Input to Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services Who on the EWG Specializes in Abuse of the Whois Data?

Kathy Kleiman kathy at
Thu Aug 22 10:57:53 UTC 2013

/*We submit the following comments (below and attached) to the EWG.*//*

*/Kathy Kleiman
Tamir Israel
Milton Mueller
Roy Balleste
Robin Gross
Avri Doria
Marie-Laure Lemineur
Edward Morris
All members of the NCSG/*


*/Who on the EWG Specializes in Abuse of the Whois Data?/*

As we look down the list of the members of the EWG, we see a number of 
people who use the Whois data -- regularly and on a daily basis. But 
what we */do not see /*is people who work with */abuse of the Whois data 
regularly and on a daily basis. /*


Who on the EWG brings to the work the day-to-day */abuse of the Whois 
data/*, not only to spam, but to stalk, harass, intimidate, threaten, 
fight, bully and even jail or worse?

Who on the EWG knows firsthand the threats that have come from large 
companies, large law firms and large governments who seek to exploit 
their positions as competitors and dictators to intimidate, harass, 
disclose and threaten smaller companies, entrepreneurs, organizations 
and individuals?Who has seen the speakers driven off the Internet, the 
families threatened and the bad acts exposed -- including by competitors 
and dictators?

We in the NCSG strongly call on the EWG to STOP its current work and 
return to first principles -- to identify not only the uses of Whois, 
but the abuses as well.

We note that studies of Whois data will NOT provide this data (as we 
were intimately involved in drafting these studies). However, to balance 
the array of trademark attorneys and trademark representatives, we call 
on the EWG to hear about the qualitative experiences of those who have 
worked firsthand in Whois abuse and are easily available within the ICAN 
community.They include:

-Kathryn Kleiman (co-founder of the Domain Name Rights and Noncommercial 
Users Constituency based on her anger after massive abuses of Whois data)

-Wendy Seltzer, founder of the Chilling Effects Project, originally at 
the Electronic Frontier Foundation and now hosted at Harvard's Berkman 
Center for Internet & Society (including letters sent that go far beyond 
normal protocol to threaten, harass, malign, and manipulate domain name 
Registrants largely exploiting the large-small imbalance and the threats 
that can reach Registrants and intimidate them to feel endangered in 
their homes)

-John Berryhill, an attorney who has represented numerous maligned and 
threatened Registrants in UDRP/domain name dispute proceedings and 
received more findings of "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" than any other 
attorney (a finding that the trademark owner abused the process of the 
UDRP).John Berryhill knows firsthand the abuse of the Whois data to 
threaten, intimidate and harass Registrants.

-Other attorneys who represent Registrants.

*/We call on the EWG to put together a panel to meet with it (in person 
or by telephone) at the meeting in /**/Washington/**//**/DC/**/next week 
or at its next scheduled meeting.This is an issue that should not be 
further ignored. /*

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