[council] United States Government Contribution to the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) on WHOIS

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Tue Jun 27 18:30:04 UTC 2006

Hello All,

I have transcribed the paper hand-out that I received at the end of the
GAC/GNSO meeting on WHOIS on Monday 26 June 2006 from Suzanne Sene in
the interests of making sure that those that were not physically present
could see the contribution.  Any errors in transcription are mine.

Bruce Tonkin

United States Government Contribution to the Government Advisory
Committee (GAC) 
and the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) on WHOIS

The United States Government (USG) would like to officially express its
views on the GNSO's WHOIS Task Force report dated March 15, 2006 and the
April 12, 2006 vote on the definition of the purpose of WHOIS.

The USG views a public gTLD WHOIS as critical to ensure that
international and domestic agencies, businesses and consumers have
continued timely and unrestricted access to accurate and complete WHOIS
information for the stability and security of the Internet and
international community.

A public gTLD WHOIS is essential to:

* assist each nation's law enforcement agencies, both civil and
criminal, in resolving cases that include the use of the Internet,
including child pornography, violent crimes, missing persons, wire
fraud, cyber crime, consumer fraud, identify theft, phishing, and other
violations of consumer privacy and data security;

* combat intellectual property infringement and theft by being able to
identify cybersquatters, trademark infringers and counterfeiters,
copyright pirates and other individuals engaged in intellectual property
rights violations;

* support Internet network operators that are responsible for the
day-to-day operation, security and stability of the Internet;

* protect the rights of consumers by facilitating, for example, their
identification of legitimate online businesses; and

* Assist businesses to investigate fraud, phishing, and other law
violations that affect their business interests and interests of their

The USG also recognizes a need to protect the privacy interests of
individuals and, like many other nations, protects the privacy of
residents of the United States through enforcement of applicable
national laws.

Based on the foregoing, the USG believes that Formulation 1 of the
Purposes of WHOIS data identified in the "Final Task Force Report on the
Purpose of WHOIS and of the Whois Contacts", is problematic as it does
not reflect the range of public policy interests of a fully functional
WHOIS regime.

Specifically, the USG is concerned that Formulation 1, which advances a
narrow, technical definition of the purpose of WHOIS, would prevent the
range of legitimate uses of Whois databases and impede law enforcement's
ability to prosecute crimes, prevent consumer fraud, and protect
consumer privacy by allowing perpetrators to hide behind the shield of

The USG will continue to work through the GAC to achieve a consensus and
understanding with the GNSO on this very critical issue.

GAC Representative - USA
June 2006

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