It’s strange how many of the rules and regulations that threaten our privacy on the Internet come in the form of anti-piracy measures. ICANN has a new proposal under review that would completely change how WHOIS protection services operate. While the entertainment industry has put its full support behind this proposal, pretty much everyone else universally opposes it due to numerous privacy concerns.
A new ICANN proposal currently under review suggests various changes to how WHOIS protection services should operate. The changes are welcomed by copyright holders, as they will make it easier to identify the operators of pirate sites, who can then be held responsible. However, several domain registrars, digital rights groups and the public at large are less enthusiastic. They fear that the changes will also prevent many legitimate website owners from using private domain registrations. To allow the various parties to weigh in ICANN launched a public consultation, and the overwhelming number of responses over the past several weeks show that domain name privacy is a topic that many people have taken to heart. At the time of writing ICANN has received well over 11,000 comments, most of which encourage the organization to keep private domain registrations available.