“SS auDA” – You Need To Change Course!

auDA’s recent shenanigans reminds me of “The Lighthouse Principle”. Seemingly too arrogant to change course until faced with near and certain disaster.

Yesterday, auDA Members received the April-May 2017 Member Newsletter. I’m giving you the online link to it, but obviously, given recent conduct, I can’t guarantee how long it will stay on the auDA website (or if it will remain unedited).

I’m presuming that Cameron Boardman (the CEO) was responsible for the content of the newsletter. He certainly would have signed off on it. So let me say this. The screeds of “stuff” written in an attempt to justify the decision to backtrack on your promises of transparency and communication are unbecoming of a true leader – in my humble opinion. In Far North Queensland, we call this type of conduct bullsh*t.

Let me again replay your words and promises made at the AGM (and those of the Chair, Stuart Benjamin).


♦  Are Members entitled to believe in their Board and their Executive – particularly when categorical statements are made at an AGM?

♦  Is politics so ingrained in your DNA that you can so easily make promises and then break them?

Refuting Your Argument

Following your newsletter, my email inbox is full of examples of corporate transparency from concerned Members. (In particular, big thanks to Scott!). Let me give you a goodie, because it is so relevant.


“The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.”

auDA operates under the auspices of ICANN – have a read of this auDA article which sets out the original relationship.

ICANN is a squillion times bigger than auDA, and yet it has full transparency. Agendas, Minutes – you name it. And they even have audio recordings!

auDA keep digging themselves such an unnecessary hole. They need to compare themselves with their peer organisations when it comes to transparency and communication.

♦  Does ICANN have transparency? Yes.

♦  Does Nominet (UK) have transparency? Yes.

♦  Does DNC (New Zealand) have transparency? Yes.

Please Make It Right

auDA Members deserve better. Please change course before it’s too late.

At the very least, please restore all previous documents. auDA Directors who went before you, and engaged in a reasonable amount of transparency, deserve better. Don’t trash history.


Ned O’Meara – 4th May 2017


13 thoughts on ““SS auDA” – You Need To Change Course!

  • May 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    In my view AUDA faces an ever growing crisis of confidence if it cannot rethink its stance on minutes.

    The argument that this is ASX best practice and similar is falling on deaf ears.

    Why? Because AUDA has a pre-existing transparency issue. It is a different situation to an organisation being setup, or an existing organisation that does not have transparency issues.

    Removing minutes simply looks like AUDA is trying to hide from its members, that is the bottom line.

    8 people like this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Well said Ned!

    At this time many have no trust in auDA and this is of paramount concern given the huge proposed changes, especially because it appears evident to me that the wider community’s interests are not at the apex of any of auDA’s actions. Very, very sad!


    Publisher comment: this is an edited version of the original comment submitted.

    6 people like this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I agree. I’m not sure who gave the order to remove the “history” of previous minutes, but it’s clear they shouldn’t have been removed and 100% of them should be restored.

    6 people like this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 11:29 am

    @Ben – sorry, but I can’t publish your comment in its present form. It is defamatory – there are some good people at auDA. So I have edited it – if you’re not happy with this version, let me know and I will delete it entirely.

  • May 4, 2017 at 11:54 am

    We got the email and this is what we read;
    Welcome to AUDA
    Please pay your $22 annual subscription and we will continue to send you a monthly email, informing you of our commitment to conceal from you everything you need to make informed choices about our board, expenses, and relationships.  
    Please be sure to renew your subscription to vote for your next director based on the monthly newsletter we send you.
    Now go back to sleep everyone, everything is ok.  

    7 people like this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    It is time to Wind up auDA. There is a policy for this at auDA already and it can be done fairly quickly.


    On dissolution of the Company, the right to administer the .au ccTLD must either be transferred on to another entity nominated or approved by the Commonwealth of Australia or, in the absence of such approval, be transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia.

    If upon the winding up or dissolution of auDA there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property or money whatsoever, the remaining assets shall not be paid or distributed to the Members but shall be transferred to the subsequent entity approved by the Commonwealth of Australia to manage the .au ccTLD.”

    Many people have serious concerns about $10 million + auDA has in the bank which was made off Australian Domain Name Registrants. Everyone needs to keep an eye on that money… how much of it will it end up with foreign owned AusRegistry / Neustar/ Golden Gate for the tender of building the auDA Wholesale Registry…?

    If people have concerns about auDA they should today write an official complaint; or phone and arrange to meet with the relevant Government person investigating auDA complaints.

    The Office of Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield
    Minister for Communications
    Minister for the Arts
    Manager of Government Business in the Senate
    Phone: 02 6277 7480
    Mobile: 0414 728 720
    Email: [email protected]

    Email: [email protected]



    Someone has suggested to me that Senator Mitch Fifield may be an associate  / friend / Liberal party colleague of several auDA Board members and auDA staff. If this is the case, then the need for transparency in all auDA dealings is paramount.

    Senator Mitch Fifield has tasked Luke Coleman to handle auDA apparently but in all seriousness this needs investigation by all sides of government for the facts and truth to come out… With auDA recently deleting information from their website, it appears to me that they may have something to hide.


    4 people like this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    “You will soon be receiving membership renewal applications. As resolved by the Board in February, we ask members to note the adoption of a Member Code of Conduct.  The application has been updated to include this, pursuant to clause 9.8 of the Constitution. We thank you for your support.”

    Support? Nope!

    Members don’t renew their membership, they pay their annual fees or get their membership cancelled!

    Clause 9.8 doesn’t mention the board being able to impose member codes of conduct.

    The constitution already has a mechanism to deal with membership issues under clause 13.3

    Appears the board is trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

    Free speech must be intimidating.

    7 people like this.
    • May 5, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Good points David – particularly about Clause 9.8.

      Anonymous likes this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    The excuses in their Member Newsletter were just blown apart by three sensible comparisons to their international peers.

    10 people like this.
    • May 5, 2017 at 10:43 am

      @Incognito – as Rumpole of the Bailey would have said: “Your Honour, I rest my case.”

      Apologies to those youngsters that have no clue who Rumpole was!

      Anonymous likes this.
  • May 4, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    You’re on fire Ned. I don’t understand why auda would want to die in the ditch over this issue? Who is pushing this?


    3 people like this.
    • May 5, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Thanks Jeff. Good questions both you and @Legal Eagle have raised. I’d love to get an answer, but I doubt if we ever will.

      Anonymous likes this.
  • May 5, 2017 at 12:32 am

    The question that indeed needs to be answered is who is pushing this agenda? Perhaps a certain cabal within the Board led on by the CEO? Directors don’t just suddenly and collectively decide to do something as radical as this.

    4 people like this.

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