Anonymous Domain Name Registration Could Disappear in the European Union

Mobile Security Bitdefender

A new directive that the European Union is drafting would force domain name registrar companies to gather more information on people who register an internet domain, technically putting an end to the anonymity of owners.

When someone registers a new internet domain, the company reserving this resource asks for quite a bit of information, such as name, phone numbers, email, and even physical address. The problem is that no one checks to see if this data is correct.

It’s a two-edged sword because criminals and other malicious parties use the system to hide their identities when registering new domains. It’s also a way for some people to stay safe online, for informants and whistleblowers to come forward with information, and more.

“In order to ensure the availability of accurate, verified and complete domain name registration data, TLD registries and entities providing domain name registration services should be required to collect domain name registration data,” reads the draft of the new European directive.

“They should aim to ensure the integrity and availability of such data by implementing technical and organizational measures, such as a confirmation process for registrants. In particular, TLD registries and entities providing domain name registration services should establish policies and procedures for the collection and maintenance of accurate, verified and complete registration data, as well as for the prevention and correction of inaccurate registration data.”

In its current form, it would become much easier to determine who’s the actual owner of a particular domain, but it might also deter some criminals from registering new domains to use in attacks, such as phishing.

For now, this is only a draft, and it’s likely to undergo changes after negotiations. Some provisions might get dropped and others added, but domain name registration will change, one way or another.