Rob Kaay wrote this article on Friday. It was about some nefarious goings on at auDA concerning a domain name that had been effectively stripped from a domain investor.

Well, that domain investor was me.

And yes, nefarious is a strong adjective – but I believe it to be apt in these circumstances. In my opinion, auDA’s new CEO (Rosemary Sinclair) has stifled truth, transparency and accountability.

And for those who know about my efforts to hold auDA to account over the years, this was something I had hoped I would never have to do again. But they have forced my hand. I hope the Minister responsible takes note – this was supposed to be the new auDA. Transparent and accountable.

Background

  • After writing to a Government department back in December 2019, I was quickly given written permission to use a domain name containing a term on auDA’s Reserve List. A domain I’d held for a long time. However the approval was not correctly addressed, and an auDA Compliance Officer asked me to try and get this changed.
  • It didn’t happen – and cutting a very long story short, I smelt a rat. So I proceeded with an FOI application, and discovered there was an email from “someone at auDA” to this Government department back on the 7th January 2020. When I say “someone”, the FOI returns were redacted in part.
  • So I went to the AAT – the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. This application is ongoing, and so therefore I am limited to what I can say. But I did find out who sent the email, and what was said. If you were in my position, it would make your eyes water!

What Happened Next

  • I wrote to Rosemary Sinclair – the new auDA CEO on the 31st August. I thought that once presented the facts, I would get a fair response from her.
  • Didn’t happen. On the contrary, I got “threatened” about using the information I had discovered. Ouch.
  • On Friday – some 60 days after my letter, I received the following email from her. Quite frankly, it is laughable – but I will let it speak for itself. There are a lot of questions begging to be asked and answered. You be the judge. In deference to the ongoing proceedings at the AAT, I have redacted certain information.

RS-Letter-to-Mr-OMeara-30102020-highlighted_Redacted

10 thoughts on “auDA CEO Tries To Stifle The Truth

  • Scott.L
    November 2, 2020 at 6:54 pm
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    What information was provided by a trusted third party that they believed to be true?

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  • Avatar
    November 2, 2020 at 7:15 pm
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    Just to be clear;

    A “senior auDA Manager” who is responsible for “Policy and Strategy” took it upon herself to make a false and incorrect statement to a Federal Government department, all for, what seems to be, the possibility of stripping a three-letter-acronym generic commercial domain name from a successful and rule-abiding domain investor.

    Even though you would think a “Complaint Manager” instead of a “Policy and Strategy Manager” would have been the best person to be talking to the government department about whether a reserved-list name should be approved to be owned by the general public.

    auDA’s CEO Rosemary Sinclair now states above “the officer did not knowingly make misleading or untrue statements”.

    Make note of her saying, “DID NOT KNOWINGLY.”

    This surely means that the misleading and untrue statements DID INDEED HAPPEN, and are not denied?

    Then, there’s this… The misleading and untrue statements were supplied by a “TRUSTED THIRD PARTY”.

    WHO IS THIS MYSTERIOUS TRUSTED THIRD PARTY handing out UNTRUE STATEMENTS about rule-abiding domain investors owning generic acronym domain names?

    and…

    Why is auDA believing these untrue statements and using them to mislead governments departments?

    Now… the CEO is ordering auDA that… FROM NOW ON…. there needs to be more “fact checking” at auDA.

    Never mind the previous few decades then?

    Let’s also note that the CEO in the above letter states “auDA has NO ROLE until the Department has approved…”

    So, the million dollar question remains….

    WHY did the Policy and Strategy Manager get involved in the first place and deliver misleading statements about the domain investor?

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    • Avatar
      November 2, 2020 at 8:22 pm
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      Hi Rob,

      According to the auDA minutes – Caroline Fritsch is the Manager of Policy and Strategy. So, why did the CEO Rosemary Sinclair seek to hide Caroline’s swipe at Ned?

      Is it because Rosemary knew Caroline was wrong…?

