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Date: Wednesday, 04 Jun 2014 06:00

CIO 100 award program honors Afilias for innovation in its next-generation Internet domain name registry services

Global registry services provider Afilias today announced that it has been named as a recipient of the 2014 CIO 100 award. Now in its 27th year, the CIO 100 award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest levels of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT).

Afilias received the award for its development of a new generation of "Platform as a Service" (PaaS) applications, designed to transform the service delivery model of the domain name registry industry by integrating scalability, resiliency, convenience and economy into its global domain name registry system delivery platform.

Afilias' Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ram Mohan, set the strategy and architected the deployment of the system with the objectives of reducing time to launch for a new domain, increasing resiliency in the face of cyber-attacks and reducing the cost of implementation for the company and its clients.

"Ram Mohan's work has resulted in the creation of a globally available registry system that scales to support thousands of new top level domains while increasing flexibility, functionality and security," said Hal Lubsen, President and CEO of Afilias. "This is especially important for global brands who are preparing for Round 2 of ICANN's New gTLD program. Brands can now access an efficient, ICANN-compliant, state-of-the-art registry platform — and an award-winning one — that ensures the availability and security of their own top-level 'dot Brand' domain."

Afilias CTO Ram Mohan added, "A particular point of interest in the system is the introduction of the 'common wallet,' which allows domain name resellers to log into the Afilias system and use a common wallet to buy domain names from a variety of providers hosted on Afilias' platform. That's an innovation in the domain industry and one that Afilias is proud to introduce."

Afilias executives, along with other CIO 100 award winners, will be recognized at the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony, to be held on August 19, 2014.

About the CIO 100

Recipients of this year's CIO 100 award were selected through a three-step process. First, companies filled out an online application form detailing their innovative IT and business initiatives. Next, a team of external judges — many of them former CIOs — reviewed the applications in depth, looking for leading-edge IT practices and measurable results. Finally, CIO editors reviewed the judges' recommendations and selected the final 100.

Coverage of the 2014 CIO 100 awards will be available online at CIO.com on August 1, 2014, and in the August 1 issue of CIO magazine.

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More under: Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

Author: "Afilias" Tags: "registry_services, top_level_domains"
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Date: Tuesday, 03 Jun 2014 14:46

Bekele moderated a high level panel from Washington DC, on the upcoming President Obama US-Africa Leader Summit and weighs in on "How does Africa see the United States" at the New York Forum AFRICA 2014 in Gabon.

The forum focused on transformation: unlocking the competitiveness of the African economy through building value chains around the transformation of the continent's natural resources, including its human capital. In knowledge economies, such as those in the western world, education is the foundation of economic competitiveness and global prosperity — and is inseparable from the development of human capital.

Sophia Bekele in conversation with Robert Wolf & Dante Paradiso at the NYFAfricaThe forum the New York Forum AFRICA is organized under the high patronage of H.E. President Ali Bongo Ondimba in collaboration with the Government of Gabon and Richard Attias & Associates — part of WPP group.

Other World leaders who attended the forum included Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza, former president of Peru Alejandro Toledo and former president of Bolivia Jorge Quiroga. The conference brought together more than 3000 participants, including heads of state, politicians, business leaders, Musicians, Fashion Gurus from Africa, Europe, the United States, Latin America and China to discuss strategies for Africa's economic growth, and our own leader Sophia Bekele, CEO of CBS International, Executive Director of DCA Trust and Founder of the highly acclaimed "yes2dotAfrica" campaign.

Sophia Bekele was among the delegates who spoke at the conference as an authority in Innovation, Business and internet synergy, Governance and US-Africa relations. Speaking at the conference, as a panelist ON TRANSFORMING CONNECTIVITY INTO DIGITAL INNOVATION, Bekele pointed out that due the exponential growth of mobiles and lack of infrastructure in the rural areas, a rural development strategy using mobiles should be of national importance. She also stressed "This national strategy should also include Mainstreaming Women in the ICT sector". Bekele noted that there will be a need to increase collaboration to reduce the cost of online access, and provide avenue for new markets in IT that will leverage on content creation, which goes into increasing the use of mobile phones, social media and apps. Bekele added that Africa's Generation-Y is using ICT to create opportunities and build businesses but this needs to be marched with training on entrepreneurship, and an understanding on how to monetize the internet for income generation.

An assessment from the World Bank revealed that human capital contributes more than 60 per cent towards economic development, as compared to physical infrastructure (around 15 per cent) and natural resources (around 20 per cent). African leaders face challenges from numerous fronts: how to harness economic growth, stimulate job creation, increase political stability, and handle the transition to democratic systems. How will they navigate change on the most rapidly-changing continent in the world ? In this discussion between heads of state and political and economic leaders, the panel put forward concrete recommendations for Africa's future.

While moderating a conversation on US-Africa relations with Washington's high level panel, notably Mr. Robert Wolf CEO and Founder, 32 Advisors, former CEO of UBS Americas, and a three time economic advisor to President Obama and Mr. Dante Paradiso, Charge de Affair for US Embassy Gabon, Bekele raised key questions and challenges on the current initiatives of President Obama on Power Africa, Trade Africa, and asking if China's USD 200B trading position with Africa has neutralized the US.

She advanced questions and comments on how Barrack Obama's Young Leaders Program ought to mirror the past peace corp initiative, in that USA also needs to know more and be 'hands on' about Africa, and Paradiso discussed in detail on HOW AFRICA SEES THE UNITED STATES and vice versa. Watch Video here: http://player.vimeo.com/video/96486063

This important US-Africa Summit happens as the White House prepares to host the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC on August 5 and 6, 2014. President Obama looks forward to welcoming leaders from across the African continent to the Nation's Capital to further strengthen ties with one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. The Summit will build on the progress made since the President's trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration's focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America's commitment to Africa's security, its democratic development, and its people.

