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ICANN is considering public whois for "Commercial activity" domains
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ICANN is considering public whois for "Commercial activity" domains

Namecheap has sent this email recently.

Hello,

Did you know that your privacy rights are currently under threat? ICANN is considering introducing a rule that would impact all netizens. If you care about your online privacy, this is a big deal.

Under new guidelines proposed by MarkMonitor and other organizations who represent the same industries that backed SOPA, domain holders with sites associated to "commercial activity" will no longer be able to protect their private information with WHOIS protection services. "Commercial activity" casts a wide net, which means a vast number of domain holders will be affected. Your privacy provider could be forced to publish your contact data in WHOIS or give it out to anyone who complains about your website, without due process. Why should a small business owner have to publicize her home address just to have a website?

We think your privacy should be protected, regardless of whether your website is personal or commercial, and your confidential info should not be revealed without due process. If you agree, please contact ICANN right away and demand your right to privacy and due process. Let them know you object to any release of info without a court order. There's no time to waste -- the close date for comments is July 7, 2015.

Visit our new site RespectOurPrivacy.com and we'll guide you through the process of calling or emailing ICANN. Thanks!

Trying to be positive and friendly :)

«1

Comments

  • ClouviderClouvider Member, Provider

    I actually think that's a good idea to get rid of summer hosts and similar type of 'black' business. If you do business, you shouldn't worry about hiding your address.

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith Top Provider

    alexvolk said: domain holders with sites associated to "commercial activity" will no longer be able to protect their private information with WHOIS protection services.

    That seems fair to me.

    alexvolk said: We think your privacy should be protected, regardless of whether your website is personal or commercial

    That seems unreasonable to me, personal... yes, commercial ... if you don't want to be known don't trade online, you expect others to give you financial information to do trade with you so what makes you as a commercial entity special?

    That's my take on it for the 99% of cases anyway, I am sure there will be exceptions that make me think "I understand why they want privacy" but they will be just that//// exceptions.

    Hardly a SOPA scale issue, more like namecheap etc being worried about whois privacy revenue.

    I am no longer active here, find me at https://talk.lowendspirit.com (Just like LET without the scams)

  • I agree that it'd raise the barrier to entry for those with something to hide...

    Though their idea of commercial would also likely include affiliate sites where you're not necessarily taking in any details from anyone.

    Good luck to them trying to prove you're using a "WHOIS protection service". It rules the registrars out of the game though.

  • sdglhmsdglhm Member

    Clouvider said: I actually think that's a good idea to get rid of summer hosts and similar type of 'black' business. If you do business, you shouldn't worry about hiding your address.

    Highly agreed.

    Thanked by 1Clouvider

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  • DroidzoneDroidzone Member
    edited June 2015

    It's a welcome relief. There's no good reason that a web business owner should want to protect his privacy. Providing details makes him more accountable legally. Why should he be facilitated in escaping with customers' money, in case of sleazy establishments?

    What I think feasible is that all .COM and newer commercial domains shouldn't be allowed private whois, while purely personal domain extensions may be allowed them.

    .in registry doesn't even have an option of privacy protection.

    C, Bash, Perl, Python, PHP, and JS hobbyist. VPS collector. Blog

  • LeeLee Member

    sdglhm said: Highly agreed.

    Not really, they will use fake details. So many on WHT for example have a real name but fake address, some here have a completely fake profile.

    Thanked by 1netomx
  • @Lee said:
    Not really, they will use fake details. So many on WHT for example have a real name but fake address, some here have a completely fake profile.

    And they have the risk of the domain getting taken from them, if complainants can prove the fact of deliberate misrepresentation.

    C, Bash, Perl, Python, PHP, and JS hobbyist. VPS collector. Blog

  • LeeLee Member

    Droidzone said: And they have the risk of the domain getting taken from them, if complainants can prove the fact of deliberate misrepresentation.

    I highly doubt when they go to the trouble of using fake details that they worry about that.

