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13 Feb 2011

Domains and the freedom to speak ICANN

For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. This has led to endless skirmishes about the WHOIS service, one side wanting to abolish it or make it as hard as possible to get info about registrants, the other wanting ICANN to enforce the widely ignored rules that every domain is supposed to have accurate contact info.

Back in 1995, before the current shape of the net was clear, the domains as speech argument sort of made sense. It wasn't clear how dominant the web would be, and search engines weren't widely available, so many people still thought that the DNS would be used as the Internet's directory, an approach that top-level domains like .MUSEUM and .TRAVEL tried with a total lack of success. But it's not 1995 any more.

See more ...


posted at: 00:47 :: permanent link to this entry :: 3 comments
Stable link is https://www.jl.ly/ICANN/not95.html

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CAUCE
Criminal Abuse of Domain Names: Bulk Registration and Contact Information Access
42 days ago

A keen grasp of the obvious
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349 days ago

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Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

Network Abuse Clearinghouse



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