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Canadian Domain Name Registrants To Get More Privacy 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-what-you-can-get dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the dot-ca domain, plans to change its WHOIS policy to better protect domain name registrants. Quoting the Canadian Press: '[Law Professor Michael] Geist said the changes have raised the ire of law enforcement and intellectual property lawyers, who have used the Whois search to track down sexual predators and copyright violators.' Despite this, the organization seems committed to following through with the reforms." Geist also gave a talk recently about digital advocacy; the effectiveness of using modern technology to raise concerns and share ideas about issues such as privacy and copyright law.
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Canadian Domain Name Registrants To Get More Privacy

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  • Do the people in Canada have the same mindset as we do in the USA?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25, 2008 @01:44PM (#23536881)
      How is this a "think of the children" mindset? If anything, it shows that us Canadians have a "think of our right to privacy" mindset, and I fail to see how that is a bad thing.
    • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:04PM (#23537009)
      No, thankfully as a rule we are smarter and realize that our children are at higher risk of meeting a pedophile at the park, on a bus, at the mall, at an after school activity than on line.
      • "our children are at higher risk of meeting a pedophile at the park, on a bus, at the mall, at an after school activity than on line."

        That's true, but does it really matter if they do meet a paedophile? Due to the occurrence of paedophilia in the general population, most children are frequently in the presence of paedophiles anyway. A paedophile is just someone who is sexually attracted to young children; the term doesn't refer to an act or to criminality.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          What is the percentage of pedophiles? Are the any studies that have been done on this? They say that 10% of the population is homosexual. What percentage of the popuplation is sexually attracted to children. And what percentage of those people would follow through on those attactions? Based on the news you hear (sensationalist, I know), it seems to be quite common. But how common is it really, and is it more worth worrying about your child being hit by a car while crossing the street, because somebody
          • It's hard to give even first-guess estimates, because people who want to have sex with children fall into a variety of categories.

            Many child rapists, for example, are not sexually attracted to the children they abuse; rather, they get sexual gratification from being able to abuse and humiliate someone weaker than they are, and children are of easy prey.

            On the other hand, you have the people who genuinely fit the category of 'pedophilia'; that is, they are for whatever reason sexual attracted to young childr
          • 33%.. [nfshost.com] was the link someone gave about a week ago on this same topic. It's funny though how it says "sexual predators" and everyone jumped to pedo... have we been brainwashed by media this bad already?
      • "Thankfully we are smarter"?

        Alas, that has been disproven.
        A study several years ago, concluded that fully FIFTY PERCENT of the Canadian population had IQs of less than 100 !

        And you still think you are smarter than Americans? HA!


        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          That really depends. If you define the IQ scale to be based on every person on the planet, I think that most people in Canada and the US, would be above 100. Especially considering that most IQ tests are inherently biased to the type of schooling we have received. How do you measure the IQ of someone who has no formal math or language instuction? Certainly lacking those things doesn't make one unintelligent, but lacking those things, most people would score quite low on an IQ test.
        • IQ as measured by 'standard IO tests' from which this data was extracted is not a measure of true intelligence but rather intelligence based on parameters related to schooling and social mores of the person or organization creating the tests. Therefore if the tests were generated by Americans it would favor them. This is why they are not given the same weight today as they were in the past.

          But then being a smart American you already knew that , right?

    • Do the people in Canada have the same mindset as we do in the USA?

      Err, since when does the population of the U.S. have a single mindset? Oh, we're all subjected to the same ludicrous rhetoric at the federal level, but there's hardly a shared mindset/culture/ideology/self-representation.

      If nothing else, we need to distinguish between the West Coast and the East Coast and between either Coast and the states not blessed by oceans. There are many populous areas of the U.S. where no one agrees with the bull that usually ends up as fodder for people elsewhere in the world to

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Based on the results of the last election, about 49% of the population doesn't agree with the current government. And it will probably be the same problem the next time around. Maybe it's time the US adopted a more sane election and governance system.
  • Privacy.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @01:30PM (#23536791) Journal
    It's not just for the police anymore.

