Monday, 29 January 2018 10:24

Reforms proposed for auDA up for public discussion Featured

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Australia’s domain administrator, auDA, is set to undergo major changes as part of a raft of proposed reforms announced in a newly released discussion paper.

The changes, if implemented, would be the most significant to the .au domain for 30 years and include the option to register addresses like ‘yourname.au’ without the need for ‘.com’ or ‘.org.’.

The .au Domain Administration (auDA)’s Policy Review Panel said today it will take the discussion paper on the road to public forums, with dates set for Perth,  Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.

Among the key changes being proposed are: 

  • Direct registration, which will allow .au domain holders an option to jettison ‘.com’ or equivalents if they choose
  • Permitting the use of non-ASCII characters — such as Arabic, Cyrillic, or Chinese language characters — in .au domains
  • Strengthening public interest protections, making it harder for scammers or cynical ‘squatters’ to take advantage of Internet users.

auDA Policy Review Panel chair John Swinson said the reforms being proposed were of relevance to every Australian.

“We might not think about it often, but the .au domain range has become a vital piece of national infrastructure,” Swinson said.

“The .au domain increases trust, which can in turn facilitate positive economic and community activity. When Internet users both here and overseas see the .au domain they associate it with Australia’s secure and stable environment.

“We believe significant reforms to the .au domain, like the ones we are proposing, should be presented openly to the public for consideration. We encourage any interested Australian to come to the forums or to read and respond to the discussion paper online.”

Swinson said that although direct registration was likely to generate the most interest, other reforms, like internationalised domain names, were potentially extremely significant as well.

“We believe there is an untapped market for internationalised domain names given Australia’s multicultural community and the increasing demand for Australian products and services overseas.

“Giving Australian products the chance to be understood by their international customers in their own scripts, while simultaneously retaining the trust associated with the .au domain, could be a real boon to primary producers and other exporters.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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