CMWG is auDA’s new CRC?!

Dictators inevitably always fail to people power, because the people eventually see through their intentions. And intentions, after all, are what distinguishes an arrogant dictator from a great leader.

What exactly have Cameron Boardman’s (current auDA CEO) intentions been over the past few years?

How many people see him as more-like one, over the other?

I guess the only way we can know the answer to this question for certain is to see the final result of another question being asked at the auDA SGM (Special General Meeting) that’s fast approaching us on July 27th.

The result of that day will surely provide an instant answer. The question being;

Resolution 1 – Vote of no confidence in Cameron Boardman (CEO)

For months I was leaning on either side of the fence. I was trying to see all sides of the auDA turmoil. Hell, late last year I volunteered my time to be a part of auDA’s CRC (Constitutional Reform Committee) and in early January this year I even publicly defended Cameron and auDA when David Goldstein wrote some factually incorrect information about the now-publicly-failed CRC (Constitutional Reform Committee), of which, as stated, I was a member.

To this day, I have still not been told by auDA or Cameron that the CRC is over.

The CRC literally just evaporated into thin air. And I was left turning my head and shaking my shoulders. A few of us gave each other a phone call after a few weeks and asked each other, “Is this thing still happening?”

I can’t find the last email at the moment from this period, but I’ll try and post it in the comments tomorrow. From memory Cameron suggested he was finding a replacement for Scott Long, who had publicly resigned stating; auDA “management deliberately oppressed my role as the Chair of Constitution Reform Committee”.

Yet, I never heard anything again about it.

For those not in the know, the CRC was created by auDA as basically the first version of the now CMWG (Constitutional Model Working Group). From all accounts I’m receiving, this “independent perspective” committee still seems to be being offered “strong direction advice” from a certain board member of auDA.

Put it this way, auDA’s own newsletter regarding the CMWG sent out to members today, reads as follows:

The job of the CMWG is to define and oversee the process of consultation with the entire auDA membership – and wider Australian community – on the reforms required for auDA to meet the Commonwealth Government’s expectations.

Although we were created as an initiative of the auDA Board, every one of us is operating from an independent perspective.

… but then only two paragraph’s later, the newsletter goes on to state:

Although we are chaired by the CEO of auDA, Cameron Boardman, our mission is not to advance the agenda of auDA management. Cameron acts purely to facilitate and support the working group’s activity.

Isn’t this last sentence just like Google’s original motto; “Don’t Be Evil!

If you have to state something like this, doesn’t it allude that you may believe everyone’s going to be thinking about exactly that?

Perhaps there’s a good reason?

Anyway, let me get this straight…

The CMWG has been formed, “as an initiative of the auDA Board”, just like the CRC was, but we see that Cameron’s attending a large majority of the meetings, for… hmmm…

If this thing was truly independent, then… surely Cameron wouldn’t have to be “present” at a majority of these meetings.

Couldn’t someone else from auDA do this job instead? If it’s just “facilitating” and “supporting”?

In terms of how effective this CMWG is being with the current few-hundred auDA members…

Three days ago, auDA send out an email stating:

in the auDA members’ discussion forum we have a dedicated discussion category where you can have your say on each of the 29 recommendations

To this day, three days later, a grand total of four people have bothered to look at these, with zero people engaging in any sort of comment.

auDA Forum Screenshot, 7th June, 2018

Also important to note is at the bottom of the same email from three days ago, auDA finally publicly acknowledged and revealed that they had indeed pre-emptively locked out and hijacked (my word, not theirs) two premium Direct .AU Registration domain names for themselves:

You may have seen reports last week that the domain names ‘‘ and ‘‘ have been reserved by auDA. This is true.

However, contrary to some reports, these names are unrelated to the introduction of ‘direct registration’ in the .au namespace.


It’s standard practice for TLD operators to reserve names for registry use (as per section 3 of Specification 5 of ICANN’s registry agreement). Common examples include WWW, WHOIS  and RDDS.  Accordingly, the approval was given for these names on the basis they’d be used in the operational test environment used by registrars as part of preparations for transition of registry services to Afilias.

So, they know they don’t have a single example of any Domain Name Registry anywhere in the entire world using the generic word “Registry” as a pre-emptive, locked-out, test-environment domain name? And they’re still okay with this?

