This is just like that other article about "Online Do Not Contact Me" lists or whatever. In this instance this is where privacy must NOT take place. Here's an excerpt from the article.:
"Privacy advocates have argued that the information contained in the WHOIS database should be shielded from the public to protect the privacy of individual registrants. However, businesses, intellectual property holders and members of law enforcement have argued for open access to the WHOIS database, saying it helps them go after phishers, trademark infringers, copyright violators and scammers."
This is why it shouldn't be taken away! There are so many bogus, malicious, and hijacked sites out there. And the whois database does help in tracking people down. For instance, a network is getting DDOS'd to death and that admin uses the whois query to find the origin(s) of the attack with the ip address. When the owner is contacted he/she can be notified of the activity and put a stop to it or find a way to resolve the problem. Or your ISP can invesitgate for you with the whois query and place a block on the route via their upstream provider (ex.Cogent,Level3, whoever).
This database is essential. Preserving privacy for individuals is one thing but when you put your name out there in the virtual world for business; then that's another story. Sure, no one wants to be contacted by a bunch of freaks or social hackers; but it's responsible and isn't business about making "that" name available to the public? I would like to know if these so called "privacy" advocates have a cooperative solution to the current whois database? Or are they complaining just be complaining? Please update?