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Re: [ga] Bulk Whois Data Issue


--- "William S. Lovell" <wsl@cerebalaw.com> wrote:
> have procedures for protecting their user's privacy. The Internet, or
> indeed
> a domain name, are rapidly becoming necessary parts of doing
> business, and
> indeed a healthy means for self expression by private citizens. To 
> suggest that
> one must necessarily give away all rights of privacy just because
> some 
> registrar
> sees yet one more way to squeeze out a buck is unconscionable.

Providing bulk access to the WHOIS is hardly a profit center for

Legitimate businesses should have no problems in providing their info
in a public WHOIS. 

As for self-expression by private citizens, at that point they're
becoming "publishers", and have entered the public arena, and left the
private one. Most newspapers don't allow anonymous editorials/letters
to the editor, and if they did, they would take responsibility for the
contents of those anonymous publications.

I think the real issue is abuse of the bulk access to the information.
Have stiff penalties for the abuse (e.g. spamming using the list
created from the bulk WHOIS), and that would cause it to end.

Suppose you get spammed by the domain wearethetopspammers.com, who only
cause you, individually, $0.01 in damage. Yet, their WHOIS information
is private. Are you saying that we need a class action lawsuit, with
500,000 affected individuals to cover the $5,000 costs of serving their
Italian registrar a subpoena to find out who owns the domain
"wearethetopspammers.com"? And then when we find that the individual
who owns the domain is in Brazil, what next? Better to have domain
owners give up a tiny piece of privacy, which they don't value very
much in any event, in order to reduce the abuses that come when folks
are able to enter the public arena anonymously, not taking
responsibility for their actions.


George Kirikos

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