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[dow2tf] Fwd: [Politech] Anonymous domain name registrations... and spam problems [priv][sp]

  • To: <dow2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [dow2tf] Fwd: [Politech] Anonymous domain name registrations... and spam problems [priv][sp]
  • From: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 08:31:35 -0800
  • Sender: owner-dow2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Some conversation from Declan's Politech list about Domains By Proxy. So far at least, none of the other readers has reported other, similar services. (I'll report again if they do.)

I forward this without endorsement, but note that some of the comments describe DBP's failure to protect the privacy or anonymity of its registrants.


Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 01:10:56 -0500
To: politech@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Declan McCullagh <declan@xxxxxxxx>


From: "Bazeley, Michael" <MBazeley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "'Declan McCullagh'" <declan@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Politech] Semi-anonymous domain name registrations? [priv]
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 18:11:27 -0800

ARIN has been debating this issue and is to vote on a policy change soon.

Michael Bazeley


Date: 5 Jan 2004 20:08:50 -0500
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.4.56.0401051950440.22504@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John R Levine" <johnl@xxxxxxxx>
To: "Declan McCullagh" <declan@xxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Thomas Leavitt" <thomas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Politech] Semi-anonymous domain name registrations? [priv]

>   If this is at all permissible, the registrar's should be allowed to do
> this, rather than a third party

A little poking around makes it pretty clear that if DBP isn't the same
people as maddogdomains.com, godaddy.com, wildwestdomains.com, and
secureserver.net, they're snuggled up real close.  Godaddy is one of the
largest registrars around.

Despite what is as far as I can tell a sincere anti-spam and anti-abuse
policy, every single DBP domain I have encountered is engaged in spamming,
promotion of fraudulent goods and schemes, and other partly or totally
illegal stuff.  Anyone who thinks that a DBP registration is really
private should also read their terms of service which among other things
lets them cancel your registration for any reason during the first 30
days, they can reveal all of your information if they think it would cost
them any money not to do so, and you have no recourse if they do.

I understand the arguments for anonymous speech, but the reality on
today's Internet is that anonymous speech is 99.99% abuse and 0.01%
percent persecuted political figures.  I agree that anoymous speech should
be possible, but that doesn't mean that it has to be easy or that
anonymizing services need to accept everyone who wants to use them.
Remember, the publisher of the Federalist Papers knew perfectly well who
the authors were, but had the commitment and integrity to be willing to
take the heat if the authorities took offense.

> http://www.domainsbyproxy.com/
> Domains by Proxy, Inc.

John Levine, johnl@xxxxxxxx, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, Sewer Commissioner
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.


From: gme <george@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Politech] Semi-anonymous domain name registrations? [priv]
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 19:55:03 -0500
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@xxxxxxxx>


This is nothing new, really.

GoDaddy.com has been pushing DomainsByProxy for a while now.

And, one doesn't need to pay Domains By Proxy to achieve a certain level of pseudonymonous registrations, either.

Simply open a P.O. Box (or call-box through Mail Boxes Etc., etc.), use a voice-mail only telephone number, a throw-away Email address from Sneakemail.com, and use the registered name of "first name" "last initial" (JOHN D.).

IANAL, but from reading the ICANN guidelines, doing the above would be perfectly legal (and in fact, I have several domains registered that very same way.)

George M. Ellenburg <george@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
PGP Key ID: 0x459965D8
*** Proud to be 100% Microsoft-Free ***


Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 14:34:30 +1100
Subject: Re: [Politech] Semi-anonymous domain name registrations? [priv]
From: Raena Armitage <raena@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@xxxxxxxx>
Message-ID: <BC2077F6.1864A%raena@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Declan,

This isn't new -- GoDaddy has offered a Domains By Proxy option with their
registration for some months now, if not a year or more.

Whois is next to useless these days anyway; at least this way someone
mailing your whois address for info can still get through to you.  I think
it's worth nine bucks a year.


Subject: RE: [Politech] Semi-anonymous domain name registrations? [priv]
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain;
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 21:45:15 -0800
content-class: urn:content-classes:message
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft Exchange V6.0.5762.3
Message-ID: <9B52AA04500C5F468E3B6EEADA7490851004AF@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Clinton D. Fein" <clinton.fein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Declan McCullagh" <declan@xxxxxxxx>
X-VBS-Filter-Version: 1.14 (well.com modified) (smtp)
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by mail.well.com id
Quite a formidable service. And on top of it, they also are able to
clarify activities and definitions which have defied law and policy
makers for ages.

For instance, you dare "even think about" using their service for
activities that are illegal or "morally objectionable" which include but
are not limited to obscenity (do they apply the Miller standard, one
wonders), harmful to minors (would that include a sermon by Pat
Robertson?) or racist or ethnically objectionable activities (would that
include creating an online gallery of the History of the Ku Klux Klan
during Black History month or exploring the etymology of words like
"nigger" or "honky"? Or, one again wonders, does the service allow the
use of words like spic and span to denote clean, but not in the context
of a racial slur?)

Can you see these guys rejecting a request to turn over identities on
these shaky grounds, let alone a subpoena? Just the people I want
protecting my privacy.

Happy New Year!


Clinton Fein
Editor & Publisher
555 Florida Street, Suite 407
San Francisco, CA  94110
Phone: 415-552-7655
Fax: 415-552-7656


From: "steelhead-mobile" <bill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Declan McCullagh" <declan@xxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Steelhead" <bill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
References: <>
Subject: a report on Domains by proxy Re: [Politech] Semi-anonymous domain name registrations? [priv]
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 20:06:22 -0800

I recently had an exchange with the folks at Domains by proxy.  A spammer
was using them to hide and after only a week of daily email forwards
regarding the spammer, they sent a notice indicating that the domain was not
under their control, all they did was shift it to the open registrar.

We were able, because they opened the registration information, to get the
domain shut off.

Copied below here is the response they provided,  they do provide anonymity,
but they will open the registration info on proof of a TOS violation.

I support Domains by Proxy and the anonymity they can provide, frustrating
though it may be.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for contacting Domains by Proxy.  The domain listed in your spam
complaint ( fahawn.com ) does not appear to be using our private
registration services.  If you are receiving unsolicited email from this
domain, please contact the registrar for further assistance.

Please note that this domain may have recently had its services cancelled.
If so, the registrar's WHOIS database may take up to 48 hours to reflect
this cancellation.

Thank you for your submission.

Domains By Proxy
Spam and Abuse Department

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Bill Ries-Knight *** Stockton, CA.

My views on spam and SCO
Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

-- Wendy Seltzer -- wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/seltzer.html Chilling Effects: http://www.chillingeffects.org/

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