    A day without privacy is like... well, like a day living in a police state.

    As for the reaction to this.... waaaaaa fucking waaaaahhh

    While it's still part of the law, you police people will just have to do your jobs the way you were meant to... investigate, get warrants, follow the procedures laid out in the law. Remember, protect and serve? It hasn't changed. You are still charged with those roles in society. If you forget that, or ignore that, you are no better than warlords in mogadishu.

    Get over it.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I really like the WHOIS registry. It is the only guaranteed form of accountability there is on the internet. If I think an internet business is shady, I can easily get an associated physical address. I don't think domain owners should be anonymous. Especially since linking domains to names does not exclude the kind of privacy that needs to be protected. If you're concerned about bushitler throwing you in guantanamo for expressing your political views, then you can post them anonymously on somebody else
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cayenne8 (626475)
      "Remember, protect and serve? It hasn't changed. "

      I thought it was to collect and serve....

      At least with most forms of crime enforcement these days they seem to pursue with any vigor...

  • Not if it runs up against things like this [slashdot.org].

    Free is a four letter word
  • Spams and scams (Score:5, Interesting)

    by telchine (719345) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @01:40PM (#23536851)
    From my experience, WHOIS details are mostly used by spammers and scammers. I get a steady stream of snail mail from scammers trying to pretend that they are my registrar and want me to renew with them (for a significant sum of course).

    I've never had any legitimate mail sent to the snail mail address that I use to register my domains.

    I get a torrent of spams to my registered email addresses. Ocassionally I get offers to buy my domains or just people wanting to contact me but that's may 1 or 2 emails a year.

    I think having contact details in WHOIS is an archaic system left over from the days were everyone on the Internet was polite to each other (or something). It should be scrapped and only law enforcement agencies with a warrant should be able to access my contact details.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bsDaemon (87307)

      I think having contact details in WHOIS is an archaic system left over from the days were everyone on the Internet was polite to each other (or something). It should be scrapped and only law enforcement agencies with a warrant should be able to access my contact details.

      Whois, finger, ~/.plan files - all relics of a courteous age before mass commercialization ruined various net services, just like its ruined practically everything else.

      Its been a while since I registered a domain, but I do believe that info for the whois was optional. I've whois'd many a site that didn't have any contact info listed.

      In fact, I think they only times I've ever gotten any useful and relevant info at all from whois has been for .edu or .org sites.

      • Re:Spams and scams (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ratboy666 (104074) <fred_weigel&hotmail,com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:01PM (#23537417) Homepage Journal
        Why thank you!

        I have domains -- all of them are .org, and ALL have valid whois information. The downside? I get spam (20 to 50 a day) that I suspect comes through the registry. But, I use my name at hotmail dot com with a forwarder for email (GetLive) and I have set the hotmail up with maximum aggressive spam filtering. I get 5 to 10 requests to "renew" my domains per year via snailmail.

        All in all, not bad for 3 domains. Personally, I don't believe that fake information in the whois database should be allowed. I believe that the whois registry is like a phone book, or address list, and, because dns addresses are public, the registrants should be listed.

        But maybe that's just me.
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I guess the question to ask is, what valid social purpose is fulfilled by the entire goddamn planet having access to any of our personal information? Furthermore, if you want that database to be accurate, keeping it public is a good way to encourage people that do care about their privacy to submit fake info.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Okay, but you can have an unlisted number because (wait for it) ... some people are concerned about privacy. How is hiding/falsifying WHOIS info any different?
          • by ratboy666 (104074)
            If you REALLY want an "unlisted number" -- which would be an unlisted computer, then DON'T LIST IT. Use the IP address instead.

            Or, use dyndns service if you want an easier to remember sequence.

            Or, use a private DNS server. You can even use your own TLDs!

            If you use a registrar... you are registering the name.

