[At-Large] Issue Report on Thick Whois

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Fri Nov 25 08:55:01 UTC 2011

On 11/24/2011 07:24 PM, Bill Silverstein wrote:
>> On 11/24/2011 07:59 AM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:
>>> ... that real estate
>>> ownership in most countries is public information.
>> That is an urban legend.
> No, it is not an urban legend. It is a fact.

Ah contradiction rather than debate - have you seen the Monty Python
sketch about this?

I'll give you an assignment - show me the record in the public archives
that shows the controlling beneficial ownership of the property known as
"Martin's Beach" near Half Moon Bay California.

I anticipate that the most you will find is an intermediary corporate
shell that has legal title but which is itself controlled by others who
are unknown.

(You might find news reports suggesting a name of a person behind the
shells, but if you find a public record you will have done better than
our local governmental bodies and journalists.)

Real property (interests in land), by the way, tends to have special
treatment under must common law regimes.  That is for historical
reasons.  And quite frequently access to the actual content of those
records requires a visit to a governmental office, presentation of
identity, and often payment of a fee.

Records of ownership of other forms of property are frequently not
subject to any governmental record much less a record that is made
available to the public.

>> For example, near where I live a beach - Martin's Beach - has been
>> acquired and even governmental bodies are having trouble finding out who
>> the real owner is.
> That may be true, but if there is a listed owner, and there a judgment
> against listed owner, the property could be taken by lien.

Yes, but that means that the Sherif serves only the legal owner and the
land is sold at auction.  The actual controlling beneficial owner may
never be known or notified of this event.  And that has nothing to do
with the claim that you made that the ownership of land "in most
countries is public information".

The more important point is this:

I believe in due process, I do not believe in guilt, judgment and
execution on the basis of mere, unsubstantiated, untested accusation.

You seem to be advocating that justice on the internet is satisfied by
guilt upon accusation with automatic execution of sentence.

Or to put it more directly, you seem to be advocating a regime in which
domain name owners are guilty simply because they are domain name owners
and that the sentence rendered is that they lose privacy.


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