Privacy Under Threat Webmasters might have to wave goodbye to their privacy, pending a decision by the internet agency ICANN regarding WHOIS ownership details. Comments on the proposal will be accepted until the 7th of July through email at [email protected]. If the proposal is accepted, domain holders will no longer be able to withhold their private details through proxy registration services. All sites connected to ?commercial activity? will be required to provide WHOIS information, including address, contact number and email. For some, this might come as welcome news. Anyone who has ever had a problem with ecommerce might understand the frustrations of attempting to contact domain owners who haven't divulged WHOIS information. Proponents of the new guidelines say the current system makes it impossible to contact or identify owners of problematic domains, and proxies are also difficult to reach. The entertainment industry is hoping to more easily deal with the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, such as articles, images and videos. With ?content marketing? such a key industry term right now, it?s easy to see why this is so important. But others argue that revealing this information is opening yourself up for targeting by spammers and identity thieves, as well as other attacks. Anonymity has always been a central tenet in internet use, protecting the free speech of all netizens, from the level of disgruntled individuals seeking to vent, right up to whistleblowers exposing crime and corruption. A new website, RespectOurPrivacy.com has been established to guide domain holders through the process of contacting ICANN and letting them know exactly what they think of the plan. Contact ICAN today through https://www.respectourprivacy.com/ (a namecheap product) Quoting namecheap: ?What's Happening Under new guidelines proposed by MarkMonitor and others who represent the same industries that backed SOPA, domain holders with sites associated to "commercial activity" will no longer be able to protect their private information with WHOIS protection services. "Commercial activity" casts a wide net, which means that a vast number of domain holders will be affected. Your privacy provider could be forced to publish your contact data in WHOIS or even give it out to anyone who complains about your website, without due process. Why should a small business owner have to publicize her home address just to have a website? We think your privacy should be protected, regardless of whether your website is personal or commercial, and your confidential info should not be revealed without due process. If you agree, it?s time to tell ICANN. To view the new proposed rules, visit: Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Policy.? BHW WHAT DO YOU THINK? Leave your feedback below.