OECD to ICANN: Enforce WHOIS provisions.

George Kirikos has sent a pointer to a report about the OECD’s activities with respect to WHOIS accuracy: The organization’s secretary-general has sent a letter to Stuart Lynn (and a copy to the GAC’s chair). In that letter, the OECD points ICANN …

George Kirikos has sent a pointer to a report about the OECD’s activities with respect to WHOIS accuracy: The organization’s secretary-general has sent a letter to Stuart Lynn (and a copy to the GAC’s chair). In that letter, the OECD points ICANN to Ben Edelman’s study of invalid WHOIS entries, and to its own experience with losing ocde.org. ICANN is urged to require the registrars in question, in particular NameScout, to cease sponsoring patently false registrations which they maintain.

In the subsequent discussion on the GA list, Rick Wesson pointed out that [i]t is a completely valid reaction to use inaccurate information in a whois entry to avoid spam/uce and other marketing liturature, I get at lease on peace of junk mail per day sent to addresses listed in a whois database. In a different branch of the discussion, Karl Auerbach suggested that [t]he interests of a few trademark owners is hardly a reason to use a system – DNS whois – that is highly susceptable to false or erroneous data and, when accurate, is a major violation of privacy. In response to this, George Kirikos suggested a “Legal Contact” role (which could be the ISP, Technical Contact, the Registrant, or someone else the Registrant chooses to use) who is held legally responsible for problems originating from a domain, with accurate info that IS in the WHOIS for that contact? I think that’s all people ultimately need to reach, someone who is responsible.

Allan Liska, in response, suggested to just use the domain’s technical contact field for this function. In a follow-up to this message, George Kirikos suggests DMCA-like safe harbour provisions for the person taking this role.