May 9, 2017
ICANN has relaxed its rules to allow domain name registries and registrars to opt out of whois related contractual provisions when they conflict with local privacy laws.
According to existing ICANN whois rules, whois records must contain up to date contact details of registrants and registrars.
Prior to the new ICANN rules which came into effect on 18 April 2017, registries and registrars were obliged to prove that they were the subject of an investigation or other legal action for non-compliance with local privacy laws before they could obtain a waiver from complying with the ICANN whois rules.
From now onwards however, they will be able to request a waiver simply by providing a statement from the relevant authorities that the ICANN contractual provisions conflict with local laws. Proof of a pending legal action is no longer necessary.
In each of the above cases, the waiver request will be reviewed by ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee before being granted or refused.
The new rules are primarily intended for European companies as European privacy legislation is stricter than others.
ICANN already provides a waiver to its 2013 data retention rules which require registrars to conserve customer data for two years following the end of the registrar/registrant agreement.