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Whois may be scrapped to break deadlock
Woz




msg:3490923
 9:24 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

From this press release [news.yahoo.com],

The Whois database is in fact the best, most well-recognized tool that we have to be able to track down who in fact you are doing business with

Nonetheless, some privacy advocates are proposing scrapping the system entirely because they can't agree with the people who use the system on how to give domain name owners more options when they register ~ individuals shouldn't have to reveal personal information simply to have a Web site.

Hmmm, should be interesting.

Onya
Woz

 

netchicken1




msg:3490932
 9:36 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hear Hear!

I totally agree, its a joke that your personal details, name, address phone, etc are public information and unable to be hidden just because you have a website.

Those who want to cause trouble with their sites use a front organization anyway so are not affected. I can't see any purpose for us ordinary guys having our information in the public arena.

IanTurner




msg:3491013
 11:41 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why not - all company information is available to the public - so that if you deal with a company you can find out who you are dealing with.

I can't see why anyone who has any kind of advertising/commercial aspect to a domain name should be afforded any more privacy than business owners.

If the domain is ENTIRELY non-commercial then that is another matter - but how many domains are really non-commercial. You could maybe argue for this in .org and .info but .com was meant for commercial domains, .net for ISPs and .biz also for commercial sites.

davezan




msg:3491087
 3:02 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Scrapping WHOIS isn't going to happen with various interests involved.

David

piatkow




msg:3491279
 10:06 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Trouble is that everybody around the world, both commercial and non commercial wants a .com

vincevincevince




msg:3491296
 10:17 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

You could maybe argue for this in .org and .info but .com was meant for commercial domains

Entirely right. Just having a .com name shows intent to do business; and as such it is entirely reasonable to expect you to display your business name, address and contact details.

superclown2




msg:3491313
 11:24 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm in the UK and I don't particularly want .coms because .co.uk or .org.uk domains show up in "UK only" serps even if they are on a foreign server - a dotcom doesn't - and UK hosts are much more expensive so most of my sites are on USA servers, they load just as fast and the costs are many times cheaper than in the UK. With a UK TLD non-commercial domain owners can have their details omitted from the WHOIS and most websites are non-commercial, natch <G>!

webdoctor




msg:3491322
 11:37 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just having a .com name shows intent to do business...

I find this hard to accept.

What about domains without websites? My <lastname>.com domain is used purely for email, and only for my family's personal <firstname>@<lastname>.com email addresses at that.

In the literature you always read that '.com' comes from COMmercial, but this restriction appears to have been dropped in the mid-90s.

Why does .com have to be for commerce/business? Who gets to decide this? Who gets to enforce it?

HarryM




msg:3491323
 11:40 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, .com was intended for commercial use. But that's not the only reason for its use today. A .com will get you in the global search results irrespective of where the site is hosted. It doesn't necessarily follow the site is commercially orientated, so the need for insisting on the Whois info for commercial reasons is dubious.

However even if the Whois was no longer required I would still use it. The Whois info provides proof of ownership of the domain name which I think is essential for legal reasons even for info sites.

As superclown2 posts, you can hide the Whois for a .co domain, but the problem there is that if the registering company (or even the registrar) goes bust it may be difficult to prove the domain name is yours.

RichTC




msg:3491325
 11:54 am on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we should have 100% clarity regarding who owns a website.

Dont get me wrong i can see why a number of website owners would prefer for site ownership to remain out of the public domain and i agree with the poster that made the point that some hide behind fronting companies anyway but we need better clarity of ownership not less!

This is a step backwards in my mind, the internet still needs to be cleaned up. Im not talking here about adult sites etc, im talking about some of the rogue elements on the internet that the police find hard to trace.

It will be interesting to see how this goes

[edited by: RichTC at 12:00 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2007]

leadegroot




msg:3491347
 12:16 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just having a .com name shows intent to do business

No, those days are past - Jo(e) Public now thinks that a website ends in .com, so thats what most people want to see on their website.

webdoctor




msg:3491362
 12:30 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think we should have 100% clarity regarding who owns a website.

"Website" doesn't equal "domain name".

If you want to mandate that website owners display a contact name and address on their site then go ahead - but this has very little to do with domain names/WHOIS. In many jurisdictions it's already mandatory for businesses to display full contact details on their websites.

the internet still needs to be cleaned up

Does the postal system need to be "cleaned up" because some of the people who use it are less than squeaky-clean?

the police find hard to trace.