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More under: Internet Governance

Author: "DotConnectAfrica" Tags: "internet_governance"
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Date: Monday, 02 Jun 2014 16:14

In a landmark announcement, ARI Registry Services can reveal it has signed a 10-year contract with the Victorian Government to manage all functions in the operation of the .melbourne Top-Level Domain.

The announcement follows the formal signing of the Registry Agreement by the Victorian Government with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which signifies the first step in the launch process of the .melbourne namespace.

Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services, welcomed the announcement.

"The management of .melbourne on behalf of Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne is going to be one of the largest and most significant digital branding opportunities for this State and it's a major achievement for ARI Registry Services to win this contract for the next 10 years," Mr Kinderis said.

"The Government understands that operating .melbourne requires mission critical Internet infrastructure and they've chosen ARI Registry Services because we're a proven leader in the field."

"Some of the world's largest and most recognised brands will sit alongside .melbourne on our systems and we're incredibly proud to be an Australian technology company kicking major goals on the global stage."

Mr Kinderis congratulated the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne on their involvement in the long-term digital strategy for their constituents.

Expected to launch this year, he said .melbourne will give Victorian businesses and Internet users their first opportunity to register geographic domain names as part of this evolution of the web.

A .melbourne web address will be an innovative way for businesses and individuals to clearly display an online affiliation to Melbourne. It will be the easiest way to identify products and organisations serving the Melbourne and Victorian communities online.

"The geography of the Internet is on the precipice of a revolutionary change and .melbourne is leading the charge as one of the first cities in the world to claim their own corner of the web," Mr Kinderis said.

"The Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne have long recognised the value of a strong city brand and has accordingly supported this opportunity. Through .melbourne, they now have a unique digital asset to amplify the reach of brand Melbourne across the globe with every domain name registered under it."

Mr Kinderis said .melbourne will become a quintessential part of the city's business brand. He said Internet users around the world will turn to .melbourne as the city's online source of truth, while savvy businesses will use the namespace to tap into the booming ecommerce potential of the city.

"We expect to see innovative businesses snap up premium category names like plumber.melbourne, pizza.melbourne or bars.melbourne in a move to gain unparalleled online marketing supremacy."

Mr Kinderis also noted that .melbourne will appeal to individuals too and expected many people and families to register their names under .melbourne.

The two-year-long process to apply for .melbourne was initiated by the Victorian Government with the City of Melbourne, through ARI Registry Services.

The Victorian Government entered into a Registry Agreement with ICANN to formally obtain the rights to .melbourne. It will be joined by the likes of London, Tokyo, New York and other high profile world cities and regions securing their own piece of online real estate.

Nearly 40 other Australian applicants such as .sydney, .anz, .tab and .iinet are also anticipated to launch soon.

Those interested in registering a domain name under .melbourne are encouraged to register their interest with ARI Registry Services to be the first to know when .melbourne launches.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Top-Level Domains

Author: "ARI Registry Services" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, icann, ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:18

This week .wang enters its five-week Landrush period.

As a pinyin, "wang"is the Mandarin pronunciation of a number of Chinese characters, including 王 (means "king") and网 (means "web" or "net"). Many household brands, social media or retail platforms website are pronounced and known to Chinese users as "brand-wang". For example, 淘宝网 is pronounced as"taobao-wang".

"Astute businesses and domain investors recognize the unique "pinyin" feature of our .wang TLD and have been waiting patiently for the Landrush", says Eugene Li, CEO of Zodiac. "History has shown the value of a premium domain name, and now is the opportunity to secure a great .wang domain name."

"ICANN-mandated Sunrise is a challenge for strings that target non-English speaking markets but we are very happy with the results. In particular, we are encouraged by the strong interest and support from a number of key registrars. Partnering with those registrars, we are excited to progress to the Landrush phase as all available .wang domain names will be up for the taking", adds Li.

.wang Landrush will run till 26 June 2014.

For more information on how to obtain a .wang domain name during the Landrush period, visit www.nic.wang.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

Author: "Zodiac Registry" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, multili..."
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Date: Tuesday, 27 May 2014 17:28

Public Interest Registry — the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain — today announced the general availability of three new Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) which translate to "organisation" or "institution" in non-Latin-based scripts — one in Devanagari, one in Cyrillic, and one in simplified Chinese. Previously only available to qualified domain trademark holders, all interested companies, organisations and individuals can now register for the new domains.

With these new IDNs serving as useful branding tools, the domains will enable website owners to brand their addresses in native scripts, ultimately making the Internet more user-friendly and encouraging heightened communication.

"Our mission at Public Interest Registry has always been to help organisations maximize their audience reach and better communicate their missions, activities and accomplishments. The launch of these new international domain names speaks to the heart of that mission," said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. "Now, organisations of all sizes will have the opportunity to brand their website addresses in localized scripts, ensuring that their causes and passions resonate on regional and global levels."

Currently, there are approximately:

  • 143.5 million people in Russia using Russian Cyrillic as the official alphabet for their national language
  • 497 million people speaking Hindi as a first language and 120 million as a second language.
  • 1.4 billion people speaking and writing in some form of Chinese.

In recent years, Public Interest Registry has emerged at the forefront of support for use of alternative scripts, having worked closely with standards-setting bodies and members of the engineering community to create and launch a number of alternative scripts for second-level names associated with .org. To date, the registrar supports 11 IDNs available for user adoption with .org in languages that include Danish, German, Hungarian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish, among others.

For more information about Public Interest Registry or for the full list of registrars offering the new IDNs, visit www.pir.org.

