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Whoisn't: Blocking identities on the Whois database

This past week, a Whois task force met to discuss whether or not to keep registration information private. The current system started back in the 1980s when the Internet was used primarily by a small group academics and government researchers who already knew each others' personal information. (You've likely used Network Solutions, which maintains a slick interface to the Whois database, to search for registrants in the past.)

An international task force is now lobbying for a substantial change that would completely hide registrants' information. Blocking personal information would obviously make it much more difficult for journalists -- not to mention police officers and lawyers -- to contact web site owners.

Hearings are scheduled next week in Lisbon before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which is the international organization that oversees Internet addresses.

ICANN's most recent announcement on the proposed changes
Summary of previous Whois announcements made by ICANN

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