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

John R. Levine johnl at iecc.com
Tue Jan 11 19:36:46 UTC 2011

Since we appear to have both an inability to distinguish between anonymity
and pseudonyms, and we're still making the false equivalence between 
vanity domains and speech, there's no point in wasting more time here.


On Tue, 11 Jan 2011, Karl Auerbach wrote:

> 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
> Savonarola.)
> 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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