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Friday, February 03, 2006


The Purpose of WHOIS

In mid-January the "Preliminary Task Force Report on the Purpose of Whois and of the Whois Contacts" was posted for public comment. As has become typical, no comments thus far have been submitted. The public usually ignores the work of GNSO task forces because they have come to realize that Task Force work-product is always shoddy, unrepresentative, and reflects only the views of a very few special interest groups; the broader internet community is never invited to participate in these bodies (as was formerly possible when Working Groups were a reality).

So, why should the public provide commentary that will merely be "noted" and then be promptly disregarded by Task Force members? Most of us have decided not to comment directly (as it serves no purpose), but rather to comment by way of our own blogs. Karl Auerbach has a nice commentary on this report over at his Cavebear blog. His conclusion: "As a whole, the document is worthless. Only the Non-Commercial constituency approaches the questions based on a principled analysis; the other groups are simply making self-aggrandizing assertions." I encourage you to read Karl's comments in their entirety, and to start thinking about a review of ICANN's GNSO processes that have completely eliminated public non-constituent participation.

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