t byfield on Wed, 20 Jan 1999 23:52:30 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Domain Defense Advocate


The Domain Defense Advocate


When, in September of 1998, Colgate-Palmolive attempted
to wrestle the proud name of ajax.org from its rightful
owners, we were overcome with the feeling that not only
had Network Solutions, Inc. created a system that left
the little guys shit outta luck, but that there were
very few organizations or bureaus outside of NSI to
assist domains in attempting to fend off attacks from
large and well-monied corporations that, in reality,
had no legal right to the domain-names in question.

When the netizens of slashdot.org came to our rescue
with a conscientious outpouring of letters and
feedback, we were saved. We at ajax.org reaped the
benefits of the battle we waged, but to no greater
benefit than the salvation of one domain. During the
fight, we had been approached by a couple of people in
similar situations, most remarkably ajax.net. The crew
and Captain Ajax felt that the victory was somewhat
hollow. Somewhat shallow--

On that day of victory, Captain Ajax vowed to create a
system under the auspices of ajax.org which would
provide some recourse for those whose domains fell
under similar attack. After some months, this vow came
to fruition-- Madge, you're soaking in it.


DDA (the domain defense advocate) is, at its heart, a
group of people with their ears to the tracks who are
willing to spend a couple of minutes every once in a
while to help the occasional domain stand up to its
attackers. Since the letter-writing campaign was so
successful in the case of ajax.org's domain defense, we
imagine that it can be equally successful in other


It's simple. A domain-owner writes for assistance to
the advocate e-mail address, advocate@ajax.org. A
volunteer will read the mail and try to sort out the
facts of the case with the owner of the domain. Once it
is determined that the advocacy program can be of
assistance to the domain-owner, a single e-mail message
is penned with information about the domain under fire
and all sorts of contact information for the attacking
entity (e-mail addresses, toll-free numbers, postal
addresses, etc.). A petition is created on the DDA site
for users to sign. The intended result is a large
response showing the attacking entity that the domain's
rights are important to more than just a few people.


That's simple, too:

*    Join the list. Send an e-mail message containing
just the word "subscribe" to advocate-request@ajax.org
to add yourself to the info hotline. We at ajax.org
will be moderating this list, only sending messages
when an incident arises, the very occasional update, or
when an incident is resolved. We understand (all too
well) how important it is to most of you to keep your
e-mail traffic to a minimum. Of course, we swear on K&R
that your e-mail address will not be sold or given away
for any spamological purposes. This kind of harassment
is the farthest thing from our goal.

*    Spread the word. The more people we have on the
list, the more effective it is likely to be. Don't spam
your ISP, but do let other people who may be interested
know what's happening. We need all the help we can get.
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