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[dow1-2tf] RE: WSJ story re Whois and proxy services

  • To: "Steven J. Metalitz IIPA" <metalitz@xxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [dow1-2tf] RE: WSJ story re Whois and proxy services
  • From: "Steven J. Metalitz IIPA" <metalitz@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 11:41:31 -0400
  • Cc: <dow1-2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Sender: owner-dow1-2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: AcSm73kXHUhRdxDWSv+yncgMr/tLzAAEnS1gAAAmITA=
  • Thread-topic: WSJ story re Whois and proxy services

Today's Wall Street Journal features, on the front page, a story
focusing on proxy services and the issue of public access to Whois data.
Here is a link to the story:


As you know, Task Force 2 recommended, in its preliminary report, that
further research be conducted on proxy services.  I paste an excerpt
from that recommendation below for your convenience.  We discussed this
recommendation in an early meeting of the merged task force but there
was some opposition to pursuing this issue.  

The WSJ article asserts that these services are becoming increasingly
popular, and that 5% of "new registrants" are using these services.
In light of this I suggest that we re-visit the question of whether it
would be productive to find out more about how these services, which
apparently are becoming an important part of the Whois landscape,
actually operate.  

Steve Metalitz

Through an appropriate mechanism, further research should be conducted
on the use of "proxy registration services" within the framework of Sec. of the RAA, including but not limited to the following issues:
*       the rate of uptake of such services, their cost, and consumer
response to them;
*       what steps are taken to ensure the proxy service provider
collects (or has immediate access to) accurate, complete and current
contact information on all registrants taking advantage of such
*       the circumstances under which contact information of the actual
registrant is disclosed pursuant to the RAA provision (i.e., the
"evidence of actionable harm" scenario) and the consequences of such
*       how registrants are notified when the withheld data is released
to third parties;
*       the impact of such services on registrar portability;  
*       scalability of such services;
*       concerns raised by customers regarding disclosure of data;
*       complaints about registrar proxy or 3rd party proxy services,
including complaints to or by law enforcement officials;
*       contractual terms between registrants and proxy services. 
*       effect of proxy situations on the stability of domain name
registrations - what happens when a proxy goes out of business, and the
"actual" registrant is unknown to the registrar?
o       Usefulness of proxy services to enable anonymous free speech.

The results of such research could be used to:
*       develop a set of best practices for the operation of such
services; and/or
*       initiate a policy development or other appropriate process
toward changing the terms of Sec., if warranted.  

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