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Submission + - ICANN global Whois system expected to shatter on May 25 with new GDPR law (

monkeyzoo writes: In a letter sent to DNS overseer ICANN, Europe's data protection authorities have effectively killed off the current service, noting that it breaks the law and so will be illegal come 25 May, when GDPR comes into force.

ICANN now has a little over a month to come up with a replacement to the decades-old service that covers millions of domain names and lists the personal contact details of domain registrants, including their name, email and telephone number.

ICANN has already acknowledged it has no chance of doing so. The company warns that without being granted a special temporary exemption from the law, the system will fracture, perhaps even resulting in the Whois service being turned off completely while a replacement was developed.

Critics point out that ICANN has largely brought these problems on itself, having ignored official warnings from the Article 29 Working Party for nearly a decade, and only taking the GDPR requirements seriously six months ago when there has been a clear two-year lead time.

European agencies responded and tore ICANN's plan to shreds, pointing out that it needs to be much more precise and to include both compliance and auditing functions. Critically, however, it did not address ICANN's request for a moratorium.

Even the idea of a moratorium appears to have been invented by ICANN. This is no evidence of a similar request from any other industry, and the GDPR is, after all, a globally applicable law that affects everyone.

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ICANN global Whois system expected to shatter on May 25 with new GDPR law

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