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[dow2tf] replies to questions submitted to Counsel

  • To: dow2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [dow2tf] replies to questions submitted to Counsel
  • From: Barbara Roseman <roseman@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 11:52:41 -1000
  • Sender: owner-dow2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The following questions have been submitted to Counsel on behalf of the taskforce:

If a respondent supplies proprietary information to the taskforce regarding their uses of whois, can that information be presented anonymously?

When the DNSO did a Whois survey back in 2001, it carried the following terms/disclaimer:

        "Your comments will be published for public review, not associated
with your identity in item 21. Your e-mail address (item 21a) will be used
to send a copy of your responses back to you, but will not be provided to
third parties without your permission. Your name and organization (item 21b)
may be published as part of a list of responding parties."

I think that the sort of handling as indicated above would take care of
question #1.

And, if we are presented with information that indicates someone is using Whois in a manner that is currently prohibited, or violates the AUP of a registrar, will we make use of that information for any other purpose aside from the survey?

On the second question, I'd be inclined to say yes, but subject to the same provisions as above (i.e. respondents' comments will not be provided to _third parties_ without permission). I can see why promising to not go after abusers might encourage honest reporting of Whois abuses, but I think in practice the idea would be too complicated and subject to misinterpretation and dispute. (Note: of course if a task force's members really want "anonymous" information, they could just accept anonymous input.)

Given that this is a public process, what are the implications of changing the process to allow for anonymity after having already received some responses?

It depends on what you mean by "allow for anonymity". If survey responses are handled as indicated in my prior response, I can't think of any important problems.

Are there effective ways of presenting the final data that doesn't correlate responses with a given respondent, but allows for confidence that the data is represented accurately?

Yes, publish responses without identifying information, along with a
list of respondents' names/organizations?

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