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    Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) Privacy
    Canada's .ca public WHOIS to be PIPED out
    posted by michael on Tuesday November 23 2004, @09:34AM

    fnord writes "We Canucks have made another attempt to prove that we're not just unarmed Americans with Medicare by taking a different position than US-centric ICANN with regards to a publicly accessible WHOIS, at least for .ca (Canada's ccTLD). Citing Canada's federal privacy legislation called The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPED) as one reason for doing so, CIRA (the .ca regulator) has recently proposed that all but the personal name of an individual registrant be kept private. Organizational registrants' WHOIS data would still be made public.

    This acceptance of privacy as the WHOIS default (registrants can opt in with additional public info if they wish) is in (stark is not too strong a word) contrast to ICANN's existing and proposed policies."



    "In ICANNland one is not only left open to the whims of spammers, scammers, identity thieves, domain highjackers, IP lawyers and other worthies, one can even be ratted out by anyone (I was one of the first to use that form and outed ICANN's now well paid apologist Kent Crispin for incorrect WHOIS data for his songbird.com, curiously I never did get the confirmation email they promise) and subsequently have one's domain revoked for even accidentally dotting your t's or crossing your i's.

    Danny Younger recently made some excellent points regarding this CIRA policy process (sorry, lost the link, perhaps Danny or somebody can provide it). He pointed out that CIRA came up with this policy over a period of 10 months, compared to ICANN's many year and ongoing attempt(s) to do similar. He also pointed out that this may well be due to the fact that, while ICANN's process is inhouse (all the better to control it), CIRA outsourced much of the work to an external agency. I must say I am impressed with the methodology as done [.pdf] by the Strategic Counsel which put the views of all stakeholders in proper proportion and consequently came up with more or less inescapable conclusions. It is as day to night compared to anything similar ever undertaken inhouse by ICANN on any topic. All the more surprising that CIRA can manage this despite having a budget orders of magnitude smaller than ICANN. Of course when ICANN does outsource things like a review for the New TLD Evaluation Process they get hammered by the experts for their incompetent bungling so one can understand, if not forgive, their reticence to open up to the light of day even a little bit.

    CircleID has coverage of the proposed CIRA policy here. Interestingly, CircleID also published an article the same day by Rod Dixon regarding the private WHOIS policy of .mp (Northern Mariana Islands). .mp is an apparently recent entrant to the ranks of repurposed ccTLD's such as .tv (Tuvalu), .mp now apparently meaning Mobile Phone. While Dixon paints their WHOIS privacy as something almost unique, the repurposed .ws (Western Samoa or Web Site or World Site or...), one of the few repurposed ccTLDs that has had even marginal success, has kept its WHOIS private for at least two years (the first time I noticed it). Note to the Intellectual Property crowd who argue for a public WHOIS (and, at least with ICANN, who always win), .ws doesn't seem to have become any more of a haven to cybersquatters than other repurposed ccTLDs like .tv which have a public WHOIS.

    There is a further interesting wrinkle to all this. According to ICANN's list of accredited registrars, no less than 111 of the registrars are listed as being based in Canada (yes, one hundred and eleven, wow, that registrars list sure has grown, no wonder ICANN searches for ways to spend more money). As your resident net prophet has long predicted, the time is now fast approaching when some Canadian (moi? I do toy with the idea of being a clash test dummy) will file a complaint with our Privacy Commissioner regarding a Canadian based registrar publishing WHOIS data with regards to a gTLD registration. Then we'll quite possibly be in a real mess. It isn't likely that some policy (which wasn't even achieved through the required consensus) of ICANN will be found by our government or courts to trump Canadian law. Would this mean that all the Canadian based registrars would have to close up shop? Or only be able to accept non-Canada based registrants (assuming they could recognise the many thousands of Canadians abroad)? The worst part of all this is that ICANN was warned repeatedly during its recent WHOIS policy review about such an eventuality and chose to ignore the implications, perhaps because they thought it would never happen, or perhaps because they're arrogant enough to think they can safely butt heads with real governments and laws.

    Nor is Canada likely to be the only venue for such clashes. During the never-ending .eu discussions various European countries argued against a public .eu WHOIS, often because of their own privacy laws. Some other countries may well also have strict privacy laws (I'm not thinking of the repurposed ones, I doubt many of them have native ICANN accredited gTLD registrars) that are at odds with the worldview of IP interest dominated ICANN. Such collisions between law and policy may well happen in numerous locations in different ways with varying results. Like I said, a real mess. We could well wind up with a crazy-quilt pattern of global gTLD WHOIS policies and laws that even the IP folks won't be able to keep up with. To this terminally bemused observer, it serves them right. Oh well, now there's a way for ICANN to spend money like water. Litigate the issue whenever and wherever it comes up. They know that drill very well, their legal bills rival the GDP of many countries, and hey, bonus! they have an excuse for still more first class jetsetting around the globe. -g"

     
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      Related Links  
    · European Union
    · Danny Younger, former GA Chair
    · CircleID
    · ICANN
    · ratted out
    · done
    · Strategic Counsel
    · here
    · article
    · Tuvalu
    · kept
    · public
    · list
    · fnord
    · PIPED
    · proposed
    · More Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) stories
    · Also by michael
     
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    Canada's .ca public WHOIS to be PIPED out | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 10 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re:.ca Whois Privacy
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday November 23 2004, @09:06PM (#14463)
    User #2810 Info
    Y'see, this is why I don't like IP weenies (well, one of numerous reasons anyway). It took all of two patently (sorry, can I use that word?) obvious mouseclicks and one admittedly extremely arduous screen scroll to find:
    We will disclose personal information, other than via the WHOIS, as stated below [...]

    (c) if the domain name is subject to a proceeding under the CIRA Dispute Resolution Policy, to the relevant Dispute Resolution Provider.

    And you bill how much per hour for claiming to be an expert in all this? Pfui! I wish you weren't Anon so I could write your clients and grab them a clue. I take some sustenance in the fact that the internet will continue to route around your kind as (collateraly mindless) damage. Go ahead and sue CIRA, I'd meant to say in the main article that we're never too proud to accept tourist dollars. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:.ca Whois Privacy
    by KarlAuerbach on Wednesday November 24 2004, @08:39AM (#14466)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    The answer is the same as it is for those who do not own trademarks:

    You file a legal action and use the tools that the legal systems of the world provide. Of course most of those systems require that the claimant demonstrate at least the color of some form of legal harm before proceeding. And of course most of these systems also require that the claimant identify itself and publish notice.

    I, and others, have long proposed a whois system that requires that those making inquiries leave verifiable identities in a log visible to the data subject, articulate their claimed harm and state, under oath, the facts upon which they believe that this harm exists and comes from the accused domain name holder, and that the counts of how many inquiries each claimiant makes per month are published to th e public.

    That approach may not even past muster of most places that actually have privacy laws, but it is certainly a lot more balanced than the current system in which anonomous browsers and potential predators mine whois data 24x7x365.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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