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Comments to the Preliminary Task Force Report on WHOIS Services (the "Report")

  • To: <whois-services-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments to the Preliminary Task Force Report on WHOIS Services (the "Report")
  • From: "Margie Milam" <Margie.Milam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007 18:19:59 -0700

Dear Task Force Members:


The organizations identified below join MarkMonitor in submitting
comments to the two new WHOIS proposals described in the Report.




Billions of Internet users benefit from the protection enabled by
current WHOIS policy, which requires free, unrestricted and immediate
access. If ICANN policy creates new obstacles or delays for those
seeking to protect consumers from illegal activity involving domain
names, Internet users will suffer. Thwarting the current and successful
process will profoundly increase the number innocent consumers made
victims by Internet criminals.


The undersigned ask the WHOIS Task Force to recognize that brand owners
are most often first to respond to online illegal activity and that they
rely almost exclusively on WHOIS to identify and stop the persons behind
such illegal conduct. Identification is critical-it helps parties
communicate and speed dispute resolution without legal action, and when
such action is necessary, enables service of process, without which the
legitimate rule of law cannot provide a safe environment for consumers
and businesses on the Internet.


While many legitimate and important privacy concerns exist over access
to WHOIS data (for example, registration data of a battered women's
shelter site) many others seek anonymity as a cover for nefarious intent
like cyber squatting, phishing and other for profit illegitimate
behavior. While those with ill-intent profit from anonymity, consumers
and legitimate online commerce suffer, often unknowingly. We request
that ICANN evaluate models that offer protection from those who seek to
abuse the system while making decisions related to blocking access to
WHOIS data.


We therefore ask that ICANN and the WHOIS Task Force act on the behalf
of Internet users and consumers to preserve the collective trust
instilled in the Internet. We request that any new policies be examined
by the WHOIS Task Force in light of their impact on consumers and those
seeking to maintain and protect the safety and reliability of electronic


To preserve order and maintain a sense of security and accountability
for Internet users, we recommend the adoption of the Special
Circumstances proposal.


Evaluation of Proposals

I. The Operational Point of Contact (OPOC) Proposal


The OPOC proposal is troubling for a number of reasons. First, it
reduces the amount of information available in investigating instances
of online abuse. Brand owners often rely on the various fields in WHOIS
to track down cybersquatters and fraudsters. Reducing the amount of such
information will likely cause delays for brand owners in identifying and
commencing action against registrants who engage in illegal conduct.


The OPOC proposal does not specify the qualifications, responsibilities,
and standards to be applicable to the OPOC. For example, it is unclear
whether the OPOC would be able to accept service of process for legal
actions involving domain names, such as the UDRP. Under the proposal,
the OPOC could be a party with no relationship to the actual registrant.
Since the OPOC can be a third party (such as a proxy service or even a
registrar), there is no assurance that important communications will be
promptly forwarded to the registrant. Thus, cease & desist letters,
domain transfer approvals, notices of inaccurate WHOIS information,
phishing take-down notices, UDRP complaints and other similar
communications may not be received and processed in a prompt manner.


In addition, the OPOC proposal does not address the privacy concerns
that have been raised as the primary reason for changing WHOIS policy.
Without such improvements in privacy, it is difficult to justify the
adoption of OPOC over the status quo.


II. Special Circumstances Proposal


The Special Circumstances proposal is preferable to the OPOC proposal
because it provides a workable solution to the privacy concerns without
significantly changing WHOIS for the vast majority of Internet users.


The impact to brand owners should be minimal under the Special
Circumstances proposal because registrants who misuse domain names to
conduct illegal online activities should not qualify for the "special
circumstances designation" and therefore would continue to have their
contact information displayed in the same manner as currently available
today. The Special Circumstance proposal includes a practical mechanism
that allows the WHOIS information to be revealed in the event the
privacy designation is abused, or the domain name is used for commercial


Thus, under the Special Circumstances proposal, brand owners would not
need to significantly alter their current processes and procedures for
monitoring, tracking and taking action against those illegally targeting
their businesses and consumers.


Respectfully submitted,



Irfan Salim

President and CEO

MarkMonitor, Inc.

San Francisco, California, USA


Co-signed by:


Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Park, IL USA


Activision Inc.

Santa Monica, CA USA


Acushnet Company

Fairhaven, MA USA


Advanced Micro Devices

Sunnyvale, CA USA


Alliance Data

Dallas, TX USA


ALLTEL Communications Corp.

Sandusky, OH USA


Anti-Phishing Working Group

San Francisco, CA USA


Apple Computer

Cupertino, CA USA


Avaya Inc.  

