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Re: Is the .to (Tonga) domain completely rogue and should beremoved?

--- begin forwarded text

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 15:57:48 -0400
Reply-To: [email protected]
Originator: [email protected]
Sender: [email protected]
Precedence: bulk
From: [email protected] (Eric Gullichsen)
To: Multiple recipients of list <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Is the .to (Tonga) domain completely rogue and should be removed?
X-Comment:  Commercialization and Privatization of the Internet

This is an official reply to Barry Shein <[email protected]>
who recently cross-posted to [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], and [email protected] under the
Subject heading: Is the .to (Tonga) domain completely rogue and should
be removed?

As TLD admin for the .TO ccTLD, I thought Mr. Shein's posting
deserved a reply.


Mr. Shein:

I am the hostmaster and Administrative, Technical and Zone Contact
at Tonic, the top level domain name registration authority for the
.TO country code (http://rs.internic.net/cgi-bin/whois?to5-dom).

Since June 1997, our automated domain name registry at http://www.tonic.to
has been facilitating the registration of .TO names as a service
to the global Internet community. Neither Tonic nor IANA policy requires the
registered owner of a .TO name to be physically situated in the Kingdom
of Tonga.

>We've been having increasing problems with one or more porn sites in the
>.to domain promoting itself by massive spamming of
>AOL customers using one of our domains in their From: header thus causing
>both complaints to us and thousands of bounces
>from AOL due to bad AOL addresses in their spam lists.

We are sorry to hear that you have been having problem with SPAM
involving a .TO domain, and wish to draw your attention to the fact
that .TO is the *only* top level domain we know of with an explicit antispam
policy. We at Tonic feel strongly about spam, and believe it to be theft
of service, and a very bad thing for the net in general.

It is our policy to terminate the registration of a domain name
involved in spam, after warning the domain name holder to cease
unsolicited bulk mailings that involve a .TO name.

>From our FAQ (at http://www.tonic.to/faq.htm):

   Q: I'm a spammer. Is a .TO domain something I should use?

   Tonic feels very strongly that the sending of unsolicited bulk email
   ("spamming") constitutes theft of service, and we do not condone the
   use of .TO domain names for this purpose.

   If we receive complaints that a .TO domain name has been used for
   this purpose, we will advise the domain owner of the complaint and
   request that they desist from this activity. Tonic reserves the right
   to remove any .TO name registration if a name is used as a source of spam,
   or an address to which to reply to such bulk mail solicitations.

We have had to delete a number of .TO domains for egregious SPAM and will
continue to do so in the cases where a stern warning fails to solve
the problem. Please send a copy of any SPAM involving a .TO domain name
to:  [email protected] and we will warn the spammer and/or terminate
the domain name registration.

>Looking at the .to domain I can't help but notice it's heavily laden with
>what appear to be porn sites (sexonline.to, come.to,
>xxxhardcore.to, etc.)

The .COM domain is no less "heavily laden" with porn sites.
You will note that sexonline.com and xxxhardcore.com are names registered
with the InterNIC.  The come.to site is a free web redirection site
supporting more than 100,000 customers.  Furthermore, Tonic is a domain
name registry, not a content censor.

>In support of this assertion I want to show you an SMTP conversation with
>what claims to be the Consulate of the
>Government of Tonga in San Francisco (This San Francisco office is listed
>as an official Tongan contact point for visas etc by
>the US State Dept):
>world% telnet sfconsulate.gov.to 25
>Connected to sfconsulate.gov.to.
>Escape character is '^]'.
>220 colo.to SMTP ready, Who are you gonna pretend to be today? VRFY
>500 Bloody Amateur! Proper forging of mail requires recognizable SMTP

The primary nameserver for .TO is physically located at the Consulate of
Tonga in San Francisco. On all our machines, we run the Obtuse smtpd/smtpfwdd
SMTP store and forward proxy (http://www.obtuse.com/smtpd.html) to
secure our port 25 and thereby prevent 3rd party mail relaying.

Your reasoning as to why its responses to incorrect SMTP
commands constitutes evidence that the .TO domain is "negligent",
"mismanaged" and "an attractive resource for criminal activities"
is ironically incorrect. In fact, having an *unsecured* port 25 open to mail
relaying would be negligent.

Best regards,

- Eric Gullichsen
  Tonic Corporation
  Kingdom of Tonga Network Information Center
  Email: [email protected]

--- end forwarded text

Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'