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

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    WHOIS Privacy Issues Report Smokescreens Problem | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 9 comments | Search Discussion
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    Anonymity protected by US Federal Legislation
    by wildblue on Thursday May 15 2003, @12:19PM (#11647)
    User #3681 Info
    All of the discussion concerning what ICANN will do to make sure registrants of domains have given accurate information in their whois records is not going to matter since United States Federal Legislation protects the right of registrants to anonymity in the use of incorrect whois information.

    This protection is given through the - in rem - provision of the acpa act of 1999.

    The - in rem - provision of the acpa act of 1999 was specifically designed, as explained by Orin Hatch, author of the bill, along with Patrick Leahy, for two reasons.

    To allow trademark owners to recover domain names through a court action when the owner of the domain cannot be located.

    In addition, the second reason being, to protect the anonymity of "dissidents."

    The government recognizes "dissidents and others who are online incognito for legitimate reasons might give false information to protect themselves."

    These are the words of Orin Hatch explaining the - in rem - provision of the acpa act of 1999 to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, on June 29, 1999.

    He further explains.

    "Additionally, some have suggested that dissidents and others who are online incognito for legitimate reasons might give false information to protect themselves and have suggested the need to preserve a degree of anonymity on the Internet particularly for this reason. Allowing a trademark owner to proceed against the domain names themselves, provided they are, in fact, infringing or diluting under the Trademark Act, decreases the need for trademark owners to join the hunt to chase down and root out these dissidents or others seeking anonymity on the Net. The approach in the substitute is a good compromise, which provides meaningful protection to trademark owners while balancing the interests of privacy and anonymity on the Internet."

    If ICANN were to instruct any registrar in any country to take away a domain name from any registrant because of inaccurate whois information they would be liable for denying the Civil Rights of free expression guranteed by the US Constitution of that individual.

    Since ICANN is in the US they are bound by US law and cannot override that with the proposed regulations that would take away a domain name from someone because of inaccurte whois information.

    The entire statemnet can be seen at address

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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    Re:Anonymity protected by US Federal Legislation
    by KarlAuerbach on Thursday May 15 2003, @03:49PM (#11648)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    So, if someone wants to be anonymous, then they can't come to court to dispute the in-rem process because by so doing their identity will be revealed. And as a result they lose by default.

    Seems to me that what you describe is simply a way of saying that those who wish to remain anonymous will end up losing their domains to the first trademark owner who wants the domain.

    In addition, I don't see that what you suggest in any way protects those people who have their personal information published to the world via DNS whois.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Anonymity protected by US Federal Legislation
    by Privacy on Saturday May 17 2003, @02:40AM (#11668)
    User #3774 Info
    Privacy is important for many of us users who don't want our Names and Home locations listed on every search engine on the net.
    What Ben Edelman did with his research on the .name registrants exposed 1000s of legitimate pseudonym's. This should not be permited!!!!

    There needs to a legitimate way for a registrar to mask the whois data if requested by a registrant.

    Check out this site.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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