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    Personal Privacy and Anonymous Speech at Risk in WHOIS proposals | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 3 comments | Search Discussion
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    Right on and more
    by ldg on Sunday January 26 2003, @12:55PM (#11034)
    User #2935 Info | http://example.com/
    Since I was one of those who was stalked and harrassed because of the whois, the issues are, to me, very important. Many individuals hold domains for sole proprietorships, personal sites and even for just email or servers with no web presence at all. To require public posting of private information does no one any good except, perhaps, process servers and those who would wish to harm the registrant or covet the domain itself.

    My phone number was (and is still) unlisted, although it is now in the full public view because I had to provide it for domain name registration. I have an additional unlisted number, an expense I should not have had to incur. I had to obtain a post office box in order not reveal my personal home address - another expense I should not have found necessary.

    I testified to this at Congress, but found it was summarily dismissed. After all, how could I prove stalking was due to the whois? Since law enforcement was not interested and would not even take a report. I knew the source because of context, but ... oh well. One Senator was more interested in the use of another polictician's name to distract voters than in life threatening results of a public whois. Since when is it more important to assist litigators than to prevent physical harm? Politicians cry about "family values" but trash-can them when it comes to protecting individuals' privacy. They scream about porn and protecting children, but demand we put our families at risk with a public whois database.

    Privacy needs to be in the forefront and people need to be counted as more important than the wishes of a few powerful entities to mine personal data.

    Data can be obtained with good reason, of course, by contacting a registrar. There is no need to publish it for the world-at-a-glance.

    Spam is an outrage and preventing it (just about impossible) is a major issue. However, privacy is a much deeper and more important issue than just spam prevention. The examples cited by Kathryn are right on the money, but are just a few of the reasons to protect individuals.
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