The supply of conveniently packaged domain names to the IRD – removing its need to search the Domainz website (see IRD grabs nation's domain name owners) – has a parallel with the recent threat by a group of hackers to put up the entire Telecom White Pages for search.
As reported in the NZ Herald in September, the data had been extracted by hacking Telecom’s own website, www.whitepages.co.nz.
“The site never actually went up,” says a Telecom White Pages spokeswoman, but Telecom was prepared to fight it. Quite apart from matters of copyright, she adds, the Privacy Commissioner advised Telecom when it first put up its own site that records should be searchable by name only, not address or telephone number. Similarly, the Domainz website is searchable only by domain name, but now IRD has all the data it will be able to index and search on any field.
The Yellow Pages website, the Telecom spokeswoman points out, is searchable in other ways; “but they’re businesses [not individuals], so we’re allowed to do that. Surely internet domain names belong to businesses too,” she suggests.