The Big Media mafia that is the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is attempting to ban the protection of privacy on the internet by lobbying aggressively for new measures that would force all website operators to post ownership information publicly.
Despite many cases where activists, businesses, student groups and others have a fundamental need for privacy to ensure their safety and maintain freedom of speech, the big media lobby groups feel this should all take a back seat to their quest for ever greater profits.
The proposal, created by the powerful and well-funded lobby groups, has been put forward by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN ) and looks to make private domain name registrations banned in order to make it easier for big media companies to sue websites that pirate their content.
The move would allow their army of lawyers to mass-sue websites merely suspected of hosting pirated content or facilitating piracy, essentially taking yet another stab at using the legal system as a business model rather than simply changing with the times.
The move comes despite countless academic studies that show piracy increases media sales and the fact police, subject to court oversight, can already obtain the registration details of sites deemed to violating the criminal code.
Despite the tools already existing to go after criminals and despite the threat to personal safety that would come if all website operators were forced to post their personal information publicly, Big Media still thinks its a small price to pay for a few extra bucks in their already full coffers.
Mitch Stoltz of The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit digital rights group, blasted the proposal, saying that “the limited value of this change is manifestly outweighed by the risks to website owners who will suffer a higher risk of harassment, intimidation and identity theft” .
Domain name registrar Namecheap said the "proposed rules would wreak havoc on our right to privacy online".
ICANN is taking public comment on the proposal through its website while Namecheap and variety of other domain name registrars are asking customers to go to the Respect Our Privacy website to lodge protests.