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More under: Domain Names, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

Author: "PIR" Tags: "domain_names, multilinguism, top_level_d..."
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Date: Tuesday, 27 May 2014 16:29

Neustar's professional DDoS responders (Security Operations Center) are on the frontlines when businesses get attacked. In the 2014 Neustar Annual DDoS Attacks and Impact Report, one team member described common DDoS mitigation scenarios. Below are some excerpts from the report.

* * *

When a business makes a DDoS "911" call to you, what typically happens?

"Many companies still wait to get attacked before deploying protection, so they have to decide on the spot: are we purchasing a solution, and if so from whom? It's a big decision to have to make on the fly, which compounds the anxiety of being under attack."

How long does it take to begin DDoS mitigation?

"If you already have an always-on appliance-based solution in place, you're already mitigating. However, these appliances max out at some point, so if an attack becomes large you might call a provider for cloud failover. If you already have a cloud solution your provider should help launch mitigation in under five minutes. If you have no solution in place, it can easily take four hours to provision your defenses."

What are the basic "first responder" steps?

"First responders examine any alerts or notifications. Then we analyze your traffic step by step. Once the analysis is clear, we can determine the type of attack and use precise countermeasures. If you're an existing customer with a protection provider, they have baseline data on your traffic. They're able to compare attack traffic to everyday traffic, which is extremely useful in crafting the response."

Any advice for businesses who still want to go it alone?

"It's smart to 'know your normal.' What does your traffic usually look like? Knowing this will help you identify and mitigate attacks faster."

For more tips and insights on DDoS responses, view the full report.

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More under: Cyberattack, DDoS, Security

Author: "Neustar" Tags: "cyberattack, ddos, security"
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Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2014 15:28

Dyn, leading Internet performance solutions, announced today the acquisition of Renesys, the authority on Internet intelligence. This acquisition enables Dyn to launch a new Performance Assurance product line that gives customers the insights they need to make instant, intelligent decisions to improve the performance of their Internet enabled applications. Dyn also plans to integrate Renesys's globally unique Internet performance and geographic intelligence into its Traffic Management and Message Management platforms to enable its customers to deliver a consistent and superior web and email experience to their end-users.

Renesys, identified as a Gartner "Cool Vendor" in December 2013, operates a real-time, global sensor grid that continuously monitors, collects, analyzes and correlates Internet routing and performance data. The current suite of Renesys products make doing business over the Internet more reliable and secure by monitoring the current state of the Internet, which enables enterprises to see beyond their network's perimeter into the Cloud. Internet-dependent organizations have relied on Renesys since 2000 for situational and operational awareness, and real-time business and competitive intelligence.
Renesys's team of specialized scientists, researchers and analysts have been recording the state of the Internet 24/7 for more than a decade. The Renesys team understands and analyzes the connectivity of every network, every service provider, in every market on Earth — in real-time, as global events, acquisitions and traffic patterns evolve and change.

"The acquisition of Renesys establishes Dyn as the premiere Internet performance company," said Jeremy Hitchcock, Dyn CEO. "Renesys's global and granular visibility into the Internet will allow us to make better traffic and message decisions, helping our customers more efficiently connect with their audiences. Our new Performance Assurance product line will help businesses optimize their Internet and cloud network performance, in a world where any downtime or milliseconds of delay can have a real business impact."

Performance Assurance

The Renesys suite of Intelligence products will be the first offering in Dyn's new Performance Assurance product line, which will be offered independently of its Traffic Management and Message Management services.

By utilizing Renesys data, collected from a global sensor network of real-time probes, business relationships with more than 300 providers across the world and telemetry from Dyn's global network, Dyn Performance Assurance will enable businesses to make the most informed and accurate decisions for network planning, traffic management, CDN optimization, Cloud optimization, and data center optimization.

Specifically, businesses can integrate Dyn's Performance Assurance services into their operational workflows to receive real-time intelligence of how Internet changes are affecting their business and adjust how consumers connect to their brand to deliver the best online customer experience.

"Monitoring application and service performance was difficult even when enterprises owned the entire IT stack, from servers and applications to the network," says Robert Mahowald, Program Vice President at IDC. "As enterprises move business-critical workloads into public clouds, visibility and control over of these services becomes exponentially more challenging. This makes performance assurance technology such as Renesys an essential component for optimizing cloud service delivery."

Talent Addition

Renesys is also a major talent acquisition for Dyn. Renesys's 40 employees, including CEO Ashton Peery; Renesys Fellow and Founder Dr. Andy T. Ogielski; CTO and founder Jim Cowie; Bob Fletcher, VP of Worldwide Sales; and VP and General Manager Earl Zmijewski, will join the Dyn team. Dyn will be keeping Renesys's Hanover, New Hampshire location as a Dyn regional office.

"We have always prided ourselves on being the authority in Internet intelligence," said Ashton Peery, Renesys Chairman and CEO. "Dyn and Renesys are an ideal pairing; the two companies give customers the ability to see everything that's happening on the Internet and take action before a network performance issue escalates into a full-scale business problem."

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More under: DNS, Security

Author: "Dyn" Tags: "dns, security"
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Date: Tuesday, 20 May 2014 15:45

Recently, the FFIEC released statements that describe steps it expects financial institutions to take to address cyberattacks — like distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks — and highlight resources institutions can use to help mitigate the risks posed by such attacks.

The statement went so far as to say that FFIEC members "expect financial institutions to address DDoS readiness as part of their ongoing information security and incident plans. More specifically, each institution is expected to monitor incoming traffic to its public website, activate incident response plans if it suspects that a DDoS attack is occurring, and ensure sufficient staffing for the duration of the attack, including the use of pre-contracted third-party servicers, if appropriate."