  • @Lee said:
    I highly doubt when they go to the trouble of using fake details that they worry about that.

    If they're commercial, they would.

    C, Bash, Perl, Python, PHP, and JS hobbyist. VPS collector. Blog

  • People can still use either PO boxes, or mailbox rental places...

    Thanked by 1netomx
  • LeeLee Member
    edited June 2015

    @Droidzone said:
    If they're commercial, they would.

    Faking WHOIS is the easiest thing ever to do, it's been getting done for years and the ability to do it is not going to change.

    All we are talking about here is not allowing Private WHOIS protection for those that use it.

  • shafireshafire Member
    edited June 2015

    Privacy Policy: This is the Internet, you have no privacy.

  • lifehomelifehome Member
    edited June 2015

    My solution: Name + PO Box + Prepaid Card + catch-all spam-(mostlikely)filtered mailbox
    Done, and nothing to worry about.

    Thanked by 2daxterfellowes Shade

    Telegram Me and Arch the way out.

  • Well, Namecheap is being worried about getting $$ for Whois protection.

  • Threat for Namecheap privacy service. lol



    ICANN domain email verification system sucks..

    Dewlance
  • So things like forums won't be affected will they? even if they allow paid subscriptions?

    Favourite host in general: Ramnode (affiliate link)
    Favourite host for hourly billing/custom ISOs: Vultr ($50 free credit for new accounts, affiliate link)

  • TheKiller said: Well, Namecheap is being worried about getting $$ for Whois protection.

    Thats right :D

    ServerGigs - FULLY Managed services

  • Shoaib_AShoaib_A Member
    edited June 2015

    @TheKiller said:
    Well, Namecheap is being worried about getting $$ for Whois protection.

    It is not just NameCheap but many registrars charge for WHOIS privacy like GoDaddy, eNom, Name.com etc so all of them would appose it.

  • @Lee said:

    Yep. DC address, for example. Or a forwarding address.

    If people want to hide, they'll find a way to hide. I really doubt this would change anything.

    Thanked by 1Maximum_VPS

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  • jhjh Member

    Suddenly everyone will be based at 152-160 City Road, London

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    I tend to think that the suggested changes for commercial entities is good. Folks like name cheap are trying to protect the revenue stream they get from the private registration services.

    Thanked by 1Maximum_VPS
    Jon Biloh
  • coolicecoolice Member
    edited June 2015

    Wasn't namecheap privacy free (i do not use them) Godaddy is charging ~$8

    OpenVz Node + KernelCare uptime - 1275 Days :)

  • @coolice said:
    Wasn't namecheap privacy free (i do not use them) Godaddy is charging ~$8

    They provide it free with domain registration & transfers for the first year only, you have to pay for it from 2nd year onward. I think they charge 2.88$ per year for it.

  • rm_rm_ Member
    edited June 2015

    alexvolk said: sites associated to "commercial activity" will no longer be able to protect their private information with WHOIS protection services. "Commercial activity" casts a wide net, which means a vast number of domain holders will be affected.

    That's exactly the problem here, who determines what is "commercial"? This will get misused and applied arbitrarily. Collect donations on your personal website, bam, you're doing a "commercial activity". Put a list of old stuff from your garage that you're looking to sell, well that's for sure commercial. Offer to work as a babysitter in your small town from the same site, sure now everybody in the world absolutely needs to know everything about you.

    Move to ccTLDs without such bullshit policies and with built-in privacy protection. .ru comes to mind (also very cheap). I suppose ICANN despite being the "global boss" can only extend this only to gTLDs and maybe to these new funny TLDs, but not ccTLDs.

    Thanked by 2J1021 Wintereise
  • TrafficTraffic Member
    edited June 2015

    @jhadley said:
    Suddenly everyone will be based at 152-160 City Road, London

    The weather is awesome there. You should also move!

    vrtz.net Cheap VPS Servers Offers - now with EXCLUSIVE offers! (all links are aff links)
    $12/year HostUS Deal (768MB RAM+768MB vSwap)$11.29/year GestionDBI Deal (768MB RAM)

  • @jhadley said:
    Suddenly everyone will be based at 152-160 City Road, London

    why not - that's the business - no store, but a store-domain - that's it! or must i use the libya connection for business?

