The Implications of NSF's Position

NSF's assertion that the Domain Name Database is composed of two parts, with the part containing individual names being the property of the InterNIC contractors implies the following:

harvbull.gif (257 bytes) The names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and business affiliations of more than a million citizens and residents of the United States will not receive any Privacy Act protection.  Rather they will simply become the private mailing list of the InterNIC contractors, in particular, Network Solutions, Inc, to be used and sold without restriction as NSI sees fit.
harvbull.gif (257 bytes) Records imported into the Domain Name Database but which were collected by Federal agencies prior to the Internic will lose Privacy Act protection.
harvbull.gif (257 bytes) Even records about individuals in the Federal Government and in educational institutions will lose Privacy Act Protection.
harvbull.gif (257 bytes) When the Cooperative Agreement with NSI ends, even if NSF exercises its rights to obtain a copy of the work product, NSI will be under no obligation to deliver the domain name contact records to NSF.  This will render the remaining portion that is delivered to NSF to be of minimal value and will make it impossible for NSF to maintain that remaining part or transfer it to another contractor.
harvbull.gif (257 bytes) NSF's logic could lead other agencies of the Federal Government to place sensitive data in the hands of private companies in order to avoid the need to comply with either the Privacy Act or the Freedom of Information Act.
harvbull.gif (257 bytes) NSF, by creating national policy by itself and in secret, is bypassing the Constitutional structures of the United States.

Updated: January 20, 1998