The European Parliament is discussing banning the anonymous registration of websites

The European Parliament is discussing banning the anonymous registration of websites

The Commission for Industry wants to include in the new directive on cybersecurity the verification of the requirements for those who buy a domain online, putting online privacy at risk

Anonymity (Getty Images) The European Commission is working on legislation to increase IT security, also due to the increasingly concrete threats from online criminals. However, one of the amendments to this directive, under discussion in the European Parliament, threatens online anonymity, one of the cardinal principles of the internet, with dangerous cascading consequences.

If the directive were approved in this form to register the domain of a website in the future you will need to provide your personal information. Whoever owns the domain will have to give their name, address and telephone number that will appear on the Whois database.

Until now, the main registrars did not request the telephone numbers of the domain owners nor did they verify personal data . The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of the European Parliament (Itre), on the other hand, wants to impose the verification of registration data. The Home Affairs Committee votes on the matter this week, while the Itre Committee is expected to take a stand at the end of the month.

These changes could mean the end of services that guarantee privacy in registration domination, threatening the safety of activists and whistleblowers, as MEP Patrick Breyer, shadow rapporteur of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (Libe) and member of the German Pirate Party, has always warned digital rights and privacy.

"This indiscriminate identification policy for domain owners is a big step towards the abolition of anonymous publications and internet leaks," Breyer argued in a statement in which he and his party ask for the cancellation of these requirements. According to the politician, the legislation puts website owners in danger, "because only anonymity effectively protects against theft and loss of data, stalking and identity theft and doxxing".

The right to anonymity online activists often recall, it is very important for women, children, minorities and vulnerable people, victims of abuse and stalking. Online privacy is also a great incentive for whistleblowers and political opponents in countries where freedoms are repressed. Only anonymity, according to the MEP, "prevents the persecution and discrimination of courageous people in need of help and guarantees the free exchange of sometimes vital information".

Breyer in this regard recalled that if Wikileaks activists, for example, had to register the platform's website in their name before disclosing their material, would have been immediately prosecuted in the United States. Among the last subjects who gave their opinion to the on this point of the European directive was Denic, the manager of the German domain .de, who made it known that he did not consider "necessary and proportionate" an early identification of the owner of the domain, also defining it as “invasive”.

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Cybersecurity Europe Internet Privacy globalData.fldTopic = "Cybersecurity , Europe, Internet, Privacy "

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