Washington, D.C. | January 14, 2020

The Coalition for a Secure & Transparent Internet (CSTI) commended the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) recent request that Congress identify ways to ensure open access to WHOIS information. CSTI and its members expressed their support in letters to the leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee (view letter) and Senate Commerce Committee (view letter), pledging to work with lawmakers on a solution that restores transparency to this vital cyber security resource.

CSTI was formed to educate lawmakers on the importance of WHOIS information in protecting consumers online, and agrees with NTIA that it plays a critical role in ensuring a ‘safe, secure and trustworthy Internet.’ This information is used by law enforcement, cybersecurity investigators, copyright and trademark holders, consumers and their advocates, academics, and others to determine who is operating a website, sending an email, or even attacking them online.

NTIA also noted that regardless of Administration, the government has historically called for this information to be accurate and accessible. Unfortunately, as a result of the 2018 implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, this information has largely gone dark. ICANN attempted to resolve the concerns expressed globally to the loss of access to WHOIS information; however, that effort fell short of an acceptable solution.

In its letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, NTIA highlights some of the concerns raised by the agency and other participants in that process. CSTI agrees with NTIA’s assessment and stands ready to work with Congress to address those specific issues and restore open access to WHOIS information to protect consumers online.

# # #

About the Coalition for a Secure and Transparent Internet
The Coalition for a Secure and Transparent Internet (CSTI) was formed to educate federal and international policymakers and stakeholders on the critical importance of open access to WHOIS data, and to advocate for appropriate policy decisions to protect this crucial tool. CSTI is comprised of companies, nonprofits, trade associations, academics and others who support open access to WHOIS data.