[At-Large] 9th Circuit Court ruling on ICANN Contract.

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Mon Jan 10 17:38:16 UTC 2011

On 01/10/2011 06:52 AM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> The car analogy was used earlier. I'm not aware of any jurisdiction on earth
> that doesn't have government-issued plates used to identify a cars owner.

Try California.

I just learned about a week ago that California issues anonymous license 
plates to judges, prison guards (and their families), police officers, 
members of the legislature, etc.  They look just like regular personal 
license plates except that it takes something akin to an act of god to 
penetrate them.  And they are usually registered to a governmental body 
that adds another layer of isolation in that once the agency is found it 
takes yet more work to get the agency to reveal the person.

This kind of plate was revealed because the "Fast Trak" (electronic pass 
for toll highways and bridges) records showed certain cars with huge 
numbers of unpaid tolls - which could not be collected because the 
plates were anonymous even to the governmental toll authorities and 
their collection ("law enforcement") arm.

>     - It should be a criminal offence to have incorrect information attached
>     to a WHOIS entry

Criminal?  That raises this discussion to a qualitatively different 
level.  Criminal labels are usually reserved for things that we 
generally feel are morally culpable.  And the criminal label raises a 
new suite of enforcement concerns - are you ready (in the US) for jury 
trials, beyond-reasonable-doubt standards, and a unanimous jury 
requirement?  Also, criminal matters are not usually allowed to be 
prosecuted by private persons but must be left to the discretion of a 
district attorney.

> What is the argument against this? What right to privacy -- or to obfuscate
> their identify -- exists for those who engage in financial transactions?
> (Outside of Switzerland, that is)

Not just Switzerland - way being proposed for selling of shares of 
Facebook in the US is one in which an intermediary bundles anonymous 
ownership into one giant share, thus keeping the ownership of Facebook 
before a statutory trigger level of 500 person.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with hiding ones identity - if 
nothing else what would super heros do in their movies?  ;-)


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