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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Special Services Eager to Control the UA Domain

Ukrainian Internet Community appealed to President Leonid Kuchma for interference into the domain problem
Ukraine Internet specialists are anxious about the prospective of establishing security service's control over the domain .UA. the Ukrainian Government is to consider a draft act "On re-delegation of the .UA domain administration right" in the nearest time. The document was developed by the Ukrainian special services.

As the online edition Obkom.net.ua reports, "when one reads the document, it becomes clear that these security services make Ukraine feel not safe." In particular, the document says, "with a view to improve management and protection of the address space of Ukraine's Internet", the Cabinet is offered to pass a resolution on creation of an association "Ukraine Internet Information Center". The new association is said to be created in pursuance of some initiatives of the State Communication Committee and other governmental departments and even non-governmental organizations.

The new association created by the security services will control (administer, as is said in the document) the "address space", which also means management of the system register and the system of .UA domain names. The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers is to send a written notification on initiation of re-delegation of authorities to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

This initiative of the special services rose much complaints from the Internet community of Ukraine. The Ukrainian public organization Ukraine Internet Community appealed to President Leonid Kuchma for interference into the domain problem. The organization asks to stop the disguised interference of the special services into administration of the .UA domain. A letter sent to the President says, "subordination of the domain to the special service makes conditions for violation of people's constitutional rights and freedoms."

What is more, the Ukraine Internet Community thinks that the document developed by the special services contains incorrect reference to ICANN's recommendations. As is said in the document, "according to the ICANN recommendations, the role of the government is to guarantee that a geographic domain is administered for public interests and according to the national legislation. This isn't the government's role to create private enterprises with a state-operated share under control of the special services." The Ukraine Internet Community thinks that if this governmental resolution is adopted, it will not only cost a lot for the country, it will also mar Ukraine's international image and undermine confidence of millions of Ukrainian Internet users in the president and the government.

Obkom.net.ua wonders how passing of this document will improve the management and protect Ukraine's address space. It reports: "The address space of the Internet is the space of the Internet-protocol net addresses (IP-address in numerical code). Functions of the address space distribution on the Eurasian territory (the regional Internet register functions) are carried out by order of the US Government (the owner of this address space) by the non-governmental organization RIPE (Riseaux IP Europeens) located in Amsterdam. Is it right to regulate RIPE activity in Ukraine with the Ukrainian legislation acts when the organization is coordinated by the US Government?" It is also interesting, in pursuance of what initiatives of the State Communication Committee and other organizations the new Ukraine Internet Information Center is to be created. Obkom.net.ua published an explanatory note issued by the special services in connection with the problem. As the note reveals, the Ukrainian special service is not even aware how many people administer the .UA domain at present.

In the letter sent to President Leonid Kuchma, the Ukraine Internet Community reminded that according to ICANN requirements, an open public supervisory board for the .UA domain administration was set up in January. The board consists of representatives from Ukraine's Internet association, the Ukraine Internet Community and the present administration of the UA domain.  This board is responsible for the problems "that might be of interest for governmental departments."