Policy & Regulation

Policy & Regulation / Recently Commented

WHOIS Users Facing Serious Challenges Caused by Post-GDPR Fragmentation

On May 25, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, meaning that European data protection authorities (DPAs) can begin enforcing the regulation against non-compliant parties. In preparation, the ICANN Board passed a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data - essentially a temporary policy amendment to its registrar and registry contracts to facilitate GDPR compliance while also preserving certain aspects of the WHOIS system of domain name registration data. more

Domain Name Registrars Ask ICANN for a "Moratorium" on Its New GDPR Policy

"Domain name sellers rub ICANN's face in sticky mess of Europe's GDPR," Kieren McCarthy reporting in The Register. more

ICANN Releases Temporary WHOIS Specification Plan for GDPR Compliance With Deadline Two Weeks Away

ICANN has released temporary specifications for gTLD registration data in order to establish temporary requirements needed for the organization and gTLD registry operators to continue to comply with existing ICANN contractual requirements and community-developed policies. more

Is It Time for a Data Sharing Clearinghouse for Internet Researchers?

Today's Senate hearing with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will start a long discussion on data collection and privacy from Internet companies. Although the spotlight is currently on Facebook, we shouldn't forget that the picture is broader: companies from device manufacturers to ISPs collect network traffic and use it for a variety of purposes. more

Transition of the Telecoms Industry Is Overdue

It is interesting to observe the changes in the telecommunications environment over the last few decades. Before videotex (the predecessor of the internet) arrived in the late 1970s early 1980s, 90% of telecommunications revolved around telephone calls. And at that time telephony was still a luxury for many, as making calls were expensive. I remember that in 1972 a telephone call between London and Amsterdam cost one pound per minute. Local telephone calls were timed... more

Berners-Lee Warns Rise of Dominant Platforms has Resulted in Weaponization of the Web at Scale

The World Wide Web turned 29 today and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, web inventor, has shared some stern warnings about the direction it is headed. more

Why Are the EU Data Protection Authorities Taking Away Our Fundamental Right to be Safe?

What if we created a rule that gave everyone - good or bad - the right to hide their license plate, where they live, who they are, and just go incognito? What if we made it a right to walk into any building in the world, and simply say "No, thank you" when the security guards asked for one's identification? The criminals would celebrate, and we'd all be utterly alarmed. We would immediately be afraid for our personal safety. more

The Fight Is on to Save Access to WHOIS: A Call to Action for Brand Owners

Late last week, ICANN published the guidance from the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) that we have been waiting for. Predictably, WP29 took a privacy maximalist approach to the question of how Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to WHOIS, a tool widely used by cybersecurity professionals, businesses, intellectual property owners, consumer protection agencies and others to facilitate a safer and more secure internet.  more

GDPR and WHOIS - Winners and Losers

I think we are all hoping that when ICANN meets with the DPAs (Digital Protection Authorities) a clear path forward will be illuminated. We are all hoping that the DPAs will provide definitive guidance regarding ICANN's interim model and that some special allowance will be made so that registrars and registries are provided with additional time to implement a GDPR-compliant WHOIS solution. more

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember that the Nazis rounded up Jews, Roma, political dissidents, and other "undesirables" using the best data and technology of the day and sent them off to concentration camps. We don't normally deal with this type of political reality in ICANN, but now is the time to do so. In 1995, the recently formed European Union passed the EU Data Protection Directive. more

ICANN Cannot Expect the DPAs to Re-Design WHOIS, but Asking for a Reprieve Makes Sense

We are on the brink of the most serious threat to the open and public Internet for decades. ICANN, under pressure from domain name registrars and EU data protection authorities, has proposed an "interim" plan that will hide critical information in WHOIS. Security, threat intelligence, and anti-abuse professionals rely on WHOIS to track down bad guys and keep the Internet as safe and secure as possible. more

ICANN IPC & BC to Host Cross-Community Call on Accreditation/Access Model for Non-Public WHOIS Data

The ICANN Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) and Business Constituency (BC) will be hosting a community-wide discussion regarding the proposed accreditation and access model for non-public WHOIS data, which was first circulated to the community during ICANN 61. The discussion will take place via ICANN-supported remote participation and/or audio bridge this Friday, April 6, 2018, from 1400-1600 UTC. more

European Commission Killing Off Thousands of EU Domains Due to Brexit

After the Brexit vote, I wrote that there could be an impact on EU registrants based in the UK. Over the past year, the UK government has been engaged in negotiations with the EU to navigate the application of Article 50 and the UK's exit from the European Union. While there has been a lot of focus on issues like the customs union and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the eventual departure of the UK from the EU will have a tangible impact on the European digital economy. more

Security, Standards, and IoT: Will Connected Devices Flourish Under Prescriptive Regimes?

Security for Internet-connected devices, the "Internet of Things" (IoT), is critically important. Now, more than ever, it is top of mind for device manufacturers, network operators, consumer advocates, lawmakers, and government regulators -- domestically and internationally. In the face of recent attacks, government authorities and consumer advocates have proposed legislation, frameworks, certifications, and labeling schemes. more

Accreditation & Access Model For Non-Public Whois Data

In the current debate over the balance between privacy and Internet safety and security, one of the unanswered questions is: "How will those responsible for protecting the public interest gain access to the non-public data in the WHOIS databases post General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?" In an attempt to prevent WHOIS data from going "dark," several community members have been working for the past weeks to create a model that could be used to accredit users and enable access to the non-public WHOIS data. more