Feeds

Telnic.org in limbo

Do tell, dot tel

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

ICANN San Juan 2007 A novel and convenient service on the board for years at ICANN has hit a snag, apparently.

The UK-based .tel service - which stores personal information on DNS itself rather than a web page - received an unfortunate notice from the UK Information Commissioner (IC).

The concept behind the service is somewhat analogous to a stripped down web page, but it only stores the personal data the registrant chooses to keep up for public view. This differs from the "whois" database, inasmuch as it preserves registrant control over personal data. The basic idea is quite clever: one can maintain, in real time, contact information of one's own choosing for quick access by others with Blackberries or similar smart phones. My potential page, burkehansen.tel, for example, could be either a quick business or personal reference contact page.

Well, the "whois" database dispute will have none of that.

The notice from the IC informed the company that, under the data protection laws of the UK, it could not require customers to reveal information in the "whois" database. That in turn would prevent them from utilizing ICANN-accredited registrars, all of which are contractually obliged to provide and publicize "whois" information. Why would they fight over providing personal information for a service whose sole purpose is to publicize personal information, you ask?

It's all about control. The service will not necessarily require users to provide the same information required by "whois", though it makes the usual allowances for law enforcement. Registrants, therefore, could theoretically publish some personal information on their .tel site and still be out of compliance with their "whois" requirements.

Telnic's representative at the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) meeting referred to a somewhat murky, tiered publication service, and the proposal was greeted with considerable derision by the ever-vigilant trademark enforcement crowd. The dispute with the trademark attorneys, as always, concerns money - namely the trademark lobby doesn't want to pay a fee for every records search it conducts.

The trademark lobby gives no quarter on these matters, and although it's a simple contact information service - hard to imagine how serious trademark diminution happens with nothing but email addresses and phone numbers - said lobby is ready to kick the service to the curb, regardless of the seemingly inconsequential damages at stake.

El Reg tried to contact Telnic for technical clarification, but as of time of writing we had not received a response. We'll keep everyone posted. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.