auDA caps Bolton's fizz

auDA caps Bolton's fizz

Summary: Australia's domain name administrator has terminated the accreditation of Nicholas Bolton's domain business Bottle Domains on the same day the IT entrepreneur has won a controversial investment battle.


Australia's domain name administrator has terminated the accreditation of Nicholas Bolton's domain business Bottle Domains on the same day the IT entrepreneur has won a controversial investment battle.

For the past few weeks Bolton's name has dominated business headlines due to a complicated battle with transport infrastructure player BrisConnections, which has seen him successfully parlay a measly $47,000 investment in the company into a $4.5 million windfall in a technique which the finance community has viewed as "greenmailing". However, the situation is still complicated to call an eventual winner.

Bolton is also behind Australian Style, trading as Bottle Domains, a domain name reseller. However, .au Domain Administration, which administers Australia's domain name system, today said it had cancelled the group's accreditation, meaning it would not be able to continue to provide domain name services.

auDA said it had been notified in February by the Australian Federal Police that there had been a security incident affecting Bottle Domains' customers.

At the time, Bottle said an employee of a competing domain registrar, which had had a software licensing agreement with Bottle, had breached the company's security. It claimed a Perth man had been arrested in connection with the breach.

But auDA said not only had Bottle failed to notify auDA of a previous incident in April 2007, but it had not reset passwords or alerted its customers to the possibility that their accounts might have been compromised. Bottle also failed to complete a security audit, auDA alleged.

"auDA takes security issues very seriously," said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain. "In our view, Bottle Domains' failure to deal properly with the security incident in April 2007 demonstrated an alarming disregard of the potential risks to its own customers, and to the overall stability and integrity of the Australian DNS."

"Given the seriousness of the matter, it is appropriate that auDA terminate Bottle Domains' registrar accreditation."

Disspain said there was no connection in the timing between Bolton's BisConnections battle and its own action. Bolton also operates an associated business, Domain Central.

auDA said the domain names of Bottle customers were not at risk. The regulator was contacting customers to let them know what action to take. was unable to contact Bottle Domains at the time of publication.

Topics: Legal, Enterprise 2.0

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  • Extreme action

    Thing is, this action has ramifications far beyond penalising Bottle, which makes me think there should have been another way to resolve this. Thousands of domain holders - many businesses - are now in confusion, jobs may be lost, innocent resellers such as Cove sent into crisis, and the integrity of the industry tarnished. Without commenting on Bottle's 'breach', there should have been a less tumultuous resolution.
  • auDA causing unnecessary confusion

    Termination of a Registrar accreditation is a nuclear option. it is bad for the industry, bad for the system, bad for the affected domain owners and Bottle's (innocent) registrars.

    yet another example of heavy handed, bully boy tactics with scant regard for the many, many businesses that end up being collateral damage to auDA's big stick.
  • Okay, so now what?

    My registrar is owned by Bottle so ummmm, what happens now?

    I don't want to lose my domains but at the same time I don't want to end up getting spammed by deperate competitors trying to inherit my business.
  • Blah

    Hmmm just got the guts from the AUDA site. Simple enough at the end of the day but a pain in the arse none-the-less.
  • Emails I have received from auDA re Domains

    If you own the domains or are the contact for the domains I would have thought you'd have received the same emails Ive received from them (about 15 so far for client managed sites)

    Quote in part :
    You are receiving this email because you are the registrant contact for the above domain name.

    Your domain name was registered through Bottle Domains.

    On 15 April 2009, auDA terminated Bottle Domains' registrar accreditation due to a serious breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement.

    Please note that your domain name is NOT at risk. Your domain name will continue unaffected until the expiry date listed above.


    Suggest you contact auDA for complete clarification of your domains.