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[whois-tf3-report-comments] Comments on WHOIS data accuracy

  • To: whois-tf3-report-comments@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: [whois-tf3-report-comments] Comments on WHOIS data accuracy
  • From: Alan Cox <alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 14:05:11 +0100
  • Sender: owner-whois-tf3-report-comments@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I would like to raise a small number of concerns about the accuracy

1. There is no well defined process for resolving accuracy disputes. It
is all very well to say data must be accurate but "accurate" ultimately
can only be assessed by a court of law and is a matter of opinion. This
begs the existance of proper arbitration procedure to avoid everyone but
lawyers suffering.

2. There are situations where 30 days is unsufficient. These may arise
from non-delivery of documents due to postal errors, holidays, and also
in some situations the correction of the data may itself be prevented by
ongoing legal dispute (eg domain name ownership disputes). The due
process must recognize situations where the data update is itself
subject to dispute or being prevented. Unless the data in question
pertains to actual network problems there seems to be no justified
reason to hurry.

It would be better if 90 days were allowed. It would be appropriate if
the time constraints were merely guidelines subject to situation. It
would also be better if suspension after 30 days was a last resort and
only used whena actual problems were being caused. Cancellation should
never IMHO occur until the payment period for the domain expires, only
suspension. This also improves the situation for registrars in locations
that have legal precedent holding domain names are property.

3. There are situations where inaccurate ownership information is
essential. Undercover police operations are but one. The policy must not
prevent national security considerations.

4. The continued use of ASCII makes it impossible for people in many
countries to provide accurate data. The entire registrar system has to
be unicode aware and some registrars need dragging into the 21st
century, as does the domain name system.

I would also submit that the belief that accurate data will help may be
misleading. Privacy concerns have to be addressed by privacy provision,
otherwise the privacy activists will continually out-think the slow
processes of ICANN and find legitimate ways to continue to provide
effectively useless data.

Spammers likewise can adapt. No registrar has the capability to deal
with tracking down organisations that operate forwarding addresses in
deepest Siberia. Legitimate useless data is easy to arrange.

Alan Cox

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