After much debate, the proposal to change the existing Whois service was defeated in an ICANN meeting held last week. But, does it really matter? 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 have already been addressed by in the marketplace. Leading registrars added Whois proxy registration services to let people conceal their identification from the general public and most 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.’"