Whois going away and IP lawyers is an interesting diversion. And anyone who thinks that safety online largely is due to the efforts of LEAs is deluded.
In an online world, indicators as to identity are few and far between. That John Smith I think I’m talking to could well be Jane Doe. For obvious reasons, this can be important.
One indicator as to identity is Whois. A whole slew of companies use this data to identify bad actors and/or bad properties online. Identifying IPs and domains associted with phishing, banking fraud, man in the middle attacks, botnet infrastructure, etc, etc.
As a private person, I have used Whois to check on a company with whom I wish to enter into an online transaction.
This tool is being taken away from us and it’ll make the online world that little bit less safe.
The domain name registration business is a multi-million (billion?) dollar business. Whois is a nuisance for that business. Registries have to maintain the database but it’s of little direct benefit to them. Indeed, quite the converse. Security minded organisations using Whois can reduce the number of (bad) registrations thus impacting a registry’s income.
GDPR is an ideal excuse to get rid of Whois — so away it goes. Make no mistake, this is not a proportional response to GDPR, nor will it help you or I. However, it does benefit the domain name registration business.