.US TLD Owners Lose Privacy

Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine brunner at nic-naa.net
Fri Mar 4 18:19:07 UTC 2005

Oki all,

For those of you in the Lower-48, plus Alaska and Hawai'i, I sent this to
my local ISP association. You can ignore it, ridicule it, or adapt it to
your state and pretend to have written it. I don't mind either way.

If you do want to try it chez vous, and you want my help (or hinderence,
depending on perspective) drop me a line.


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Message-Id: <200503041805.j24I5kxZ015316 at nic-naa.net>
To: maineisp at lbs.midcoast.com
Date: Fri, 04 Mar 2005 13:05:46 -0500
From: Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine <brunner at nic-naa.net>
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Subject: [Maineisp] DoC opens .us to spam, forward from WiReD/NANOG,
	and some commentary
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By way of background, this is part of the "whois foodfight" in the policy
area of ICANN and the DNS. The working assumption is that every domain is
either of interest to an intellectual property owner (infringement) or to
a law enforcement officer (pedi-porn), and vastly lower down the rational
food chain that every domain is used in some form of UCE scheme (spam).

These are all deeply problematic assumptions, but that hasn't made any
impression on the actors at ICANN, or the less than best-and-brightest
at the DOC/NTIA which owns .us.

I wrote the proposal for NeuStar to operate .us in 2001, which the DOC/NTIA
selected, so I'm modestly clueful on the operational and policy issues.

What this means here in Maine is that no one can now register domain names
of the form:


without providing the semblence of a personal (or corporate) identifier,
consisting of a personal (or corporate) name, and contact information, as
well as an email address which is not that of a 3rd-party proxy such as
attornies and registered agents, which will be accessible to anyone who
wants to "look behind the veil", without restriction.

I can't fix the retardation at ICANN or the DOC/NTIA, but I can ask you
all to think about whether you want the Maine Legis to remain silent on
the sanity of assuming that every domain name registrant is infringing
on a trademark, or a publishing pedophile, or otherwise engaging in some
conduct that necessitates the registrant providing an address for legal
service, their identity, and expose a mail address (your product) to the
address harvesters for resale to spam-based marketing operations (your

If you haven't passed out already from my boring prose, and you'll do me
the kindness of reading another paragraph, where this is heading is moving
the policy oversight for me.us, that is, the marketing of "Maine" as a
state on the internet from the DoC/NTIA to Maine, and the operations for
me.us from Virginia to Maine.

Then we can use John Baldacci or Steve Rowe, who presumably couldn't be
bothered who thinks Michael Heath is a big fat idiot, or has unflattering
things to write about Verizon or TimeWarner, or discusses breast feeding,
to "proxy" registrations, preserving free political and commercial speech,
until due cause for "lifting the veil" is argued, and at some non-trivial
standard of proof.

Plus we innoculate our local policy makers from a highly contagious case
of bird brain flu on issues like spam, privacy and jurisdiction.

Thanks for your patience, really.

- ------- Forwarded Message

>From WiReD:

"The U.S. Commerce Department has ordered companies
that administer internet addresses to stop allowing
customers to register .us domain names anonymously
using proxy services."

"The move does not affect owners of .com and .net
domains. But it means website owners with .us domains
will no longer be able to shield their name and
contact information from public eyes."


- - - ferg

- ------- End of Forwarded Message

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