            I use ".org" for externally visible sites. I am POSITIVE that you don't care that my PVR is named "neptune.lan" aka "pvr.lan" or that my storage server is named "ganymede.lan". You can't get at them. Ano
        • by g0at (135364)
          I have had a number of domain names for many years, and much to my surprise, I've only rarely been spammed on their contact addresses (so far as I can tell). I have all the whois-published contact addresses contain identifying strings for this purpose (e.g. the admin contact for zygoat.com is "ben-zygoatcomwhois@").
    • Re:Spams and scams (Score:4, Informative)

      by argent (18001) <peter@AAAslashdo ... minus threevowe> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:16PM (#23537087) Homepage Journal
      From my experience, WHOIS details are mostly used by spammers and scammers.

      And spamfighters, since spammers have to have reachable domains for their "customers" to locate them. Even if they disguise them, they still need to have some kind of web presence that the "customers" will find credible, and that provides a hook to locate them.
      • by Jedi Alec (258881)
        And spamfighters, since spammers have to have reachable domains for their "customers" to locate them. Even if they disguise them, they still need to have some kind of web presence that the "customers" will find credible, and that provides a hook to locate them.

        Hasn't spamming already been classified as a crime in a lot of places, hence making the information available to duly authorized authorities with a warrant?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gmack (197796)
      The problem is that I've used whois info to alert mail admins to known problems with their servers.

      While I doubt the whole address needs to be in the whois info a contact email/ number would be preferable to blocking everything.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by value_added (719364)
        The problem is that I've used whois info to alert mail admins to known problems with their servers.

        Possible use, but relying on the choices between, say, Administrative Contact and Technical Contact seems a bit hit-and-miss, given the general nature of that information, and the distinct possibility that the contact may be an arms-length individual like a corporate officer or VP, or a third-party like a lawyer. At any rate, I'd guess the usual abuse, postmaster, hostmaster, etc. addresses would be just as a
    • What happens if a registrar just decides to "forget" about a domain? Or refuse to transfer it? Or something similar...

      A whois record, at the very least, is proof that I own the domain. In fact, I believe certain obfuscation services, like GoDaddy's, may actually involve the registrar taking legal ownership of the domain on your behalf.
      • by xaxa (988988)
        The information is still taken by the registrar, but it isn't made public.

        Try whois ingreenwich.me.uk for example (that's not my domain; it's the first '.me.uk' result from Google where the registrant's kept their details private.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by billcopc (196330)
        A whois record is proof that the registrar tagged your domain with that particular info. It is not proof of ownership, and they can change the info at whim. There's no bound value.

        I'd be fine with Whois offering an email address for domain-related issues, but even better would be to do away with it entirely. Just send your gripes to abuse@ or postmaster@. Whois info has been more often used for bad than good.
    • Registrant:
                        Joe Bloggs

      Registrant type:
                        UK Individual

      Registrant's address:
                        The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their
                        address omitted from the WHOIS service.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That's precisely the problem with Whois. The internet should be anonymous. If you want accountability, there's SSL.

      I personally hate the fact that my personal information is listed on every domain I own. I've been targeted by all sorts of scammers, online and off, simply because my information was out there for any half-breed to abuse.

      Hell there was this moron a while back. I got this almost legit-looking letter stating I was being sued for defamation of character, but when I called the number I got a v
  • Simple change: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    When a copyright predators want whois data, make them provide the equivalent information about themselves and give it to the person whose whois data is being queried.
  • I, for one, cannot wait for this. No, I have been waiting - for several years.

    Once again, Canada gets the epic fail when it comes to technology. Great country and all, but can we try to keep on top of this sorta thing?

          --- Mr. DOS
    • Epic Fail? (Score:3, Insightful)

      How can you say canada gets the epic fail when it comes to technology?

      I don't see your logic. We've got some of the best laws (for consumers rights) in the world, we've got freedom of speech and protection from unlawful persecution.

