back to article Should be easy to win the rights to .tv when you're name-checked in the contract's tech reqs – right, Afilias?

References to Afilias have been spotted in the technical requirements for the contract to run the trendy top-level domain .tv, suggesting the process is strongly stacked in the internet registry operator's favor. If you're having déjà vu, it's because we blew the lid off the exact same thing in the battle over Colombia's .co …

  1. Steve Aubrey
    Thumb Up

    Bravo

    Bravo, Kieren, for some awesome digging. They were able to search-and-delete the name Afilias, but they still missed a smoking gun.

    1. chuBb. Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bravo

      It's stories like this that I love about el reg!

  2. Schultz
    Trollface

    There is gold in them hills ...

    and Afilias seems to be happy to shake hands and grease palms to get the exclusive mining rights.

    Nice to know that they "have not met with the technology minister or the technology ministry in private to provide advice or documents regarding the .co tender.” I mean, we have moved on since the good old days of the gold rush. Now we know that such meetings should involve independent advisers that bill for the invaluable service of creating a degree of legal separation between the generous benefactor and the greasy hands.

    Small crime doesn't pay, but that shouldn't discourage bigger minds to pursue their hopes and dreams. Right?

  3. redpawn Silver badge

    The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

    This is like a small town as a country, everyone has connections to each other there. Unfortunately it is an atoll and is already beginning to be overwhelmed by rising ocean levels. Like Kiribati, a country I worked in, its remaining years are rapidly slipping away.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

      Nonsense.

      https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/land-area-of-low-lying-tuvalu-has-increased

      "Halfway round the world", indeed

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

        Tuvalu seeks to retain statehood if it sinks completely as sea levels rise

        I dunno, Atlantis doesn't have a seat at the UN.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

          Never let it be said that The Guardian let a fact stand between it and a virtue-display meme.

    2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

      > Unfortunately it is an atoll and is already beginning to be overwhelmed by rising ocean levels. Like Kiribati, a country I worked in, its remaining years are rapidly slipping away.

      Sorry, chum, you need to update your numbers. Yes, Tuvalu was originally included in the HORROR! list of FIVE! islands that were being SWALLOWED! by RISING SEAS! oh woe!

      But they discovered someone had just cocked the numbers up. Bit like Indonesia vs Jakarta.

      So, sadly for the doom-mongers, Tuvalu joined the list of over 500 Pacific islands which are NOTDOOMED! because of FALLING! sea levels.

      Who knew the sea had hills? How 'bout that? Of course, a cynic might suggest sea-level is sea-level and that the Pacific islands are in one of the most volcanic regions of the planet e.g. the Ring of Fire, are themselves just the tips of old volcanoes, and so they are just being variously lifted up or down by the underlying tectonic action. Over 99% are being lifted up out of the ocean, less than 1% sinking. But that's a bit boring and doesn't make for any good armageddon human-guilt drama, really. Hysterical fictions are MUCH more fun.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

        You are Bombastic Bob and I claim my £5!

      2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

        You lost me when you started shouting.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

          Sorry. Parodying the AGWists' way of talking/thinking.

    3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

      We were told that the Maldives would be gone by 2000, and yet they are still there. What's more, the population has increased from 300,00 to 500,000 since 2000.

      I'm a firm believer in doing something drastic about climate change, but cries of "Wooooooooolf" don't hep.

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: The Population of Tuvalu is about 12,000

        But, but, but, those cries are funny. And will be even more funny when accompanied by gurgling....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonder what the bribe was?, cherry picking the juiciest domains to be "personally entrusted" to ministers and doubling the islands gdp?

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Questionable value for money?

    Despite the suggestion of dodgy dealing, I feel this is a bit of a storm in a teacup. I really doubt whether anyone chooses to follow a link or not on the basis of its TLD - indeed whether they even notice it - in these days of clicking through via Gooooooooogle. The suckers are the corporate PR wonks that believe it makes a difference.

    1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: Questionable value for money?

      In the case of short memorable domains, I disagree. They can be included in the branding and even in the short, snappy name of the service. It would literally be the word that someone googles.

      Of these ".tv" is probably the single most valuable. If your service is called "Wank.tv" (which appears to be registered, by the way) it is pretty memorable to its target audience and its domain name is just its name.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Questionable value for money?

      I dunno, that domain might have appeal to some members of the cross dressing community when choosing a url they would like.

    3. AdamWill

      Re: Questionable value for money?

      It isn't (or shouldn't be) a storm in a teacup to the people of Tuvalu, who are the ones likely getting screwed over here. Whether you *think* it should be a valuable asset or not, it *is* one, and the people of Tuvalu should benefit from the full value of it accruing to their public finances. Which requires a properly-run and fair bidding process, not one which has allegedly been heavily tilted to just one possible winner.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Questionable value for money?

      People generally don't choose whether to follow a link based on its TLD, but when they're selecting the domain they're going to use for their project or organization, they try to get a memorable one. We all do this when setting up our own domain names--we want something easy to remember, relevant to the service, easy to type, etc. .tv is popular for doing that for video services, and often because a lot of .coms are taken by squatters. The people using the TLD would care if they knew, and given that .tv accounts for a healthy chunk of Tuvalu's GDP, their population should also care.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Afilias has ignored [..] our offer to let it tell its side of this story"

    It doesn't need to tell it's "side of the story".

    It's going to get the deal and that's all that matters to the Board.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: "Afilias has ignored [..] our offer to let it tell its side of this story"

      Maybe. It depends on whether New Zealand or Australia (but mostly New Zealand) decide the corruption is getting out of hand.

      New Zealand and Australia fund most of those Pacific countries through aid and there is an expectation there will be a certain amount of palm-greasing. However when it all gets too blatant a quiet word is had with the interested parties and things calm down a bit.

      The exception being of course the Tongan Royal Family who continue to exploit their people with impunity.

  7. usariocalve

    This is pretty standard fare for RFPs when one vendor is favored.

  8. Kev99

    I went to the Donuts web site and it's interesting how many TLDs it controls. Sounds a bit like restraint of trade to me. Hmm...And they're an American company. Double hmm.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thought this was standard island/any country practice

    What a surprise...NOT!!.

    Standard practice for any location that has anything valuble, rulers in any shape or form eventually end up corrupt, any position of power and influence over valuble assets is a natural magnet for those of no morals.

    UK is full of this corrupt shit.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not surprised at all.

    Donuts basically sells a protection racket. They have 241 stupid gTLDs and sell a service to block registrations to them. The whole gTLD scam came during no other than Chehade at the helm. They are all as corrupt as they come.

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