Whois Accuracy Program Specification Review - feedback
I am writing to express my opinion on the issue of prohibiting Whois proxies, and making the Whois information public for all who wish to view it. From my experience, this could be crippling to small websites, online communities, and businesses who are involved in internet societies and are open to attacks from certain groups or individuals. Making information such as the owner's full name, phone number, and home address public could result in consequences reaching into the real world. Some people unlucky enough to have had their personal information released to the public found themselves harassed or "swatted" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatting) - which could in some cases even be life-threatening. I am not going to explain in detail the more obvious repercussions such as spamming and stalking. Right now, domain owners have a layer of protection. Be it a political website in an unsafe environment (an oppressive regime?), a homepage of a person who invoked the wrath of some aggressive internet forum, or anything else, the owners can have confidence that, as long as their websites aren't in violation of US law, their identities are safe. This doesn't necessarily regard such extreme or dangerous situations. Simply knowing that your identity is safe is enough to provide sufficient comfort for someone to embark on a project. Such personal freedom is what we owe the flourishing of our internet to. In place of potentially biased, centralised sources, we now have access to a vast array of opinions and views. If we want to continue improving our society, such free internet is an irreplaceable tool. Thus, I believe that such privacy on the internet is not just important, but necessary for its future. I hope you will consider my opinion, and I thank you for being open to feedback, as always. PS: Personally, I value my privacy in regards to the domain names I own. On some of them, I publish my information of my own will (a portfolio website, for example). On others, I hide it, as users of my forums have no need to access it - and this is a very important factor, allowing me to manage my community with a sense of security.