      On top of all that, we've got legalized file sharing in the form of a cd levy! [neil.eton.ca] (Yes, you americans have it too, but your laws still allow the RIAA to run rampant...) Well, so long as it is paid, there is no criminal basis for non-profit filesharing lawsuits!
      • On top of all that, we've got legalized file sharing in the form of a cd levy!
        Offtopic, but I'm not sure that's a good thing. It means that your legal system is operating under the assumption that every CD bought will be used to pirate. I like "innocent until proven guilty" better.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Excelcia (906188)
          If the assumption was as you say, then the levy would be the amount of a price of a music CD. As it is, it's a few cents. And it's not on every blank CD - it's on ones marked as for audio. Which means you can just buy stacks of "data" CDs and use them to your hearts content, levyless, to copy audio.

          Your argument, that our legal system assumes everyone is "guilty" of piracy, is circular. How can our legal system be assuming you're guilty of violating a law when doing an act the same legal system explic
          • And it's not on every blank CD - it's on ones marked as for audio. Which means you can just buy stacks of "data" CDs and use them to your hearts content, levyless, to copy audio.

            Wait, what? Doesn't that kind of make the whole thing ineffectual?

            How can our legal system be assuming you're guilty of violating a law when doing an act the same legal system explicitly permits?

            Fine, then, maybe "guilty" is the wrong word -- though it does not have to imply legal guilt. Could very well imply moral guilt.

            How about this: Buying a music CD, no matter where the source comes from, is subsidizing record labels, right? What does it take to be recognized a record label, worthy of levy payments? Sounds like it is, at the very least, supporting a monopoly.

            But let me take this to a ludicrous extreme -- would it be alright if

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Excelcia (906188)
              The extension to murder implies that copying a music CD is inherently wrong - in the legal world, malum in se. Murder, rape, serious assaults - they cause harm, and are generally agreed to be wrong anywhere you go. I don't think that many people would agree that copying a CD causes direct harm to the copyright holder. If there is any harm at all, it can only be indirect - perhaps due to a loss of revenue. If that revenue loss to the copyright holder is made up by the state by a special tax, wherein is t
              • I know all of these arguments about why filesharing isn't necessarily evil; I've made them myself. I'm certainly not arguing that other ways of enforcing copy protection have worked, or are fair.

                However, I don't like the idea of institutionalizing it, especially given that none of this money may make it back to the particular artist I was after. It's still very much an assumption being made that may not be true, though not as bad, maybe, as applying the same tax to Internet bills.
          • Re:Epic Fail? (Score:4, Informative)

            by dryeo (100693) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @06:51PM (#23538929)
            Data CDs also have the levy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy#Canada [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:Epic Fail? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:18PM (#23537545)

        How can you say canada gets the epic fail when it comes to technology?
        I have 20/5 Mbit unshaped fiber optic internet to my home for $50/month (Verizon FIOS) and unlimited 1Mbit/256 EVDO mobile internet to my phone for another $20US/month (Sprint SERO).

        I buy all my music (and not very much of it) so I don't have to worry about the RIAA. As far as free speech, I think it's sufficient to note that the Supreme Court of Canada has interpreted freedom of speech as subservient to some of the other goals in the Charter of Rights:

        The effect of this type of material is to reinforce male-female stereotypes to the detriment of both sexes. It attempts to make degradation, humiliation, victimization and violence in human relationships appear normal and acceptable. A society which holds that egalitarianism, non-violence, consensualism, and mutuality are basic to any human interaction, whether sexual or other, is clearly justified in controlling and prohibiting any medium of depiction, description or advocacy which violates these principles (R. v. Butler, 1992] 1 S.C.R. 452, at p. 494, citing the MacGuigan Report of 1978).
        In Keegstra, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld convictions for similarly vague "hate speech", e.g. ""promoting hatred against an identifiable group". More broadly, a report summarizes it thusly:

        The Supreme Court has ruled that the government may limit free speech in the name of goals such as ending discrimination, ensuring social harmony, or promoting gender equality. It also has ruled that the benefits of limiting hate speech and promoting equality are sufficient to outweigh the freedom of speech clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is the country's bill of rights incorporated in the country's constitution. . . .
        The US is not having a good decade (ok, that's an understatement) but at least we are free from the coercive power of a government that insists on furthering multiculturalism agenda by force (not that I oppose multiculturalism or tolerance, but even good ideas ought not to be coerced). Despite my abiding hatred of racism, I am proud to live in a country were it is legal to burn a cross to make your point of view, no matter how odious that POV is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._A._V._v._City_of_St._Paul [wikipedia.org].

