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Preliminary Issue Report on 'Thick' Whois

21 November 2011

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 21 November 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 30 December 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

ICANN Staff is seeking comments on its Preliminary Issue Report on 'Thick' Whois [PDF, 635 KB]. Specifically, this Report addresses not only a possible requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs in the context of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP), but also considers any other positive and/or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account when deciding whether a requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs would be desirable or not.

The Preliminary Issue Report informs the GNSO Council concerning the possible requirement of 'thick' Whois for all incumbent gTLDs in advance of the Council's vote on whether to commence a Policy Development Process (PDP) on this issue.

This Public Comment solicitation represents an opportunity for the ICANN community to provide its views on this topic and on whether a Policy Development Process should be initiated to consider the requirement of 'thick' Whois for all incumbent gTLDs. This Preliminary Issue Report will be updated to reflect community feedback submitted through this forum. A Final Issue Report will then be presented to the GNSO Council for its consideration.
Section II: Background

In the context of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Part A as well as the Part B Working Group, the issue of 'thick' Whois was discussed and it was noted that: “The benefit would be that in a thick registry one could develop a secure method for a gaining registrar to gain access to the registrant contact information. Currently there is no standard means for the secure exchange of registrant details in a thin registry. In this scenario, disputes between the registrant and admin contact could be reduced, as the registrant would become the ultimate approver of a transfer”. At the same time it was noted that even though requiring 'thick' Whois for all incumbent gTLDs would have benefits in the context of transfers, it would be important to explore 'any other potential positive or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account'. As a result, the IRTP Part B Working Group recommended requesting: “an Issue Report on the requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs. Such an Issue Report and possible subsequent Policy Development Process should not only consider a possible requirement of 'thick' WHOIS or all incumbent gTLDs in the context of IRTP, but should also consider any other positive and/or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account when deciding whether a requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs would be desirable or not”. This recommendation that was adopted by the GNSO Council at its meeting on 22 September 2011 (see http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/).

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Preliminary Issue Report on 'Thick' Whois [PDF, 635 KB]

Section IV: Additional Information
None
Staff Contact: Marika Konings Email: policy-staff@icann.org

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.