ICANN wants to take away your rights to use WHOIS privacy

The internet’s governing body ICANN is thinking of another controversial move, after the introduction of an (email) address verification process that can make your website go dark. Just this time, it’s an attack on people’s privacy, and that’s something you shouldn’t take lightly.

From savedomainprivacy.org:

Under the proposed new rules, Providers would be required to monitor your use of domain names and websites. Providers could be forced to terminate your privacy service and be required to publish your contact data in WHOIS. Likewise, Providers could be required to give your private contact details to anyone complaining that your website violates their trademark or copyright. None of these scenarios would require a court order, search warrant, or due process of any kind.

It’s important to emphasize that Providers do not want criminals to abuse these services to hide their online activities from law enforcement. But some of the proposed changes would treat all users equally, regardless of their intent. For millions of legitimate users, these services are no more suspicious than getting an unlisted telephone number.

It’s the same people who already thought you could prevent crime by requiring domains to be verified which only resulted in innocent people having their websites disabled. Nothing else.

And we will see exactly the same thing happening if these new whois privacy policies are introduced. People who absolutely need to remain private could have their contact details exposed by anyone—without helping to catch criminals.

If you think this is a not-so-great (i.e. stupid) idea as much as we do, please make your voice heard to ICANN now.