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Open WHOIS advocates push for U.S. legislation to counter GDPR

The domain information lookup service WHOIS publishes data about the owners of websites around the world. WHOIS also contains personal information of the European Union (EU) citizens. Further, the database maintains location and infrastructure information of cybercriminals who set up websites with malicious intent.

So far, cybersecurity professionals and law enforcement have been able to access the public information of the European Union (EU) citizens unfettered. They have been using the registry to investigate and blacklist cybercriminal operations. Occasionally, this information helps government authorities with their investigations leading to arrests. There are investigations that used WHOIS information among other sources that resulted in charges against money launderers, hackers, and child pornographers, for instance.

WHOIS collects personal contact information from domain registration companies. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) controls the WHOIS database. ICANN is facing an existential threat from EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) because its business model depends on the collection and publication of identifying information. The data sets include contact information of EU-based hackers known to have established malicious sites...

This white paper highlights

  • Why Does GDPR Exist?
  • What are the Pros and Cons?
  • What WHOIS Data Does GDPR Affect?
  • Hackers Shun the Public Record
  • How to Catch the Bad Guys
  • Anonymity Rules
  • Opportunities Await
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