While this is common practice for many of the largest financial institutions today, these new recommendations have thrown many smaller banks and credit unions for a loop. In an effort to help financial institutions of all sizes address the new FFIEC guidelines, Verisign and Juniper Networks recently held a joint webinar to highlight what exactly these new guidelines mean for financial institutions, and explain DDoS attacks and common options that leading institutions use today for DDoS protection and mitigation. All of this was discussed in the context of the six key focus areas described by the FFIEC statement: risk assessment, monitoring, incident response, staffing, information sharing, and ongoing evaluation and assessment.

There were several questions during the webinar, including the following two highlighting some key industry challenges:

Q: How does the financial industry compare with others in terms of frequency of DDoS attacks?

At Verisign we compile and analyze data on attack attempts against our customers. Based on 2013 attack activity, about 45 percent of DDoS attacks targeted the financial services industry. Our customer base is weighted toward financials — indicative of the importance of this type of protection to the industry — so it's not too surprising that the vertical represents a high percentage of activity.

Q: NTP attacks have been in the news lately. What are these?

In the webinar, we described NTP amplification attacks that we've seen over the past several years, which rely on a weakness in the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) that allows an attacker to impersonate (spoof) the victim when requesting data from a third-party server. By sending small requests to many third parties that result in large responses directed towards the victim, the attacker can overwhelm victim resources while using relatively few of his own. NTP is a UDP-based protocol like DNS, but it's used to allow computers across the Internet to synchronize their internal clocks so they all agree on what time it is. There are many "open" NTP servers on the Internet that will respond to any request, and the attackers use these servers as the third party in amplification attacks against their victims. The majority of large attacks we have seen over the last year have been amplification attacks. Having a robust network and application layer DDoS protection solution is the best way to protect against these attacks.

For more information about how to implement a DDoS protection strategy, watch the on-demand webinar or read an earlier blog post, How Financial Institutions Can Up Their Game Against DDoS Attacks.

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More under: Cyberattack, Cybercrime, DDoS, Security

Author: "Verisign" Tags: "cyberattack, cybercrime, ddos, security"
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Date: Sunday, 18 May 2014 21:40

DotConnectAfrica's Mr.Gideon Rop presented an expert paper on the Future of Cyber Governance Project at the Hague Institute for Global Justice

The Hague Institute for Global Justice invited together renowned academics and practitioners from representing four sectors (government, civil society, the private sector and international organizations) and a range of countries (BRICS, MIST and the West) to discuss critical challenges in and policy recommendations for the global governance of cyberspace in a successful three-day conference on the future of cyber governance, seeks to generate innovative, multi-stakeholder solutions to pressing governance challenges.

The conference, held from 13-15th May 2014 at the Hague Netherlands, was part of the Institute's Global Governance Reform Initiative that seeks to overcome the challenges of global governance in three important domains — cyberspace, migration and oceans — by improving the efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy of collective actions undertaken by relevant stakeholders.

While making his welcoming remarks on 15th May during the public event, Dr. Abiodun Williams, the first President of The Hague Institute noted that the aim was to bring together experts from many geographic regions to craft governance solutions that are fair, inclusive and importantly effective. He added that the experts were selected process in through a competitive application process using informed, creating and thoughtful approaches to resolving critical governance challenges. He added that the experts prepared excellent cutting edge papers, representing a cross-section of geographic and sectoral backgrounds with the aim of identifying new challenges of cooperation's in internet governance building in a multistakeholder approach.

Amongst the Experts from Africa that presented was Mr. Gideon Rop who is the Senior Project Engineer at DotConnectAfrica in Kenya. Mr. Rop has been involved in Global Internet Governance for more than three years and working in Africa understands the opportunities and Challenges very well. The experts submitted papers proposing solutions to key challenges that impede effective global governance. Picture

These papers were reviewed by luminaries who are seasoned academics and practitioners to generate timely, practicable and demand-driven policy recommendations that address the challenges of global governance in particular domains. The Luminaries included Professor Milton Mueller Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies & the Internet Governance Project, Mr. Sunil Abraham Executive Director, Center for Internet and Society, Professor Laura De Nardis Professor and Associate Dean, School of Communication, American University, Ms. Rebecca MacKinnon Director, Ranking Digital Rights Project, New America Foundation, and Prof. Alejandro Pisanty who is the Chairman of Board of Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet was also an expert contributor among others.

DotConnectAfrica appreciates the Multi-stakeholder approach in developing strategies for a better future of internet governance and has since its inception in 2006 been an active part of the Internet governance and have continuously contributed to the global Internet Governance debate including ICANN, and one led by various organizations such as ITU WCIT's Draft of the future ITRs in November 2012 and ITU CWG-Internet: Public Consultation of March 2014, the African Union's Cyber Security Draft Convention in October 2013, and conferences like the 2013 Transform Africa Heads of State Summit in Kigali Rwanda on New SmartAfrica Manifesto to Accelerate Socio-Economic Development, and most recently on Net Mundial.

The Hague Institute undertakes the project in collaboration with The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs,The Netherlands Institute of International Relations — Clingendael, and The Observer Research Foundation (New Delhi).

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More under: Internet Governance

Author: "DotConnectAfrica" Tags: "internet_governance"
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Date: Tuesday, 13 May 2014 18:56

.wien success is a result of optimized distribution and better access to the local audience with vertical integration solutions from LogicBoxes.

LogicBoxes, the Vertical Integration solutions provider for New gTLD Registries today announced that it has successfully executed a comprehensive Vertical Integration project in the .WIEN namespace.

.WIEN is a new gTLD extension that caters to businesses, organizations, individuals and any other entities associated with Vienna, the Austrian capital. The vertically integrated retail operation for .WIEN, netzadresse.at GmbH, focuses specifically on the Austrian market, offering regional TLDs such as .TIROL and .AT as well. This strategy will enable them to gain direct access to local business, and effectively help to maximize the TLD's adoption.

