PRIVACY POLICY?

Joy notes that Boycott Hollywood appears to have complied with the information policy of their domain registrar and provides a link to WHOIS where one can look up the registration information on anyone who owns a site. Given the problems we’re having with identity theft and privacy in general, one would think this information would be password protected or otherwise inaccessible to the public. Alas, such is not the case. . . .

Update (16:14): Via e-mail correspondence with Boycott Hollywood administration, I have learned that they actually had provided the correct info to WHOIS from the beginning and only changed it quite recently in response to threatening letters. Fortunately, the current information showing in WHOIS is not actually “them” but info from their future hosting company, so all are safe at the moment. An interesting learning experience all around–as Joy notes in the Comments, very few people understand how accessible this info is.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. PoliBlogger says:

    Indeed. Being able to get one’s phone number and mailing address is a bit much, IMHO.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Agreed. I think it should be available upon court order and understand the need for that. But having it up for anyone to see is just wrong. Ironically, it’s one advantage of blog*spot–all their sites are registered to one guy.

  3. joy says:

    See, I hate to say it, but this an important fact that a good number of people didn’t understand in last week’s big debate.

    WHOIS information is public and if you’re a private citizen who is creating a Web site, your options are limited in how you can obscure yourself. The most popular method I’ve seen is someone taking out a PO Box and using a Yahoo account. In a recent example, Hollywoodhalfwits.com actually is registered as an LLC and the LLC address is used in the WHOIS. I thought that was kinda clever.