Proposed NCUC statement on Whois notification

Milton Mueller mueller at SYR.EDU
Sun Jan 2 04:15:49 CET 2005

Hello, please indicate assent or disagreement with this statement over
the next 10 days. If you disagree, please propose specific modifications
that would make it acceptable. --MM

Draft of 2 Jan 2005

Noncommercial domain name users welcome efforts to ensure that domain
name registrants are better informed about the publication of their
private contact information via the Whois system. Public, anonymous
access to private contact information poses a number of risks to
registrants and may violate their rights to privacy. Until this
situation is reformed, conspicuous notification is essential.

The text we reviewed contains an error. Under point 3, the sentence
"Registrars must obtain a separate acknowledgement from registrars that
they have read and understand these disclosures" should read "Registrars
must obtain a separate acknowledgement from _registrants_ that they have
read and understand these disclosures."

NCUC strongly supports the requirement to set aside the notification
and to require a distinct and separate acknowledgement from registrants
that they are aware of the exposure of their private information. We
observe, however, that for customers registering multiple domain names
in the same transaction, only one such acknowledgement should be

We strongly support the statement "The wording of the notice provided
by registrars should, to the extent feasible, be uniform." Because of
the highly competitive nature of the registrar business, registrars have
an incentive to downplay or obscure the privacy implications of
registering a domain name because they fear it may deter customers from
signing up. The specific wording of the notification, therefore, should
not be left to the discretion of registrars. We suggest that the wording
be developed by staff subject to the approval of the GNSO Council, and
translated as literally as possible into different languages by an
independent party. This language should then be incorporated into the
Registrar Accreditation Agreement.

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