[LINK] RFI: Telecomms Act Powers re the .au TLD
effectivebusiness at applications.com.au
Fri Jan 30 12:31:58 EST 2004
I was involved in the .au domain name stuff at the time (board member of
ADNA & then auDA, etc) and I remember from discussions with the folks at
NOIE that they submitted some specific changes / wording to one of the acts
to ensure that the government had 'reserve powers' to step in and take
control of the .au DNS if necessary.
Their intention was to ensure that if there ever was a major problem with a
.au domain name Authority - whoever it might be: kre then, auDA now, or some
other entity in the future - the government could as a last resort step in
and enforce its authority. i.e. including the wording in the act was not
really related to change from kre to auDA.
At my age my memory is increasingly dodgy, but I think NOIE was working on
this at least 12 months before the transfer from kre to auDA. I can't give
you the details of which act / where in the act. Someone at NOIE, or Jo Lim
(ex NOIE, now auDA) could perhaps give more details.
On reflection, I think NOIE's work on the act, to:
* ensure the government had reserve powers to take over if absolutely
* to make the government role independent of, and make the act
non-specific about, any one .au Regulatory Authority, therefore allowing for
the possibility of changes in the Regulatory Authority
was the right tack to take - so I reckon bouquets to NOIE on this one.
Effective Business Applications Pty Ltd
+61 4 1374 3959
effectivebusiness at applications.com.au
From: link-bounces at anu.edu.au [mailto:link-bounces at anu.edu.au]On Behalf
Of Glen Turner
Sent: Thursday, 29 January 2004 5:25 PM
To: Roger Clarke
Cc: link at anu.edu.au
Subject: Re: [LINK] RFI: Telecomms Act Powers re the .au TLD
On Thu, 2004-01-29 at 11:23, Roger Clarke wrote:
> I'm finalising changes to my paper on the Internet in Australia, at:
> The Australian Government has powers in relation to the domain-name
> .au. (That was an important part of the justification for ICANN
> transferring control of .au from Robert Elz to AuDA on 25 October
> I've heard on various occasions that the power is part of the
> monstrous Telecommunications Act 1997, which is at:
> I have two questions:
> (1) where the heck is it?
> (There seem to be no occurrence of 'domain' in the statute)
> (2) when was it enacted, i.e. in the original Act or in an Amendment Act?
At last, an easy Telco Act question :-)
ISPs are Carriage Service Providers. Section 455 to Section
477 of the consolidated Telco Act 1997 gives the ACA power
over the "numbering plan" used by CSPs.
The ACA, reasonably, argues that "numbering plan" includes
DNS names. S473 "Letters and symbols to be taken as
numbers" is strong support for their position.
However it is unwise to push this too much. For example,
following ACA's interpretation I should be able to obtain
a copy of the "register of allocated numbers" for DNS
names. However, AusRegistry's limit on the number of
requests for WHOIS entries from any one IP address
fails to meet S465's requirements (and a good thing too
or I'd have even more spam).
So although the ACA have the power to regulate DNS names
based on S455-S477 there are a lot of sections in the
Telco Act where assuming only telephony numbering is meant
leads to a sensible outcome.
I wouldn't be so fast to assume that the Telco Act clauses
were the motivation to alter the control of .AU (the Act
would have just as readily allowed the ACA to delegate
Robert as "manager of electronic addressing for DNS names").
Rather they were the device which allowed the ACA to
gain and then disburse control.
I recall the motivations were a frustration at the slow speed
of DNS name allocation, then the prices of the Melbourne IT monopoly,
and finally a number of firms which saw a profit-making
opportunity and weren't going to be delayed in reaching that
pot of gold. In a sense the ACA was along for the ride,
rather than a core participant.
The ACA also probably had a good eye on IANA and ICANN
when mentioning its numbering powers. It's easy to
miscomprehend the IETF's slogan "We do not believe in kings,
presidents, or voting" if the next sentence in the slogan
is trimmed "We believe in rough consensus and running code".
Doubtless other Linkers recall the times better than I do.
Hope this helps,
Glen Turner Tel: (08) 8303 3936 or +61 8 8303 3936
Network Engineer Email: glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Australian Academic & Research Network www.aarnet.edu.au
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