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NTIA Asks ICANN to Investigate GoDaddy Masking WHOIS Information, Review Accredited Registrar Issues

April 16, 2018

Today, NTIA Administrator David Redl sent a letter to ICANN Board of Directors Chair Cherine Chalaby requesting an investigation into GoDaddy’s throttling of Port 43 access and masking of WHOIS information. GoDaddy’s recent actions masking information in certain WHOIS fields “are of grave concern for NTIA given the U.S. Government’s interest in maintaining a WHOIS service that is quickly accessible for legitimate purposes,” the letter said. The WHOIS service provides information associated with the registration of domain names and is critical for a range of purposes including law enforcement, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights protection. The letter also encourages ICANN to examine allowing non-ICANN accredited registrars to offer services that manage specific DNS resource records. “With the growing sophistication of domain names registrants and third party content delivery networks seeking to offer enhanced security features … NTIA sees merit in examining the roles other parties could play,” the letter said.

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