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EU Privacy Watchdog To ICANN: Law Enforcement WHOIS Demands "Unlawful" 81

First time accepted submitter benyacrick writes "WHOIS was invented as an address book for sysadmins. These days, it's more likely to be used by Law Enforcement to identify a perpetrator or victim of an online crime. With ICANN's own study showing that 29% of WHOIS data is junk, it's no surprise that Law Enforcement have been lobbying ICANN hard to improve WHOIS accuracy. The EU's privacy watchdog, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, has stepped into the fray with a letter claiming that two of Law Enforcement's twelve asks are "unlawful" (PDF). The problem proposals are data retention — where registrant details will be kept for up to two years after a domain has expired — and re-verification, where a registrant's phone number and e-mail will be checked annually and published in the WHOIS database. The community consultation takes place at ICANN 45 in Toronto on October 15th."
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EU Privacy Watchdog To ICANN: Law Enforcement WHOIS Demands "Unlawful"

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  • Who's job is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:56PM (#41506847)
    What is this push the past few years that technical companies need to do the job of law enforcement? The craigslist hooker scandal is a prime example... Here is this nice list of criminals for you to arrest, yet it is the websites fault?
  • by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @01:18PM (#41506993) Homepage

    I have a few .uk domains. Because I am a non-trading individual, my details other than my name are not available to the public, but law enforcement can apply to the courts to get the details if my domain names are being used for illegal purposes. That seems to me to be a good balance between allowing law enforcement to shut down websites used to sell fake concert tickets, distribute malware and so on; and catch those responsible while ensuring I don't get continually harrassed by "The Domain Registry of Europe" and similar outfits that law enforcement ought to be going after.

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:28PM (#41507425) Journal
    And what are you using those domains for eh? MFA sites maybe and your trying to hide ownership from the big G

    This spring, I registered an "ego" domain - My own name dot net, on a whim.

    I paid for it with a credit card in my name. I gave a fake phone number, and a PO box for my address. I used a real email address (albeit one made specifically to catch the junk I expected by registering.

    And three days later, GoDaddy locked my domain and reversed the charges, refusing to do business with me until I sent them a scan of my driver's license. WTF?

    So, I told GoDaddy to go fuck themselves, and registered with a no-name, for less, with automatic free privacy protection (the WhoIs contacts go to them, rather than to me) and that doesn't give the least damn if I want to register as George Bush.

    The real problem here involves laziness on the part of law enforcement, pure and simple - IP addresses don't mean LEOs can't track you down, it just means they actually need to come up with enough evidence to convince a judge to demand the ISP turn over the owner's info. It makes doing their job an actual job, rather than a five second query against WhoIs.

    Stop expecting to rest of the world to do your work for you, guys. If you need to track me down, do so. But don't expect me to put up with nonstop telemarketers, not to mention the risk of some crazy actually showing up at my door because he doesn't like what I said about Rush Limbaugh, just to save you from having to do some legwork if someday I break the law.

    Innocent until proven guilty. Read up on it sometime, eh?

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