Tom Sucks

Everything sucks, but we can make it suck less

id.us – the solution to our privacy problems May 1, 2005

Filed under: General — Tom @ 10:56 pm

Some of you may have seen the site Americans Deserve Privacy, created by Bob Parsons, owner of GoDaddy. It’s been mentioned on Slashdot. The premise of the site is that .us domains cannot have a private whois, which means that you have to include your real information in the whois or be breaking the law.

Why is this bad? Spambots trawl whois data, because it’s relatively easy to do. Munging isn’t allowed, and folks who create an email address solely for whois information (and do not publish it elsewhere) report getting spam on that address. This concept isn’t new, it’s been brought up on slashdot before. One needn’t go any further than the first comment to have this mentioned:

I could create a brand new, non-obvious email address on one of my domain accounts and put it in as the Admin Contact for a record I own, and use that email address absolutely nowhere else, and I bet that within three months that email address would be getting buckets full of spam.

Of course, this isn’t the only reason I dislike the whole privacy aspect. Maybe, as mentioned in comment 12099357, people do like the ability of sleeping well at night…

Requiring people to publish information about a domain is sort of a presumption of guilt….”if you’re innocent, you have nothing to hide!” Well, I am innocent and I have plenty to hide…like where I live. If I want to host an mail or a web server, my responsibility is to make sure I can be contacted in case of problems. My responsibility is not and never was to tell you exactly who and where I am, no matter what ICANN happens to think.

So what’s the solution? I think we could easily rip off Austrailia’s “id.au”, which I had heard about through Lachy and Hendikins. Currently id.us isn’t in use (it’s held by Neustar), so this could be easily setup. I’m just wondering what others think about this idea.

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