Washington – Today, NetChoice executive director Steve DelBianco made the following statement in response to the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) council vote against the Operational Point of Contact (OPoC) proposal to change the existing Whois service:

“None of the activists or special interests in this debate is particularly happy with the outcome, which is usually the sign of a good compromise.  The interests of individual users, law enforcement, and privacy advocates are all being considered. 
The fact that this 7-year debate ended without a change to existing policy is a demonstration that the market is working faster to address privacy concerns than ICANN processes ever can. 

Privacy concerns with Whois that were identified years ago have already been addressed by in the marketplace.  In particular, leading registrars added Whois proxy registration services to let people conceal their identification from the general public.  And, most registrars now use technical protections so that spammers can’t harvest email addresses from Whois.

Statements of the initial problem and positions that were staked-out early just don’t match the current situation.  The reality is that a massively multi-stakeholder consensus body like ICANN is very likely to be overtaken by events – particularly by events that happen on ‘Internet Time.'”