        I should make clear that I regard both Canada and the US as at the forefront of modern liberty and well ahead of the rest of the world in that respect. Disagreements between us are disagreements on common values -- they demonstrate that we are closer than further (in a manner of speaking).

        See also:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._v._Butler [wikipedia.org]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._v._Keegstra [wikipedia.org]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._v._Andrews [wikipedia.org]
        • by dryeo (100693)
          We have cross burnings here in Canada too. There was one down the road from me the other year. Only thing is they had to do it in a vacant lot out of site of any houses (right on the street though) It is just illegal to burn them in front of eg a black families home as it is spreading hatred and is intimidating.
        • The US is not having a good decade (ok, that's an understatement) but at least we are free from the coercive power of a government that insists on furthering multiculturalism agenda by force

          Affirmative action in the United States is intended to promote access to education, employment, or housing among certain designated groups (typically, minorities or women). The stated motivation for affirmative action policies is to redress the effects of past discrimination and to encourage public institutions such as universities, hospitals and police forces to be more representative of the population. It is commonly achieved through targeted recruitment programs, by preferential treatment given to appli

          • True enough, although remember that Canada does not have the history of oppressed minorities that the US does. I'm not in favor of affirmative action but I am sympathetic to its fundamental goals (e.g. it's a question of means, not ends). At any rate, affirmative action is not imposed on private corporations by the government -- unlike laws against invidious discrimination.

            I never claimed we were perfect, but in the area of free speech I'd take the US scheme over any other in a heartbeat. Anyone not old eno
            • True enough, although remember that Canada does not have the history of oppressed minorities that the US does.
              Massacred indians, concentration camps for japs, forcing continental nomads in a sendentary life on a small island, etc.

              But Canada has made more progress.
        • by bigberk (547360)
          You can get 20/5 Mbps for $50/month? OK well now I am very jealous of American broadband. In Ontario, Canada (most densely populated region of the country) I am paying $45/month for Rogers cable internet 7 M/512 K ... it's the upstream that is ridiculously poor on pretty much all residential options I have looked at. And I think it's consistently lame across Canada, because I have family out west that pays a bit less but still has no better upstream than this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Speaking as an owner of many .ca, .com and other domain names, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is by far the most annoying to deal with.

    With a normal domain name, you go to a registrar, pay your money, and you get your domain.

    Not so with .ca. After buying the domain from a registrar, you are forced to go to CIRA's website, create a second account, and register again. And you're not done yet. They want you to send in a photocopy of your driver's licence. Can you say identity theft?

    Even wo
    • by ergo98 (9391)

      Frankly, CIRA should contract out the whole thing to Godaddy. They would run it far better and cheaper.

      Do you really think that these restrictions are there because they can't figure out how to do an online form? Do you think GoDaddy made it so easy because they just want to do what's right for you?
      • by jo42 (227475)

        CIRA should contract out the whole thing to Godaddy
        No thanks. Godaddy makes goatse's backside look small.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JFitzsimmons (764599)
      I don't remember having to do steps 2 & 3 that you listed. I have a .ca domain but I definitely have not submitted any personal identification to CIRA.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I don't remember having to do steps 2 & 3 that you listed. I have a .ca domain but I definitely have not submitted any personal identification to CIRA.

        When did you register it? CIRA only started to be very annoying in the last 2 years.

