WHOIS Redux: Demand Privacy in Domain Name Registration by Wendy Seltzer

Wendy Seltzer writes on her blog, “Doc’s post and the impending comments deadline for the next iteration of ICANN’s never-ending WHOIS saga finally pushed me to write up my thoughts on the latest iteration of ICANN debate. As Doc points out, much of the current debate is very inside baseball, tied up in acronyms atop bureaucratic layers. Small wonder then that ordinary domain name registrants and Internet users haven’t commented much, while the fora are dominated by INTA members turning out responses to an “urgent request” to “let ICANN know that Whois is important to the brand owners I represent”: see the call reproduced in this response.

“So what is at stake? Everyone who registers a domain name is required to enter name, address, email, and telephone numbers in a publicly accessible database. When the Internet was a group of computer scientists testing new connection protocols, this might have been a helpful directory, but now, it’s filled with a hodgepodge: corporations, individuals, non-profits, fraudsters who fake their information no matter what the rules, and people who have no idea they’re exposing their personal info to the world (possibly because they think that their own national data protection (privacy) laws will keep them safe).”

To read the rest of Wendy’s article, go to her blog here.