Press Kit - Afnic
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Press Kit - Afnic

OperationThe Internet : AFNIC's core businessWebsites, blogs, email, chat, forums, file transfers… the Internet today hasspawned a wide range of services and information available to everyone, and italso happens to represent the environment for AFNIC's .fr. domain nameregistry activities. Read on for details and explanations on how the Internetworks and the role of the .fr domain manager.How are computers connected together?To communicate with each other and enable different services, such as email andwebsites, computers are identified by a unique IP address resembling it is difficult to memorise such a series of numbers, so the decision was taken toassociate numerical identifiers with names, called domain names. Naming refers tothe policy of allocating domain names, which differs according to the organisationsresponsible for managing their Internet spaces (.fr is managed by AFNIC, .uk byNominet, .com by Verisign, and so on).IP addresses are associated with domain names by the DNS (Domain Name System),the database used to register Internet resources (computers, routers…) as a domainname (e.g. and assign a corresponding IP address..For more information: is easier to remember than "", which is thecorresponding IP address.When you type into your browser, the DNS looks to see on whichserver the name is hosted. Servers indicate the IP address to which the domainname is pointing.Composition of a domain nameA domain name comprises a string of characters (A to Z, 0 to 9, and hyphens) and asuffix, called the TLD - Top-Level Domain - (".fr", ".de", ".ca", ".jp", ".net", ".com"...)relating to either a country/territory (.fr = code for France, .de = code for Germany…)or type of activity (.com for business, .org for not-for-profit organisations, as well, .info…).Copyright AFNIC 20105

Meaning of .fr and its advantagesThe .fr identifier is the Internet "country code" for France: the .fr extension thereforerefers to France in the general sense of the word (including France's overseasdepartments and territories). By choosing .fr, users can assert and lay claim to theiridentity, as well as the fact that they belong to the national or French-speakingcommunity.Furthermore, private individuals must provide personal information when registeringa .fr or .re domain name. This information is protected as standard: it is not displayedwhen searching the WHOIS database (the service used for querying registrydatabases to find information on a domain name or IP address). This protects themagainst spam. However, this protection does not apply to company representatives.Finally, domain name owners must provide evidence of their connection with France,which increases the trust that can be placed in .fr and .re domain names, since anydisputes or claims will be governed by French law.For more information: and technical qualityAFNIC's "ZoneCheck" program allows for optimal technical management of the .fr codes with tangible benefits in terms of reliability, domain name technicalperformance and global Internet operation.Copyright AFNIC 20106

Copyright AFNIC 20107

OrganisationAFNIC - overviewAFNIC, the .fr domain manager, is responsible for defining the rules forregistering .fr domain names, ensuring the smooth technical operation of theextension and keeping an up-to-date database. Such missions call for aneffective supporting set-up, with organised, quality services allowing AFNIC todeliver optimal services. AFNIC is directed by Mathieu Weill, its CEO.The "Registry Operations" department comprises five BUsRegistration control: agents process domain name registration applications:identification details of domain name owners, locking or unlocking of sites due toirregularities, transfers of domain names to new potential registrants, modificationsto owners' administrative information (individuals or organisations)...Customer support: this unit answers all questions relating to the registration of .frdomain names from individuals, organisations, registrars, and so on.Design and development: this unit focuses on the development and deploymentof new applications as part of the domain name registration activity and theirpublication on the DNS and WHOIS.Monitoring/on-call support/operation: this BU maintains the infrastructures,servers and networks, as well as the applications in the registration chain, toensure consistent quality of service 24/7.Operational communication: to guarantee effective, specialised communicationwith registrars, a person is dedicated to the immediate publication of criticalinformation relating to the launch of new services or maintenance operations, aswell as authoring detailed technical documentation.Copyright AFNIC 20108

Legal Affairs and Registry Policies departmentCreated in 2007, this department oversees three areas:- Administrative and contractual monitoring of relations with registrars, associationmembers and partners (from subscription to termination…).- Definition of the registry policies binding domain name owners. In particular, thedepartment ensures compliance with naming policies (from personal dataconfidentiality to rules for publishing on the WHOIS database…).- Handling of disputes between domain name owners and assigns, including theinvestigation of reported violations and complaints (from verifying administrativedata to deleting domain names…).Marketing and Communication departmentThe Marketing and Communication department:- Identifies market expectations and trends in terms of domain names in Franceand worldwide- Increases awareness of .fr, AFNIC, its services and its expertise- Simplifies and coordinates exchanges with registrarsThe department leverages its expertise in marketing, communication mediadesign, partnerships and relations with registrars.It is also in charge of press relations.Research and DevelopmentAs a key player in the French Internet, AFNIC has to remain on the cutting edgeof technology. To achieve that aim, AFNIC has formed a supporting research anddevelopment activity focusing on three key areas:- Primarily, technology watch and Internet standardisation: an activity enablingAFNIC to monitor and take part in the development/definition of standardsgoverning the Internet, and consequently sense the technological solutions andchoices for tomorrow's world.- Initiatives promoting the transfer of knowledge and expertise relating to theregistry business and beyond, where such transfers may take place internally(particularly operations teams) and externally on both a national and internationalscale (seminars, advanced training...).- Supportive R&D projects, representing true opportunities to drive technologicalinnovation in areas identified as buoyant and for which AFNIC shares a commoninterest with partners in academia and industry.Copyright AFNIC 20109

