U.S. Bureaucrats to Private Domain Owners: Show Us Your Underwear

I received an interesting message in my inbox this afternoon regardingsome new policy on privately registered .US domain names. Apparentlyprivacy is now a no-no, and the excuse has to do with making the domainowner public in a public Internet. Too many Joe Six-Packs causing troublewith their web sites—so how about we simply make everyone pull theirpants down, just in case someone’s concealing an online firearm, so to speak. You’ve gotnothing to hide, right?

I especially like this quote from a Slashdot.org post:

Requiring people to publish information about a domain is sort of apresumption of guilt…. ‘If you’re innocent, you have nothing to hide!’ Well, Iam innocent and I have plenty to hide…like where I live. If I want to host amail or a web server, my responsibility is to make sure I can be contacted incase of problems. My responsibility is not and never was to tell you exactlywho and where I am, no matter what ICANN happens to think.

I sometimes wonder about everyone’s “God-given first-amendment right toreceive spam and unsolicited junk mail,” which is about all our public listingsseem good for. Not once have I ever been contacted by a long-lost relative,high school reunion organizer, or genuinely-enthused editor wishing to talkbusiness. Sure, I keep my administrative contact information up-to-date,that’s what it’s for—but that’s only what it’s for: administration purposes

In a day and age when everyone is talking increased security, it seems ludicrous that we are actually revealing more about our personal lives thanever. In our passports (memory chips), through our daily grocery habits(club cards)…and in our web sites.

Can you spell “lobbying?”