Internet domain registration spat continues as former auDA director makes public apology

Former auDA executive director Josh Rowe has been forced to apologise to staff and management of the Australian internet domain authority over allegations of membership stacking within the organisation.

After threats from the auDA’s legal representatives, Rowe took a quarter page advert in the Australian Financial Review with the apology followed by an email retracting the claims he made in June this year.

Rowe declined to comment about apology and retraction when contacted by Mumbrella but the latest move is part of an ongoing dispute between the authority and a group of dissident members over plans to extend the range of domains available to Australian businesses and the future direction of the organisation.

The auDA CEO, Cameron Broadman labelled some of the dissidents ‘hypocrites’ ahead of a failed move to have him deposed from the organisation. The claims of ‘membership stacking’ arose following the unsuccessful vote

Following Rowe’s apology, auDA chair Chris Leptos sent out the following statement to the organisation’s members:

A former director of auDA – Mr Josh Rowe – has today published a full retraction and apology in the Australian Financial Review (page 9) regarding his recent comments.

Good people, with good intentions and driving passion, will inevitably disagree on some important matters when it comes to internet governance. However, Mr Rowe stepped over the line of civil debate that is at the heart of the multi-stakeholder model.

We accept his apology.

Our focus remains building auDA 2.0 with a robust membership model and governance arrangements that improve the reliability and integrity of the .au namespace. These reforms are both necessary and overdue to ensure that trust remains a hallmark of websites ending in “.au” and to protect the interests of the entire Australian Internet community.



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