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Comment on WHOIS privacy from someone directly affected

  • To: whois-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comment on WHOIS privacy from someone directly affected
  • From: Andy Oram <andyo@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 04:57:23 -0500 (EST)

Here's some heartfelt commentary from someone who DOES own a
domain name and does NOT want to be identified. (But I got
permission to circulate the text.)

------------------------------

For some of us, the question isn't a trademark worry, but a
life and death question of avoiding stalkers. For some, it's
a question of harrassment lawsuits designed to destroy free
speech.

It's one thing for a business to have contact information on
the Internet publicly available. The executives and their
beloved families don't live at the corporate address. If
they did, they'd be howling about their privacy.  If ICANN
made a rule that all executives of all corporations must
provide contact information for their home addresses and
provide their home phone numbers to apply for a domain name,
you'd have the equivalent of what bloggers are being asked
to submit themselves to.

Bloggers live where they work, at home.  Providing that kind
of contact information publicly is a way of setting them up
for identify theft, stalking, stupid lawsuits, and the fear
of never knowing when some net kook is going to show up on
one's doorstep. Most bloggers have families, children they
wish to protect from kidnapping or other horrible things.
In other words, anonymity doesn't reflect a desire to be
mysterious. It really is a question of safety.

------------------------------

--
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Andy Oram  O'Reilly Media                     email: andyo@xxxxxxxxxxx
Editor     90 Sherman Street                       voice: 617-499-7479
           Cambridge, MA 02140-3233                  fax: 617-661-1116
           USA                         http://www.praxagora.com/andyo/
Stories at Web site:
The Bug in the Seven Modules     Code the Obscure     The Disconnected
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