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New public consultation to facilitate access to registration data for authorized authorities

Home > Observatory and resources > News > New public consultation to facilitate access to registration data for authorized authorities

From 12 September to 12 October 2022, Afnic invites you to give your opinion on plans to change the terms of access to the .fr and French overseas domain names database.

This project involves giving certain public authorities with a right of communication direct access to particulars of domain name holders in the registry’s database via the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP).

As part of the currently deliberation on the definition and detection of online abuse and the tools with which to combat it, we launched an initial consultation in June on the detection of registration data contrary to the Naming Policy from the moment of creation of the domain name (open until September 25th).

We now invite you to take part in a new public consultation aimed at gathering contributions from all stakeholders interested in improving the tools for combating abuse.

This new consultation concerns the plan to give the public authorities with a right of communication direct, secure access to the particulars of private individual domain name holders under the TLDs: .fr, .re (Réunion), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Lands), wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte).

As a reminder, access to particulars of private individual holders is under restricted publication by default. That means that the personal data of these holders are not published and consequently are not directly accessible via the Whois service.

The proposed change will allow authorised authorities to consult the domain name database directly and in real time to obtain information that is not publicly accessible.  It will no longer be necessary to contact Afnic for each request, as is currently the case.

The authorities making these requests to Afnic to date are: the gendarmerie, the police, the CNIL (French Data Protection Agency), the DGCCRF (General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), the DGFiP (General Directorate of Public Finance), the Customs and the DDPP (Departmental Directorates for the Protection of Populations).

Access, in the form of direct, secured viewing of the registration data in the registry’s database that are not publicly accessible, will be by means of the RDAP (Registration Data Access Protocol).

Only information on the contact holder associated with the domain name or NIC Handle requested will be disclosed. It will not be possible to gain access to the complete portfolio of a holder or to the entire database.

Afnic’s responsibility in granting this direct access is to continue to ensure the confidentiality of the personal particulars of holders while taking care to limit access and disclosure to actors that are duly empowered.

This project forms part of our overall approach to combating abuse, and more specifically our aim of facilitating the access of public authorities to domain name registration data in the context of their investigative powers for the repression of online abuse.

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About Afnic

Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.

In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.

Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.