There are new ICANN guidelines being proposed by MarkMonitor and others which may take away your rights to Whois Privacy services. For those of you who do not know what Whois Privacy is, it is a service offered by most registrars which allow you to keep your personal information private when someone is performing a domain Whois Lookup.
Whois Privacy is typically not used to mask the identity of criminals. Instead, it’s main purpose is to keep the registrant’s personal information out of the hands of spammers and scammers. There is no need for these new rules. If you suspect that someone is using a domain name to carry out illegal activities, then get a court order to have their information released the legal way.
There’s no denying that there are isolated cases of criminals using Whois Privacy for the wrong reasons, but the vast majority of domain holders are law-abiding citizens who simply want the option to keep their personal information private and out of the hands of possible wrong-doers.
If you care about Whois Privacy, or at least care about keeping the option there, you may consider sending your message to ICANN via RespectOurPrivacy.com. Namecheap, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Fight for the Future are a few of the organizations leading the fight against this new proposed rule. SaveDomainPrivacy.org is another online petition set up by a group of concerned registrars and privacy service providers.
You can view the proposed rules here: Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Policy (it’s quite lengthy and filled with legal talk)