ICANN updates procedure for registrars to handle conflicts between Whois obligations and privacy laws

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has updated the Procedure for handling Whois conflicts with privacy laws (Whois procedure), making it easier for domain name registrars to request for a waiver from certain Whois-related contractual provisions, if these clash with local privacy and data protection legislation. Up to now, a registrar could have asked for such a waiver if it was in receipt of a notification of an action that its compliance with Whois obligations was prevented by local law (i.e. the registrar had to prove that it was investigated by a local authority). Under the new procedure, registrars will also be able to request a waiver if they provide ICANN with a written statement from a data protection authority indicating that a Whois obligations in an ICANN contract conflicts with applicable national law.