[At-Large] the usual fantasy whois arguments

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Sun Jan 20 00:24:37 UTC 2013

On 01/19/2013 01:24 PM, John R. Levine wrote:
>>> Moreover the right to speech is found in many similar Constitutioal
>>> statements of rights around the world, which is something that one can
>>> not say about militias and infringement on bearing arms.
> Oh, right, this inane argument.

I thank you for that articulate and nuanced contribution to this discussion.

Are you really trying to argue that the most basic aspirations of most
modern societies are "inane"?

I seem to be perceiving an assertion that I can not accept: That the
entry of a bit of email into a mailbox is of greater harm than the entry
of a bullet into a human body.

> You know, when ICANN revisits WHOIS yet again, some of us are going to 
> describe actual serious harm done by people with domains with bogus whois. 

Sure, you can do that, and you would not be wrong that people hiding
behind firewalls can, sometimes, be trying to harm others.

You may want to consider, for example, how corporate shells are used to
hide polluters, financiers of false political ads, makers of dangerous
goods, or purveyors of fraudulent financial instruments.

Perhaps we should open those doors before we toss the privacy of
internet users onto the pyre?

Perhaps we ought to adopt a regime in which those who want to look at
WHOIS records should identify themselves, prove that identity, and state
concrete and specific reasons, backed by evidence, why they claim that
the person behind that domain name is using that name to engage in
unlawful activities.

But that is not the point of the thread here.

The point being discussed here is that if firearm ownership deserves
privacy protection than it stands to reason that domain name ownership
deserves at least as much privacy protection.

When you can show that an email entering a mailbox presents a greater
risk of grievous physical harm or death as a bullet entering a human
body then you can claim that WHOIS privacy should be less than gun
ownership privacy.


More information about the At-Large mailing list