I don't really understand this. What exactly do the police find "hard to trace"?

Traceroute leads you straight to the server hosting a website. If law enforcement approach the ISP with the right court order they can have the site shut down and/or seize the servers and/or get the billing address of the person running the site. I don't see any connection to WHOIS.

vincevincevince




msg:3491376
 12:46 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

The difference between whois data and data presented on a website SHOULD be that whois data checks out to a company which made one or more payments for the domain and was able to verify an email address whereas data presented on the domain can be anything the company types or totally absent.

Whois data SHOULD be controlled by the registry. Unfortunately it isn't properly handled and 'privacy' services have ruined what little value it still had.

I'd say strengthen it. Make a purchaser provide proof of identity before the nameservers can be set.

zett




msg:3491379
 12:51 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think the WHOIS data should be (a) required to be public - so you know exactly who you deal with when visiting a website, and (b) double checked, so Donald Duck in Beverly Hills 90210 can not sign up easily for a domain.

Just my $0.02

yandos




msg:3491393
 1:09 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

the problem with checking the information is that its not going to cost $0.02 to implement. Who is going to chase up the millions of domains that get registered or transferred every year, would you like the cost of domains to go upto $100 a piece just for this double check to take place?

I agree that the whole system should be scrapped. valid company information should be apparent on the actual website (and if not, i'm not going to give them any money) not by checking whois records.

swa66




msg:3491397
 1:10 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Whois is a structural part of having address space or having domainnames. If you don't want to give up that bit of information, stay with the consumer options out there.

It's not true that you need a domainname to get email or a web site, it's only so if you want your very own IP address or domainname.

I want to have the right to know who you are, how to contact you (who to sue?) if you have a fixed IP or a domainname to do with as you please.
I want that info to be accurate and verified by the registrars, and I fully deplore the mere existence of "anonymous" registrations, whoever is doing those deserves to have the full liability of anything going wrong.

Essex_boy




msg:3491409
 1:40 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I dont, I thionk its a good idea.

Having once had a mad woman customer keep phoning me at home, you really dont want details like these listed.

webdoctor




msg:3491415
 1:42 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

it isn't properly handled and 'privacy' services have ruined what little value it still had

Personally, I don't think privacy services have 'ruined' anything. Caveat emptor on the high street, caveat emptor on the internet. Do you check business registration and land registry every time you visit a high-street shop?

I think the WHOIS data should be (a) required to be public - so you know exactly who you deal with when visiting a website, and (b) double checked, so Donald Duck in Beverly Hills 90210 can not sign up easily for a domain.

This is fine if these checks are optional ("extended validation domain registration $100, standard registration $10"), but I don't see why *I* should pay extra for all my domain registrations because *you* want to feel safer when doing business online. I know my domain registration information is valid, after all :-)

Look at extended validation SSL certificates - they're supposed to be more secure because of additional manual checks, but how many consumers have heard of them? They cost at least an order of magnitude more than a standard certificate - assuming you're not a bank, is it worth it? How many have you purchased? Would you be happy to see EV SSL certificates be mandatory for every business domain?

I want to have the right to know who you are, how to contact you (who to sue?) if you have a fixed IP or a domainname to do with as you please.
I want that info to be accurate and verified by the registrars, and I fully deplore the mere existence of "anonymous" registrations, whoever is doing those deserves to have the full liability of anything going wrong.

Is there any evidence at all that law enforcement officials have been hindered in their investigations if they come across a domain registered using a WHOIS privacy service?

g1smd




msg:3491438
 2:32 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> Who is going to chase up the millions of domains that get registered or transferred every year <<

Aren't most of those domainers and domain tasting?

HarryM




msg:3491459
 2:54 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Whois data SHOULD be controlled by the registry.

Do you mean registrar? Or the company that registers the domain name on your behalf?

In either case they are likely to charge you just to change your details if you move, get a new email address, etc.

And do you trust them? Both types are commercial organistion, at least in the US. And in the past both types have gone bust leaving domain owners with huge problems.

The only safe way is to control everything yourself. If the system needs to be policed, that is a separate issue, and should not be left to a commercial organistation.

