Bottle Domains seeks block on auDA termination

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Bottle Domains seeks block on auDA termination

Bottle Domains is seeking a Supreme Court injunction to stop the Australian domain name regulator from revoking its accreditation.

The domain authority, auDA, yesterday announced it had terminated Bottle Domains' .au accreditation, alleging it had covered up a security breach in 2007.

The breach was initially thought to have taken place in February of this year. However new evidence obtained by auDA purportedly shows it took place a full two years earlier than first thought.

That evidence is now the subject of an emergency court hearing to take place at 2.30pm today.

An "outcome" is anticipated by the end of the day.

"The recent de-accreditation relates to an issue which occurred in early 2007 which we adamantly dispute and are defending," Bottle Domains said in a revised statement.

"We are seeking the intervention of the Supreme Court and will update you as soon as we have an outcome."

Bottle Domains is confident the judge's decision will favour them despite auDA's statements yesterday that it was prepared for a legal challenge.

Customers that flooded online forums overnight released records that showed auDA has taken interim ownership of their domain names.

More than 20,000 names have been sold by Bottle Domains or its resellers.

"We recommend that [customers] hold off on making a decision as to the future of [their domain] portfolio until we announce the outcome of the injunction this afternoon," Bottle's statement said.

"We remain confident that [customers] domain names will be returned safely to their rightful location by the end of the day."

However, Bottle Domains also revealed alternate plans if they are unable to win reinstatement.

"We will offer to manage [customer's] domains through our registrar Bottle, which is independent to the registrar affected by the de-accreditation," the statement said.

Bottle Domains is one of four registrars under the holding company Australian Style Investments, run by the flamboyant and controversial internet entrepreneur Nicholas Bolton.

Bolton made national headlines this week after selling voting rights that could have seen the BrisConnections toll road builder wound up to Leighton Holdings. That deal is now the subject of an ASIC investigation, it was reported today.

Registrars in the ASI Group that retain their accreditation from auDA include the similarly-named Bottle, Domain Central and Explorer.

In other news, it emerged today that Bottle Domains general manager Andrew Steven resigned from the company three weeks ago.

When contacted by iTnews, Steven said the decision wasn't caused by the security breach but was the result of "several unrelated matters".

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