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Slide 1: 

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Agenda : 

1 Agenda Current domain name policy Domain names at the external proxy The dark side of domain names Cyber-squatting Recommendations Questions

Current Domain Name Policy : 

2 Current Domain Name Policy 1310.20 issued January 1997 Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical, distributed service used to assist in the location of resources, such as file servers, world wide web servers, E-mail services, etc. which are attached to the Internet. The DNS does its job by converting or resolving easier to remember resource names ( into their equivalent 4 octet Internet address ( which is actually used in the Internet routing process. The Network Operations Center (NOC) operates the primary DNS service for the State.

Current Domain Name Policy : 

3 Current Domain Name Policy 1310.20 issued January 1997 pg2 Operating Units (OU) may choose to operate their own DNS and create sub-domains at the division or office level, provided they strictly comply with Internet standards. The list of agency domain names will be maintained by NOC and entered into the DNS when agency resources (files, etc) need to be accessed within State networks or via the external Internet. OU domain names may be used in other naming conventions, for example, as prefixes for naming files, GroupWise domains and local area network servers.

Current Domain Name Policy - Revised : 

4 Current Domain Name Policy - Revised 1310.37 issued November 2001 Michigan State Government’s Portal is registered with the United States General Services Administration as the "Michigan.Gov" domain. The DNS converts or resolves easier to remember resource names (Michigan.Gov) into their equivalent 4 octet Internet numerical address which is used by Internet routing equipment to establish host to host communication links . The Network Operations Center (NOC) manages and maintains the primary DNS service for the State.

Current Domain Name Policy - Revised : 

5 Current Domain Name Policy - Revised 1310.37 issued November 2001 pg2 Procedure 1310.20 Internet Domain Name and Service Naming is targeted for revision or possible obsolescence, but is not rescinded at this time. It is expected that for some time the domains identified under Procedure 1310.20 will co-exist to allow an orderly transition of content and applications to the new portal and the more defined Uniform Resource Locator (URL) naming conventions outlined in this procedure. The Portal content will adhere to the name. Agencies are not permitted to insert agency identifiers between the www and Michigan to create a sub-domain address such as Where agency identifiers are necessary they will follow a virgule after the .gov to form an address similar to

Domain names and external proxy : 

6 Domain names and external proxy Nearly 200 individual proxy entries are currently hosted by the NOC external DNS servers

Domain names and external proxy : 

7 Domain names and external proxy These seem harmless to the user, the state agency and to most of us that have grow so accustomed to surfing the web for all our information needs.  Some like (and I’m not trying to single anyone out here)…

Domain names and external proxy : 

8 Domain names and external proxy These domain names have been purchased using popular domain services like, and others. The cost is nominal, starting at just $35.00 and ranging up to over $150.00 depending on how long the agency plans on keeping it active. If you did some quick math, 200 domain names at an average of $75.00 per year costs the state $15,000 per year.

Slide 10: 

9 The Dark-Side of domain names Utilize existing Vignette content management infrastructure to Speed Delivery Lower Costs Increase Adoption by Users Put in place standards that apply to all applications regardless of the technology platform. Introduce usability guidelines so users can successfully navigate complex government processes on-line. Affects all sites designed to conduct official State business, whether directed at general consumers or targeted constituent needs

The Dark-Side of domain names : 

10 The Dark-Side of domain names The state has started seeing some dark sides to domain names. What happens to a domain name when it’s no longer needed, or the program goes away, or the task force accomplishes what it set out to do? What happens to all the sites that may have linked to the domain name, including library and school computers that have the sites book marked? What difference does it make after all?

The Dark-Side of domain names : 

11 The Dark-Side of domain names The dark side of domain names is that they are actively being sought by some of the biggest abusers of the Internet world companies or individuals who seek to exploit, extort or otherwise highjack legitimate domain names for their own use. Users have no idea that are connecting to Once there, the user will decide to stay and visit, hopefully long enough to be lured into returning later, or to start making money transactions on the spot These domain names look totally normal in the favorites menu, and anyone scanning access log files would never notice them.

Cyber-squatting = Extortion : 

12 Cyber-squatting = Extortion Cyber-squatting (a term that has been used to define this activity) refers to companies or individuals who prey on expired domain names and buy them up, only to leave the domain name and even page titles exactly as it they are. This fools site crawlers and automated filters from even detecting that they are in fact illegitimate sites and contain the most offensive material. To buy the domains names back, the original owners are required to pay thousands of dollars or face the continued bane of having their once legitimate program abused by offensive material. Legally, there is absolutely nothing that can be done.

Recommendations : 

13 Recommendations Agencies are encouraged to refrain from purchasing specialty domain names that must be maintained indefinitely, in order to be preserved, even after they have served their purpose. Agencies should use legitimate domain naming conventions that the state has already put in place to protect the state from this abuse. Agencies should try to use the approved domain name in all their agency specific applications.

Recommendations - Examples : 

14 Recommendations - Examples

Recommendations – : 

15 Recommendations – In addition, the domain has been made available to all state agencies that wish to market their program or office to allow direct, safe, accurate and maintainable domain names and URLs that can be completely controlled by the state. This also places the site into the state’s ENTERPRISE search engine and will increase the likelihood of it being found.

Recommendations – : 

16 Recommendations –

Recommendations – : 

17 Recommendations – domain names are permanent and never require renewal marketing URLs are FREE They can be changed at any time They will never fall into the hands of extortionists DIT Infrastructure Services and Telecom can set up a domain name for your DMZ hosted or agency-hosted servers <> All of this is maintained in house and will never expose the state to unwanted domain name usage or politically embarrassing situations.

Help prevent unwanted access : 

18 Help prevent unwanted access More importantly, the citizens – and school children - of the state will be spared from unexpectedly visiting one of these offensive sites when accessing legitimate state content.

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