US NTIA Boss On Whois Debate: ‘Keep Data Open For IP Rightsholders, Others’ 12/03/2018 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information David Redl today weighed in on the debate over changes to the storage and public display of personal information of domain name registrants at the meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Redl urged negotiators to keep the so-called Whois database, described by some as a public phone book for the owners of domain names, as open as possible while implementing the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. Making his first appearance at ICANN, the private internet domain regulator, since being named head of the Commerce Department National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Redl assured the more than 1,500 participants at ICANN 61 that “the Trump administration has and will continue to strongly advocate for the multistakeholder approach to internet governance and policy development.” He added that “it is the Trump administration’s belief that the multi-stakeholder model is grounded in the principle that internet policy issues are best addressed through the contributions of diverse stakeholders that work to make decisions in a bottom-up, consensus-based fashion.” Redl speaks at ICANN meeting today Thanking the ICANN community for the amount of voluntary work done – saying “My hat is off to you” – Redl called the “preservation of the Whois services” one of “the top priorities” for his administration at this meeting. “The United States will not accept a situation in which Whois information is not available or is so difficult to gain access to that it becomes useless for the legitimate purposes that are critical to the ongoing stability and security of the internet,” he said. ICANN is struggling to become compliant with the EU GDPR, which calls for better privacy for domain name owners, even if they use service providers outside of their territory. While data protection experts want domain name owners to be in control of their internet domain “phone book” entry, Redl warned that “the Whois service is an incredibly valuable tool for governments, businesses, intellectual property rights holders and individual internet users around the world.” Redl said the US and other governments have stated their commitment “to maintaining a Whois service that is quickly accessible for legitimate purposes.” Given that ICANN has proposed a model that would mask personal data (IPW, ITU/ICANN, 11 March 2018), Redl said the US “remains concerned with the uncertainty how access to Whois information for legitimate purposes” in the interim time between the time the GDPR kicks in and the time when an accreditation or certification access for “legitimate purposes” will be established. Redl urged ICANN to put in place a model that ensures that “users behind the already-defined legitimate purposes, law enforcement, intellectual property enforcement and cyber security researchers are not stymied in their efforts to serve public interests.” But representatives of the ICANN Non-Commercial User Constituency earlier today raised concerns with ICANN’s Government Advisory Board about fitting the various activities from IP protection to cybersecurity research into a public interest purpose. Image Credits: ICANN Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."US NTIA Boss On Whois Debate: ‘Keep Data Open For IP Rightsholders, Others’" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.