[edited by: HarryM at 2:59 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2007]

jam2005




msg:3491493
 3:17 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

The internet needs more transparency, not less transparency. This would be a move in the wrong direction.

jam2005




msg:3491504
 3:21 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>Who is going to chase up the millions of domains that get registered or transferred every year, would you like the cost of domains to go upto $100 a piece just for this double check to take place?

Not a bad idea. Imagine how much spam and junk websites would disappear if they had to pay $100 for their domains.

IanTurner




msg:3491539
 3:56 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Having once had a mad woman customer keep phoning me at home

Yes but that was your wife!

-- Sorry couldn't resist saying that --

g1smd




msg:3491567
 4:27 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

You should have had a business/office number registered, not your home number.

yandos




msg:3491640
 5:25 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Aren't most of those domainers and domain tasting?

What difference does it make if they’re domainers or not?

Imagine how much spam and junk websites would disappear if they had to pay $100 for their domains

And imagine how many spam and junk paper mailing/phone services would be rubbing their greasy mitts at the thought of getting their hands of address and phone verified contact information on millions of people for free.

stinkfoot




msg:3491666
 5:44 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

>I totally agree, its a joke that your personal details, name, address phone, etc are public information and unable to be hidden just because you have a website.

I disagree with you about this. Owners of a website are in fact publishing, in the modern world. If you are making information public, then we, the reading public, should be able to know who you are.

Knowing who is publishing also means you can be better recognised as an authority on the subject by owning the site. (or not as the case maybe) Doing a whois and reading the about us page will do this for anyone who knows the web. As long as both correlate that is.

Also, it may hold back malicious and generally bad publication.

There is a simple question here. If you are making information public, why would you need anonymity? Who are you hiding from?

>I can't see any purpose for us ordinary guys having our information in the public arena.

Ordinary guys who want to hide who they are?

HarryM




msg:3491744
 7:06 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ordinary guys who want to hide who they are?

Probably people like us who are aware of the problems the internet can bring and, for example, hide our real IDs on forums... stinkfoot.

koan




msg:3491754
 7:15 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Who are you hiding from?

Can I listen to your phone calls? Can I read your emails? Why not, what are you trying to hide? That's a faulty lign of reasoning. Right to privacy doesn't require justification.

Duskrider




msg:3491785
 7:46 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is a simple question here. If you are making information public, why would you need anonymity? Who are you hiding from?

Who was Stephen King hiding from when he published books under the name of Richard Bachman? Who was Samuel Clemens hiding from when he published books under the name of Mark Twain?

Are these men not publishing? Are they not sending material out into the world for public consumption? Do they (or did they, as the case may be) not have a right to remain anonymous for no other reason than that they wish to be so? I publish an informational document on one of my own sites under a pseudonym, and have the site registered through a proxy. Not only do I wish to keep my friends and family from knowing who wrote the material, but I wish those viewing the material to not know who I really am. The reasons I wish to be anonymous are my own. I make it clear that I'm not who I say I am on my website, and anyone that doesn't like that fact can leave. That site is, in fact, my most successful.

Should I now either be forced to reveal my true identity or stop publishing my website? Worse, should some regulatory agency FORCE me to reveal to the world who really owns that site... no matter what reasons I have to keep it held back (personal privacy aside)?

As far as I'm concerned "caveat emptor" when it comes to the internet. If you can't verify who owns the site... you have every right to not do business with them. That's the consumer's responsibility (within reason of course).

IanTurner




msg:3491843
 8:41 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

The analogy to authors using pseudonyms to publish their material is not a valid one in this case.

It would be entirely okay for you to write on your website under a pseudonym.

However - the company that published the book is the one putting the material in the public domain and as such they have their company name on the book and the copyright to the work.

If a website is being used for any commercial purpose the owner of that site is putting the information in the public domain and should therefore have to put their details in the open as the publishing company (those people who write for the site may be kept entirely hidden from the public)

I'm sure that many people who are arguing against the putting of their information on public view, would also wish to avail themselves of the copyright law should their content be misappropriated. How about a compromise situation whereby if you publish to the public domain in complete anonymity - you can have no recourse to copyright protection? (or is it that everyone who wants anonymity in domain registration is also flouting copyright laws left, right and centre anyway?)

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