Fox News: WIPO (Largest UDRP Provider) Violates U.N. Ban & Sends Sophisticated Computers To North Korea

According to Fox News, WIPO  “shipped sophisticated computer servers to the government of North Korea, despite ongoing U.N. sanctions against the regime for its efforts to build nuclear weapons.”

WIPO is the number one  provider of UDRP arbitration services handling more cases than any other provider in the world.

Despite that WIPO is an agency of the U.N. empowered to deal with Intellectual Property matters, Fox News reports that the “procurement and payment appears to have been arranged between WIPO’s Geneva headquarters and China, bypassing the U.N. offices in North Korea.”

A WIPO legal memorandum which Fox News obtained “declared that “WIPO, as an international organization, is not bound by the U.S. national law in this matter”

The question must be asked if WIPO doesn’t even follow a Ban set by the U.N. which is supported by the US government, and considers itself “not bound by the U.S. national law” can they be trusted to administrate over the majority of domain name disputes?
Its a big problem especially considering the number two provider of UDRP arbitration services, the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) has its own documented issues and was the subject of a recent demand by the Internet Commerce Association to be investigated by ICANN to see if they should remain an accredited UDRP provider.
The NAF as you may recall entered into a consent decree with the Minnesota Attorney General in 2009,  after being sued by that law enforcement agency for “consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, and false advertising”.
This should be a real concern for ICANN and all domain holders that the two agencies that handle almost all UDRP cases have these black marks on their record.

The entire Fox story on the WIPO/North Korea situation is quite lengthy and you should check out the full story here.

You can also watch a segment carried by Fox on the issue here.


  1. John Berryhill says

    Oh come on, Kim Jong Eun was lagging out on World Of Warcraft and needed to upgrade from a 4 stam 4 strength leather belt to chain armor or he was never going to get to level 14 warrior without it.

    Repelling the North Korean invasion of the South was, however, a UN action (which, incidentally, recalled my father to active duty after extending his reserve commitment upon return from Europe in exhange for a higher reserve rank), so the “which side are they on” thing is a bit over the top. This seems like a serious failure to think, or else someone has just blown a sophisticated intelligence op.

  2. John Berryhill says

    Besides, the DPRK patent office needed an upgrade to keep track of all the stuff that Kim Jong Il invented – like television, vaccines, rockets, the wheel, trees, and so on.

  3. Jp says

    John, always hilarious, lol.

    @MHB, this article made the first page of google search results for the keyword WIPO. It is ranked above the fox news that you are referring to. In fact it is the only result on the first page (for me) that isn’t a link to some part of WIPO’s site. Wipo is an .int domain so that’s hard to compete with. You are the last result on the first page but just thought I’d say pat on the back, your blog kicks Internet ass.

  4. Mike UK says

    I cannot believe that WIPO can now continue to adjudicate on .com domains that are run by a US based Registry without looking even more odd than it does already. Imagine if you lose UDRP and take matter to Court and can then plead that WIPO decision was biased because “…………………………and WIPO deliberately flouted US Embargo on exporting to North Korea…… ” Who would the US Judge likely side with then ?.

  5. John Berryhill says

    In all seriousness, this was an important project. The North Koreans probably have all sorts of cool ideas for domain names in new tlds like, oh,, and without the proper computer equipment deployed in the DPRK, over-reaching trademark owners would have no way of extracting that untapped resource of potentially valuable domain names.

  6. John Berryhill says

    “or else someone has just blown a sophisticated intelligence op”

    Or, donning my tinfoil hat, the purpose of the leaks and the resulting outrage is to credibly convey the impression that the equipment and software has no undisclosed features. While it was relatively simple to deploy a package like Stuxnet to Iran, getting an appropriately “enhanced” package into the DPRK computing infrastructure, such as it is, is a more difficult problem.

  7. ohwell says

    If I’m not mistaken WIPO uses SSH with their customers and it appears from this story they actively help them use it, no matter who those customers may be. More than we can say for Western consumer banks, who actively push nonsense like Javascript and iPads… for banking. Both are trying to increase usage of their services, but at least WIPO pays some attention security.

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