[At-Large] Private v. Public.

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Tue Jan 22 01:14:51 UTC 2013

On 01/21/2013 03:58 PM, Bill Silverstein wrote:
> In the USA, and many other places, if one creates a corporation, registers
> a fictitious business name, or buys property, they are required to make
> the information regarding the people behind it public. That is currently
> required for a domain name.

What you say is not strictly correct.  The rules vary from state to 
state.  Indeed many states encourage corporate registrations by making 
it hard to penetrate any deeper than the name of someone to receive 
legal process, and that very often is a law firm or a specialized 
corporation that is not going to divulge the actual ownership information.

> A domain name is not a requirement to speak anonymously on the internet.

We are not talking about anonymity, but rather about privacy.  One may 
happily be willing to give a name but not an address or phone number or 

> On the other hand, having  the information public would reduce the amount
> bad actors.

And the cost would be a loss of privacy.  Moreover, you are justifying 
your premise by concluding that anyone who desires privacy must 
therefore be a "bad actor".

Your suspicions, particularly when you are unwilling to identify 
yourself and make specific allegations backed by concrete evidence, is 

> But limiting access to the common people, you limit the ability of law
> enforcement. Ever hear of neighborhood watch?

As for law enforcement - I have utterly no sympathy for them when they 
don't have the energy to get a proper warrant or subpoena.  When they 
get those things then they are not restrained by any of the WHOIS rules 
we are talking about.  So let's dispense with the law enforcement red 

Ever read "The Ox Bow Incident"?  Ever heard of "vigilantes"?  That 
seems to be what you are advocating.

Neighborhood watch groups are not empowered to penetrate the privacy of 
people who close their doors and pull their window shades.  Virtually 
every police department tells neighborhood watchers to refrain from 
action and to call 911 and get the police involved.

The anti-spam crusade is nice, but on the other hand a lot of my family 
were tortured and murdered often because their neighbors violated their 

And the act that started these threads - the publication of contact 
information for those with registered firearms in some New York counties 
- generated such a reaction that NY state has already modified its laws 
to give increased privacy to those registrations.


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