ICANN Considers Relaxing Domain Registration Privacy; Automattic Objects

There is a legal process. Without doubt “this proposal would significantly harm communication, commerce, and most especially, anonymous speech online.”

Transparency Report

We’ve said it time and time again: user privacy is important to us. We’re vigilant about protecting it on WordPress.com, and we’re always on the lookout, ready to weigh in on policy proposals that might curtail the privacy that we and our users value so highly.

Today, our focus turns to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for coordinating the internet’s naming system, such as domain names. ICANN is currently considering a proposal that would prohibit many domain owners from using privacy and proxy registration services.

What exactly does this mean? If you’ve ever registered a domain (and millions of you on WordPress.com have), you may have noticed an option to make your personal information, such as your name, address, and phone number, private. This is great for those who want to publish anonymously or those who simply value more privacy. However, ICANN is considering precluding anyone who uses a domain for “commercial” purposes from private…

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Gmail Password Leak Update

Keeping on top of security protocols is a must. The recent Gmail leak reminds us all that passwords be unique for each account. Be sure you know how to keep your passwords safe and how to keep your blog safe.

“Add a phony email address to your list of contacts [in your email account]: aaaa@aaaa.com. This email address will likely be the first contact alphabetically in your address book, so will be the first recipient of a spam email from a hacker. You will receive a mail failure notice immediately that the email wasn’t delivered. This is also a quick way of checking to see whether changing your password on your email account was effective.”  –What To Do If Your Email Has Been Hacked

See also: Is Your Email Address a Spam Magnet?

The WordPress.com Blog

This week, a group of hackers released a list of about 5 million Gmail addresses and passwords. This list was not generated as a result of an exploit of WordPress.com, but since a number of emails on the list matched email addresses associated with WordPress.com accounts, we took steps to protect our users.

We downloaded the list, compared it to our user database, and proactively reset over 100,000 accounts for which the password given in the list matched the WordPress.com password. We also sent email notification of the password reset containing instructions for regaining access to the account. Users who received the email were instructed to follow these steps:

  1. Go to WordPress.com.
  2. Click the “Login” button on the homepage.
  3. Click on the link “Lost your password?”
  4. Enter your WordPress.com username.
  5. Click the “Get New Password” button.

In general, it’s very important that passwords be unique for each account. Using the same…

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