Registrars don’t have to provide data requested by lawyers

08.05.2018

In late March 2018, the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ sent an enquiry to the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), seeking explanation of the procedure for disclosing data on domain registrants under lawyer requests. Accredited registrars regularly face this issue. In its letter, Roskomnadzor explains how registrars should act when receiving enquiries from lawyers.

According to Roskomnadzor, “the lawyers’ right to seek data for legal assistance purposes, or the obligation of government agencies, local governments, public associations and other organizations to provide such data do not apply to confidential data as per the Federal Law on Personal Data.” On the contrary, personal data operators must refrain from disclosing or circulating personal data without the consent of data subjects.

“Without consent from the domain name registrant, the registrar has no right to disclose information containing the personal data of the domain name registrant, since it would run counter to the requirements set out in the Federal Law on Personal Data,” the Roskomnadzor letter notes. In other words, registrars are under no obligation to provide such data, unless expressly authorized by their clients.

“Our registrars regularly ask whether they have a right to disclose data on their clients in line with lawyers’ enquiries. This issue has been repeatedly discussed in various formats, and the latest Roskomnadzor explanation unequivocally answers this question. Therefore registrars have the final say on responding to lawyers’ enquiries,” Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Andrei Vorobyov noted.