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A Short-Term Suspension of GDPR Enforcement on WHOIS May Be Necessary, Says U.S. Government

David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the U.S. Department of Commerce and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at a Communications Forum luncheon at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on May 17.Implementation of European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a major concern of our government, said David Redl during a Media Institute luncheon held on Thursday in Washington DC. Redl, a critic of GDPR's ramifications on WHOIS, in his remarks stated: "Many aspects of our government's operations will be affected by GDPR, and the same is true for private sector companies of all sizes. GDPR is also threatening to upend the valuable WHOIS service, which could impede our work to curb botnets. ... GDPR, as currently framed, creates serious and unclear legal obligations that could have a widespread impact on transatlantic cooperation, law enforcement, and business operations. ... the EU's guidance issued for implementing the GDPR is vague and insufficient. American companies and the U.S. government do not have an adequate basis on which to comply with the law. ... Absent a broader interpretation of Article 49, a short-term moratorium on GDPR enforcement with regard to WHOIS may be necessary. If not, then come May 25, we anticipate registries and registrars will stop providing access to WHOIS directories and services."

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