IP address clerks RIPE: Feds, come back with a warrant, er, web browser

Internet registry tells g-men where to go … to find publicly accessible information

One of the five regional internet registries (RIRs), RIPE, has published its 2015 transparency report reviewing requests from law enforcement for information.

You may be wondering what kind of information an RIR is capable of giving the authorities, since most information regarding the allocation of IP and AS numbers is publicly available. And indeed that's what RIPE – which oversees Europe, the Middle East and parts of central Asia – told them.

In six of the eight requests it received, the Netherlands-based organization simply pointed the authorities to the relevant place online where they could find the information they were after. In three of those six cases, RIPE's public databases had the information; in the other three, it was available elsewhere.

For the last two, RIPE was asked for information about organizations that are responsible for number resources. RIPE refused to cough up the data without a Dutch court order.

It never received a Dutch court order in 2015, but it did receive four non-Dutch subpoenas. Coincidentally, four of the eight requests came from the United States. The other requests came from Spain, Sweden, Australia and Belgium.

The eight requests are not an all-time low. Last year, RIPE received just seven. A long way from the heady days of 2012 when it received 21. ®

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