Input to Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services We Strongly Object to a Centralized Whois/Registrant Data Database; What were Plans B and C?

Kathy Kleiman kathy at
Thu Aug 22 11:21:29 UTC 2013

*//*We submit the following comments (below and attached) to the EWG on 
the issue of a single, Centralized Database.*//*
*/ */Kathy Kleiman
Tamir Israel
Milton Mueller
Roy Balleste
Robin Gross
Avri Doria
Marie-Laure Lemineur/*/*

*/*/Peter Green
Edward Morris
All members of the NCSG/*


*/We Object to a Centralized Whois/Registrant Data Database and Ask the 
EWG to Share its Alternative Plans B and C/*

We do not understand how the EWG arrived at a Centralized Database of 
all Personal Information in the gTLD Domain Name Space -- and 
accordingly we object.

In all our years of working on the Whois issues in the NCUC and NCSG 
(and the conflict dates back to the founding years of ICANN), we never 
envisioned such a dramatic change in the location and availability of 
the data.We raise the following questions that we feel it is incumbent 
on the EWG to answer publicly and fully before moving forward with any 
Centralized Database theme :

a)How has the EWG justified the Centralized Whois database in light of 
the limited scope and mission of ICANN?ICANN was severely criticized in 
the past for plans that took it too deeply into operational activities 
and away from its more limited mandate of management, oversight and 
multistakeholder governance (e.g., the ill-fated DNS-Cert plans of 
2010).In light of ICANN's mission being confirmed as a narrow one, how 
can such a Centralized Database fit?

b)A Centralized Database raises infinite problems for ICANN and the 
ICANN Community. A principal issue is the removal of the personal data 
of the Registrants from the jurisdiction in which it was collected and 
under the laws by which it is protected.

c)A Centralized Database requires a harmonization of laws that does not 
yet exist.Not all law enforcement agencies are equal; not all requests 
are legal; not all allegations are valid.A Chinese government requesting 
the personal data and physical location of a pro-democracy dissenter in 
the US(perhaps one with family still in China) may not be entitled to 
this information under national and international law.

d)A Centalized Database creates a security nightmare as the personal 
data of 120 million+ gTLD Registrants is available for hacking and 
harvesting by those expert in such illegal activities.

e)How have the risks of the Centralized Database been vetted from a 
privacy point of view, a jurisdictional point of view, a security point 
of view, a human rights and freedom of expression point of view?

*/What were Plans B and C?/*


In the shadow of PRISM, the entire world is talking about the failings 
and problems of Centralized Databases which contain treasured personal 
data:security, stability, hacking, internal abuse and external abuse 
concerns all come into play, as well as the separation of personal data 
from its legal and jurisdictional protections.

*/We ask the EWG to openly and fully share what other plans it has been 
considering and evaluation./*

Clearly, the EWG is evaluating certain principles worthy of ICANN 
Community embrace (including the identification and accountability of 
those accessing Registrant data).But this principle, and others proposed 
by the EWG, have many implementations, permutations and variations.

For purposes of accountability and transparency, and for the ICANN 
Community to assist the EWG in this difficult process, we need to know: 
what other plans (e.g., Plans B and C) did the EWG consider in keeping 
with the principles and goals the EWG is recommending?

*/Together we should evaluate whether such Plans B and C offer increased 
benefits and decreased costs and risks compared to the Controversial 
Centralized Database./*


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