by Mike Masnick
Wed, Feb 27th 2008 7:21am
As the saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. The folks in Congress sure do an awful lot of whacking at various nails these days. The latest is a new bill in the Senate that seeks to outlaw phishing. One tiny point is important here: phishing is already illegal. So, really all this bill does is allow these politicians to claim that they took a stand to stop phishing. Except, it's actually worse than that. Not only will this bill not do anything to stop phishing, it will actually make life worse for plenty of non-criminals. That's because a part of the bill would outlaw hiding domain name registration information. Now, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for not wanting to reveal your info in the whois database -- but according to this bill, it won't be allowed any more. If you want to own a domain, you'll need to cough up your name, address and phone number to whoever wants it -- and they better be legit. If you provide false info, you'll also be breaking the law. So, it won't do anything new to stop phishing, but will make it much more difficult to own a domain anonymously. That's quite a nail.
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