  • Whats going to stop all of the summer hosts using fake names and addresses?

  • @W3HostingServices said:
    Whats going to stop all of the summer hosts using fake names and addresses?

    They can't!!! It's against the rules!!!

    vrtz.net Cheap VPS Servers Offers - now with EXCLUSIVE offers! (all links are aff links)
    $12/year HostUS Deal (768MB RAM+768MB vSwap)$11.29/year GestionDBI Deal (768MB RAM)

  • @Traffic said:
    They can't!!! It's against the rules!!!

    I'm sure that will stop them lol

    Thanked by 2Traffic Makenai
  • If it were to be put in place... think of it as removing the noise rather than being about hard-to-enforce/not-necessary/whatnot rules and people who think/know they can get round them.

  • xyzxyz Member

    hostnoob said: So things like forums won't be affected will they? even if they allow paid subscriptions?

    Although I haven't looked to see what is defined as "commercial activity", that sounds very much like "commercial activity" to me. Heck, if you run a website with ads (like >90% of websites out there), that probably constitutes commercial activity.

    The policy sounds particularly good for forum owners whom have a fair number of whiny teenagers members who don't mind swatting people they don't agree with...

  • 4n0nx4n0nx Member

    sigh

    inb4 PO box

    (((o(゚▽゚)o))) If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy. (((o(゚▽゚)o)))

    ヽ(`Д´)ノ Everyone should run Tor on their idle servers.

  • joepie91joepie91 Member, Provider

    Terrible idea on all fronts.

    1. "Commercial" is very hard to define. Even Creative Commons has issues with this, for their NC license.
    2. Everybody has things to hide, malicious intent or not. For some, those things include WHOIS data.
    3. "Release on copyright claim" will work approximately as well as the DMCA and similar legislation; that is to say, not at all, and with false claims abound. Not to mention that the resulting damage is worse - whereas a false DMCA might result in a temporary suspension, release of private information is irrevocable.
  • VPNVPN Member

    @rm_ said:
    Move to ccTLDs without such bullshit policies and with built-in privacy protection. .ru comes to mind (also very cheap). I suppose ICANN despite being the "global boss" can only extend this only to gTLDs and maybe to these new funny TLDs, but not ccTLDs.

    I'm fairly certain that ICANN have the overall responsibility of Internet names globally regardless of it being gTLD or ccTLD. Their only problem is going to be enforcement.

    Quite a lot of registries already have restrictions in place on who can and can't have hidden or protected WHOIS.

    Hi :>

  • netguynetguy Member
    edited June 2015

    It's VERY BAD idea! ICANN is on wrong way. My privacy is my right and I support Namecheap activity in this case.

    It'll force me to use fake data. I prefer to use my real data but I don't want to expose them.

  • I've only got a couple dozen domains, but I use my real data - address and all. WHOIS just doesn't work! I'm sad that nobody has come to visit me. Not even a post card. :(

  • @Ole_Juul said:
    I've only got a couple dozen domains, but I use my real data - address and all. WHOIS just doesn't work! I'm sad that nobody has come to visit me. Not even a post card. :(

    Not even a postcard? TBH, I've gotten a few spam calls, lots of e-mail spam, and one letter (scan posted here on imgur). That said, I keep my data public due to the general lack of problems (my Google Voice number has permitted me to block anyone who really bothers me).

  • joepie91joepie91 Member, Provider

    GoMutant said: Not even a postcard? TBH, I've gotten a few spam calls, lots of e-mail spam, and one letter (scan posted here on imgur). That said, I keep my data public due to the general lack of problems (my Google Voice number has permitted me to block anyone who really bothers me).

    I've got to say, as far as fake invoices go, that's a pretty innocent one.

