Go Daddy Stands Up to Government's Draconian Anti-Privacy Measures

April 4, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Domain registrar and web hosting services provider GoDaddy.com is taking on the government after the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration ("NTIA"), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, decided that domain names bearing the .US extension could no longer be made private.

GoDaddy today announced the debut of http://www.TheDangerofNoPrivacy.com, their web site devoted to raising public awareness of a government’s unilateral decision to eliminate private registrations for certain Internet domain names without affording the public any opportunity to comment.

If the decision is allowed to stand, domain names bearing the .US extension could no longer be made private. Private registrations, which are offered by a variety of domain name registrars, keep the domain name owner's personal information, i.e., name, address, phone number, email address, etc., from the publicly accessible WHOIS database. (The domain name registrar providing the privacy service is responsible for retaining the domain name owner's personal information.)

"There are numerous, legitimate reasons why individuals wish to keep their personal, identifying information out of the WHOIS database," said Bob Parsons, president and founder of Go Daddy. "For example, private registrations protect domain name owners from stalkers and harassers, protect against spam and phishing email intrusions, and deter identity and credit card theft. They also allow people to operate a business out of their home safely, and to speak anonymously -- a First Amendment right confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Nor does the NTIA's mandate "grandfather" existing .US domain name owners. Owners of private .US domain name registrations purchased prior to the edict will be forced to either forfeit their privacy, or, relinquish their domain name entirely, no later than January 26, 2006.

To encourage awareness as well as foster discussion and debate over the NTIA's decision, Go Daddy launched http://www.thedangerofnoprivacy.com. Visitors to the site are encouraged to sign a petition urging the NTIA to reconsider its decision eliminating private .US domain name registrations. Petitioners may express their individual comments on the petition, and are also provided a means for contacting their U.S. Representatives and Senators via fax or email about the matter. Within the first 48 hours after the site was launched, over 8,500 people signed the petition.

"The NTIA has wholly disregarded the needs and desires of thousands of law abiding citizens to keep their personal identifying information out of the
WHOIS database," Parsons added. "This is no different than forcing every telephone company in America to reveal the details of their unlisted telephone number registries. Worst of all, the NTIA has refused to disclose the motivation behind the decision to eliminate privacy protection, and has further refused to reveal why it failed to hold any public hearing or elicit comments of those affected," Parsons continued. "This decision deprives individuals of their Constitutional right to privacy. It is not the way our founding fathers intended our government to work."

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