Study Suggestion Number 17
Submitted By: [Redacted for privacy reasons] Topic: Identify why proxy/privacy service users use those services. Hypothesis: The bulk of proxy/privacy service users shield their identities for improper purposes. How the hypothesis could be falsified: The study may reveal that a large portion of registrants have legitimate privacy concerns and are not engaged in illegitimate activity. Utility: If it is proven that legitimate privacy concerns are rarely the reason that registrants use proxy/privacy services and that they primarily shield cybersquatters, such services could be eliminated or limited in accordance with the extent of legitimate use. This study, although one of registrantsâ?? subjective opinions, might compliment a study that categorizes and quantifies the kinds of content appearing at domains registered by proxy. Type of Study Needed: A poll of proxy/privacy service users, either existing users or newly registered users, to determine their reasons for using a proxy service. Data that needs to be collected: A random sampling of domains would be selected, and the Whois output examined to determine if each is registered to a proxy service. Those domains not registered to a proxy service would be ignored. Because many proxy services offer an anonymized e-mail relay service through which to contact the registrant, registrants of the remaining domains could be invited by e-mail to participate in the survey anonymously. Questions testing the hypothesis that include the following could be asked: â?¢ Reason for using proxy/privacy service (a multiple choice response would be simplest). â?¢ Number of domain names applied for by the respondent during the past 3-month period. â?¢ The registrantâ??s self-description of the types of content available at the domain which proxy/privacy service is used. Population to be surveyed: Users of proxy/privacy services. Sample Size: A survey professional retained for the purpose of conducting the study should be consulted. Type of Analysis: The answers will provide insight into the motives of registrants for opting to use proxy/privacy services. Questions such as the nature of the content at the registrantsâ?? websites could be used to test the veracity of registrantsâ?? responses concerning their motives.