[At-Large] [WHOIS-WG] Fwd: WHOIS Policy Review Team Final Report

Antony Van Couvering avc at avc.vc
Wed May 16 18:31:54 UTC 2012

I hear what you're saying, but many people who have domain name registrations are also consumers, and many non-registrants may become one.  I understand the emphasis by At Large groups on non-registrants, but I would hope that people here will recognize that domain names ownership has a large potential for growth, and hence many non-registrants today may become registrants tomorrow.  If, as I expect, the use of domain names becomes much less difficult, then a transition into a system that is not harmful to registrants will be beneficial to them. 

I have learned that it is often inaccurate to generalize about what people want from my own preferences and experiences.  It turns out that I am different and better informed about domain names, spam, etc. than most people.   Therefore I try not to take my own preferences and convictions as any guide. 


On May 16, 2012, at 11:14 AM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> On 16 May 2012 13:57, Antony Van Couvering <avc at avc.vc> wrote:
>> Did the review team look at the relative harm, and likelihood of harm, to
>> consumers from spamming vs. the benefits gained by making things easier for
>> law enforcement?
> Again, the confusion over the term "consumers".
> To ICANN's warped thinking, "consumers" means registrants (ie, consumers of
> ICANN-sourced products). To the DoC and the rest of the world, "consumers"
> means end-users -- the 99% of whom will never own a first or second level
> domain, but use the Internet to obtain goods and services.
> As a registrant who maintains accurate contact details, I'm not convinced
> that it it does, I'm unconvinced by the complaints about harm. And most of
> the world's consumers are unaffected by even that, but they do stand to
> benefit by more effective law enforcement.
> - Evan
>> Also, did it consider the difference between correct information and the
>> public display of correct information?  One undeniable benefit of not
>> publicly displaying private information (e.g., address, phone number) is
>> that people are far more likely to provide correct information if they're
>> not worried about stalkers and thieves showing up at their house, or
>> salesmen calling them during dinner.  If law enforcement has a reason to
>> view private information, then it could be provided to them.   I think very
>> few people would object to that.
>> One very important element of compliance is to get buy-in from the
>> affected parties.  Everything we know about consumers is that they don't
>> like putting their private information out on the Internet for everyone to
>> see.   The wave of protests over information sharing by Facebook is a good
>> example of this.
>> My personal view is that if the parties were serious about coming to a
>> workable solution, they would examine options like this, and they wouldn't
>> poo-poo other sides' objections.  For instance, registrars should not, as
>> they sometimes have, contend that law enforcement has no need for quick
>> access to information.  The other side should not dismiss as worthy of
>> consideration the very substantial cost to verifying information, both
>> directly and in terms of retooling systems, particularly when these costs
>> *will* get passed along to the consumers.  This last consideration is not
>> just about domain name registrants -- many registrars are also web hosting
>> and email providers, and they may be more likely to pass along their costs
>> in one of these (or other) areas rather than just raise the price of domain
>> names.
>> I would hope that the At Large community could help facilitate a solution
>> that answers to the needs of the affected parties, including consumers,
>> rather than provide a blanket endorsement to a plan that, while it may be
>> on point with its criticisms of ICANN, will not in my opinion lead to a
>> workable solution.  It is more likely, if enacted, to lead to court
>> battles, leaving consumers to deal with a broken system in the meantime.
>> With best regards,
>> Antony
>> On May 16, 2012, at 10:00 AM, Carlton Samuels wrote:
>>> Patrick:
>>> I would still like to know who your gut tells is the Svengali directing
>>> ALAC positions on the WHOIS issue.
>>> For the record, my SOI is and remains public information; no conflicts.
>>> What I find personally irritating is the notion you espouse that I,
>>> myself, could be 'directed' to a position!
>>> It is galling because if this was the case, I would have  wasted the
>>> literally hundreds of hours I've spent reading and cross-checking
>>> documents/sources to shape a position!
>>> With respect, you might wish to review this business of taking your gut
>> as
>>> bellewether to a blood libel.  Not good.
>>> Best,
>>> - Carlton
>>> ==============================
>>> Carlton A Samuels
>>> Mobile: 876-818-1799
>>> *Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*
>>> =============================
>>> On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 1:55 AM, Patrick Vande Walle <
>> patrick at vande-walle.eu
>>>> wrote:
>>>> On 15/05/12 17:07, Carlton Samuels wrote:
>>>> Your position condemns ordinary users who are hurt by bad actors to do
>>>> without the basic information to initiate redress of grievance.
>>>> Undoubtedly WHOIS information to a class of better informed
>> interlocutors
>>>> could likely be fruitful.  But information discrimination of the kind
>>>> suggested against victims of dissolute behaviours adds insult to injury.
>>>> Count me out.
>>>> A fully open, public WHOIS condemns honest domain name registrants to be
>>>> hurt by bad actors, like spammers. Being harassed on the phone, and see
>>>> personal details exposed for all to see.
>>>> I have no doubt experts in cybercrime would find the useful clues in the
>>>> WHOIS.  I am all in favour of giving them access to the information they
>>>> need, as long as they clearly identify themselves, the work they do and
>> be
>>>> transparent  who they work for, have a code of conduct, etc.
>> However, I
>>>> consider that exposing the private details of millions of honest
>> individual
>>>> domain name  registrants to chase a few thousand criminals, who would
>> fake
>>>> their contact details anyway, is disproportionate from a human rights
>> POV.
>>>> Note also that other registries, mostly ccTLDs, have privacy policies.
>>>> Yet, they do not have more issues with counterfeiting and spam than the
>>>> main gTLDs have.  What is disappointing  is that ICANN  (both the
>>>> corporation and the community) does not want to question the model they
>> use
>>>> and learn from best practices developed elsewhere.
>>>> Lastly, we should really distinguish between data collection and data
>>>> display. The current  ICANN WHOIS policy does not. Collecting private
>>>> details is legitimate.  Displaying them to everyone is not. I doubt
>> there
>>>> are many countries where one can consult the car registration database
>> or
>>>> obtain the details of an unlisted phone  number without showing the
>> right
>>>> credentials to access that data. Why should the domain name database be
>> any
>>>> different ?
>>>> All aside, I am curious as to the identity of the individual allegedly
>>>> of outsize influence "who have a business interest in an open-to-anyone
>>>> WHOIS".
>>>> This is more a gut feeling based on past posts that the result of an
>>>> investigation. Frankly, I would have absolutely no issue if people made
>> a
>>>> living in fighting spam, counterfeit goods or generally investigate
>>>> criminal activities.    As long as this is transparent to the rest of
>> the
>>>> community.  Indeed, I think Evan's suggestion to publish SOIs is a good
>>>> starting point.  I have not done so, because I am not in a leadership
>>>> position, but I would have no issue to do it, if required. Maybe this
>>>> should be extended to all members of the WGs.
>>>> Patrick
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>> WHOIS-WG at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>>>> https://atlarge-lists.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/whois-wg
>>>> WHOIS WG Wiki:
>>>> https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/At-Large+Whois+Policy
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> -- 
> Evan Leibovitch
> Toronto Canada
> Em: evan at telly dot org
> Sk: evanleibovitch
> Tw: el56
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