#Domain legislation ante portas : #WHOIS going dark would be a mistake

European regulations about data privacy, are about to break one of the oldest status quo instances on the Internet: the domain WHOIS.

Turning WHOIS into a dark book of redacted information would be a mistake.

Several companies, such as Facebook, Microsoft and Time Warner, sent a letter to ICANN, urging the multinational organization to “immediately undertake expedited efforts” to adopt an accreditation system for legitimate investigators.

The group’s note states that “Under the threat of the existing Whois system ‘going dark’ for those with legitimate and legal purposes to protect the internet…we have little time to act to meet the May deadline.”

Ongoing plans to hide information from the domain WHOIS could lead to more online DDoS attacks, hacking and phishing.

For domain investors, the new WHOIS rules bring a whole new set of problems altogether.

Domainers will need to reinvent how they conduct business, and how they become found; querying a domain’s WHOIS information won’t suffice any more.

Research on domain ownership to prevent issues such as domain theft, will become difficult to impossible.

With sources from Wall Street Journal.

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