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

Beau Brendler beaubrendler at earthlink.net
Thu May 17 15:27:22 UTC 2012

>This is the reality.  I cannot imagine why people are making the same 
>arguements that were an insult to our intelligence in 1998, and haven't 
>improved with time.

Because private registration is a lucrative business. Otherwise registrars such as NetSol would not be trying so hard to make it an upsell for new domain buyers at $10 a year per domain. One million privately registered domains = $9,990,000 annual revenue. I tried to look up how much money NetSol actually makes from this service, but they are privately held. 

GoDaddy, which claims to have invented private registration with its Domains By Proxy subsidiary (http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/MONEY/2011-11-06-PNI1106biz-private-domainsART_ST_U.htm), is also private (Parsons withdrew from an IPO in 2006). Domains by Proxy charges a buck less than NetSol. GoDaddy has 50 million plus registrations, let's say 10 percent of those register for privacy via Domains by Proxy = $44,950,000 annual revenue. Or 5 percent: $22,475,000. Even at 1 percent it's a nice side business.

Where have you heard this argument before?:

"When you can't control the dissemination of your contact information through the WHOIS database, you risk becoming a target for those who have less than the best of intentions. Spammers may infiltrate your business email system – causing problems for you and your customers. Telemarketers also have been known to scour the WHOIS database looking for phone numbers for their own phone lists."

I do give them credit for not bringing up stalkers and pedophiles. 

Substitute "Tibetan freedom fighters," "Chinese government" and "death" in the right places, tidy the grammar and you have a nice human rights argument. And we all love those human rights arguments!

It would be nice to see the results of this study:

And, once published, see who steps forward and says that study is inconclusive and needs further study. 

-----Original Message-----
>From: "John R. Levine" <johnl at iecc.com>
>Sent: May 17, 2012 2:15 AM
>To: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>Subject: Re: [At-Large] [WHOIS-WG] Fwd: WHOIS Policy Review Team Final Report
>> Unfortuantely far too many people come from states where whois 
>> information freely avaialble on the net can cost them and their families 
>> their well being or their lives.
>There are certainly countries with oppressive governments.  But anyone who 
>would ask a person in a situation like that to depend on some random 
>registrar or registry's privacy policy to keep them from being disappeared 
>would be an idiot.
>As has been noted about a zillion times before, people in such a situation 
>would need to find a trusted intermediary to arrange for web or mail 
>hosting and internet access, and if they want a domain, the intermediary 
>can arrange for that, too.
>Unlike many (perhaps all) of the other people in this argument, I'm not 
>speaking hypothetically.  There is a widely used spam blacklist called the 
>CBL at cbl.abuseat.org, which criminal spammers dislike enough to have 
>made death threats against the person who operates it.  Real, no kidding, 
>law enforcement investigated death threats.
>If you check the WHOIS info for abuseat.org, you will find actual contact 
>information.  If you call the phone number, which is in California, a 
>polite person will answer.  If you ask nicely, she will take a message for 
>the CBL.  The person who runs the CBL is in a different country, and she 
>most definitely will not provide the person's name or what country it is.
>This is the reality.  I cannot imagine why people are making the same 
>arguements that were an insult to our intelligence in 1998, and haven't 
>improved with time.
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