The Foetry Librarian, Alan Cordle, didnâ€™t want his name known. As we all know, one must pay a hefty extra fee for anonymity when registering a domain nowadays. When he registered the Foetry.com domain with GoDaddy.com in March 2004, they directed him to their associate, Domains by Proxy, where they accepted an additional payment to keep his information out of 'who is.' And now heâ€™s out to "out" them.
His website identified Pulitzer prizewinners, Harvard professors, Macarthur Fellows, and Poet Laureates openly engaged in unethical poetry â€œcompetitionsâ€? involving millions of dollars (see LISNews story from last month). Doing his investigating anonymously, Foetry.com was featured in such places as the Boston Globe, the New York Times Book Review, and on leading literary websites, like Mobylives.com. For a year, Cordle successfully maintained his privacy until one website visitor complained to Domains by Proxy.
In April 2005, while reading a weblog, Cordle discovered that Domains by Proxy had canceled his anonymity, and his name, address, and phone number were available in the Internet Whois Database, and posted on weblogs throughout the world. Emails from Cordle, and certified letters from his attorney to Domains by Proxy and Go Daddy have not properly answered his questions.
Cordle has launched fauxdaddy.org to spread the word about anonymity and the internet. His site details his story and hints at other problems with privacy breaches at Domains by Proxy.