- To: whois-comments@xxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Comment
- From: Danny Younger <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 06:58:21 -0800 (PST)
The comment posted below bears consideration; the
author is Karl Auerbach who posted this comment to his
First Thoughts on ICANN's "Whois" Report:
I just glanced through ICANN's Whois Report - or more
properly it's Preliminary task force report on the
purpose of Whois and of the Whois contacts.
Much seems centered around two different points of
view of the purpose of whois data.
But I notice a very glaring omission in both points of
view: Neither defines who is the intended beneficiary
of this violation of privacy.
Both formulations are ambiguous with regards to the
intended beneficiary of the information. Is the
beneficiary intended to be the owner of the domain in
the sense that publication allows the owner to learn
more quickly that something might be awry? Or is the
intended beneficiary meant to be the person who feels
somehow wronged or harmed by the actions of the domain
How can one grant any validity to this report if it
can not define the intended beneficiary of this highly
intrusive, privacy-busting, heavy-handed, one-sided
regulation of internet activity?
This document makes many claims that the destruction
of privacy would create some benefits to certain
groups. But privacy is a balancing of equities and
this document merely piles up anecdotal benefits
without engaging in a principled weighing of the
Nor does the document address any measures to
remediate the intrusion - measures such as requiring
those who wish to view whois to state, in writing on a
permanent record, the grounds and facts that create a
need to view the information, such as requiring that
those who view whois to identify themselves into a
permanent record and authenticate that identity, such
as publishing statistics about how many times each
viewer has examined whois, etc etc.
And missing from the voices in the document are the
victims - the people whose personal privacy is
penetrated and whose families and lives could be, and
have been, harmed and endangered by ICANN's policies.
ICANN long ago excluded the voice of the public. But
without that voice this document must be considered
vacuous, the product of systemic bias, and as nothing
more than an instance of Benjamin Franklin's two
wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
The document makes claims based on some sort of notion
of inertia deriving from "historical uses" of whois.
I am one of those people who have been part of the
internet since the early 1970's. My name is to be
found in many of the early versions of whois - such as
the ARPAnet directories from that era. And I can
state from my own experience that the original purpose
of such publications was a quasi-private roster of
friends in a small club and not a directory that was
intended to be open to public access. In other words,
the so-called history mentioned in the report is
nothing more than hearsay, gossip, and fantasy that
diverges from the reality experienced by those of us
who were actually there.
On a minor note - the formatting of the document, in a
word, sucketh. The business, registrar, ISP, and
intellectual property constituency statements are all
headed by text in grand 20+pt font while the
non-commercials are hidden under a 12 point header
that is lost in the numbering system.
As a whole, the document is worthless. Only the
Non-Commercial constituency approaches the questions
based on a principled analysis; the other groups are
simply making self-aggrandizing assertions.
I wonder - how many companies of the business
constituency, lawyers of the intellectual property
constituency, and members of the other constituencies
would be willing to put their personal contact
information and their company and law-firm org-charts,
and phone and address directories, up for anonymous
public browsing 24x7? My guess is that the number
would closely approximate zero. Yet these same
people, who most likely stamp every one of their
company directories with non-disclosure labels, are
the most willing to condemn internet users to a hell
that they themselves are not willing to endure.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around