Received date: 18 April 2017
I'd like to echo others in saying that I appreciate the DNC continuing to consult on the details of this policy as the policy has evolved in response to feedback. However it is unfortunate that the draft language appears only to have been provided in the form of images of marked up text (rather than actual text); please excuse any typos in the transcription of the proposed text below.
I am concerned that the reference to "whois" (a protocol, run over TCP/43) are being replaced wholesale by "the domain registration data query ("Query")" without compensating changes. In particular the change to 11.6 ("NZRS will maintain a Query service") leaves open that the existing whois service (TCP/43) will be discontinued at some point and replaced by a less-functional non-standardised service (as has happened at other DNS registries).
I would like to see 11.6 extended to state that the NZRS will continue to provide the "domain registration data query ("Query") service" over the traditional TCP/43 whois service, in addition to whatever else is provided. The traditional tools (eg, "whois") are much more convenient than any modern replacements, and requiring users to implement a screen scraping wrapper around a web-based display would be substantially poorer service than is provided.
Other than that clarification, I am in favour of the change of wording in general so that it also covers the existing web view of that whois service (https://dnc.org.nz/whois/) as well as the TCP/43 traditional whois service.
The description of the Privacy Option (s22.8, s23) seem appropriate to me. In particular I remain in favour of the registration name, and a working contact email being available even in the Privacy Option case -- the owner of the domain name is normally the thing I am attempting to determine when consulting the "whois" information. Ideally I would also still prefer that the City level information was displayed in the Privacy Option case, but I understand the DNC has chosen to omit that.
While I understand the concern that some others have expressed that small home-based businesses will not be eligible for the "individual" privacy options, I think on balance the threshold proposed by the DNC has been set correctly.
Private individuals in trade who have a legitimate need to hide their location often also have access to other options, such as listing a PO Box address, or perhaps listing the address of a trusted advisor (accountant, lawyer, etc), that provide a legitimate means of contact but do not necessarily reveal their day-to-day physical location.
Accountants and/or lawyers are often also the address of record for (limited) companies in their online records, so I think a similar approach could apply here. (For the record, I say this as a small business owner, who typically works from home, and has ended up with both a chartered accountant and a post box for other reasons. Since I operate through a Limited company, the Privacy Option would not be available to me anyway.)
Perhaps the DNC could address some of this concern by clarifying that individuals using their domain primarily for other reasons, but having a "home business" on the side (eg, occasional after hours projects) with only a small amount of trade, may at the option of the DNC be treated as private individuals not in trade (and thus eligible for the privacy options). Clearly there is a range of circumstances between "home based full time business" which should probably be treated like any other business even if it is an individual trading directly, and "occasionally does some work on the side for money", within which a human judgement call rather than detailed legalise is the best way to distinguish the different circumstances. (The "home based full time business" is more likely to have an accountant, lawyer, or Post Box anyway.)