NTIA takes away domain privacy

Posted Mar 31, 2005 in Events, Miscellaneous, Technology.

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.


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    I got the same email from Bob Parsons. Do many people use .US domains? I haven't seen many. Still, it's wrong.

    The cable decency argument angers me, too. I don't often watch TV, but when I do, I don't want some crazed parents telling me via an eggshell-treading agency what I can and cannot watch. Let those people pay for customized censorship if they want it; it is an expensive service that I don't want. Don't let them enforce their code of decency on my media channels.

    Posted by Andy Skelton on Mar 31, 2005.

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    I have a .US domain name for Keystone Websites, but it just redirects to

    I'm a big fan of Battlestar Galactica, no stranger to sexual and violent content. The "Parents Television Council" would like to see such things relegated to the middle of the night. They argue that good, wholesome things like "American Idol" (sic) are what we should all be watching.

    Well for the PTC and the FCC, I can honestly say that they can go and fuck themselves, and leave my fucking cable TV alone. I mean, what could be more wholesome than Cartman jerking off a dog and swallowing its semen? (see the Parents Television Council's website for that gem of a clip LOL)

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Mar 31, 2005.

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    I agree that the country is going crazy over the indecency issue. But as far as regulating cable and satellite, that will last until the first time it gets to a courtroom and then will be overturned.

    If it ever even did pass.

    Posted by Stephen Collins on Mar 31, 2005.

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    The conservative moment is gradually eroding away our liberty. The Patriot Act (and its "illegitimate child", the Patriot Act II) removed much of our freedom of movement and rights of privacy. The FCC is gradually taking away our freedom of speech. Individual journalists (in the form of bloggers) are being forced to give up sources to protect big business. Various groups are trying to get the federal constitution amended to define marriage as being between a man and a woman - the list goes on.

    I can't tell you how MAD all this makes me feel. Why can't more of the conservatives be like John McCain, or even "Arnold Vinick" from TV's "The West Wing"?

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Mar 31, 2005.