I got an email from my preferred domain registrar yesterday. Bob Parsons of GoDaddy wrote about the news that the National Telecommunications and Information Association have decided to disallow private registrations of domains with the .us top-level domain:
Today I have the unfortunate responsibility of informing you that there has been a decision made by bureaucrats of a Federal agency that takes away your right to privacy as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
This decision was unilaterally made by the National Telecommunications and Information Association (“NTIA”) without hearings that would determine the impact on those affected, and delivered without notice — in short, the NTIA decision was made without due process of any kind. This is exactly how our government is not supposed to work.
The effect of this decision is to disallow new private domain name registrations on .US domain names. In addition, if you already own a private .US domain name registration, you will be forced to forfeit your privacy no later than January 26, 2006. By that time, you will need to choose between either making your personal information available to anyone who wants to see it, or giving up your right to that domain name.
I personally find it ironic that our right to .US privacy was stripped away, without due process, by a federal government agency — an agency that should be looking out for our individual rights. For the NTIA to choose the .US extension is the ultimate slap in your face. .US is the only domain name that is specifically intended for Americans (and also those who have a physical presence in our great country). So think about this for a moment. These bureaucrats stripped away the privacy that you're entitled to as an American, on the only domain name that says that you are an American. I am outraged by this — you should be also.
I think Bob has made a legitimate point. Government institutions are gradually taking more on more of our liberties away from us. For example, I've recently been angry about the proposal to “regulate indecency” on cable television. I pay for cable TV because I want to see things more suitable for my age. I always have the option of switching channels, or turning the box off completely.