[council] WHOIS and SPAM - survey show no connection
Steve, interesting to read the Security and Stability Advisory Committee recommendation on Whois. In relation to privacy you state: "it is widely believed that Whois data is a source of e-mail addresses for the distribution of spam". This may be a wide belief but empirical evidence from the US Federal Trade Commission tells us otherwise. See the last sentence of the note below in particular.
To find out which fields spammers consider most fertile for harvesting, investigators "seeded" 175 different locations on the Internet with 250 new, undercover email addresses. The locations included web pages, newsgroups, chat rooms, message boards, and online directories for web pages, instant message users, domain names, resumes, and dating services. During the six weeks after the postings, the accounts received 3,349 spam emails. The investigators found that:
Addresses posted in other areas on the Internet received less spam, the investigators found. Half the addresses posted on free personal web page services received spam, as did 27 percent of addresses posted to message boards and nine percent of addresses listed in email service directories. Addresses posted in instant message service user profiles, "Whois" domain name registries, online resume services, and online dating services did not receive any spam during the six weeks of the investigation.