- Legal process is an impediment to law enforcement.
That's an Ashcroft DOJ official explaining why he wants domain name registration records to stay open to the public, even though they have become fodder for spam address harvesting and other undesirable activities.
Which, as Henry Farrell points out, is nonsense; the feds already have access to ISP billing records without any probable cause requirements, thanks to the PATRIOT act; they could just as easily arrange the same for domain registration records, without making them fully open to the public.
But it's the attitude that gets to you. Like Thomas More's foil in A Man for All Seasons, these guys would knock down every law in the land to get at the devil -- that's how they think of it, starting right at the top, with the man who sees the devil in calico cats. And when the last law is down, you'd like to ask the soi-disant "conservatives" who claim to care about this sort of thing, what's left to protect them, or us, from government overreach?
But oh yeah, I forgot. We already have that problem. We have to pay income tax.