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ICANN Issues Affirmation of Commitment, Seeks Comments on WHOIS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the corporation that coordinates the assignment of domain names to Internet Protocol addresses, has signed an affirmation of commitment with the Department of Commerce. ICANN also commits to enforcing its existing WHOIS policy, subject to applicable laws. The WHOIS database, originally intended to allow network administrators to find and fix problems with minimal hassle to maintain the stability of the Internet, now exposes domain name registrants' personally identifiable information to spammers, stalkers, criminal investigators, and copyright enforcers. ICANN's preliminary report shows that about 15 to 25 percent of domain names have been registered in a manner that limits the amount of personal information available to the public through WHOIS queries. A call for public comments on WHOIS is open until November 6, 2009.

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