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Call for Volunteers for the Registration Directory Service (formerly WHOIS) Review Team

6 December 2016

In addition to the U.N. six languages, this content is also available in

REVISED DEADLINE Extension – Applications to be appointed to the Registration Directory Service (RDS) Review Team are due on 20 March 2017, 23:59 UTC.

ICANN is seeking volunteers to serve on the second review of Registration Directory Service (formerly known as the WHOIS Review). Interested individuals are invited to provide the following information, in the template [PDF, 2.66 MB] provided:

  • A biography, detailing relevant work and/or academic experience, as well as subject matter knowledge;
  • Your motivation for detailing your interest in serving on the Review Team and what you will bring to the team;
  • Specify the Supporting Organization (SO) or Advisory Committee (AC) that you would like to have consider you for nomination.

Candidates are asked to submit their application materials to reviews@icann.org by 20 March 2017, 23:59 UTC.

Note that all applications and supporting materials will be published as they are received on the RDS wiki page.

Scope of the Review

Recent discussions among the leadership of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/AC) and the Board Working Group on Registration Directory Service have highlighted concerns with the expected workload and community bandwidth in light of all the WHOIS related activities currently underway.

One of the first tasks that the team will face is to develop and deliver to the Board a Terms of Reference and Work Plan by 15 May 2017 that describes the scope of the work to be undertaken by the team. The time commitment for Review Team members will be determined by the team's agreed scope of work and Terms of Reference, and may range from 6 -18 months depending upon whether a full scope or a limited scope is adopted.

Selection of the Review Team

Under the new Bylaws, each SO/AC will have an opportunity to nominate up to seven applicants to serve on the Review Team. An applicant's name will only be presented to the SO/AC identified by the applicant for consideration. After SO/AC nomination process concludes, all nominations will be provided to the SO/AC Leaders to conduct the selection process for the Review Team according to the specified expertise and diversity (gender and geographic) requirements from the nominations received, the Review Team may contain up to 21 members, plus an ICANN Board member (designated by the ICANN Board).


Original Call for volunteers published 28 October 2016
Revised Deadline to apply for Review Team 20 March 2017

Time Commitment

Applicants should be prepared to devote their time to the review process. Review Team work is expected to include regular conference calls (some of which may not be held during business hours in all time zones), and possibly up to three face-to-face meetings, each lasting two to three days.

Under a full Review, the Review Team members will be asked to commit their time for 12 to 18 months. Under the Limited Scope Proposal, the RDS Review Team may be asked to complete its work within six months of its first meeting.


RDS Review Team members will not receive compensation from ICANN for their service on the team. However, travel, meal and lodging costs for Review Team members who participate in Review Team meetings will be reimbursed upon request in accordance with ICANN's community travel support guidelines.


  • Participate in creation of charter documents for the Review Team;
  • Select appropriate performance indicators and benchmarks;
  • Consider public, community and Board input and incorporate it as appropriate in Review Team recommendations;
  • Determine whether additional data or analysis is needed and participate in an ensuing provider selection, if necessary;
  • Provide timely updates to the community on the status of the Review Team's work;
  • Analyze findings;
  • Draw conclusions based on findings, develop useful and feasible recommendations;
  • Provide guidance on prioritization of recommendations and definition of desired outcomes;
  • Post the draft report of the Review Team for public review and comment;
  • Deliver a final Review Team report; and
  • Designate Review Team members to participate in the implementation planning work that follows the delivery of the final Review Team report.

Skills and Experience

To compose a well-balanced Review Team, ICANN seeks members who, in the aggregate, possess the following skills and experience:

  • Prior member of the 1st WHOIS Review Team or was an active contributor to its work
  • Prior member of the Expert Working Group on Registration Directory Service
  • Familiarity with operation of the Domain Name System (DNS)
  • Familiarity with WHOIS registrant data collection, compliance, directory service (RDDS) management
  • Familiarity with Translation and Transliteration of WHOIS Contact Information
  • Familiarity with ICANN Procedure for Handling WHOIS Conflicts with Privacy Law
  • Familiarity with malware and abuse vectors and mitigations, including cybercrime
  • Familiarity with WHOIS Data Retention Waiver Process

Composition of the Review Team, depending on expertise and skills required, will aim to achieve:

  • Diversity in general, with particular attention on:
    • Geographic diversity; and
    • Gender diversity.

Desired Attributes

Applicants should possess the following professional and personal attributes:

  • Multistakeholder community understanding
  • Team spirit, adaptability, consensus-seeking attitude
  • Willingness to learn
  • Readiness to contribute
  • Capacity to reason objectively, putting aside personal opinions or preconceptions
  • Analytical skills

Methodology, Budget & Support

ICANN will provide the Review Team with a clearly articulated review budget at the start. Throughout the review, there will be periodic reporting by the Review Team on its progress relative to planned schedule and budget. A clear and focused review scope is expected to assist the Review Team with prioritizing recommendations in order to optimize finite ICANN resources (time and budget).

ICANN organizational support will be made available to the Review Team. Support could include assistance with project management; organization of work, documents and activities; as well as sharing of tools and best practices for conducting an effective review.

English is the working language of the Review Team. Key communications and documents will be translated in accordance with the ICANN Language Services policies.


Community-led reviews are an important mechanism for furthering ICANN's obligations outlined in the new Bylaws that went into force on 1 October 2016.

  • Ensuring accountability, transparency and the interests of global Internet users;
  • Preserving security, stability and resiliency of the DNS;
  • Promoting competition, consumer trust and consumer choice;
  • Registration Directory Service (WHOIS) policy.

These Specific Reviews replace the reviews that were formerly mandated under the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC). The specific objectives for the Registration Directory Service (RDS) Review are to review the effectiveness of WHOIS, and whether its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement, promoting consumer trust and safeguarding registrant data.

The first WHOIS review concluded in 2012 and was conducted under the AOC. The Final Report [PDF, 1.44 MB] from the First Review Team was submitted to the ICANN Board on 11 May 2012, with Board action to approve the report and recommendations, including the implementation plan [PDF, 119 KB] occurred on 8 November 2012. For more information on the status of the implementation activities arising out of the 1st WHOIS Review team, please visit the WHOIS Implementation Wiki.

Additional Materials

RDS Call for Volunteers presentation


If you have any questions, please contact Margie Milam or Karen Mulberry at reviews@icann.org.