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URGENT Response to proposed changes to Whois system

  • To: <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: URGENT Response to proposed changes to Whois system
  • From: "Michael Williams" <MWilliams@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 17:08:08 +1100

Dear Sir / Madam
I am writing to you as a legal practitioner in Australia who is very
concerned by the suggestion that ICANN may abolish the Whois system. 
While there are serious limitations with this system today - primarily
the result of registrars and individuals seeking to hide their
identities away from any public scrutiny (for reasons that have no
legitimate excuse) - it is the only system today that provides
accessible information about registrants of domain names.   Law
enforcement, civil parties and Courts need access to that information in
order to protect their rights against the numerous unscrupulous people
who use domain names.  
No operator of any legitimate business could be concerned about the fact
that its domain name registration is publicly accessible, just as other
businesses are required to have public registrations throughout the
world.  On the other hand, there could be only one conclusion drawn from
an attempt to keep registration details a secret. 
Further, in my experience of the last decade undertaking some of the
largest investigations into suspect internet-based conduct (including
the conducting the Kazaa case in Australia on behalf of the local and
international recording industry) the absence of a public Whois system
would be terribly detrimental to the legitimate operation of business on
the internet and the protection of IP rights. 
I strongly urge ICANN to reaffirm its support for the Whois system and
to pursue rigid adherence to the obligations on all registrars to ensure
that the information is ready and unconditionally accessible. 
Yours faithfully
Michael Williams

Michael Williams | Partner | Gilbert + Tobin | T +61 2 9263 4271 | F +61
2 9263 4111 | M 0413 022 186 | E MWilliams@xxxxxxxxxxxx  
2 Park Street Sydney  NSW  2000 Australia | www.gtlaw.com.au
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