tedster - 5:55 am on Oct 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
It was mentioned in the Historical Data patent [webmasterworld.com] as one very small possibility. As one of the members in that thread also says about the patent "it seems it mainly is a list of everything which *COULD* be implemented one day."
The only way I think it can do very much in a negative way is if you use the same public whois for a spam site as an above board site site. In that case, once the spam site gets busted, the money site's rankings could also suffer by connection. I can't imagine anyone sane actually doing that - but you never know.
So (and I'm guessing here) by reverse analogy, the same whois on both a highly trusted domain and a new domain might give the new domain a jump start in the trust department.