Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ICANN commends NiRA on .ng progress

Global Internet administrator, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has commended the managers of the nation’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), .ng, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), saying it has done very well within a short time of its existence.

ccTLD is a country’s identity in the cyber space, just like .ng is for Nigeria, .uk is for the United Kingdom, .za is for South Africa among others.

The Regional Liaison Officer for Africa at ICANN, Ms Anne Rachel Inne, gave this commendation at the just concluded annual sixth Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO) held in Abuja, the nation’s capital, last weekend in an exclusive chat with ITRealms Online.

She said that Nigeria deserves to be commended on what has happened so far concerning the evolution of NiRA.

“I definitely congratulate Nigeria as a whole on what has happened so far. I am very happy the way NiRA has taken up, it’s set up and the way it’s going forward,” she asserted when asked to rate NiRA in the last two years of its existence.

She also noted the fact that NiRA, lately, has been to all African’s Top Level Domain (TLD) Name Association meetings, in relation with other Country Code TLD managers in the region.

Ms Inne disclosed that NiRA is billed to participate in the meeting for technical managers around security tagged “Attack and Contagious Response Planning,” scheduled to hold in Senegal soon.

“So, I am really happy the way its going. I can only congratulate Nigeria and only hope that this network would be used by everybody at home,” she declared.

Usage of dot ng, she said, would make the network to become one under which things could be done at home and monitored appropriately, especially as it concerns the Internet.

“… Instead of going to dot com or any other Top Level Domain out there, that is not ours,” the ICANN official said.

She urged Africans and Nigerians precisely to recognize this fact.

“It is time our people have to realize that having a domain under dot com is not the best to happen because it comes with somewhat attack, because dot com is an American domain,” she said.

Explaining that dot com is managed by an American corporation and any day any user may have information that is contrary to the expectation of the American government, for instance, “they can ask that corporation to take your website down.”

ITRealms Online recalls that recently NiRA condemned those obtaining dot com in the country including the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who went on to get another foreign domain name,, after purported intrusion of its Information Management System (IMS) and usage of its electronic mailing list to send ‘absurd’ message to the media community, especially on the health of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

According to NiRA president, Mr. Ndukwe Kalu the option of a foreign domain at this time of the nation’s Internet development by any government agencies is demeaning, when .ng is simply begging to be used.

He explained that nothing stops NAN from basically applying to NiRA for a domain name bearing in mind the critical role NAN plays in the government of the country.

He outlined possible four ways for the attack on NAN to include that someone may have access to NAN news subscription mail list and send a mail to the list but changed the ‘from’ field to the NAN email address or finally, someone probably created an email address very close to the NAN email and used NAN news subscription list to send out mail.

These, he said, are the only four means by which there could have been a breach and each had to do with technology of varying levels of sophistications.

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