[At-Large] privacy, was Impressions from the Whois-Review

John R. Levine johnl at iecc.com
Mon Jan 31 20:37:28 UTC 2011

> I have felt an ever increasing Law and Order posture in At-Large over 
> the last years.  Those arguing for Privacy are definitely in the 
> minority.

Well, OK.  Every day, Internet users get several billion spam messages. 
Most are filtered out, at substantial cost which is primarily borne by the 
users, but plenty are not.  They get phishes, trying to steal their 
personal info.  They get ads for fake drugs, which can kill or mail them 
(such as fake AIDS drugs) and again deceive people into giving up their 
personal info.

The phishes and fake drugs invariably collect the victims' info through 
web sites, and the WHOIS info about those web sites is an important tool 
to both formal law enforcement an informal investigations by ISPs and 
others.  The harder it is to get info from WHOIS, the easier life is for 
the crooks.

Does ICANN have any interest in the privacy of spam and phishing victims? 
The answer I'm hearing is no, because the rights of the handful of people 
who have paid ICANN to care, by registering a domain, are more important.

Let me know if I've missed anything.  For any arguments along the lines 
that nobody needs WHOIS to track down phishes and fake drugs, please 
explain why you need your vanity domain, and why your need is more 

John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

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