[At-Large] Issue Report on Thick Whois

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Wed Nov 23 01:57:39 UTC 2011

On 11/22/2011 03:53 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

>> Sonme of us believe that there ought not to be a domain name whois at all;

> That "us" is almost exclusively registrants, a set of vested interests

That's a rather pejorative way to dismiss the privacy concerns of over
100,000,000 registrants.

> within ICANN whose voices are heard through their own representative
> constituencies. That we now have such a lack of compliance in (and respect
> for) WHOIS indicates that such interests have held sway so far.

That's one conclusion.  The other, and the one that I believe is more
accurate is that many people, perhaps even a majority, who have domain
names believe that their relationships with their registrars are none of
ICANN's business.  The word for that is "privacy".

I am amazed with the notion that the ALAC, which purports to represent
"the internet user" is so unquestioningly willing to require that the
privacy of those users be sacrificed to satisfy the prying eyes of
anyone who wants to look 24x7x365.

I put forward a balanced equation that under which those who want to
look at Whois have to make a demonstration of harm and leave their name.
 That's not as good or as balanced in which that demonstration of harm
is adjudged by a disinterested third party, but at least it's a lot
better than the system we have today.

So why don't even want to consider a system in which someone who wants
to look at Whois has to leave his name, make a claim, backed by
evidence, that a legally cognizable harm has occurred, and leave some $$
on deposit to cover the costs to the registrant in case that claim turns
out to be made with fraudulent intent or with reckless disregard of the

> But this is At-Large, whose members have no voice elsewhere within

And whose fault is that - Internet users once had a real voice, a real vote.

 Most people who use the Internet and don't own domains do not, in my
> experience, share the sentiment above.

OK, let's put it to a vote.  Oops, there's no mechanism to do that.

Most people these days don't bother with domain names any more - they
use Facebook or other social net logins.

And it is sad that even Facebook has better privacy protections for its
users than ICANN does for domain name registrants.

 I welcome the opportunity to confirm
> or refute this, but as yet I haven't found one non-domain-owning individual
> who believes that such a regime to be suitable. And I've asked many.

Maybe you should ask people whether they are willing to have their - or
their family's - names, addresses, phone numbers, affiliations, and
business relationships put into a worldwide database?

Do you have children?  Have you ever considered that parents might
consider the Whois to be a Megan's Law List in reverse - in which ICANN
requires parents to publish publish the names and addresses of
prospective victims to predators?


More information about the At-Large mailing list