[LINK] 'ICANN Seeks Public Comment on Whois Privacy'

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Jan 13 09:02:48 AEDT 2007


[3] ICANN Seeks Public Comment on Whois Privacy

On November 24, 2006, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (ICANN) invited public comments on its Preliminary Task Force
Report on WHOIS services. The report highlights two different
approaches to limitations on the public availability of WHOIS data.

The first proposal, supported by the Registrar, Registry, and
Non-Commercial Users Constituencies, removes registrants' mailing
addresses, phone and fax numbers and email addresses from the Whois
database, and requires the use of an "operational point of contact," an
intermediary who would contact the registrant in the case of an issue
with the domain name. WHOIS would continue to publish the registrant's
name and country.

The second proposal, supported by the Intellectual Property and Business
Constituencies, retains the current data fields required under WHOIS,
but allows individuals who can demonstrate reasonable concern that
public access to their contact data would jeopardize their personal
safety or security to substitute contact details of the registrar for
their data.

ICANN's current policy requiring the publication of personal information
violates the privacy rights of registrants and may violate international
laws and the privacy rights in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. In its preliminary report, the Task Force agrees that new
mechanisms to restrict some contact data from publication should be
adopted to address privacy concerns.

EPIC has prepared comments for submission to ICANN on the Preliminary
Report. EPIC supports the Operational Point of Contact proposal's
removal of registrants' postal addresses, phone and fax numbers and
email addresses from the Whois database, but pushes for the deletion of
registrants' names and countries of origin from the Whois public
database as well. As explained in Privacy and Human Rights 2005,
concealing actual identity may be critical for political, artistic, and
religious expression on the Internet.

The public comment period runs until January 15, 2007. The task force
will consider the public comments received and prepare a final report
for submission to the Generic Names Supporting Organization Council.

ICANN Launches Public Comments on WHOIS Task Force Report:


ICANN Preliminary Task Force Report on WHOIS Services:




Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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