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Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Comments on the Purpose of the ICANN WHOIS

Comments are starting to arrive on the "Purpose of WHOIS"; the following is from the ALA:

The American Library Association strongly supports the first formulation of
the purpose for Whois.

A basic tenent of privacy law is that data collectors must collect only the
minimum personal information necessary to achieve the specific purposes of that
organization. By no means should personal information be collected simply
because third parties might find it useful for their own purposes. The purpose of
the Whois database is to assist with the technical administration of the
Internet, and nothing else. Even if those ancillary uses were deemed worthwhile
from some perspectives (and that, itself, is open to debate), collection and
retention of such personally identifiable information creates a serious potential
for misuse, fraud, and intimidation of speech..

The American Library Association has long stood for the privacy rights of
information seekers and providers, including the right of anonymous speech,
regardless of media. Thus, as key providers of Internet services to the public, we
are specifically committed to privacy rights with regard to speech on the
Internet. We believe that, while managing the technology of the Internet , ICANN
has an obligation to minimize the impacts of its technical decisions on broader
social policy issues.

The Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library
Association is a member of the NCUC.


Fred W. Weingarten
Office for Information Technology Policy
American Library Association

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