"The business plan and launch strategy of the .WIEN namespace was unique in ways more than one. With LogicBoxes, netzadresse.at was backed by a friendly, responsive team that delivered a highly customized solution with a really quick turnaround, enabling them to launch right on time. Sunrise application numbers received through netzaddresse.at far exceeded our expectations." commented Ronald Schwaerzler, CEO at punkt.wien GmbH.

From the LogicBoxes team, Siddharth Taliyan, Manager of Sales added "The partnership with netzadresse.at on the .WIEN namespace is a very interesting one for us. It's great that we could work with them as a unified team and deliver a vertical integration project that showed impressive results from day 1. We're proud to partner with netzadresse.at and look forward to fully support them in taking their business to maximum .Wien adoption."

As part of the deal, LogicBoxes offered a custom solutions package that included the design and implementation of a feature-rich retail storefront (http://netzadresse.com) for .WIEN domains. The business automation and process flows were custom-built to accommodate the Registry's unique Sunrise and Landrush plans. The retail business now runs on LogicBoxes' domain distribution and business automation SaaS platform — OrderBox which is already being used by about 110 Registrars as of today.

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More under: Top-Level Domains

Author: "LogicBoxes" Tags: "top_level_domains"
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Date: Friday, 09 May 2014 19:53

This week, the City of New York and Neustar launched the first phase of availability for the new .nyc Top-Level Domain (TLD).

The "Sunrise” phase gives NYC businesses with trademarks first priority in claiming their .nyc names through June 20. This is the first of three phases prior to general availability opening October 8, 2014.

As one of the most anticipated arrivals in the City and the Internet's history, the .nyc address is a unique opportunity for New York City residents, businesses and organizations to set themselves apart from competitors on the web and signal their direct association with The Big Apple. Registration of a .nyc domain name is restricted to individuals or businesses with physical address in the five boroughs of the city.

Neustar is the official registry services provider for .nyc, supporting all marketing efforts and operating the technical infrastructure of the .nyc domain.

"The launch of the .nyc web address holds great potential for all New Yorkers, whose work embodies the spirit and opportunity of such a great city," said Neustar's CEO Lisa Hook in a recent statement.

For New Yorkers who want a .nyc domain before the rush, the .nyc Founders Program is their next opportunity. Only a select few companies, organizations and individuals will get the prestige of being among the first .nyc owners at launch.

For more information on how to get a .nyc domain name and apply for the Founders Program, visit http://nic.nyc or read the full announcement from The City.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

Author: "Neustar" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, top_lev..."
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Date: Friday, 09 May 2014 16:26

This is the second meeting held by Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) in partnership with other civil society organizations and stakeholders.

DotConnectAfrica delegates participated in the recent Internet and Human Rights Breakfast Roundtable on 24th April 2014 held at The Norfolk Fairmont in Nairobi, Kenya.

This is the second meeting held by Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) in partnership with other civil society organizations and stakeholders.

KHRC, in partnership with other civil society organizations, has been working on a number of informational rights including freedom of expression, access to information, right to privacy and freedom of association as provided by the Constitution of Kenya 2010. In the digital era, KHRC has extended this work to promote and protect the rights and freedoms as experienced offline to be enjoyed online.

The Internet is become a major tool and platform that is used in day to day activities in all sectors of the economy and academia. The Government of Kenya has taken various steps in developing its ICT status as a leading Information technology hub in Africa.

The Cyber Security strategy of 2014 was also launched recently and DotConnectAfrica participated the comments to improve it. The roundtable was thus meant to sustain a dialogue of partnership between the state and non state actors and aimed to build an understanding of the legislative and policy environment in Kenya, including the current debates on cyber security and cybercrime and their effects on human rights. The Meeting also explored the value of the multistakeholder approach in internet policy making and how it could be institutionalized in Kenya.

DotConnectAfrica since its inception in 2006 has been an active part of the DNS industry and have continuously contributed to the Internet Governance debates and encourages a continued debate in improving and sustaining a thriving internet especially at this time when Africa is reputed to be taking a lead in adopting internet and mobile technology.

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More under: Internet Governance

Author: "DotConnectAfrica" Tags: "internet_governance"
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Date: Monday, 05 May 2014 14:59

ARI Registry Services facilitated the delegation of its second .brand Top-Level Domain (TLD) client to the web when the World Trade Center's .wtc TLD was switched on live during the week.

Following technical testing to meet ICANN's stringent requirements, .wtc joined the likes of, شبكة. .menu, .build, .luxury and .monash when ARI Registry Services added the namespace to the Internet's authoritative root zone servers.

More than 250 TLDs have already been delegated out of the almost 1400 new domains applied for. The delegation of .wtc follows the lead of Monash University, who — with the assistance of ARI Registry Services — became the first major organisation in the world to delegate a .brand TLD when .monash was added to the web in January.

Most of the delegated strings to date have been generic words, with relatively few brand applicants ready to launch.

Jeremy Ebbels, General Manager — Registry Services — Global Division at ARI Registry Services, said the delegation of another .brand TLD complements the company's position as a leading provider of registry services and TLD consulting services.

"We've been at the forefront of the new TLD program from the start, as the first applicant to sign a new TLD contract, the first technology provider to pass the program's stringent testing regime, and one of the first new TLDs to be added live on the Internet," Mr Ebbels said.

"ARI Registry Services is the appointed technology provider for more than 100 new Top-Level Domain applicants globally, including some of the world's leading brands, entrepreneurs and governments - many of whom utilise our expert consultancy services to prepare for activation and ongoing maintenance of their Top-Level Domains."