        If you didn't submit your personal information to CIRA you have probably lost your membership.
        • True, I registered the domain more than two years ago. What is the downside of losing CIRA membership?
          • by mrbcs (737902) *
            In my opinion, nothing. You can register a .ca domain without becoming a member of Cira. Membership is only required for voting as far as I know.

            The have become retarded lately. Too many "experts" trying to fix things and they have added extra steps for nothing. I'm thinking that it's a government entity for the dumb things they do. Kinda like make work programs to keep people in the maritimes employed.

    • by Gorshkov (932507)

      Speaking as an owner of many .ca, .com and other domain names, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is by far the most annoying to deal with.

      [deletia] ....

      Frankly, CIRA should contract out the whole thing to Godaddy. They would run it far better and cheaper.

      I call bullshit, on absolutly everything you've said. I've had multpile .ca domains myself, and been responsible for many others over the years, and have never had to go through anything even remotely what you're describing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by floorpirate (696768)
      CIRA accounts are set up in two sections:

      1) The actual account that holds your contact/ownership information (this account is generally referred to as your CIRA ID).

      2) The "membership" account, which is to be able to do things outside of normal domain ownership, such as vote on CIRA board elections (details at https://member.cira.ca/en/index.html [member.cira.ca])

      The CIRA ID is assigned when you register your first .ca domain (although you can have many, ask your registrar for details), and is based off the contact
    • by bigberk (547360)
      In my experience this is not true, I also own .CA domains. I never provided a driver's license to CIRA. Also I did recently update an address in my WHOIS, it was relatively painless. True that you have to log in and confirm through CIRA but otherwise the system has worked fine for me... could be that these bad experiences mentioned are based on older (legacy) registrations, back when there was higher security for different tiers of .CA domains, such as provincial, then national level which required extra ch
  • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning.netzero@net> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:09PM (#23537037) Homepage Journal
    For myself, I believe that falsification of information on domain registration (aka the "whois") ought to be criminalized instead of swept under the table as it is right now. There are legitimate reasons for being able to identify specific pieces of equipment and domains ranging from technical (I'm getting a whole bunch of packets from you... would you roll back that software update you just did and fix the bugs) to criminal activity... most of which is mentioned in the parent article.

    Or more to the point, if a domain has false information listed, the domain ought to be invalid and can be revoked. I dare any bona fide business to apply for a business license from a government agency giving the kind of information I've seen on most whois databases... especially the dot com types. Business license information is public information and often even published in network accessible databases as well... many even on the web interestingly enough.

    Unfortunately, the domain registrars themselves have been allowed to be lax in the kind of information they expect, and is IMHO an example of ICANN and its corruption and mis-management.

    For those individuals who are worried about privacy, this isn't to say that you can't communicate and use the internet for private communications. But a domain name was never meant to be private. Insisting upon privacy for what should be public information is a mis-use of the resource.

    This is also a situation where a free and just society is required so you can have the freedom to be able to publish your name in a public forum and not fear retribution from those who may want to do harm to you. The real reasons for the desire for privacy is protection from criminal behavior... and it is the criminals who mis-use this information (aka sending spam, threating letters, or abusive prosecution) that should be punished severely. In other words, the desire for privacy stems from a break-down of government in establishing order and consistently prosecuting genuine criminal behavior that most people would consider to be criminal.
    • by value_added (719364) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:15PM (#23537991)
      But a domain name was never meant to be private. Insisting upon privacy for what should be public information is a mis-use of the resource.

      And I'm still moaning that email was never meant to be anything but text. ;-)

      The purpose of the legislation is to address the continuing increase in personal domain registrations. It's entirely conceivable that one day, everyone will be required or will otherwise want to register in some form. That leaves us in a difficult position where the traditional approach of making everything public must be balanced with the privacy needs of millions of new registrations by ordinary individuals.

      Resolving that conflict by admitting no one anticipated this state of affairs, or saying this isn't how things are supposed to work, is hardly satisfactory. And when you mix in the changing interests or requirements of all the parties involved, ranging from the various internet authorities, to law enforcement, ISPs, network administrators, all the way down to Dick and Jane, I can't see how anyone could say let's just leave it alone.

