ICANN commenced a Whois Compliance audit in September 2010. This audit will be continuous as ICANN intends to consistently monitor whether registrars comply with their obligations to provide public access to data on registered names via port 43.
Registrar Accreditation Agreement ("RAA"), section 3.3 states that registrars are required to make the following data available via Whois servers:
- The name of the Registered Name;
- The names of the primary nameserver and secondary nameserver(s) for the Registered Name;
- The identity of Registrar (which may be provided through Registrar's website);
- The original creation date of the registration;
- The expiration date of the registration;
- The name and postal address of the Registered Name Holder;
- The name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available) fax number of the technical contact for the Registered Name; and
- The name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available) fax number of the administrative contact for the Registered Name.
Whether registrars comply with their obligations to provide Whois data via port 43 is important. Internet users, including law enforcement agencies, academic researchers, anti-email abuse organizations, intellectual property rights holders, and individuals checking for name availability all use port 43 Whois searches as their primary means for retrieving data associated with domain names.
During the audit period, ICANN monitored an estimated 880 registrars. The compliance team used an automated system developed in-house that attempted to collect a sample of Whois data from each active registrar on a daily basis. ICANN will publish the findings of this audit in its upcoming Public Access to Data on Registered Names (Whois) via Port 43Audit Report, which will be available at http://www.icann.org/en/compliance/.