Mr Ebbels said further announcements regarding the launch of other clients are expected throughout the year.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

Author: "ARI Registry Services" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, top_lev..."
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 17:04

The building and construction industry is set for a digital revolution with the .BUILD Top-Level Domain available for public registrations.

Appealing to businesses large and small, .BUILD is designed specifically for the online needs of the building industry and beyond. From roads to skyscrapers to homes, .BUILD is the new Internet real estate for builders of every kind. Contractors and those associated with the industry around the world will now be able to more accurately represent themselves online with a .BUILD web address and email.

"We are thrilled with the positive reaction we have seen to the .BUILD domain name in both the building and construction industry as well as the Internet community", said George Minardos, CEO of .BUILD. "It's very clear there is a recognition that .BUILD will greatly enhance the online identity of our large and global industry and we are glad to have a reputable technology provider like ARI Registry Services as our partner."

As the appointed technical provider for .BUILD, ARI Registry Services is powering the launch and technical operations of this global domain name in a highly secure and reliable manner.

Jeremy Ebbels, General Manager Registry Services Division at ARI Registry Services, congratulated .BUILD on this significant milestone.

"ARI Registry Services is extremely proud to support the launch of the .BUILD TLD. Given its easily identifiable purpose, the strong support shown by top tier Registrars signing up to sell the domain name, and with the flawless performance of our registry, we expect great things for .BUILD. Targeted TLDs like this are changing the way the Internet is used and it is exciting to continually be at the forefront of this innovative new era." Mr Ebbels said.

Today's milestone marks an important step in the launch of .BUILD as it officially becomes available for registrations on a first-come, first-serve basis at 15:00 UTC on 29 April 2014. .BUILD will be more than just another generic Top Level Domain, it will be an online community dedicated to serving the global building and construction industry through enhanced search, website design, a clear identity, relevant information and virtual markets.

For more information and an updated list of retailers please visit www.connect.build.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

Author: "ARI Registry Services" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, top_lev..."
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Date: Monday, 28 Apr 2014 18:48

The Danger Deepens: Neustar's Annual DDoS Attack Report – Neustar surveyed IT professionals at hundreds of companies to create the third annual report on the DDoS landscape — and it reveals surprising trends in attacks and threats. (Download the Report Here)It's called "smokescreening" and it's costing companies big.

In 2013, over 50 percent of companies hit by DDoS attacks suffered theft of funds, customer data or intellectual property. Attackers now use DDoS as a smokescreen for malware or virus insertions. This is one of the major findings in Neustar's just-released 2014 DDoS Attacks and Impact Report.

In one case, crooks used DDoS to help steal bank customers' credentials and drain $9 million from ATMs in just 48 hours. Such incidents have caused the FDIC to warn about DDoS as "a diversionary tactic."

"Here's an analogy," says Rodney Joffe, Neustar Senior Vice President and Senior Technologist. "When there's a tremendous storm, you run around your house making sure all the windows are closed and you've got the flashlights ready. You're not worried about anything else. DDoS attacks are similar. They create an all-hands-on-deck mentality, which is understandable but sometimes dangerous."

The potential for damage has experts like Joffe worried. "The stakes are much higher," he notes. "If you're a criminal, why mess around with extortion when you can just go ahead and steal — and on a much greater scale?"

What are the warning signs of smokescreening — and what preventive steps can you take? Download the full DDoS attacks report to learn more.

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More under: Cyberattack, Cybercrime, DDoS, Malware, Security

Author: "Neustar" Tags: "cyberattack, cybercrime, ddos, malware, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 19:13

Sophia Bekele the DCA Executive Director was invited to give a Key Note speech at the annual Girl's ICT day on 24th April 2014 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia organized by International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Despite she was not able to attend the African Union premises where the ITU event was hosted, she has sent the below message to the young girls and women of the audience.

Other invited guests who will speak at the event include the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Minister of ICT in Ethiopia, Minister of Women's Children and Youth Affairs Minister of ICT in Ethiopia, Dr.Eleni Gabre-Madhin of Ethiopian Commodities Exchange, Mrs. Bethelhem Tilahun, Managing Director of SoleRebels and Mrs. Bruktawit Tigabu, Director of Whiz Kids Workshop.

The Girls in ICT initiative is an ITU global effort to raise awareness on empowering and encouraging girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICTs. The initiative is committed to celebrate and commemorate the International Girls in ICT Day on the fourth Thursday of every April as established by the ITU membership. The objective of the event it so create awareness among girls of the opportunities within the ICT industry. It is hoped that this event will also make girls see ICT as a career path and enter into the industry in the future.

Sophia Bekele who is a pragmatic leader and pioneer in efforts of bridging the digital divide in her remarks details her journey in the friends of ICT and business and encouraged the girls to seriously consider a career in the challenging but rewarding ICT and business sectors. She has pioneered several youth Initiatives including generation.africa and Miss.africa to empower girls in ICT.

Her unabridged remarks are below.

* * *

Distinguished guests, the organizers of the ITU's Girl's ICT day, all protocols observed.

Greetings ladies and gentlemen, I trust you all had a great European and Ethiopian Easter Season. It is quite a coincidence that both holidays occurred around the same time this year.

I want to take this moment to thank the ITU and organizers of this empowering and important event for the future of the girls of Africa and the world.

I am very happy to be here and say few words on the subject I am passionate about, ICT and women or ICT for women either way. I nearly bring it up in every global forum I attend.

I am therefore very delighted to see ITU that has taken the lead as a global Inter-governmental organization to create a program that encourages and celebrates women/girls involved in ICT. I have to say my organization DotConnectAfrica was inspired by these same efforts of ITU few years back when we launched a program for women and youth in our organization. Thank you ITU for your leadership in this area amongst many others. I want to take the opportunity to remind ITU also, that DCA is an active contributor/commentator to your global programs pertaining to ICT and Internet issues, and here we are, also to show support for your program, women in ICT. Such enlightened and strong policy leadership is important at a time when the global economy desperately needs better steering on gender balance.

