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  • To: "whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx" <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • From: "Burke, Michelle" <mburke@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 14:04:28 -0500

We understand that on October 31, 2007, ICANN's policy advisory body (the 
Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council) will vote on three 
motions that will determine the future structure of the domain name and Whois 
system, as follows:

Motion 1 proposes a new 'Operational Point of Contact' (OPoC) - with undefined 
legal responsibilities - to replace the current domain registration contacts. 
The 'OPoC' proposal also limits the amount of publicly displayed domain name 
ownership information.

Motion 2, proposes that ICANN conduct an objective and comprehensive study on 
the legitimate abuses and uses of Whois data.

Motion 3 proposes eliminating all contractual obligations which require 
registrars to display domain name ownership and contact details.

It is difficult to understand why ICANN would adopt either Motion 1 or Motion 
2.  Internet stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, and consumers rely on the 
information available in its current form to permit them to confront domain 
name holders who are violating the law, and their registration contracts, and 
initiate ICANN arbitration proceedings.  If ICANN removes this data from the 
public domain, it would seem to me that the burden on the registrars would 
increase exponentially -- since all complaints about a domain name would have 
to be directed to the domain name registrar for forwarding to the domain name 
registrant, or a process would have to be put in place whereby the registration 
information would be disclosed on a case by case basis to those needing to 
protect their rights against the bad faith registrant.  It seems to me that 
before making policy changes that may permanently alter the structure of the 
domain name and Whois system, ICANN should adopt the second motion, and 
thoroughly study whether there is any abuse that warrants the extreme actions 
proposed in the first and second motion.
McDermott Will & Emery LLP | 227 W. Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60606
Michelle C. Burke
Telephone (Main Reception):  312.372.2000
Direct Line:  312.984.7761
Facsimile:  312.984.7700

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