Your opportunity to help clean up the Internet

The domain name structure is at the heart of the Internet – including of the fights against spam, malware, electronic impersonation et al. Nominet is to be congratulated on the scale and nature of its current consultation exercise.


I have blogged before on the need to clean up the domain name system. Since then both ICANN and Nominet have made good progress at international and national levels – but they need your participation and support to complete the job.


Nominet has just embarked on an ambitious consultation exercise.


Purists might quibble that it is not easy to understand what is at stake but if you read my previous blog, follow some of the links, then go onto their consultation website and read between the lines – the penny will drop.


All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing – and that is essentially why we have the current plague of malware, exploiting weaknesses in the governance of the domain name system (both national and international).


All those expensive technobabble retrofixes are so much waste of money unless and until the governance is sorted. Once that is done it becomes possible to reduce the problems to manageable levels at a fraction of the spend current prospect. And at a time of recession that is essential. Until that is done we are fighting a losing battle.      


Do read your way into the issues, attend one of the consultation meetings if you can. In any case, do respond to the questionnaire.

Also join Nominet and ICANN and vote.

They are democratic institutions – in other words decisions are taken, for good or ill, by those who join and then turn up and vote

Nominet, like ICANN, is surprisingly cheap to join (not much more than the anti-virus and firewall on a single PC). Any organisation with an on-line presence to protect should join both.

However, in order to avoid then wasting time on issues that are normally can be as exciting as watching paint dry, you then need to co-operate with your peers, perhaps via the relevant working groups of the members of the Information Security Awareness Forum, (ISAF) to understand the issues and, when necessary, participate and vote.

P.S. By copy of this I ask my colleagues on the ISAF co-ordinating committee (next meeting on June 2nd) to consider requesting those they represent to pool their efforts in this space. I also ask those of you who belong to the organisations that co-operate via ISAF to support that request from the other end.

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Unfortunately the London consultation we attended was very poorly attended, there were 3 in our group, and only another 4 people attended. Of course it was during the Tube strike, which was well known about in advance but Nominet did not seem to take this into consideration and re-schedule. Shame, it was an oppurtunity they've missed to engage with their stakeholders that won't be possible at the next "event" - the aftermath of the AGM next month.