Feeds

Whois reform: ICANN says let's run more tests

You know, we shouldn't rush into anything

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

ICANN 2007 Los Angeles Quick, people: what takes seven years? Biblical plagues? Itches?

If you guessed an ICANN policy development process - that's a PDP to you, luddite - you are correct. ICANN today officially cut off the oxygen to its Whois reform PDP after seven years in favor of... well, no one's quite sure, yet. Something must have happened - after all, we're not hanging out at LAX for the charming scenery and the cool jumbos.

Beating that moribund horse

This is the 23rd consecutive meeting that ICANN has had the Whois privacy debate on its official agenda and yet, somehow, the Whois database lurks stubbornly out there much in the fashion it always has.

The scope of the debate about the Whois database - personal privacy rights versus corporate profits and law enforcement interests - hasn't changed either. The Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) - bit of a misnomer, since it represents only owners of intellectual property, not consumers - fired the first salvo across the bow on Monday at the IPC Whois Informational Briefing.

The briefing allowed the IPC to present its usual arguments about the importance of the Whois database to law enforcement efforts and consumer protection - and, oh yeah, it's cheaper for corporations and industry groups like the RIAA to track down real or imagined troublemakers.

One of the main thrusts of this intense lobbying effort has been to emphasize the importance of Whois information to law enforcement, since the IPC is well aware of the low esteem in which much of the public holds its paymasters.

To this end, they trotted out a real-life FBI agent to testify to the importance of Whois to his investigative work, and to that of private parties. Most investigations into phishing, for example, are conducted by private parties, rather than law enforcement, and a tiered access system as some have proposed would make it significantly more difficult for private parties to pursue phishers.

One can debate the extent to which private parties should engage in law enforcement, but there is no doubt that a more restricted Whois database will cost money. Of course, the Whois database is no law enforcement panacea, and at times creates more problems than it solves - considerable amounts of spam have been traced to the Whois database as well. There are also inaccuracies, although forged Whois information may sometimes lead at least to the innocent victims.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to go straight to the offending IP address, we asked?

Well, they frequently switch IP addresses, came the response - although it seems that anyone clever enough to continually switch IP addresses would be unlikely to leave much helpful information in the Whois database.

The argument that subpoenas interfere with the need to move quickly in response to phishing attacks is more troubling, particularly in light of the alarming speed with which the FBI is able to get information from the telecoms these days. We don't suspend established constitutional procedure because a burglar might commit another burglary before he (or she) gets caught.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?