[LINK] Privacy of the WhoIs Database - Submissions Needed

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Fri Oct 9 08:48:43 AEDT 2009

                           E P I C   A l e r t
Volume 16.18                                           October 8, 2009


[4] ICANN Issues Affirmation of Commitment, Seeks Comments on WHOIS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has
recently signed an affirmation of commitment with the US Department of
Commerce. ICANN is the corporation that coordinates the assignment
of domain names to Internet Protocol addresses through a longstanding
agreement with the U.S. government.

This document affirms key commitments by Department and ICANN, including
agreements to ensure that decisions made related to the global technical
coordination of the Domain Name System, are made in the public interest
and are accountable and transparent. In addition, the document states
that international participation in the Domain Name System technical
coordination will be facilitated.

ICANN also commits to enforcing the existing WHOIS policy, subject to
applicable laws. The WHOIS database was originally intended to maintain
the stability of the internet by allowing network administrators to find
and fix problems with minimal hassle. But now it exposes domain name
registrants' personally identifiable information to spammers, stalkers,
criminal investigators, and copyright enforcers.

Current WHOIS policies require accurate WHOIS information without having
established appropriate privacy and data protection safeguards. The
enforcement of the accuracy of WHOIS data has serious implications on
privacy. Some domain name registrants have legitimate reasons for
providing inaccurate WHOIS information, especially when there are no
privacy safeguards in place. To limit the amount of personal information
to the public through WHOIS queries, domain name registrants have been
using a privacy or proxy registration service when registering their
domain name.

ICANN has released a preliminary report showing that about 15 to 25
percent of domain names have been registered in a manner that limits the
amount of personal information available to the public through WHOIS
queries. ¬ÝA call for public comments of the preliminary WHOIS report is
open until November 6, 2009.

Affirmation Of Commitments By The United States Department Of Commerce
And The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers:

ICANN's Study on the Prevalence of Domain Names Registered using a
Privacy or Proxy Service:

EPIC: Whois:

Privacy & Human Rights: An International Survey of Privacy Laws and
Developments" (EPIC 2007):

The Public Voice: WHOIS Policy Development:


Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

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 the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

More information about the Link mailing list