[Posted to Random Bytes on April 8, 2003 08:52 PM| Links to this post ]
Karl blogged a Response to Ross Rader as a counter to some of my earlier remarks about whois privacy. I still don't see how or why the whois database is going to be a fertile source of leads for stalkers and child molesters - statistically, the average shopping mall is in much worse shape without any of the technical complications aspects of domain names or whois.

Regardless, of this small point of disagreement, the fact is that no one is making a case why this information should be in the public domain in the first place. Are the interests of those that purport to have a need for this data more important than those that own the data in the first place?

The only place within the blogosphere where the answer might be "yes" is within ICANN circles. Until and unless users have control over their own data, the fundamental abuses that we currently see can not be corrected.

In the meantime, I'd like to see something simpler and more appropriate for what we need. Every website in the universe hangs off of the end of an IP address. In some cases, these IP addresses source back to the content provider, in others they source back to a hosting provider. In all cases, they source back to someone that can a) resolve technical issues, b) take action on legal claims/obligations/inquiries/complaints and c) be reasonably held to exercise some level of control over all TCP/IP transactions to and from that domain.

Isn't this the person that everyone is looking for when they do a whois query? Perhaps this is the information that whois queries should start returning (or to be more precise, perhaps this is the information that we should start feeding those that query domain name registry/registrar whois databases.)

I've got some more thoughts on the subject that need to be aired, but I'm a bit blogged out this past week - today's no different, except it was a while ago that Karl sent me a note encouraging some two way dialogue on the subject - guilt motivates, the rest can wait ;)

Post a comment