      Hell, it wasn't too long ago that ATT would routinely publish whois info for their fixed IP accounts. Makes perfect sense, until you realise it doesn't.

      One approach, or workaround, would be to advise (require) everyone to hire a personal lawyer to handle everything; the registration info would be public, but the personal information would remain personal. Another would be what the Canadian government is doing. Personally, I expect all this will work itself out in time, but I worry that we'll find ourselves in a very different world than when we first started.
    • by pjt33 (739471)

      I dare any bona fide business to apply for a business license from a government agency giving the kind of information I've seen on most whois databases... especially the dot com types. Business license information is public information and often even published in network accessible databases as well... many even on the web interestingly enough.

      But what about businesses which don't need licences? I own a .co.uk domain from when I set up as a sole trader (self-employed); I did not want to put e-mail or snail mail addresses in the whois records, but it came down to the risk of losing the domain outweighing my desire for privacy.

      But a domain name was never meant to be private.

      Do you mean domain ownership? Sure, but domains were only meant to be owned by military and academic organisations, and those organisations were meant to be the only ones with access to the network. When the scope of a p

    • by billtom (126004)
      There is a purely practical problem that has nothing to do with privacy. I get so much junk mail at the email address listed for my domains that it is literally impossible for me to filter out the legitimate email. I'm talking spam to ham ratios of 10,000+ to 1. No software based filtering will handle that much of a mismatch. And I don't have the money to hire a full time employee to manually filter them.

      Now, the snail mail address for my domains doesn't have this problem (because snail mail costs money to
  • by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:26PM (#23537139)
    Why is this such a big deal for law enforcement? They should have to get a court order to view this information, and I don't see that being a big deal if they're actively pursuing an investigation.
    • Why is this such a big deal for law enforcement? They should have to get a court order to view this information, and I don't see that being a big deal if they're actively pursuing an investigation.
      It's a big deal because they have to get up and go to court, instead of sitting there and clicking their WHOIS button.

      And when they'll get back all the good donuts will be gone!
      • by dkf (304284)

        It's a big deal because they have to get up and go to court, instead of sitting there and clicking their WHOIS button.

        And when they'll get back all the good donuts will be gone!
        They should learn to think more positively! On the way back from the courthouse, they can stop off at Dunkin' Donuts and get another batch. Two birds, one stone.
  • by doppiodave (911019) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @09:18PM (#23539851)
    i'm the proud owner of a gaggle of .ca domains, going back to the days when they were administered as a labor of love out of the university of british columbia by one dedicated soul - John Demco. he was rewarded by having abuse heaped on him for being way too particular about whether applicants were stealing trademarks, or were otherwise out to make trouble. unsurprisingly, he was a volunteer working under the de facto authority of Jon Postel. many Canadians, esp those in business, wanted a system more like .com, so anybody could get registered in 2 minutes flat - a great system until we had to endure years of cybersquatting, reverse-cybersquatting and the like. when CIRA took over 8 years ago, they had far more resources to throw at the .ca domain, yet have built a system very much in the spirit of the old one - fair, secure and extremely well administered. the decision to pull .ca data out of whois is just another step along that path. why anybody is surprised or upset by this decision is a mystery to me. law enforcement officials everywhere will always be disappointed if they're not allowed to stick a probe up your ass to see what you've had for lunch. as for privacy on the Internet, it's long gone - in so many ways it's hard to count 'em. if "officials" are pissed about CIRA, it ain't because they're pulling whois out from under them. it's because CIRA operates at arm's length from the government, which is a lot more than you say for ICANN and the Dept of Commerce.
  • One! Two! Three! Four! Canada demands more! (money)
  • As a Canadian domain owner, I can say it's about time... and I hope the rest of the TDLs go the same direction. I get way too much spam from my Whois email address and I even get phone calls. .ca doesn't support who-is privacy services, and I would have been happy just with that, but this is even better. Thank you CIRA.

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