Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Privacy & ICANN (like oil & water)

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Vittorio Bertola writes:

So, may I please ask who is going to deal with modifying the Whois requirements of the RAA so to make them compliant with international privacy standards, and when? I really need a convincing reply to this question.

The widespread feeling among user constituencies (but also among those privacy authorities that I know directly) is that ICANN is actively working to prevent privacy standards from being implemented in Whois. Rather than doing so (may I remember that we even got a written request by the Council of European Privacy Authorities two years ago?), we are releasing policy proposals like #2, that at a first glance seems written to provide ICANN with a way to escape the right of sovereign countries to regulate the domain name business as they like.

I must confess that seen from the outside - be it an NGO which has never been involved in ICANN before, or a senior governmental officer that is only interested in the political part of our mandate - this process looks like the proof that ICANN is unable to meet its mandate properly, and to produce sound policy that keeps into account the needs of all stakeholders and the global public interest. Putting forward recommendations that only address accuracy but not privacy would just provide more evidence of this.

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