People upset about non-consensus proposal to forbid whois privacy on sites conducting commerce.
About 3,000 people and groups have submitted comments to ICANN during its comment period on privacy and proxy services.
An ICANN working group proposed a number of requirements on privacy and proxy services. The proposal that is drawing the most comments is just a minority proposal at this time: a prohibition on using privacy services for sites that conduct commerce.
The proposed prohibition on using privacy for domains used in commerce is backed by groups that have their own commercial interest in making the information public: DomainTools, MarkMonitor, Facebook and LegitScript.
I’m personally opposed to a prohibition on whois privacy for commercial sites. There are reasons that privacy makes sense. For example, a company might be leasing the domain name and the whois information might be in the name of the lessor, who should not be contacted about customer service issues. These websites might have contact information on the site rather than in whois, which is where most consumers will look, anyway.
It’s worth noting that sites with whois proxy services can still get an SSL certificate.
The majority of the 3,000 comments appear to be form submissions from RespectOurPrivacy.com, a site promoted by NameCheap and publicized by Electronic Frontier Foundation. While numbers matter, I suspect that unique comments are likely to carry more weight. (Another site for submitting a comment is: savedomainprivacy.org.)
There are other substantive issues in the proposals that actually have consensus, and hopefully people will consider these issues as well.
You can submit a comment by July 7 by sending an email to email@example.com. I’d recommend reading this first.