Re: Editorial: ICANN Needs to Stop Domain Name Abuse

This database, known as "Whois," contains names, contact information

> and some technical data for every registrant of a domain name. Under > ICANN's current structure, all accredited registrars -- the companies > approved to provide domain name registration services -- are required > to collect this data and make it publicly available through the Whois > system.

Anyone with valid contact info has a valid reason to conceal it. The reasons are SPAM, telephone solicitation, junk faxes, and junk (postal) mail.

Today, cybersquatters have rebranded themselves as "domainers." In any > event, the current Whois system and domain name abuses are bad enough; > ICANN surely should do nothing to make them worse. Already, it is > common for domain name registrants to provide false contact > information when registering domain names, and little is done to stop > this fraudulent practice.

I propose that items be taken off the menu of operations you can do with do with domains. Currently it looks like this:

(1) Buy (2) Administer (3) Renew (4) Cancel (5) Sell/transfer to another party (6) Transfer domain to winner of trademark lawsuit against you

I'd like to see (5) and (6) removed, and the operation of the "seller" doing (4) in coordination with the "buyer" doing (1) in coordination be made so unreliable (someone else might get it first) as to preclude anyone actually being willing to pay a "seller" to release his domain name in the hopes they get it.

Incidentally, the same approach should also apply to telephone numbers. You might pay me to release 1-800-EAT-SPAM (if I had it) but there would be no guarantee you could get it, even if you are Hormel.

Domain name registrants who provide such false information clearly > have an illegitimate reason to hide, not a legitimate concern for > protecting their privacy.

Domain name registrants clearly have a *LEGITIMATE* reason to hide if they have legitimate contact information. Whether or not they also have an illegitimate reason, such as running scams, is likely true for a lot of them (if not 99% of them) but I doubt it's 100%.

Their reasons are clearly understandable, as > domain name speculation and cybersquatting have become one of the > Web's most popular, and profitable, activities.

So end it. I can't transfer my marriage to my wife to someone else, or transfer my driver's license to someone else, so why should I be able to do it with a domain?

Gordon L. Burditt

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Gordon Burditt
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