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[bc-gnso] FILED: BC Comments on Study of Whois Privacy/Proxy Abuse

  • To: "bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] FILED: BC Comments on Study of Whois Privacy/Proxy Abuse
  • From: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 14:19:14 +0000

As confirmed at the BC meeting in Buenos Aires last week, we filed comments on 
ICANN’s latest study of Whois Privacy/Proxy abuse.

 and below.

Thanks to Elisa Cooper and Susan Kawaguchi for drafting.


The Business Constituency (BC) supports the conclusions of the study as being 
consistent with our long-held belief that a significant portion of bad actors 
are using privacy and proxy services to facilitate abuse that harms  business 
and consumer interests.

The BC encourages the ICANN community to move forward with accreditation of 
privacy and proxy services in order to help the business community address 
abuse through increased access to accurate registrant information.

The study examined and supported the hypothesis that “a significant percentage 
of the domain names used to conduct illegal or harmful Internet activities are 
registered via privacy and proxy services to obscure the perpetrator’s 
identity.”  It provides important information for the ICANN community, as Whois 
accuracy and completeness is a primary goal at this time.  The conclusions 
clearly demonstrate that an overhaul of the system is not only warranted, but 

The BC recognizes that there are legitimate uses for privacy and proxy 
services, such as shielding the identity of those engaged in non-commercial 
free speech, or the launch of a new product and/or service in the business 
community.  However, the information contained in the study, which illustrates 
widespread abuse detrimental to consumers and businesses alike, clearly 
demonstrates the need to proactively restrict the use of privacy and proxy 
services to organizations and individuals that are using them for legitimate 

The BC also recognizes that stopping privacy and proxy service abuse is not the 
only way to stop abusive behavior online. When domain names are registered with 
the intent of conducting illegal or harmful Internet activities, a range of 
different methods are used to avoid providing viable contact information.

The BC looks forward to addressing all of these issues in the community-led 
development stage of the Aggregated Registration Directory Service.  In the 
meantime, the BC encourages the ICANN to give attention to the issues that can 
be addressed immediately.

We note that although this study covered 5 TLDs, .com names dominated the 
datasets — only 10% were from the other 4 gTLDs.    Given that, one possible 
approach may be for the .com registry to implement privacy and proxy services 
guidelines as an interim measure.  This could be much faster than having ICANN 
make rules for all gTLDs.   We would still want the proxy/privacy vendors 
accredited, but there may be an interim solution with the registry itself.

The BC looks forward to participating in the GNSO RAA Remaining Issues Policy 
Development Process on Privacy and Proxy Services, to develop an accreditation 
system which restricts the shielding of registrant data to legitimate, 
non-commercial, non-abusive websites.

The BC thanks ICANN and the NPL for this comprehensive study.

These comments were drafted by Elisa Cooper and Susan Kawaguchi, and were 
approved in accord with our charter.

Steve DelBianco
Vice chair for policy coordination
ICANN Business Constituency

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