The secret world of .ie
Date: Saturday May 31 2003, @06:02AM
Topic: Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)
dahamsta writes "Irish technology news site ElectricNews.net has published an excellent overview of the ongoing lunacy at the IE Domain Registry. This story isn't going away anytime soon, although it would be nice if the current operators went away forever!"
Some quotes from Matthew Clark, The secret world of the IEDR (Thursday, May 29 2003):
Seven months after infighting at the IE Domain Registry ended with the suspension of its CEO, questions linger about the organisation's present and future.
In the last month, the IEDR's business development and operations manager Suzanne Kerrigan was dismissed. Her departure from the firm, which controls the issuing of "dot-ie" Web site names in Ireland, follows the exodus of four other key personnel at the company. At least two of these former staffers are seeking legal advice against the IEDR relating to their employment.
Meanwhile, last week the IEDR was expected to officially dismiss its auditor, BCW Registered Auditors, the company that has been the watchful eye over the organisation's books for the last few years.
In fact, the registry's CEO Mike Fagan, who was in favour of splitting from UCD, was suspended seven months ago by Prof. John Scanlan, who accused Fagan of financial improprieties. Fagan remains suspended on full pay (over EUR100,000 per year), and the company cannot replace him as CEO until he resigns or can legally be sacked.
The Internet industry, meanwhile, through industry groups like IE Watch, is struggling to find out exactly what's going on at the troubled registry, and what its relationship is with UCD. IE Watch member Antoin O Lachtnain has even kept a Web log (http://www.eire.com//blogarchives/000029.html) of his campaign to get to the bottom of things at the IEDR.
UCD has refused point blank to give O Lachtnain access to documents he has requested, including internal company memos and correspondence with global domain registry groups like ICANN, saying the material could give rise to unwanted media attention. But, according to O Lachtnain, the Information Commissioner's Office has confirmed that his requests are valid, and that UCD and the IEDR must open their files.
There had been some hope that government would make a move, such as taking over the registry on an interim basis, to ensure that the IEDR maintains a modicum of credibility, as well as financial stability. Tanaiste Mary Harney, TD, for her part, has communicated her concerns to Communications Minister Dermot Ahern, TD, although his office has said little on the matter, at least not publicly.
Meanwhile, even more rumours are circulating about the financial health of the IEDR under the stewardship of Scanlan and Financial Controller David Curtin, who has been filling the day-to-day gap since Fagan left. The stories suggest that spiralling expenses for lawyers, accountants, consultants and other costs have put the IEDR under severe pressure and it is understood that in January 2003 the IEDR received three sums of cash totalling EUR145,000 from an unknown backer.
UCD and the current IEDR management have refused numerous requests to give their side of the story or comment on whether UCD was the source of the funds. In fact, the publicity-shy company has been reluctant to make any comment whatsoever on the state of the business, answering "no comment," only through spokespeople, to even the most basic of our questions.
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