auDA looks to expand its turf

The Australian domain name regulator will seek to expand its powers beyond basic domain administration in an extraordinary general meeting of its members to be held in mid-August. .

The Australian domain name regulator will seek to expand its powers beyond basic domain administration in an extraordinary general meeting of its members to be held in mid-August.

.au Domain Administration is an industry self-regulatory body which assumed responsibility for the .au country level domain and associated duties in 2001.

But amendments to auDA's constitution proposed this morning by the group's directors would give the body additional responsibilities to maintain and promote "more generally, the Internet's unique identifier system, and to enhance the benefits of Internet to the wider community".

auDA chief executive officer, Chris Disspain, claimed the organisation needed the expanded vision to tackle "peripheral issues" such as version 6 of the Internet Protocol (IPv6) and ENUM (electronic telephone numbers mapping) call routing technology.

Most of the Internet currently uses IPv4, with a gradual migration to IPv6 and its additional capabilities in progress. ENUM allows people to control how and where calls to their phone number are redirected.

For example, a phone number entered into a Web browser could redirect to a Web site.

Disspain told ZDNet Australia via telephone this morning auDA was "intimately involved" in IPv6 and ENUM development, but legal advice had shown it would be "technically" operating outside its guidelines to get further involved.

The auDA supremo said he couldn't immediately think of any additional areas that auDA could now cover. "These things change so rapidly ... it becomes very difficult for us to do our job properly if we are so constrained," he said.

Other changes include shifting the category of classes of membership in auDA, and changing the composition of elected directors accordingly.

auDA will also seek a licence to permit remuneration to elected directors.

"Currently it's prohibited," said Disspain. "We want to change it so that elected directors can be paid, but any decision to pay them would be a board decision which would have to be ratified by members."

Disspain gave the example of a current director who has a full-time job, and who had to sacrifice some paid work to fulfil his obligations as a member of auDA's board.

"He takes unpaid leave, which strikes me as grossly unfair," said Disspain. "You've got somebody who is a valuable member of the board, they ought to at the very least be able to cover their costs."

auDA's final proposed change is to permit electronic voting at general meetings.

The extraordinary general meeting will be held in Melbourne on August 14, with a public board meeting afterwards. Disspain said any member of the public was welcome to attend.

The full text of auDA's plans is available online here.

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