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At a Crossroads: Developing a Standardized Access System to Domain Name Registration Data

As the European Union’s landmark Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was set to go into effect in 2018, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) engaged in a series of important, albeit belated, community consultations, with the objective of resolving perceived community concerns with legal compliance of the “Look Up” system (previously called the “WHOIS” system) with data protection laws, such as the GDPR. The end result of the consultations resulted in ICANN adopting a “Temporary Specification” (Temp Spec) – a new contractual provision allowing its accredited-registrars and registries to perform a wholesale redaction of the registration data that has historically been made available to the public.

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