5 Nov 2007

Niue government criticised in probe of internet domain name controversy

3:11 pm on 5 November 2007

A commission of inquiry in Niue has strongly criticised the Government while clearing the companies that control the island's dot-nu internet domain name of any misconduct.

The report is yet to be made public despite being completed two years ago.

Don Wiseman reports.

"The Government set up the inquiry claiming it was being denied tens of millions of dollars of revenue, that it had a sovereign right to the name and that the reputation of Niue was being besmirched by the sale of dot NU to pornography sites. The inquiry found that the Government had staked its position on misguided advice that the name was capable of producing a huge revenue. The inquiry also found that the Government position that it had sovereign rights was false. It concluded that the Internet Users Society Niue, which manages the name on behalf of Boston businessman William Semich, was doing what it could to get rid of objectionable sites."

And it found that the IUSN and its parent Nu Domain Ltd had no case of misconduct to answer. Despite the report being completed, but not released, two years ago, the Government has continued its campaign to try and end Mr Semich's control of dot NU. Earlier this year its so called roving ambassador Toke Talagi, was quoted in Computer World magazine saying Mr Semich's ownership of the site amounts to digital colonialism.