auDA terminates Australian Style Pty Ltd (t/a Bottle Domains) registrar accreditation

Posted by Janelle Backman on 26 July 2010

On 23 July 2010, the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria dismissed Bottle Domains’ appeal in proceedings against auDA.

Pursuant to the decision (available here), auDA has today terminated the registrar accreditation of Australian Style Pty Ltd trading as Bottle Domains, for a serious breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement.

In February 2009, auDA was notified by the Australian Federal Police that there had been a security incident which affected customers of Bottle Domains.

auDA subsequently discovered that Bottle Domains was the subject of an earlier security incident in April 2007, which auDA believes may have caused or contributed to the security incident in February 2009.

Bottle Domains failed to notify auDA at the time of the April 2007 security incident, which was a breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement. Bottle Domains also failed to take appropriate remedial security action and alert customers of the incident.

These failures led to auDA's decision to terminate Bottle Domains' registrar accreditation on 15 April 2009, however the termination had been suspended pending the conclusion of legal proceedings.

Following Friday’s decision in its favour, auDA has today re-initiated the termination process. Approximately 8,900 domain names registered by Bottle Domains have been transferred to auDA, and the registrants of these names will be sent instructions on how to transfer to another auDA accredited registrar.

“The domain names of Bottle Domains’ customers are NOT at risk. auDA is in the process of contacting all those whose domain name is registered through Bottle Domains to provide them with all the information they need” said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain.

In its decision, the Court of Appeal recognised the importance of the system governing domain name allocation and use in Australia and that “protecting the system against unauthorised entry is therefore of paramount concern”.

The Court also endorsed the actions of auDA, and its CEO, Chris Disspain: “Given the importance of the .au domain name system as a public resource to be administered in the public interest, it is in my opinion appropriate that this Court say clearly that it endorses the approach taken by Mr Disspain.”