Domain names and the Government

Update July 09, 2010
The Indian Embassy, Israel has acted swiftly to close this issue and the email addresses for the admin and registrant are changed to an email address. 
Great work  and one hopes that there will be a standard policy soon !

Just discovered that the Indian Embassy, Bahrain does not have any rights over their domain name. I shall be writing in more detail about this and hope some people in power read it and take some action. An earlier blog post about the Indian Embassy, Bahrain fiasco is to be read in this context.  

Why cant there be a standard policy for Embassy domain names ! Yesterday I wrote about the fiasco with the Indian Embassy domain name in Bahrain and today I checked the domain names for various Indian Embassies across the world. 

I checked on 10 missions and got the information for six. The results are as follows

Domain Name:
Registrant Email:
Technical Contact:
 - their admin rights point to an email set up on the same domain so there is no way they can get their rights back without providing a lot of proof ! Same as New Zealand below.
Domain Name:
- I wonder how come this is NIC dot IN and then there are GOV dot IN.
Domain Name:
- another Middle East mess waiting to happen. I am sure the Embassy does not realize they do not have any control on their domain (as on date)
Domain Name:
- thank God this is a good one ! the address is
Domain Name:
Admin Email: - none- 
Technical Contact: - none- 
- this is a great one - no admin or tech contact and only one email address which belongs to someone with a hotmail account. 
Domain Name:
Admin Email:
 - their admin rights point to an email set up on the same domain so there is no way they can get their rights back without providing a lot of proof ! Same as Israel above.

To ensure domain name protection the MEA can issue standard guidelines for the Embassies and I am taking the liberty of listing a few action items

1. The role of sysadmin / IT head at the embassy should have an email address on GOV.IN or NIC.IN - any one should be standardized. This address can be "admin_indemb@xxx dot INI"

2. Every mission must have a GOV dot IN domain name and the name can show the location country name. 

3. The embassy must make the web hosting / developer to sign a contract in which they recognize that they are not the owners of the domain.

4. All domain name to be standardized - for example we can use indianembassy,com

5. Embassy must take back all creative materials like logos, content etc from the web development company.
6. If there is a need to change the web dev company or the hosting provided we have to be able to use our own ID to do the same and must always retain control. 

Losing a domain name to unscrupulous elements results in a loss of reputation for the country and this is shameful. If the ministry has standardized policies relating to website content and presentation and there are guidelines for all other issues then why not ownership of small property items. 

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