ARIN WHOIS for leads

What about the 2am phone calls from the guy, who did a

>nslookup on a website, and then whois on the ip,
>who is calling to say his porn site
>is partially not working and he's pissed.

No amount of changing contacts is going to solve this type of problem.

We routinely get support calls, sometimes even in the emergency support line, from people who are pissed off at an ISP 2,000 miles away called "Opus" something-or-another-but-not-Opus-One. Apparently their dialup service is not so hot anymore and when it doesn't work, the one-step-down-from-AOL customer base they attract types "opus" into their browser and then calls whatever phone number comes to the top of whatever search engine their browser vendor chose for them.

Changing the nature of WHOIS isn't going to keep the stupid from doing stupid things. However, it might make life harder for the not-stupid trying to solve real problems.

Honestly, this seems to me like a non-problem. I liken it to the hypersensitivity of some people to spam, where if they get 1 message through their filters it's somehow a major crisis. Maybe our ACD, which requires the clue-challenged to be able to spell the first or last name of the person their calling, or perhaps read the extension number from a directory listing, screens the worst of the worst out from us...

I also don't see the problem of cold calling when it's obviously for a service or product that I am interested in, just as I don't see the problem of cold snail-mailing for the same services. I'm in business, and I expect other businesses to try and market to me. I don't want to hear from window, insurance, and other crap sellers, but if a Cisco reseller or bandwidth seller wants to make contact and say "how can I help you?" that doesn't seem out of line to me.

Only in the world of email do we (justifiably) get all weirded out by the prospect of unsolicited sales pitches. It seems to me that if you don't want people to call you, don't give out your phone number (or give out a phone number that makes it hard for anyone but a real person who really wants to talk to you to get to you). How did our little capitalist industry suddenly become a "you must have permission to contact me by any means no matter what" industry?


I have a low tolerance for telemarketers, especially those who scrape
technical lists or databases. One test I have is to immediately ask,
"Is this a sales call?"

Anything other than a forthright "Yes" gets nowhere. Weasel words don't
count. If the first thing they tell me is a lie, I don't want to do
business with them. If they're honest I might give them a minute or two
to pitch their wares.

It's surprising how people go out of their way to deny that it's a sales
call, and then start trying to sell something.

[NOTE: The anecdote is followed by some practical advice]


I had a guy call and tell the person who answered he was my brother
and there was a family emergency.

I don't have a brother.

I said put him through. He began a sales pitch.

That was quite a few years ago, he probably still talks about what
jerk I am and if so I am proud of it!



THAT SAID, beyond personal tastes, in this context there's really only
one substantive complaint:

Telemarketing info is PAID FOR, particularly in a ready to use list

If they're scraping WHOIS etc for free that's a problem.

Lists can be protected by intellectual property law against such

The usual method is to insert "ringers" which would be info which
points back at non-existant people with valid-looking contact

If for example they called a phone number, or several, owned by ARIN
(or a service they employed) asking for James T Kirk or Diana Prince
then that would be a problem and should be logged.

One obvious response is to just bill them a reasonable telemarketing
list rental fee for the entire database and go from there.

Believe it or not this is well-trod ground, people steal or abuse
(e.g., resell w/o permission) telemarketing and mailing list info all
the time.


There are some interesting non-obvious elements in the database for
such purposes and we do take action when they are triggered.


John Curran
President and CEO