Internet and e-mail policy and practice
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13 Feb 2011
For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a
running battle about what should be required when one registers domain
names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an
essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to
register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used
for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief,
so the more control, the better. This has led to endless skirmishes
about the WHOIS service, one side wanting to abolish it or make it
as hard as possible to get info about registrants,
the other wanting ICANN to enforce
the widely ignored rules that every domain is supposed to have accurate
Back in 1995, before the current shape of the net was clear, the
domains as speech argument sort
of made sense. It wasn't clear how dominant the web would be, and
search engines weren't widely available, so many people still thought
that the DNS would be used as the Internet's directory, an approach
that top-level domains like .MUSEUM and .TRAVEL tried with a total
lack of success. But it's not 1995 any more.
See more ...
Stable link is https://jl.ly/ICANN/not95.html
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