Secretariat GeneralThis enterprise-wide department has grown in step with AFNIC's development. It isresponsible for accounting, human resources, the purchasing/corporate servicespolicy and community life on a day-to-day basis (relations with the Board of Directors,consultative bodies….), which are essential for the smooth running of the AFNIC,employing 48 people.Bodies allowing all association members to voice their opinionsThe Board of Directors comprises :- Five representatives designated by the founder members : two for INRIA (FrenchNational Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control) and one for theMinistries of Telecommunications, Industry and Research.- Five representatives elected by and from the following members : two for the"providers/registrars" consultative committee, two for the "users" consultativecommittee, one for the International College (corresponding members).Furthermore, to simplify operational exchanges with members, AFNIC has also setup technical, legal and marketing/communication focus groups.AFNIC has two consultative committees :- The Registrars Consultative Committee that bring together Registrars members ofthe AFNIC- The Users Consultative Committee with Legal entities members and Individualmembers.These Consultative Committees take place twice a year.They allow exchanges between AFNIC and its members on important ongoingmatters and on the strategical orientations that may then be submitted to the Board ofDirectors.Copyright AFNIC 201010

InternationalAFNIC - delivering a quality interfaceAFNIC manages a general-interest service and serves as a special interfacebetween operators, providers and Internet users, including national andinternational authorities. Its specific status enables it to take part in the trendsand innovations shaping the field of information technologies, as well asInternet governance. AFNIC is consequently strengthening its commitmenttowards international initiatives.AFNIC's participation in international coordination bodies via : ICANN: US organisation (governed by the laws of California) formed in1998 by the US government with the mission to administrate the Internet.It deals with issues relating to domain names, IP addresses and protocolsallowing computers to communicate with each other.For more information : CENTR: created in 1998, CENTR features a number of European NICs(Network Information Centers, AFNIC is therefore called "FR NIC" or "NICFrance) which discuss matters of policy. CENTR acts as theirrepresentative and tends towards the adoption of a joint standpoint.For more information : IGF: organised under the patronage of the United Nations Secretary-General, the purpose of the Internet Governance Forum is to providedecision-makers with a platform for discussing the consequences andaspirations of the information society. IGF's stakeholders includegovernments, key players from the private sector and civil society, NGOs,the media and obviously the UN.For more information : GTI: The International Focus Group supports the exchange of informationon the different issues relating to the development of the Internet. As such,it helps define France's standpoint in relation to international organisations.The group is hosted by AFNIC at the behest of the Ministry of Industry.For more information : AFNIC 201011

APPENDICESCopyright AFNIC 201013

AFNIC ContactsJean-Pierre DARDAYROL - Chairman elected of AFNICRepresentative of the founder member INRIA.Jean-Pierre Dardayrol, Mining Engineer, first worked in the world ofresearch on real time software then in strategic planning.From 1986 to 1997, he held a variety of posts at the head of the FrenchNational Postal Service and at the Ministry of Industry for the ElectronicCommunications Sector.From 1987 to 2003 he led interministerial organizations in charge ofinfrastructure projects and the technical policy for the development ofelectronic administration.Since 2003, he works as an advisor and inspector for the General Councilfor Industry, Energy and Technologies, mainly in the area of modernizingpublic organizations and information systems security.Mathieu Weill - CEO OF AFNICA graduate of prestigious engineering and telecommunications schools,Mathieu Weill has held different positions within several ministries. He wasproject coordinator in 1999 in the "Y2000" interdepartmental unit of theSecretariat-General of the Ministry of Defence, before becoming acoordinator of the "Support for Innovation in Telecoms" unit reporting to theMinister's Office of the Directorate General for Enterprises in 2000. In 2003,he joined the technologies and information systems department of theMinistry of Finance as head clerk for economic forecasting and research. InJuly 2005, he was promoted to CEO of AFNIC, the network informationcentre for domain names ending in .fr and .re.Loïc DamilavilleASSISTANT CEO, CHIEF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONOFFICERA graduate of the EDHEC business school in 1993, L. Damilaville has beenactive in the domain name market since 1997. In 2002, he published a whitepaper on domain name management, sponsored by AFNIC, APCE,APRAM, CCIP, ISOC France and MEDEF. In 2002, he joined AFNIC asdevelopment coordinator for the .fr domain. En 2004, he was appointedAssistant CEO and has been in charge of the marketing and communicationdepartment since 2005. L. Damilaville is a regular participant in conferencesfocusing on Internet governance and naming problems for majorcorporations. He organises and teaches courses on topics relating todomain names.Copyright AFNIC 201014