      WHY did Caroline Fritsch the Policy and Strategy Manager get involved in the first place and deliver misleading statements about the domain investor?

      Is it because Caroline is known to be anti-domainer?

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      • Avatar
        November 3, 2020 at 5:05 am
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        Hi G.

        I have heard from multiple people that Caroline Fritsch has been against anyone owning multiple domain names for years. I have taken that to mean she’s prejudiced against “Domain Investors”. Yet, you haven’t seen me write about her, or that connotation. Mainly because, I hadn’t seen anything first hand that blatantly stood out to support that connotation.

        However, after being shown a letter Ned wrote months ago, where Caroline stated Ned’s company was “a domain investment company which specialises in the resale of domain names and click thru advertising”, for the sake of having a generic three-letter acronym domain name stripped from him, and then to see her add a false statement claiming Ned had been “previously refused” by “The Minister” from owning other “acronym” domains (which flat-out didn’t happen), I now believe it may be true.

        I’ve stated before, there are over 64,000 people or businesses in Australia that own more than 10 domain names each (https://domainer.com.au/64000-registrants-own-one-million-domains/). This means, to me, I believe there are 64,000 “Domain Investors” in Australia.

        In my personal opinion, I now believe Caroline Fritsch detests Domain Investors and I no longer trust her in her role as Policy and Strategy Manager at auDA.

        A month ago, we were told the new AU Domain Licensing Rules were postponed yet again and wouldn’t be launching until mid 2021. (https://domainer.com.au/auda-postpone-new-licensing-rules-until-may-2020/) Scott L. claimed in that post, “The new licensing rules are getting chopped and changed behind closed doors and it appears the public does not know what was changed to get to a final copy.”

        What percentage of the new licensing rules, over the past few years, and even as we speak, is Caroline Fritsch a part of creating?

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    • Avatar
      November 2, 2020 at 8:28 pm
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      Time for auDA 4.0 ?
      New Staff
      New Board

      This is the tip of the iceberg showing they tried to claim had melted away.

      The exact same dysfunctional problems obviously remain at auDA after tens of $millions have been wasted by auDA on cover ups, fake consultations, failed
      PRP, questionable auDA payouts and massive secret bonuses from auDA funds.

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  • Avatar
    November 3, 2020 at 5:24 am
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    auDA`s Caroline Fritsch needs to resign or be removed from any auDA and .au namespace role effective immediately.

    No more auDA Cover Ups please or the whole auDA Board and CEO can go again!

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  • Avatar
    November 3, 2020 at 6:39 am
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    Well written article Ned. It’s disappointing when people in control of a membership organisation have no regard for their biggest group of stakeholders.

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  • Avatar
    November 3, 2020 at 8:56 am
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    Does the Chair of auDA realise this is on the nose? Wasn’t he Commonwealth Ombudsman and Chair of ASIC in another life? Chair, even though members can’t vote because of smoke and mirrors, it is still a members organisation.

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  • Neddy
    November 3, 2020 at 10:00 am
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    I vaguely recalled a motivational book I read many years ago. It was called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” – written by Robert Fulghum.

    So I looked it up this morning.

    In essence, we should learn what is acceptable and not acceptable at the earliest possible stage of life. Things like:

    1. Share everything.
    2. Play fair.
    3. Don’t hit people.
    4. Put things back where you found them.
    5. Clean up your own mess.
    6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
    7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.

    We all make mistakes – but it’s how you handle the situation afterwards that I think is the most important.

    All auDA really has to do in this instance is say sorry; we made a mistake; and let the appropriate people know. Surely that is not so hard? That’s what would happen at kindy.

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  • Avatar
    November 5, 2020 at 12:08 pm
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    I’ve been thinking more about the “trusted third party” auDA seem to value so highly for their professional opinions….

    I wonder if the “trusted third party” came up with the idea of banning the ability to lease Australian domain names in the new policy rules?

    WHO is this “trusted third party”?

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