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

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Tue Jan 11 18:47:32 UTC 2011

On 01/11/2011 10:20 AM, John Levine wrote:
>>> Try California.
>> That sounds like the exception that proves the rule, especially since this
>> particular bypass seems aimed to specifically enable lawmakers to elude the
>> laws they bestow on everyone else.
> This is a very useful example for several reasons.
> First, it's not anonymous, it's pseudonymous.  The DMV knows exactly who
> these plates are issued to, they're just not telling.

Not quite - here in California the DMV does not necessarily know the 
person to whom an automobile plate is bound, rather it merely knows the 
gov't agency in which that person is located.  Once the DMV is 
penetrated to find the agency, the agency must be induced to part with 
the next link in the chain.

> And third, even though these registrants are carefully vetted upstanding
> members of society, they're still routinely abused.  Anonymity encourages
> anti-social behavior.

It also encourages socially positive behavior, such as perhaps in some 
countries enabling one to speak out for the repeal of certain religious 
laws without risking assassination by one's security team.

It is also a recognition that what is good for the goose is good for the 
gander - that corporate forms have many ways to hide identity, so why 
ought that be denied to flesh-and-blood people?

> I can't imagine why anyone would think this was an argument in favor of
> anonymous vanity domains.

Let's remove the argumentative bias begin by dropping the conclusionary 
and pejorative adjective "vanity".  Names like "John" and "Karl" are, to 
a degree, mere vanities when compared to being identified by a generated 
unique number.  Names like "ICANN" and "IBM" are also vanities compared 
to a generated corporation number.  There are endless reasons why people 
and corporate aggregates like having a memorable name, vanity being one 
(and "vanity" not necessarily being bad except in eyes of people like 

Once we remove that adjective the question then becomes "should 
anonymous" domains be permitted?

I like your word "pseudonymous" as it better expresses the state I want 
to obtain - which is anonymous to a degree, but penetrable under the 
right conditions and in accord with the right procedures.


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