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Privacy for Domain Owners? Who Needs It?
February 5, 2004 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Seven years in jail and a $150,000 fine. That's what domain owners will get if HR 3574 makes its way into law. HR 3574 will require all domain owners to make their current home address, telephone number and email address publicly known. Mr. Haughey's stalkers need no longer fear how to find him.
posted by ed (27 comments total)

 
I don't want to get into the issue of privacy and/or the need to know, but if I am able to keep my home phone unlisted, why should I have to give it if I run a site from my home? Do all congressmen list their home phones and addresses?
posted by Postroad at 3:50 PM on February 5, 2004


And, like, who are they gonna hire to verify this information is all correct before sending one to jail if it's not? Verisign?
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:02 PM on February 5, 2004


why should I have to give it if I run a site from my home
What if your site is on Blogger or similar sites. Add, your not updating from home systems or you're wifi-ing it.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:07 PM on February 5, 2004


this is the sound of me moving my domains out of the country
posted by mishaco at 4:07 PM on February 5, 2004


This is the sound of me investing in PO Box and trailer companies.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:12 PM on February 5, 2004


Do all congressmen list their home phones and addresses?

If they do, we might want to underscore the point by contacting them there.
posted by namespan at 4:15 PM on February 5, 2004


What if I don't have a phone? ;-P
posted by mischief at 4:21 PM on February 5, 2004


Does this mean Domains by Proxy (which lets you hide your details) will go out of business or be much busier?
posted by mathowie at 4:24 PM on February 5, 2004


this is the sound of me moving my domains out of the country

I already host a number of my domains using GANDI in France. Would I be affected?

It's not that I care right now if anyone kind find domain names I buy. It's that if I change my mind about that, I don't want to have to care.
posted by weston at 4:24 PM on February 5, 2004


[Sigh.]

As many people who responded to the Slashdot mention of this news have explained, this law only increases the punishment of a web-related crime if the criminal used fraudulent identification for the WHOIS info.

In other words, worry about this if you plan on creating a website and committing some crimes with it. Otherwise, you can still safely (and legally) put as much bogus info in your DNS entry as you like.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:34 PM on February 5, 2004


If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide, yeah.
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:41 PM on February 5, 2004


I think it's more along the lines of "if you aren't doing anything wrong, feel free to hide!".
posted by mr_roboto at 4:47 PM on February 5, 2004


From the actual bill: "The maximum imprisonment otherwise provided by law for a felony offense shall be increased by 7 years if, in furtherance of that offense, the defendant knowingly provided material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar...."

Sorry, folks.
posted by ed at 4:55 PM on February 5, 2004


Also, anyone “acting in concert with the violator” or “maintaining or renewing such registration” would also be guilty.

Mhhhh..so let's see..somebody steals my credit card and personal data, registers a trademark infringing domain with them, takes a few minutes.

1) If I notice that my card was stolen (hard to do with all the online transactions) I can report it stolen and I'd be clear of troubles (in theory). If then the card company doesn't immediately let the registrar know about the fact my card was stolen, I guess they're acting in concert with the infringer ?

2) If I don't notice my card is stolen, but an infringing domain was registered with my data and cc , I guess I'll have the RIAA over my ass in a few days. To stay clear of dangers the registrar is not likely to try to defend me....but rather to blame me so the nastyboys at RIAA will stop bugging them.

Maybe I should get definitely get rid of credit cards, I guess cash is still king.
posted by elpapacito at 5:21 PM on February 5, 2004


As many people who responded to the Slashdot mention of this news have explained, this law only increases the punishment of a web-related crime if the criminal used fraudulent identification for the WHOIS info.

In other words, worry about this if you plan on creating a website and committing some crimes with it. Otherwise, you can still safely (and legally) put as much bogus info in your DNS entry as you like.
Bullshit. Suppose you run an online sex-toy business. That's normally legal. Some backwater town writes up laws making sex toys illegal. Your company ships there, the postal inspector finds out. They now have the opportunity to add an extra seven years to your sentence.

Suppose you have a website that acts as a tracker for legal downloads. Somebody uploads something illegal and against your own policy. Again, there's an opportunity for an extra seven years.
posted by substrate at 5:59 PM on February 5, 2004


Do all congressmen list their home phones and addresses?

Actually, I think so. I believe all elected officials must make their home addresses and phone numbers public.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:13 PM on February 5, 2004


Remind me never to turn to metafilter for legal advice. Jeez.
posted by techgnollogic at 6:17 PM on February 5, 2004


What if I don't have a phone? ;-P

What if I don't have a home? I know a couple of legally-homeless web designers now...
posted by yeoz at 6:19 PM on February 5, 2004


Domains by Proxy. I love how technology runs circles around legislation action.
posted by stbalbach at 6:50 PM on February 5, 2004


But would it require correcting incorrect information supplied before the law is passed? If not, maybe registering now and prepaying for as long a period as you can afford is one way to go.
posted by trondant at 7:23 PM on February 5, 2004


substrate, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but your example doesn't work. In such a case, the person ordering the offending material from a legal source and having it distributed to their address (in a "backwater" town) would be guilty, not the company shipping it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:26 PM on February 5, 2004


Civil_Disobedient: Wasn't Tommy Chong just placed in jail because his Internet company was shipping drug paraphernalia? I am asking this out of ignorance, obviously, but isn't that scenario similar to the illegal (in not-so backwaters Texas, substrate, don't forget that lady who was arrested for that recently) sex toys scenario?

I guess my fear is that this bill seems to open up the possibility of "legal in one state but illegal in ours" abuse - and, not to go into too much detail, that whole "slippery slope" thing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:49 PM on February 5, 2004


(just to stress again - I really am curious about this, c_d, and not just asking about it for the sake of being a weisenheimer)
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:50 PM on February 5, 2004


"being a weisenheimer" ?
posted by Pericles at 5:16 AM on February 6, 2004


As someone who was stalked once before, the thought of making my home address public to whoever may find my personal site is horrifying. Absolutely horrifying.
posted by greengrl at 5:51 AM on February 6, 2004


Oh, I should note I was stalked back in 1990, before the web was being used by the public. It had nothing to do with my online presence.
posted by greengrl at 5:57 AM on February 6, 2004


suppose you sign up with a forign registry, like eNom?
posted by delmoi at 3:45 PM on February 6, 2004


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