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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Intentional & Widespread Whois Errors - Some Specific Examples | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 11 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Intentional & Widespread Whois Errors - Some S
    by Anonymous on Monday May 13 2002, @08:01AM (#6296)
    Excellent work, Ben. Keep contributing useful information such as this to the study of domain names.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Intentional & Widespread Whois Errors - Some S
    by Anonymous on Monday May 13 2002, @08:20AM (#6299)
    Doctor John is a musician, Ben. I know that you listen to Lawrence Welk exclusively, but you really should branch out.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    So, what to do about this?
    by BenEdelman on Monday May 13 2002, @09:40AM (#6302)
    User #3219 Info | http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/edelman
    I'm sure the congressmen -- not to mention ICANN staff and the more respectable of registrars -- are anxious to fix this problem. In that context, what specific advise can we offer them?

    ICANN's Registrar Advisory Concerning Whois Data Accuracy makes a few suggestions -- that registrars should require that registrants use basic validation methods on contact details at the time of registration; that registrars investigate inaccurate information after notification; that domains with invalid registration "should" be cancelled after 15 days of notice; that resellers should be bound by the same rules.

    Is there more that ICANN and the regsitrars could or should do? For example, if a registrant has registered many domains with the same (or nearly the same) invalid address, should the others be canceled too (if the registrar attempts to contact the registrant and the registrant doesn't respond)? Or the registrar should have to receive a separate notification for each domain at issue?

    Could there be some central list of "known offenders"? What risks would be entailed in the creation of such a list? What cost and complexity? What benefits?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Intentional & Widespread Whois Errors - Some S
    by Anonymous on Monday May 13 2002, @10:37AM (#6305)
    It always amazes me how people simply assume that having "whois" data is an essential part of the domain name system. It is not.

    There are relatively few other products that one can buy that require the purchasor to post his name onto a bulletin board that is visible to the world.

    Why should a person who buys a domain name be subjected to this breach of privacy?

    The whois for the domain name system provides little information that is useful in the technical operational sense.

    There is "whois" for IP addresses that, unlike DNS whois, does provide valuable operational information. But that is an entirely separate database.

    The requirement for a whois database for DNS is simply an accomodation to the intellectual property industry. If they want this information then they should pay the data subjects for the violation of their privacy.

    If anyone feels that a domain name offends their sensibilities or infringes on their product name, it is completely possible to track down the accused offender by finding the IP address of the accused material, using the IP address "whois" (which is an entirely separate database from DNS whois), and asking the question of the operator of the address space.

    Sure, that method is slower. But is our goal here to accellerate the loss of privacy in order to pay tribute to the intellectual property industry?

    This debate also presumes a particular model of DNS name registration - one in which centralized registrars and registries keep big books of names of customers. Yet, it is technically feasible to sell DNS names using digital certificates that represent ownership. These can be transfered without the approval or knowledge of the DNS registry involved, thus making a whois database impossible. (Such a system requires a certificate transfer agent to prevent transfer repudiation. However, such transfer agents do not need to have access to information regarding what it is that the certificate references.)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Intentional & Widespread Whois Errors - Some S
    by Anonymous on Monday May 13 2002, @11:28AM (#6307)
    Good work! Then how many expired domain names have been hijacked by verisign?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Important research
    by Anonymous on Tuesday May 14 2002, @02:18AM (#6317)

    Regardless of what anti-public Whois people think about your research, you are doing us all a service by helping illustrate the problem of false contact information in the Whois database. Having accurate information in Whois is important so that scammers do not hide behind a false registration and attempt to defraud the public. Whois is the only effective means available to stopping fraudulent and unauthorized use on the Internet. Yes, IP addresses can be checked, but frequently that will dead end with an ISP and will not immediately provide an address for the offender.

    Whois needs to stay and be improved to add the other registrars (like squatter's paradise Go Daddy) that cannot be easily accessed in the current search format.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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