[ppml] Policy Proposal 2003-3: Residential Customer Privacy

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Fri Jul 25 16:08:21 EDT 2003

In a message written on Fri, Jul 25, 2003 at 01:44:02PM -0500, BARGER, DAVE (SBIS) wrote:
> This policy proposal is not intended to allow "organizations" to opt out of
> listing
> contact information.  The proposal is expressly targeted at individuals, not
> organizations.
> The purpose is to protect the individual's privacy, specifically name and
> home address.

I think a change of terms is in order.  This proposal does little to
protect people's privacy.  I suppose some may think of it as doing that,
but that's not the real purpose here.

There are two primary purposes to not list someone like a residential
customer in whois:

1) To prevent data mineing.  Customers don't want to get e-mail, phone
   calls, or junk snail mail because they signed up for internet
   service.  ISP's also don't want to make their entire customer list,
   with contacts, available to other ISP's who now have all they need
   to call those people directly and sell them service.

2) To insure complaints go to the ISP.  ISPs in genral want to filter
   complaints for end users.  There are several motovations:

   A) Catch problems sooner, rather than waiting for someone to fail to
      contact the customer multiple times before escalating a complaint
      to the ISP.

   B) Divert incorrect complaints without bothering the customer.
      Sometimes the people who complain get it wrong, and the ISP
      would like thier customer not to have to bother.

   C) Ensure someone who understands the complaint gets it.  Many home
      users would be completely confused by something like a SpamCop
      complaint, but the ISP can understand it, and "translate" it into
      something the customer can understand.

IMHO, anyone who receives an allocation from ARIN should be in whois.
Downstream of that, the only people in whois (or otherwise publically
available) should be people who want to take responsibility for their
own abuse complaints.  If they aren't going to do that you're better
off going to the ISP (via supernet) anyway, so getting a possibly
bogus/ignored name/e-mail/phone number is actually just a waste of time.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
Read TMBG List - tmbg-list-request at tmbg.org, www.tmbg.org
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