There’s obviously lots wrong with that statement, but I’m trying to give Cameron a little more time to completely comprehend exactly what he’s done here.

They went on to say:

It makes sense that auDA holds the domain name for the WHOIS service rather than an external party as is the case now. Currently, the domain name for the WHOIS database is This will change once Afilias takes over as registry operator on 1 July, although the domain name has not been finalised. This is another reason why we reserved the names in question and are planning to reserve more.

And again… no mention of why and how they believe they can hijack

And how about the obvious contradiction they make by stating, It makes sense that auDA holds the domain name for the WHOIS service” directly followed by, “Currently, the domain name for the WHOIS database is”.


I think they answered their own question. In that it DOESN’T make sense at all.

And how about this golden nugget, “This is another reason why we reserved the names in question and are PLANNING TO RESERVE MORE“.

Say goodbye to,),),)

Looks like your own one-word premium generic Direct .AU domain name COULD BE NEXT!!!


It’s been 7 days since I wrote to auDA and clearly proved why they didn’t have a right to pre-register and hijack and for themselves…

I still haven’t received an official response…

Just ignored.

Which seems to be a common theme members have been shown over the past few years.

The same way my emails have been ignored by John Swinson, Chair of the PRP (Policy Reform Panel), in regards to removing Brett Fenton from the PRP for his bias views on domain names. I know other members have also emailed John about this. One of them finally got a response, so we’ll take another detailed look at this subject next week…

And they wonder why members feel like they have no choice but to stand up and yell from the rooftops?

What can you do…. What can you do indeed…

In my next article I will be writing my third and final rebuttal to Cameron’s idea that it was and “IS okay” for him to have allowed the early locking-out of the two premium GENERIC Direct .AU Registration domain names, and

Unless he sorts all this out in the meantime?

Until then…

In the wise words of the mighty Jack Nicholson…

6 thoughts on “CMWG is auDA’s new CRC?!

  • June 10, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Actions speak louder than words. A lot of words are being written right now about a process that has only just begun. Rather than rush to prejudge the outcome, wouldn’t it be more constructive to wait and see how things pan out? There seems to be an overall consensus that auDA needs reform. But does anyone seriously suggest that this situation has only developed over the last couple of years? The report from the Department of Communications and the Arts points very squarely at concerns about auDA having been subject to “capture” and inordinate influence from vested interests. Again I ask, does anyone think they are only referring to the last couple of years? Methinks not!

    Anonymous likes this.
    • June 10, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      I don’t think anyone is saying the previous management was perfect. There’s many things that could have been done before the management change too.


      However; I don’t think anyone would argue things have become worse since the management change and it’s this that’s caused the government intervention.

      You and 3 others like this.
      • June 11, 2018 at 8:46 am

        So, what precisely is wrong with auDA in your opinion? And what is it that has changed apart from some personnel movements?

        • June 11, 2018 at 5:20 pm

          Treating the .au domain space like a business. (Direct Registrations)

          Treating the members of auDA like mushrooms. (Missing agenda/minutes, horrible communication)

          Treating the people of .au as cash cows (ties in to point 1)


          And although you mention apart from personnel movements you have to understand the horrid dealings of current management and previous staff. It was abhorrent what they did to staff and sure – my eyes may be tainted by that but anyone that says current management is good needs to reassess their opinion.


          Again; I point out that it was not perfect in previous management. In fact – it was barely acceptable as well. But still leaps and bounds ahead of what’s happened of late.

          Anonymous likes this.
          • June 11, 2018 at 6:02 pm

            1. Direct registration was proposed by the previous management. It has been deferred until 2019 at the earliest by current board with an equal likelihood it will never occur.

            2. The minutes issue is addressed here (Q3)…

            3. The problem I and others face is understanding exactly what you mean. A new CEO usually means staff movements. That’s never pleasant. So, exactly how was your experience different to other people let go by other organisations?

            4. There is currently on foot a comprehensive review of auDA under the close surveillance of the Government. Would it not make sense to await the outcome of this rather than continue destruction and potentially counterproductive attacks that might force the Government to intervene in a manner nobody in the industry wants to see?

            • June 12, 2018 at 7:55 am

              I feel you and I will never see eye to eye and this is not the place for us to continue hitting our heads against the wall.

              So – I’ve gone ahead and registered an email account – if you wish to continue I’m happy for you to email [email protected]

              2 people like this.

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