UK domain name registry Nominet will begin giving evidence on Monday in its Australian legal action against two businessmen over an alleged data mining attack on its WHOIS database.
The UK organisation is also bringing action under Australian fair trade laws over letters sent to thousands of UK domain holders.
According to Nominet the data mining attack was first discovered in January 2003 and involved thousands of queries from multiple sources on the WHOIS database, which provides details of domain name registrants.
Nominet claims the aim of the attack was to capture address details of its domain name registrants.
In February 2003 the registry began getting reports from hundreds of domain holders who had received "what appeared to be an invoice" from a company called UK Internet Registry Ltd.
Nominet claims its copyright in the WHOIS database has been infringed by the data mining, and said the invoices issued were misleading and contrary to the Australian Federal Fair Trade Practices Act and the Western Australian State Fair Trade Act.
The respondents in the action are Bradley Norrish and Chesley Rafferty, UK Internet Registry Ltd (a Seychelles company), Internet Payments Pty Ltd and Diverse Internet Pty Ltd (both Australian).
Norrish and Rafferty did not return requests for comment at the time of going to press.
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