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Internet Society calls for hearings on .NYC contract renewal with Neustar

The New York Internet Society passed a resolution that called for the city of New York to hold public hearings before renewing its contract with Neustar Inc. for the operation of the .nyc TLD.

The resolution was sent to New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio and other city officials.

The resolution stated:

“The Internet Society’s New York Chapter urges the city of New York to provide robust outreach and engagement opportunities for the city’s Internet stakeholder community prior to renewing the contract that will guide the operation of the .nyc TLD registry for the next 5 years.”

and asked for:

  • The City institute a public comment process.
  • The City convene a town hall event where all stakeholders may make their views known.
  • That the City review those comments and views and, as it sees fit, make appropriate adjustments.

The resolution gives 14 observations regarding the .nyc extension:

  1. Since a December 2015 high of 87,960 the number of registrations has been in
    steady decline – down approximately 16% [4]
  2. 60% of registered domains are parked. [4]
  3. According to connecting.nyc many auctioned premium names are non-functional/up for resale. [5]
  4. Neustar Inc.itself is being sold [6]
  5. The Community Advisory Board set up by the City [7] never had public meetings or published minutes, and appears to have been summarily disbanded.
  6. The FAQ on the ownit.nyc website appears not to have been updated since the launch.[8]
  7. Also the ownit.nyc site does not include a list of reserved names (link is RGP list). [9]
  8. However, in 2015, the Mayor’s Office did make a proper info page. [10]
  9. The contract says: “Neustar shall publish the website in English and the top six non-English languages spoken by City residents, as set forth by Executive Order 120 (dated July 22, 2008) (“E.O. 120”). This is only done using google translate, thus not checked for accuracy.
  10. After outreach “community webinars” were held in just 2 of the 5 boroughs. The rollout of ‘neighborhood names’ seems stalled.[11]
  11. The neighborhoods.nyc template only includes modules from the City’s vendor with no open API or process to include 3rd parties e.g. BetaNYC.
  12. Clause 6(g) of the contract calls on Neustar to conduct 50 nexus spot checks/week. There is no documentation that this has been done.
  13. The nexus requirement, while desirable, may inhibit personal use of .nyc because of privacy concerns, as all info is available via whois. The City might want to instigate a proxy mechanism for individuals.
  14. ownit.nyc is not available via IPv6. And also the IPv6 nameserver appears to give a different result to the IPv4 nameservers. If so, this is not kosher.

Here’s the full text of the Internet Society resolution:

February 6 2017

The Internet Society Chapter of the Greater New York Metropolitan Area

To: Mayor Bill deBlasio,
Cc: Letitia James, Gale Brewer, Melissa Mark-Viverito, James Vacca, Sree Srinivasan,
Miguel Gamiño, Jeff Merritt, info@ownit.nyc

Dear Sirs & Madams,

On March 31 2012 New York City signed a 5 year contract with Neustar Inc, to manage the .nyc Top
Level Domain (TLD).[1] The domain was delegated by ICANN on March 20, 2014 [2], and went into
operation on May 5 2014 [3]. According to tldstats, as of February 6, 2016, 72,919 domains are
registered.[4]

The Internet Society’s New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) is a New York State registered non-profit founded
in 1997 with the mission “to assure the beneficial, open evolution of the global Internet, and to
promote local initiatives, maximize the societal benefits which the Internet can bring to the New
York area.” As such we have taken a keen interest in .nyc as a public resource. This has included
promoting, recording, webcasting, (and, on occasion, hosting) any and all public events where the
development of the .nyc TLD has been discussed.

Noting that the Neustar contract is imminently due for renewal, on January 31, 2017, the ISOC-NY
Board of Directors passed the following resolution:

“The Internet Society’s New York Chapter urges the city of New York to
provide robust outreach and engagement opportunities for the city’s Internet
stakeholder community prior to renewing the contract that will guide the
operation of the .nyc TLD registry for the next 5 years.”

I therefore ask that, before the contract be renewed.

* The City institute a public comment process.
* The City convene a town hall event where all stakeholders may make their views known.
* That the City review those comments and views and, as it sees fit, make appropriate adjustments.

Sincerely,

Joly MacFie,

President, Internet Society New York Chapter
218 565 9365  president@isoc-ny.org
[1] http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/forward/documents/dotnyc/Neustar-TLD-Signed%20Agreement_Redacted.pdf
[2] https://www.iana.org/reports/c.2.9.2.d/20140314-nyc
[3] https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/sunrise-claims-periods/nyc
[4] https://ntldstats.com/tld/nyc
[5] http://bit.ly/2kiAozP
[6] http://bit.ly/2kAci22
[7] http://bit.ly/2kA9mma
[8] http://www.ownit.nyc/faq
[9] http://www.ownit.nyc/restricted-reserved
[10] http://www1.nyc.gov/site/forward/initiatives/dotnyc/dotnycdocs.page
[11] https://youtu.be/yH0clLwPEfo

—–

Appendix 1 – Observations & Nitpicks

* Since a December 2015 high of 87,960 the number of registrations has been in
steady decline – down approximately 16% [4]

* 60% of registered domains are parked. [4]

* According to connecting.nyc many auctioned premium names are non-functional/up
for resale. [5]

* Neustar Inc.itself is being sold [6]

* The Community Advisory Board set up by the City [7] never had public meetings
or published minutes, and appears to have been summarily disbanded.

* The FAQ on the ownit.nyc website appears not to have been updated since
the launch.[8]

* Also the ownit.nyc site does not include a list of reserved names (link is RGP list). [9]

* However, in 2015, the Mayor’s Office did make a proper info page. [10]

* The contract says: “Neustar shall publish the website in English and the top six
non-English languages spoken by City residents, as set forth by Executive Order
120 (dated July 22, 2008) (“E.O. 120”). This is only done using google translate,
thus not checked for accuracy.

* After outreach “community webinars” were held in just 2 of the 5 boroughs. The
rollout of ‘neighborhood names’ seems stalled.[11]

* The neighborhoods.nyc template only includes modules from the City’s vendor
with no open API or process to include 3rd parties e.g. BetaNYC.

* Clause 6(g) of the contract calls on Neustar to conduct 50 nexus spot checks/week.
There is no documentation that this has been done.

* The nexus requirement, while desirable, may inhibit personal use of .nyc because of
privacy concerns, as all info is available via whois. The City might want to
instigate a proxy mechanism for individuals.

* ownit.nyc is not available via IPv6. And also the IPv6 nameserver appears to
give a different result to the IPv4 nameservers. If so, this is not kosher.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

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One comment

  1. Some amusing misconceptions among their list of “Nitpicks”:

    (A) “Since a December 2015 high of 87,960 the number of registrations has been in
    steady decline – down approximately 16%”

    Compared to other nTLDs, that degree of stability is probably pretty good.

    (B) “60% of registered domains are parked.”

    Oh no, the long shadow of that infamous boogeyman, Mr. Cybersquatter! Do they really believe that every domain will be put instantly to use – without any middle men and without any lag time?

    I suppose the registry could force registrants to put the domain to use within a short time or else forfeit their domain. But that would only ACCELERATE the decline in registration numbers. Instead of 16%, it would be 16% + 60% = 76%!

    What a prohibition on parking would do, realistically, is force owners to invent some new variety of sham place holder page. No different from parking ultimately. But it WOULD slow down resale and development. Amazing how people want to fight against the natural condition of things – as if regulation itself will cause the .NYC seedlings to blossom!

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