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Senate “Anti-Phishing” Bill Threatens Domain Owners and Small Business

By on March 6, 2008

U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe has introduced, the “Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008” (APCPA). The bill is cosponsored by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ted Stevens (R-AK), the man who famously referred to the internet as a “series of tubes.”

This bill is in fact, not truly about phishing so much as it is a direct blow to legitimate domain owners and small business.

For the most direct information you can read the bill itself here (PDF) and review an in-depth response by the Internet Commerce Association(ICA).

Closer Look at the Fine Print

The good (bad) stuff starts on page 6 of the document and continues to completely destroy domain WHOIS privacy as we know it today. This section alone should be encouragement enough to fight against the passage of this bill.

(c) WHOIS Database Information Accuracy-

(2) DOMAIN NAME REGISTRARS, REGISTRIES AND OTHER AUTHORITIES – It is unlawful for a domain name registrar, registry or other domain name authority, directly or indirectly, via proxy or any other method, to replace or materially alter the contents of, or to shield, mask, block, or otherwise restrict access to, any domain name registrant’s name, physical address, telephone number, facsimile number, electronic mail address, or other identifying information in any WHOIS database or any other database of a domain name registration authority if such registrar, registry, or domain name authority has received written notice, including via facsimile or electronic mail at such entity’s facsimile number or electronic mail address of record, that the use of such domain name is in violation of any provision of this Act.

Sign the Petition Now

Over 1400 people so far have participated and signed showing their support against this supposed “anti-phishing” bill.

Visit SnoweBill.com and sign now! (Re-directs to petition form)

What Else Can You Do?

Wise Words

Declan McCullagh of CNET writes: “It contains 31 pages of new regulations that could raise the cost of doing business for legitimate companies, but will do little to stop the malcontents behind phishing attacks… Remember, phishing is already a crime.”

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.