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Latta Emphasizes Need for Transparency Online

Washington, February 27, 2020 | Rebecca Card (202.225.6405)

Today, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) introduced a House Resolution highlighting the importance of ensuring the public is able to look up who is behind domain name ownership online. The collection of registered domain names, referred to as the WHOIS database, has been publicly available since before the creation of the commercial Internet but has been recently restricted due the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“Being able to look up who owns and operates a website is not just a tool necessary for public transparency, but it is essential for safety,” said Latta. “Law enforcement and businesses use WHOIS information to facilitate consumer protection on the internet, protect privacy, combat illegal online drug sales, enforce intellectual property laws, identify and stop human trafficking, as well as defend our national security interests. WHOIS information helps to keep people accountable for what they do and put online, and we must be able to continue to utilize this critical information so that our Internet is safe and secure for all Americans.” 

Last year, at an Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection and Commerce (CPAC) Subcommittee hearing, Latta raised the issue of GDPR undermining the WHOIS registry and its effect on law enforcement and safety.

For the text of the resolution, click here

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH05) serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee as the Republican Leader on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee where he advocates for policies that help consumers, grow the economy and spur innovation. He also serves as an active member of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, which he previously chaired, and the Energy Subcommittee.

Congressman Latta has served on all six Energy and Commerce subcommittees. The Energy and Commerce Committee is the oldest standing legislative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives and is vested with the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorizing committee.

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