More women have added to the statistics now, more so than a decade ago. Myself, I started my professional career in a highly male dominated field called IT Audit- Auditing computer systems. Very nerdy I must say. Now I see many women being part of it. Even in private business, not many Women were/are engaged in ICT related activities.

Allow me to mention that the very pan African organization that we are holding this meeting in - now the African Union - previously the Organization of the African Unity, its very first and largest ICT infrastructure to connect six of its original buildings with an internet and intranet infrastructure, was built and commissioned by a Woman, after winning an international competitive tender. Such contracts for women were unheard of at the time and one can imagine the challenge that women went through. Therefore, not to congratulate myself - that woman was me - and I will only say Halleluiah, we have added to the statistics and our footprints remain.

Now, young women in this room, you can see ladies like us have paved the way for you. Today, it is much easier than yesterday to get involved, you just take the mantel and run with it, and add to more of the statistics. There is vast opportunity out there and waiting for your involvement. From securing employment to being a pioneer in the next new thing, like our lady Ethiopian Champions here Bethelhem Tilahun of SoleRebels in e-commerce or Dr. Eleni in an extraordinary work using automation to create the first commodities exchange in Ethiopia.

I understand women tend to see technology as that of a man's domain, and so do men by the way, and therein lies the glass ceiling, where we are isolated. Not any longer! Particularly with the integration of the Internet. The ICT tools used to create wealth and opportunities can no longer be successful without integration with the internet itself.

I recently read that Internet is a "she". The internet is being utilized more by women, where women are increasing their rights, representation, and participation. The social media we frequently use, today, they are more used by women than men. In this case, we have already added to the statistics. How many in this room are on Social Media?

Another point I want to make is that the internet has bridged the digital divide more than any other technology tool ever developed. Instead of you going to find knowledge, it has brought it right on your desktop. eg. is online - universities, e-commerce, e-tourism, e-governance and other online enabled resources.

An entry point for girls also is the use your own smart devices, like your mobile phones and applications built on it. Being an expert user is a starting point for Girls and women, less being a developer of apps. Second is the active use of social media tools and ways to use them to create value for yourself or the organizations you work for, for purposes of branding, marketing and global communications. The ICT sector clearly underpins this and many other developments in the future.

Two recent statistics on education and development you must know and that is also close to home for you living in Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa. Various credible international reports point out that Addis Ababa is one the fastest emerging cities now in the ranks of Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Rio de Janeiro with tech hubs like iceAddis and according to UNESCO's Education Report, Sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) ranks the highest globally in government expenditure on education, at 18.7%.

Therefore, the message I leave to you, young women out there is that you need to educate yourself with the tools of the future - ICT and internet to contribute to this fast, evolving and competitive, global landscape. Getting educated in ICT is no longer nerdy, it is trendy.

The message I leave for those organizations that are building workforce is to please create a policy of diversity to hire, train, and develop girls and women in ICT, for not doing so, means half of the global population is ignored and organizations missing in the value of the creativity and talent this gender balance brings.

The message I leave for policy makers in this room is to follow what ITU has done. Mainstream gender involvement and advocacy in your policy development and implementation.

Thank you very much.

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More under: Web

Author: "DotConnectAfrica" Tags: "web"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 17:18

Verisign is pleased to announce the public introduction of getdns at The Next Web in Amsterdam (TNWEurope) April 23-24, 2014. Verisign Labs and NLNet Labs in collaboration have developed getdns, an open source implementation of the getdns-api application programming interface (api) specification.

At The Next Web, getdns is one of the challenge APIs in a 36-hour Hack Battle. Multiple teams of application coding experts are using getdns to develop innovative applications that leverage the global security infrastructure available through DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC).

Several years of community and researcher effort have led up to this introduction. The modernized, extensible DNS API specification was developed by a volunteer team of Web applications developers — the contributors included people specializing in instant messaging programs, Web browsers, and social networking systems. Its novel goal was to offer DNS programming calls adapted to the use of application developers, allowing full access to the power of the DNS ecosystem without requiring the applications developers to be deep experts in the DNS protocol.

Paul Hoffman, an application security consultant, edited the API and Verisign Labs joined in the fun over a year ago, several months before the first publication. Once it was published, we invited NLNet Labs to join us in creating an open source implementation for widespread public distribution, getdns. Hoffman and the community then updated the specification to address discoveries we made during implementation. In February 2014, we unveiled early beta code for review and in the months since we have also released an early port of getdns to iOS, and beta versions of node.js and Python language bindings. Source repositories are publicly available on github.

At its heart, getdns makes use of the DNS protocol processing of the NLNet Labs Unbound open source — Unbound is a widely used, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC)-centric implementation of the DNS standards. We reflect this in the phrase "Unbound Security" in the getdns logo. The double meaning: removal of the bounds that have kept applications from easy access to a global security infrastructure in the DNS.

getdns provides easy access to the powerful evolving capabilities of DNS, including the DNSSEC and DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE). In the common DNS APIs, found on most computers, the calls were last updated in 2000 (to add IPv6 addresses). With getdns, programmers can access the modern DNS. Notably, with one function call, programs can elect to perform DNSSEC validation, while still making use of the resources of their enterprise or ISP DNS resolver. getdns offers a simple set of choices, a clean abstraction of the extensive support provided by Unbound underneath.

Due to the aging of the common APIs for DNS, the powerful, modern capabilities of the system have been underutilized. This situation has contributed to the perception by some that DNS is onerous and insufficiently speedy. Another key deliverable of getdns is default asynchronous access to DNS. In the common DNS APIs, when a query is sent to the DNS, another query will not be sent until the response for the first one has been received. The getdns implementation allows programmers to select their favorite programming library for asynchronous processing, and then to send arbitrary numbers of DNS queries while waiting for responses to arrive.