1 January 1998: official creation of AFNICHighlights in AFNIC's history20 June 2001: AFNIC opened .re for Reunion Island1 October 2003: integration of IPv6 into AFNIC's production system20 June 2006 : .fr opened to individuals15 November 2006 : registration of the 100,000th .fr filed by an individual28 November 2007: AFNIC published the first report on the French domain namemarket14 January 2008 : registration of the millionth .fr domain name4 Avril 2008 : AFNIC created the first domain with .wf (Wallis and Futuna)25 November 2008 : AFNIC published the second report on the French domainname market30 March 2009 : AFNIC launched its new registration interface, based on the EPPprotocol.18 September 2009 : registration of the 1,5 millionth .fr domain name2 October 2009 : AFNIC/CORE chosen by the Ville de Paris to manage the .parisextension24 November 2009 : AFNIC published the third report on the French domain namemarket26 Janvier 2010 : AFNIC deploys its own anycast cloud2 Mars 2010 : On March 2 nd 2010, the French Minister for Industry, Christian Estrosi,appointed AFNIC as the Registry for the .fr domain under the Order of 6 February2007. AFNIC’s seven-year appointment comes after a public invitation to tenderissued on 15 January 2009.10 Juin 2010 : The Tunisian Internet Agency selects solutions from AFNIC tooperate its « ‏.سنوت » IDN ccTLD12 Juillet 2010 : AFNIC launches a public survey on making .fr available toEuropean Union16 September 2010 : AFNIC kicks off deployment of DNSSEC in FranceCopyright AFNIC 201015

Feature publications :September 2006: AFNIC's first feature publication, entitled "Slamming"Within the world of domain names, slamming is an illegal practice aimed at trickingdomain name or brand owners into signing up for unsolicited services without anyconnection to their presence on the Web. This paper published by AFNIC describesthe different types of slamming identified, their common characteristics and the toolsto safeguard against such practices. 2007: Second feature publication, "Domain names and seo searchenging optimization"How do you generate traffic to a site? What is the best strategy for acquiringkeywords? What is a "sponsored link"?... Just some of the questions that any Webeditor has asked at some point or another and to which AFNIC has chosen torespond with a paper focusing on the interactions between domain names and seosearch enging optimization. Written by Olivier Andrieu and published by AFNIC, thispaper provides answers for companies looking to maximise their presence on theWeb. 2008: Third feature publication, "The key players in Internet governance"Internet governance today is a concept that repeatedly underlies discussions amongInternet experts. This complex concept refers to network administration andmanagement, and AFNIC has chosen to clarify the concept by publishing "The keyplayers in Internet governance". This paper presents the key players ingovernance and how they interact, focusing on three environments formed aroundICANN, IGF (Internet Governance Forum) and ISOC (Internet Society). 2009 : Fourth publication, “DNS : types of attack and security techniques",Among the various essential elements of Internet infrastructure, the DNS (DomainName System) plays an important strategic role. It may not be an acronym that thegeneral public are especially familiar with, but behind it lies a whole array ofinfrastructures, techniques, software and equipment that are necessary for keepingdomain names working, and that make it possible to access a website or send e-mails.AFNIC offers a issue paper entitled "DNS: types of attack and security techniques",explaining the security challenges relating to this mechanism. 2010 : Fifth publication “The Secondary Market in Domain Names"AFNIC publishes its new issue paper on the secondary market in domain names. Thepaper – written to inform individuals as well as businesses – gives a detailed accountof the concept of “secondary market”, the valuation mechanisms used, and the mainplayers. AFNIC 201016

September 2010 : Sixth publication "DNSSEC : Domain Name Sytem SecurityExtensions”On September 14th, AFNIC kicked off deployment of DNSSEC in France by signingthe .fr Top Level Domain. Backed by extensive experience and assignments asregistry of the .fr TLD, AFNIC plays a strategic role in the introduction of the securityprotocol in the DNS in France. The deployment must now be pursued by DNSservers administrators, registrars and ISPs.For their benefit, AFNIC is also publishing a comprehensive issue paper devoted toDNSSEC issues and operation, with the questions to ask in order to prepare itsdeployment. AFNIC 201017

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