EU Internet Privacy Receives a Blow, US Leadership Prevail on WHOIS Data
LONDON, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The days of hiding behind websites are over. Whilst Americans sought to promote a culture of transparency, it seems that the EU attempted to use data protection as a scapegoat to allow possibly shady domain owners to hide their details.
SiteTrail, a social news and analysis platform who recently published a controversial article named “500 million twitter followers VS Obama and Romney” which raised awareness about freedom of speech on the internet, was originally set up to help web enthusiasts follow their favourite websites. It turned out that the free web tools deployed by SiteTrail are so powerful that it would not leave a stone unturned in revealing data about websites and their owners, typically called whois data.
Logically consumers have a right to know with whom they are trading, both in terms of physical space, such as shops and malls, and also online facilities. Clearly some think the latter should be kept secret. The irony is that countries who would compel citizens to reveal their faces attempted to help websites mask their identity. The FTC announced that it is delighted that ICANN will soon require registrars to reveal more data about websites which will increase transparency and the frequency for updating website ownership information, A clear win for transparency and the magic of US leadership.
Consumers or anyone seeking to know a website’s lawful owners should no longer need to pay private investigators. Right now businesses and individuals from all over are linking to SiteTrail and are sharing the news that website ownership information has become freely available. Whether it is law enforcement, social researchers or private matters, they are now all using powerful search engines like SiteTrail to track down the identity of website owners.
Citizens using Facebook already know that even when they travel internationally, they are effectively seen as a moving dot on a screen regardless of which device they use – now at least that principle will start applying to the websites they visit. Another big question for the business traveller: what is my ip address?