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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    USA Goverment Relations House Committee to Hold Whois Hearings, Kowtow to IP Interests
    posted by michael on Tuesday August 26 2003, @09:26AM

    The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet & Intellectual Property, will hold hearings on ICANN and Whois in September.

    Earlier this month, Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), the committee's Chair and Rep. Howard L. Berman (California), the ranking Democrat wrote a letter to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans raising questions about Whois issues. Noting the upcoming expiry of ICANN-Commerce MOU on Sept. 30, the Congressmen expressed their support for adding "strong intellectual property enforcement provisions in any successive MOU." That means more Whois, more enforcement of accuracy requirements, and presumably less privacy.

    The two Congressmen also said that the MOU extension should be limited to one year.

    Update: 08/28 19:05 GMT by Michael: Text of the letter to Sect. Evans from Reps. Smith and Berman (via Trademark Blog).

    The letter also accused ICANN of failing to enforce its contracts that require Whois accuracy, and complained that some registrars don't just hand over bulk whois information to anyone who asks for it, but instead try to impose limits on how the data can be used. (Have these guys never heard of spam?)

    To ice the cake -- and complete the kowtow to the IP agenda -- the letter complained that not all ccTLDs violate their users' privacy American style. Some -- horrors! -- have set prohibitive Whois access policies. ICANN, they suggested, should have agreements with ccTLDs making them fall into line on whois, and cybersquatting too. "We are troubled by ICANN's apparent inability to meaningfully contribute to accountability, transparency and the establishment of a forum for the efficient resolution of domain name disputes in the formative stages of the relationship with ccTLDs," they said.

    Which of course (intentionally?) misses the point that ICANN would like nothing better than to bring ccTLDs to heel, but those pesky foreigners just won't roll over and play dead.

    Must be time to collect those campaign contributions...

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      Related Links  
  • Trademark Blog
  • House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet & Intellectual Property
  • Lamar Smith
  • Howard L. Berman
  • Michael
  • Text of the letter to Sect. Evans from Reps. Smith and Berman
  • Trademark Blog
  • More on USA Goverment Relations
  • Also by michael
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    House Committee to Hold Whois Hearings, Kowtow to IP Interests | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Will you submit testimony?
    by ldg on Wednesday August 27 2003, @01:51AM (#12131)
    User #2935 Info | http://example.com/
    I hope so. Someone has to step forward on the side of reason and oppose lunacy. If you recall the hearings in 2001 when one committee member was incensed at the horrible person(s) who used a Senator's name to slam another Senator and felt that whois privacy should not trump IP interests? It didn't matter who got hurt as long as IP interests were served. Identity theft, stalking, spam... those are just pesky things that don't effect that many people, so why even bother with their rights.

    Then there was the representative who was equally incensed over the .CC registry charging for accessing a whois record and that it was sent by snail mail and the registrant notified of the inquiry. After all, it should be open and free, right? Why should a registrant have any rights?

    Gawd forbid the public should have any rights any more. IP reigns supreme over the US Constitution and any other national laws. To heck with other countries, btw. Who do they think they are anyway?

    I truly hope that there will be saner heads submitting testimony, Michael?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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