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Re: [alac] GAO Report on Domain Names

  • To: "John R Levine" <johnl@xxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [alac] GAO Report on Domain Names
  • From: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2005 12:08:58 -0500

At 11:43 AM 12/8/2005 -0500, John R Levine wrote:

I know people, in the US and elsewhere, who tell me that they use WHOIS
info all the time to track down real spammers, but Wendy apparently thinks
that they're lying to me.

You know I didn't say that, just that I doubt it's a big piece of the overall picture, and that its value in catching spammers doesn't seem to outweigh the privacy and anonymity harms, in its current form.

IP WHOIS is certainly useful, but I don't understand the assumption that
domain WHOIS can all be fake, but IP WHOIS is all true.  Why should that
be so?  You need IP addresses to publish stuff just as much as you need
domains, probably more.

Internet attacks come from IP addresses, whether or not those addresses have associated domain names.
IP WHOIS generally provides information at a higher level of generality, identifying the ISP who owns the netblock but not the individual user, so it often doesn't create such striking privacy concerns, or their associated reasons for falsifying data.


John Levine, johnl@xxxxxxxx, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://www.johnlevine.com, Mayor
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.

-- Wendy Seltzer -- wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/seltzer.html Chilling Effects: http://www.chillingeffects.org

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