The U.S. Government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is considering whether to make it harder for the public to access information about the owners of .US domain names. This is a bad idea, according to the RIAA, which prefers the status quo. Public access to WHOIS information helps to deter piracy, the music group notes, adding that potential privacy concerns are overblown.
Historically, the domain name WHOIS system has been an important tool to track down the operators of pirate sites and services.
While WHOIS data is not always accurate, it is still helpful in holding site operators accountable, at least when the information is available for access.
In recent years, access to domain registration information has often been restricted. This change is in large part the result of EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a privacy law that limits the availability of personal information in public databases.