[AfrICANN-discuss] Let's be proactive - domain names regulator

Vika Mpisane vika at zadna.org.za
Tue Oct 30 10:49:18 SAST 2012

On 2012/10/30 10:32 AM, "Dr Paulos Nyirenda" <paulos at sdnp.org.mw> wrote:

>On 30 Oct 2012 at 9:33, Vika Mpisane wrote:
>> +++1 here too.
>Mmmm ... not so fast ...

OkŠgood this discussion has finally forced you to return from your leave
of silence:-)

>> Regulating domain names & IP addresses is not something I've ever heard
>>of. I've heard
>> of domain name dispute regulation, which of course only regulates how
>>disputes over a
>> domain name in a particular top level domain (TLD) should be handled &
>Vika, is that not one of the ZADNA duties under the mandates of ZADNA as
>a government
>body, to regulate registries that run domain names?   See section 65 of
>Chapter X of the
>Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of South Africa,
>http://www.zadna.org.za/mandate.html,  also partly copied here below.
>So, does the RSA government not regulate domains names through ZADNA as
>its Authority?

The regulation I sought to focus on is the usage of domain names. As you
can see from the ECT Act extract, ZADNA regulates 2nd level domain
registries (e.g. Org.za, co.za) & registrars. However, we don't regulate
how a domain name holder uses the domain name. Effectively, we regulate
the ZA domain name registration process that registries & registrars
should adhere to, but we don't regulate the domain names themselves or how
they are used.

>Here in Malawi we have a review of the legal framework currently taking
>place and this is
>one of the issues that we have to deal with. For example, the question
>arises whether to
>create a new body like ZADNA or let such regulatory authority be the
>incumbet telecomms
>regulator. What do you think?

As you might know, domain name regulatory models tend to split between
industry self-regulation, partial government regulation and complete
government regulation. There is no one perfect approach: your
socioeconomic conditions may best inform which model is suitable. For
example, here in ZA, due to our political background, there was a view
that government should be involved. That made sense particularly then, but
now with the involvement of ZADNA, there is a strong comfort on both
government's side & the local industry's side that ZADNA (which has an
independent Board - with no government representation) is the best
regulation model for ZADNA.

Now MW does not have the same history, and this may mean that may be you
don't need to change your model. Personally, I think industry
self-regulation for domain names is probably the best, provided there are
some established lines of communication between the industry & its

I'm not sure if the model of having a telecoms operator is the best. In
most instances, I've had to closely look at, such model makes domain name
regulation to be one of the less important priorities, probably out of
telecom regulators' ignorance. As a result, we don't see the telecom
regulators pushing for the development of ccTLDs.


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