ICANN Announcements

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New Registration Data Directory Services Requirements for gTLD Registries, Registrars to Take Effect in February 2017

26 July 2016

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ICANN today announced that gTLD contracted parties must update their Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) by 1 February 2017. Registries and registrars are required to implement the new Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) gTLD Profile. Registries must also implement the data specifications defined in the Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy.

The RDAP gTLD Profile and the RDDS Consistent Labeling and Display Policy are the products of community efforts to improve the current system used to discover who controls a domain name. This system comprises data retrieval protocols – WHOIS and a web-based version of WHOIS – and databases controlled by registries and registrars that contain domain registration information.

ICANN has notified contracted parties that they are responsible for modifying their systems within six months. ICANN consulted these parties when defining the new requirements and implementation plans.


The Registration Data Access Protocol was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force to eventually replace the WHOIS protocol. This new protocol is superior to WHOIS in terms of data access security, support for international characters, extensibility, and in the standardization of query, response and error messages. The RDAP gTLD Profile maps ICANN policy and contractual requirements onto technical requirements in order to standardize directory services across gTLD contracted parties.

The RDDS Consistent Labeling and Display Policy is a Consensus Policy developed and adopted in accordance with ICANN Bylaws. The policy is the result of recommendations adopted by the GNSO Council after the completion of the Thick WHOIS Policy Development Process. The ICANN board adopted these recommendations on 7 February 2014.

The goal of the RDDS Consistent Labeling and Display Policy is to align the way registries and registrars label and display registration data outputs. The policy uses the output specifications found in the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement as the standard, thus only registries need to update their systems. Changes might include renaming or re-ordering fields and displaying additional data, such as registrar abuse contact information.

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ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.