Privacy a top priority in Saipan DataCom’s .mp top-level domain

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Posted on Nov 05 2004

SAIPAN, CNMI—Saipan DataCom, Inc., the registry for the newly available “.mp” top-level domain, has made customers’ privacy a top priority by limiting access to .mp WHOIS data (the “TLD phonebook”). Unlike TLD registries that provide publicly available WHOIS data searches, .mp WHOIS data will be available only with documentation indicating possible rights to a particular .mp domain name.

“Domain registrations, mobile Internet usage and the popularity of user generated content are at an all-time high. There will significant numbers of dotMP(TM) PS (Personal Site) registrants in the near future and many of them will be young people whose dotMP sites will include blog entries, diaries, photos and other personal information. The reality is that spammers, identity thieves, stalkers and predators can take advantage of publicly available WHOIS data. Our requirements make it very difficult for criminals and creeps to get .mp WHOIS data,” according to Gib Bintliff, Saipan DataCom’s president.

“Given concerns for the protection of privacy of domain name holders, this [WHOIS] database ought to be protected at least at the level and in the same manner as most commercial customer lists,” said attorney and author, Rod Dixon, in a recent CircleID article. “According to domain name registry, Verisign, the domain name database system—called the WHOIS service directory—receives well over 11 billion queries per day in just two top-level domains. The result of these queries includes the disclosure of personal information to anyone with Internet access for nearly any reason.”

Those claiming rights to a .mp domain name must submit a written agreement representing that they are the rightful owner of the trademark or other term used in deriving the disputed domain name. Additionally, they must provide certified copies of the trademark registration documents and pay a processing fee. If all the documents are in order, Saipan DataCom will release the WHOIS data for the requested domain name. Claims are then resolved through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) established by ICANN.

The previously unavailable .mp extension is the only existing TLD dedicated solely as the address for mobile Internet sites and all .mp domain names include a hosted dotMP(TM) Commercial or Personal mobile Internet site.

Sunrise registration of opened July 26 and is scheduled to run through Nov. 14, 2004. During Sunrise registration, .mp domain names and dotMP CS (Commercial Site) are available to trademark and service mark owners only (http://www.sunrise.mp). Open registration for dotMP CS and dotMP PS (Personal Site) is scheduled to begin Nov. 15, 2004.

Saipan DataCom, Inc. is a CNMI corporation. The CNMI is a U.S. commonwealth and .mp is the CNMI’s country-code TLD. The company has been the administrator and registry for the .mp TLD since 1996. The .mp TLD should not be confused with Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung, and Vodafone’s proposed mTLD Alliance .mobi TLD currently being reviewed by ICANN. Unlike the proposed .mobi TLD, the .mp TLD is fully sanctioned by ICANN and available now. (PR Newswire)

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