If ICANN Won’t Stand Up to EU in WHOIS Dispute, Then the U.S. Congress Should

Daniel Castro December 19, 2019
December 19, 2019

The early designers of the Internet quickly realized that as the number of domain names flourished, there was a need for tracking domain name owners to resolve questions and conflicts that might arise. To that end, they created WHOIS, a public database with the names, phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses of registered domain owners and operators. But as Daniel Castro writes in CircleID, Europe’s poorly crafted privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is undermining both the WHOIS database and the global multi-stakeholder governance structure that has been key to the Internet’s flourishing. If the EU will not back down, and ICANN—the nonprofit organization that runs key technical functions of the Internet, including WHOIS—finds itself unable or unwilling to act, then the United States should step in to protect these global interests.