  • That is indeed a pretty innocent one. I completely forgot. I got a much more elaborate fake bill like that this year. I had actually saved it because I thought it was cool. Still, that's not very much, and not at all what I had expected from what I'd thought was really a dating site. Girls do troll the WHOIS for contacts - don't they?

  • Virtual office, a little bit more per month than WHOIS protection, but just as effective.

    Much ado about nothing. If you support this and thing this is revolutionary/going to change the world, it's not.

    Thanked by 1Mark_R

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  • How will they implement this?
    How will they differentiate between a regular blog or a company website?

    BytoNet.com - Hosting for every budget

  • netguynetguy Member

    bytechef said: How will they implement this? How will they differentiate between a regular blog or a company website?

    They implement this for all.

    I trust ICANN less and less. It's a result of the influence of such countries as India, Russia, China, etc., who are against privacy.

  • rm_rm_ Member
    edited June 2015

    netguy said: Russia, China, etc., who are against privacy.

    Oh so that must be why the Russian TLD has mandatory full whois privacy for all personal domains.

    Also the Chinese TLD seems to be the same (tried whois on many .cn domains, none show street address or phone number of the owner).

    Thanked by 1alexvolk
  • so all .com Domains will not have privacy protection completely removed, bad for the people who paid for privacy protection.

    BytoNet.com - Hosting for every budget

  • ClouviderClouvider Member, Provider

    @netguy Your privacy is your right, your business privacy is not. As long as you don't do business you can hide your details, no one will mind, however when you are doing business there is no such thing like hiding address.

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  • MrXMrX Member
    edited June 2015

    Depends on how exactly they define commercial activity and how well it is enforced, but the idea itself sounds reasonable.

    There is no good enough reason for a business to hide behind private whois. Spam can be handled with high accuracy, calls can be filtered, physical post can be set on fire, and so on.

  • 4n0nx4n0nx Member

    Clouvider said: Your privacy is your right, your business privacy is not.

    wat

    Law in many countries already regulates what information you have to display on your website. I would use whois privacy even as a legit company. Identity theft (craigslist prank lel) and spam are annoying.

    (((o(゚▽゚)o))) If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy. (((o(゚▽゚)o)))

    ヽ(`Д´)ノ Everyone should run Tor on their idle servers.

  • ClouviderClouvider Member, Provider

    @4n0nx agree, the SPAM from whois obtained emails is really annoying. This could be worked out better actually.

    ICANN is not doing anything new. For example, here in the UK Nominet already displays all data in whois when the domain is registered for the business (commercial use by corporation or a 'self-employed' person).

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  • I think they mean .com domains. I only reg .net and .org ones, even .info.
    It depends on how it is implemented. If everyone is considered guilty until proven innocent and all privacy whois is removed until you prove you do not monetize your sites in any way, then we have a problem. Otherwise, nothing will change, unless they apply to .com by default, even then, I have no issue, there are few of those used for personal reasons only.

    Extremist conservative user, I wish to preserve human and civil rights, free speech, freedom of the press and worship, rule of law, democracy, peace and prosperity, social mobility, etc. Now you can draw your guns.

  • netguynetguy Member

    rm_ said: Oh so that must be why the Russian TLD has mandatory full whois privacy for all personal domains.

    Also the Chinese TLD seems to be the same (tried whois on many .cn domains, none show street address or phone number of the owner).

    It seems good. But it's a mirage. Do you try to register a russian domain .ru? You have to fill in your passport data, it's the simplest variant. Some russian registrar require to send your passport scan. It's not hardly. The nightmare is coming when you want to transfer your domain to another registrar. You have to go to your registrar office with your passport or send a notarize paper letter to your registrar by ordinary mail. If you are living in Siberia would you like to go to Moscow to transfer your domain?

    The latest Russian legislation is very restrictive and your data may be open without court decision, your domain registration may be frozen and you may be under trial. A lot of the government authorities may do so. And Yes, Whois is private. China is the similar.

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