Consider what this means: before your Web browser loads a Web page for the first time, it requests the look up of typically hundreds of domain names, both for the initial page and to "pre-fetch" information that you may want soon after. Instead of doing these lookups one after another, an asynchronous API means that the queries are processed as rapidly as the domain servers can reply to them.

We are at the start of a promising new chapter in the tale of the mighty domain name ecosystem. As the getdns launch continues, I look forward to bringing you more updates, including results from the TNWEurope Hack Battle. Watch this space.

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More under: DNS, DNS Security

Author: "Verisign" Tags: "dns, dnssec"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 18:54

Zodiac is pleased to announce the launch of .wang.

As a pinyin (the official phonetic system for transcribing Chinese characters into Latin alphabet), "wang" is the Mandarin pronunciation of a number of Chinese characters, including 王 and 网.

"王" is the surname of more than 100 million Chinese around the world but it also means "king" or "best of its kind". "网" means "web" or "net". For example, one of the largest Chinese online retail platforms, "taobao.com" is known as 淘宝网 (pronounced "taobao-wang"). Many other household brands, social media or retail platforms hosted on a .com or .cn site are pronounced and known to Chinese users and consumers as "brand-wang", explains Eugene Li, CEO of Zodiac.

Li and his team are based in Beijing, China. "At Zodiac, our strengths lie with our people and our local knowledge and expertise. Being close to the market and the fact we speak the same language as our customers will hopefully set us apart from some of the new entrants. ", adds Li. Before joining Zodiac, Li was a senior executive at CNNIC where he was instrumental in driving the rapid growth of .cn, which reached 10 million registrations in 2008.

"After four long years of preparation and ICANN processes, we are very excited to be able to finally offer a Chinese style domain name space. In China, .cn and .com have around 10 and 6 million registrations, respectively. Our goal is to make .wang one of the most successful new gTLDs", says Li.

The Sunrise Period for .wang is between April 21 and May 21 when all trademark holders with Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) validation will be given priority to register their trademark-matching domain names.

Starting on May 26, .wang will have a five-week Landrush, followed by General Availability when all are welcome to register in the TLD.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

Author: "Zodiac Registry" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, multili..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 08:00

Registered Trademark Holders Now Eligible to Submit Applications for Three New
Top-Level Domains

Public Interest Registry — the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain — today launched the first registration phase, known as the Sunrise Period, for its three new Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). Qualified domain trademark holders can now submit applications for each of these three new domains which translate to "organisation" or "institution" in non-Latin-based scripts — one in Devanagari (.संगठन), one in Cyrillic (.орг), and one in simplified Chinese (.机构). Registration will open to all interested parties beginning May 27.

By allowing organisations to brand their website addresses in localized scripts, Public Interest Registry is providing opportunities for organisations to better communicate their mission, activities and accomplishments to audiences who speak and write in these widely used scripts. These new domains further demonstrate Public Interest Registry's commitment to helping organisations maximize their audience reach on a global scale.

"The launch of these international domain names allows us to continue expanding upon our ongoing mission of making the Internet a global, accessible place for organisations worldwide," said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. "Now more than ever, organisations will have the opportunity to heighten communication with native users of Devanagari, Cyrillic and Chinese scripts, all while advancing their missions and causes."

Currently, there are approximately:

  • 143.5 million people in Russia using Russian Cyrillic as the official alphabet for their national language
  • 497 million people speaking Hindi as a first language and 120 million as a second language.
  • 1.4 billion people speaking and writing in some form of Chinese.

In recent years, Public Interest Registry has emerged at the forefront of support for use of alternative scripts, having worked closely with standards-setting bodies and members of the engineering community to create and launch a number of alternative scripts for second-level names associated with .org. To date, the registrar supports 11 IDNs available for user adoption with .org in languages that include Danish, German, Hungarian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish, among others.

For more information about Public Interest Registry or for the full list of registrars offering the new IDNs, please visit www.pir.org.

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Multilinguism, Top-Level Domains

Author: "PIR" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, multili..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 20:37

Global registry services provider Afilias turns up the heat! Afilias today announced April 17, 2014, as the general availability launch date of the .RED generic top-level domain (gTLD). As an unrestricted domain, .RED names are available to be registered by anyone, anywhere in the world.

The .RED domain brings the heat to everything you're passionate about! Like red lipstick or a little red sports car, the color red brings intensity to whatever it touches. As British psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, author of Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness, once said in The New York Times, "If you want to make a point, you make it in red."

The .RED domain now brings this drama to your Web address.

Share your interests, causes and points of view on a .RED site. Want to make a bold fashion statement? Use .RED. In love? Show it with .RED. Fighting evil? Do it in .RED. When you need to heat up your Web presence, no other domain will do: Make it .RED hot!

"The .RED domain brings fire, spice and excitement to the formerly cold and gray computer world of the Internet," said Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President and CMO, Afilias. "Whether it's being used in the context of a political protest or Valentine's Day, red always stands for passion. The .RED domain will now let individuals and businesses extend that passion to the right of the dot."

.RED domains can be registered for up to 10 years at a time. Many registrars offer website building, email and other services along with .RED domains to make your online presence work exactly as you envision it!

The .RED general availability period opens at 16:00:00 UTC on April 17, 2014. You can learn more about .RED and find a registrar for your .RED domain at http://red.afilias.info. And join .RED on social media:

Twitter: @dotREDtld
Facebook: dotRED

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More under: Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

Author: "Afilias" Tags: "domain_names, registry_services, top_lev..."
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