
This is a $0 procurement with the government paying
and receiving nothing; the company that wins the
contract will be permitted to charge fees for
registrations.  The bidding period closed July 27,

In July of 2001, as a result of the rebel rousing of
the likes of Harold Feld, two congressional letters
and two letters from public interest groups were sent
to Sec. Evans asking for reconsideration.  In
addition, two editorials and a white paper by former
Clinton Advisor Brian Kahin were released.  These
different groups raise the following objections: 

* .us is a valuable public resource.  If a new
contractor is permitted to profit off of this public
resource, then the taxpayers ought to receive their
share (MAP argued that revenue from .us should be used
for public interest programs; this was supported by
Sen. Hollings. Rep. Markey recommended that .us be
turned over to the FCC for auction.). 
* The Request for Quotations places US registrants
under ICANN�s Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure
(UDRP); instead, disputes should be resolved by US
law. The UDRP requirement also violates the
Administrative Dispute Resolution Act which prohibits
conditioning receipt of a federal benefit on agreeing
to mandatory arbitration. 
* The Request for Quotations fails to ensure that the
interests of those with current .us domain names will
be protected. 
* The Request for Quotations gives primary rights to
domain names to trademark owners and gives
insufficient consideration to First Amendment rights.

While the Dept of Commerce has apparently indicated
that it will be responding to the Members of Congress,
it has also apparently indicated that the show must go
on.  It is expected that bids were filed by companies
such as NetSol and NeuStar.  The current Contract with
Netsol expires Nov 10, 2001.


--- [email protected] wrote:
> I thought this might be of interest:
> The whois for .us had been working a few weeks ago,
> but hadn't been since
> then.  I dropped an email to [email protected] (who had
> been hosting the
> whois server until a few weeks ago) and cc'd
> [email protected] and got the
> following responses:
> Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001 12:21:22 -0700
> From: IPC Computing Services <[email protected]>
> To: James Smallacombe <[email protected]>
> Cc: [email protected], [email protected]
> Subject: Re: {2001.08.445} .us TLD whois not in DNS
> >
> >
> > Instructs one to use
> >
> > for whois queries on the .us TLD.  It's not in
> DNS:
> >
> > [richard namedb james]$ traceroute
> > traceroute: unknown host
> >
> > Could you please look into this and let me know if
> either the website
> > is wrong or this will be fixed?
> At the request of the US Department of Commerce,
> USC/ISI transitioned
> all support for the US Domain to Verisign at the end
> of 2000.  We
> appologize that the Verisign supported web site
> still points to
> USC/ISI resources but we have no control over their
> publication of
> data.
> IPC Computing Services
> -------
> 31 hours later from the new registrar (Verisign):
> Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2001 19:27:10 -0400
> From: US domreg <[email protected]>
> To: James Smallacombe <[email protected]>
> Cc: [email protected]
> Subject: Re: .us TLD whois not in DNS
> Dear James,
> Thank you for contacting the US Domain Registry.
> The whois database was run by ISI until recently. 
> The whois server has
> now
> been taken offline and so there is no .us whois
> server currently.  We are
> currently working on a replacement but there is no
> estimate on how long
> that
> will take.  In the meantime, if there are specific
> domains you wish to
> have
> information on, please email them to us and we will
> manually find the
> information for you.
> Regards,
> US Domain Registry
> [email protected]
> ok, so .us isn't very widely used, but why then, did
> the DOC give it to
> Verisign?
> James Smallacombe		      PlantageNet, Inc. CEO and
> Janitor
> [email protected]	

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