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Microsoft Corporation's comment on the purpose of Whois

  • To: <whois-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Microsoft Corporation's comment on the purpose of Whois
  • From: "Peter Becker \(LCA\)" <peterbe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 16:49:06 -0800

Microsoft Corporation provides consumers with a wide range of products
and services, including numerous online services.   A crime-free
internet is essential to Microsoft, its customers and business partners,
and society as a whole.  Microsoft actively promotes a secure and safe
online environment for consumers, children and businesses, and supports
such an environment by working closely with law enforcement and industry
partners towards the elimination of spam, online child pornography,
malware, and online fraud such as phishing schemes.  


Whois data plays an essential role in these efforts by helping hold the
proper parties accountable for URLs used to host or promote child
pornography, or to launch spam, malware, and phishing attacks on
innocent consumers and businesses.  Without the data currently available
only from Whois, it would be virtually impossible to determine the
identity of cybersquatters registering deceptive URLs.  These deceptive
URLs are typically variations on famous trademarks upon which consumers
rely as dependable indicators of source, and thus often lure
unsuspecting victims into providing cybersquatters with valuable
personal data such as passwords, credit card or bank account numbers,
and social security numbers.  The current Whois system helps create
accountability for URL registrants, deterring cybersquatting and aiding
in the identification of criminals that proceed despite that deterrence.


Microsoft supports adoption of "formulation 2" as ICANN's official
"purpose of Whois" to ensure the status quo of our current Whois system.
Formulation 2 appropriately recognizes that use of Whois data to resolve
a broad array of "technical, legal or other issues regarding
registration or use of a domain name" is an essential part of a safe and
secure internet.  Adoption of formulation 2 will encourage
accountability on the internet.    


The narrow purpose of Whois proposed in "formulation 1", restricting the
use of Whois data only to resolving "issues related to the configuration
of the records associated with the domain name within a DNS nameserver",
would inappropriately reduce accountability on the internet, and further
the interests of criminal elements by raising barriers to their


While Microsoft endorses the need to appropriately ensure individual
privacy on the internet, this particular issue is limited to basic
business information of parties who choose to register public URLs.
Individuals with a strong aversion to providing Whois data for public
posting have other viable paths available to them for establishing a
presence on the internet.  Adoption of "formulation 2" will maintain the
delicate balance that has already been struck between accountability and
privacy interests, and will further the positive growth of the internet


Submitted by Peter Becker, Senior Attorney, Microsoft Corporation,
Redmond, WA

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