Basking Ridge, NJ USA


Bank of America

Charlotte, NC USA





Bell Canada International

Montreal, PQ CANADA


Booz Allen Hamilton

Mclean, VA USA

Bose Corporation

Framingham, MA USA


British Sky Broadcasting



Boy Scouts of America

Newark, NJ USA


Canadian Broadcasting Corp.



Capmark Financial Group Inc.

Harsham, PA USA


Carfax Inc.

Fairfax, VA USA


CarMax Business Services 

Richmond, VA USA


Carnival Corporation

Miami, FL USA

Caterpillar Inc.

Peoria, IL USA


Cingular Wireless

Atlanta, GA USA



New York, NY USA


CMS Energy

Jackson, MI USA

Coldwater Creek

Sandpoint, ID USA



Detroit, MI USA


Conair Corp.

East Windsor, NJ USA


Consumers Energy

Jackson, MI USA


Coors Global Properties, Inc.

Golden, CO USA


Dell, Inc.

Round Rock, TX USA


Delta Airlines

Atlanta, GA USA


Doctor's Associates Inc.

Milford, CT USA


Dole Food Companies Inc.

Westlake Village, CA USA


dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG



eBay Inc.

San Jose, CA USA


E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.

Wilmington, DE USA





First Data Corporation

Greenwood Village, CO USA


Fontainebleau Resorts

Las Vegas, NV USA


Forbes Media LLC

New York, NY USA


Ford Motor Company 

Dearborn, MI USA


Franklin Templeton Invest.

San Mateo, CA USA



Olathe, KS USA


General Motors Corporation

Detroit, MI USA


Hasbro Inc.

Pawtucket, RI USA


Hilton Hotels Corporation

Beverly Hills, CA USA


HouseValues Inc.

Kirkland, WA USA



Armonk, NY USA


InfoSpace Inc.

Bellevue, WA USA



Charlotte, NC USA


InterContinental Hotels Group

Windsor, ENGLAND


International Data Group

Boston, MA USA


Kelly Services

Troy, MI USA


Knowledge Adventure

Schiller Park, IL USA





Live Nation

Beverly Hills, CA USA


Logitech Inc

Romanel-sur-Morges Caud



Santa Clara, CA USA


Mercer Human Resource

New York, NY USA



Redmond, WA USA


Molson Canada

Montreal, PQ CANADA


Morton's The Steakhouse

Chicago, IL USA



Mountain View, CA USA



Woodbridge, NJ USA


News America Incorporated

New York, NY USA


Nordstrom Inc.

Seattle, WA USA

Novell Inc.

Waltham, MA USA



San Leandro, CA USA


Overstock.com Inc.

Salt Lake City, UT USA



Bellevue, WA USA


Paypal Inc.

San Jose, CA USA



Wellesley, MA USA


PetSmart Inc.

Phoenix, AZ USA



Norwalk, CA USA



Huntington Beach, CA USA


Raymond James Financial

St. Petersburg, FL USA


Renold plc

Manchester, ENGLAND



New York, NY USA



Jabiru, Australia





SB Management Services Inc.



Sherwin-Williams Co.

Cleveland, OH USA



Sakai, Osaka JAPAN


Shopping Inc.

Brisnane, CA USA


Silverpop Systems

Atlanta, GA USA


Snap-on Inc et al

Kenosha, WI USA


State Farm

Bloomington, IL USA


T. Rowe Price

Baltimore, MD USA


Tahitian Noni International

Provo, UT USA


Terex Corporation

Westport, CT USA


The Body Shop International

Littlehampton, ENGLAND


The Clearing House

New York, NY USA


The Cobalt Group Inc.

Seattle, WA USA

The Dial Corporation

Scottsdale, AZ USA


The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Amherst, NY USA


The Saul Zaentz Company

Berkely, CA USA


The Scotts Company LLC

Marysville, OH USA


Visa International

Foster City, CA USA


W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.

Putzburnn, Bayern GERMANY


Warner Bros. Entertainment 

Burbank, CA USA


Washington Mutual Inc.

Seattle, WA USA


Watson Pharmaceuticals

Corona, CA USA



Wilmington, DE USA


Wells Fargo

San Francisco, CA USA


Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

Chicago, IL USA


Yahoo! Inc.

Sunnyvale, CA USA


Young Life

Colorado Springs, CO USA


Zurich Insurance Company


Attachment: ICANN round 2 final letter.pdf
Description: ICANN round 2 final letter.pdf

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