Could Closed Room TPP And OECD Deals Could Mean End to Whois Privacy

EFF logoPrivacy proxy services used by registrants are under threat following proposals in the Trans Pacific Partnership and from “a new revision of the OECD E-commerce Recommendation that would require domain name registration information to be made publicly available for websites that are promoting or engaged in commercial transactions with consumers,” according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

And this, also according to the EFF, when ICANN’s GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group looked like it would “accept that privacy services should remain generally available, including by those who use their domain names commercially.”

Both of these changes are being pushed by the United States with the backing of corporate interests, particularly those in the entertainment industries.

The secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed trade agreement between 12 countries – Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam – “has just ridden roughshod over that entire debate (at least for country-code top-level domains such as .us, .au and .jp), by cementing in place rules (QQ.C.12) that countries must provide ‘online public access to a reliable and accurate database of contact information concerning domain-name registrants.'”

“The same provision also requires countries to adopt an equivalent to ICANN’s flawed Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), despite the fact that this controversial policy is overdue for a formal review by ICANN, which might result in the significant revision of this policy. Where would this leave the TPP countries, that are locked in to upholding a UDRP-like policy for their own domains for the indefinite future?

“The TPP’s prescription of rules for domain names completely disregards the fact that most country code domain registries have their own, open, community-driven processes for determining rules for managing domain name disputes. More than that, this top-down rulemaking on domain names is in direct contravention of the U.S. administration’s own firmly-stated commitment to uphold the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance. Obviously, Internet users cannot trust the administration that it means what it says when it gives lip-service to multi-stakeholder governance — and that has ramifications that go even deeper than this terrible TPP deal.”

These proposed agreements go against everything that ICANN has sought to achieve through its attempts at improving accountability with its multi-stakeholder model.

For more information see:

The Final Leaked TPP Text Is All That We Feared
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/final-leaked-tpp-text-all-we-feared

U.S. Bypasses ICANN Debates on Domain Privacy with Closed Room Deals at the OECD and TPP
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/us-bypasses-icann-debates-domain-privacy-closed-room-deals-oecd-and-tpp

Domain Registrars Have to Ask ICANN’s Permission to Comply With Laws Protecting Your Privacy
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/domain-registrars-have-ask-icanns-permission-comply-laws-protecting-your-privacy

Voluntary Practices and Rights Protection Mechanisms: Whitewashing Censorship at ICANN
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/10/voluntary-practices-and-rights-protection-mechanisms-whitewashing-censorship-icann