ICANN is issuing today a Request for Proposal [PDF, 183 KB] to identify a provider capable of providing an open source reference implementation of a Domain Name RESTful Whois server.
On 15 May 2012, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) chartered a new working group to standardize a RESTful-based Registration Data Access Protocol. In order to facilitate the evaluation and adoption of the replacement protocol for domain registries and registrars, ICANN is seeking proposals for an open source reference implementation.
Whois services, and their effectiveness in the case of Internationalized registration data, are important issues for ICANN. ICANN has been working to make advances in this area, appreciating the technical community's past and present contributions, and committed to collaborating with the technical and policy community to improve the Whois service.
Beginning in 2002, ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) published various advisories describing the needs for improvement related to the Whois protocol, service and data schema, most recently SAC 051 [PDF, 237 KB]: SSAC Report on Domain Name Whois Terminology and Structure. SAC 051 summarizes the previous advisories, and among other things, recommends that the ICANN community evaluate and adopt a replacement protocol that supports the query and display of Internationalized registration data as well as addressing the relevant recommendations in past SSAC advisories on this topic.
Respondents are requested to respond to this RFP by replying to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The period to submit questions about the RFP will close on 5 June 2012. ICANN will provide answers to all questions submitted to all respondents by 7 June 2012. The final response to the RFP is due on 15 June 2012.