Restricted access to the previously public WHOIS domain database has been a major obstacle for investigators at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department attempting to combat coronavirus-related scam websites. Partner Libby Baney commented on this issue in an article from Morning Consult.
Baney said that while the government response to the proliferation of coronavirus-related scam websites has been “fantastic,” including takedowns announced by the Department of Justice in April, the problem can’t be solved through enforcement actions alone. Structural changes are also needed, she said.
“We can’t get our arms around all of the domain registrars globally,” Baney said. “The internet is global, and we only have domestic jurisdiction, but even if we did have jurisdiction, there’s too many domain names and criminals online for us to be able to enforce our way out of the problem.”