Sunday, August 01, 2004

Journalists need to lobby against this

I just discovered this on Network Solutions' Web site. The company is lobbying against including most "Who Is" information in publicly accessible databases that detail who owns a Web site, etc.

Network Solutions, one of the largest managers of domain name registration, already is providing a service that lets you "mask" much of this personal information by creating dummy info. (link)

Journalism and librarian/information organizations need to get together and lobby against this. This is one of the few ways to begin to verify information crediblity on the Internet. This information needs to be available.

Network Solutions is lobbying ICANN, the Internet governing body, to eliminate the need to provide this information for "mass" registrations -- in other words the ones done by aggregators such as Network Solutions. So unless I'm reading it wrong, this isn't a government regulatory matter and could happen in relative secret unless there is some publicity.

I am sympathetic to the arguments about spam, misuse of private info, etc., but the Internet has become too important a source to take away tools that help the public make judgments about the validity of its sources.


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