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RDS Risk Survey and Webinar: How will a Proposed Next Generation Registration Directory Services (RDS) to Replace Whois Impact You? (Available Until 15 May 2014)

8 April 2014

Why this matters

You are invited to participate in a recently launched Registration Directory Service (RDS) Risk Survey. If you currently use Whois - please consider taking this Survey available through 15 May 2014 23:59 UTC

The Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) invites you to participate in its recently launched Registration Directory Service (RDS) Risk Survey.

If you provide or use gTLD domain name registration data (today known as Whois), please consider responding to this survey to share your unique perspective on potential risks and benefits associated with the EWG's proposed RDS, should ICANN choose to implement such as system to replace Whois.

Today, anyone can query Whois to identify the organization or individual responsible for an Internet domain name, known as a Registrant, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. The EWG was asked to re-examine the purpose and provision of this information, envisioning a clean-slate approach to meet global Internet community needs with greater privacy, accuracy, and accountability. The EWG's proposed next generation RDS would collect, validate and disclose registration information for permissible purposes only, with some values remaining public and others being gated – that is, returned only to authorized users with legitimate purposes.

At this point, the RDS is simply a proposal being refined by the EWG for ICANN Board and community consideration. If you are one of the many different individuals, businesses, and other organizations that consume Whois data today, or a domain name Registrant, Registrar, or Registry that provides Whois data today, please participate in this survey. This survey is a chance to tell the EWG about the risks and benefits that the recommended RDS might have for YOU.

All risks and benefits identified through this survey will be published in aggregated, anonymized form and used by the EWG to refine its recommendations and as input to a full risk assessment.

RDS Risk Survey attributes:

  • RDS Risk Survey Availability Date: 15 March 2014
  • RDS Risk Survey address: http://tiny.cc/risk-ewg-survey
  • RDS Risk Survey Close Date: 15 May 2014, 23:59 UTC

To read more, you may download a printable PDF [PDF, 1.93 MB] before returning to http://tiny.cc/risk-ewg-survey to take the on-line survey. Translated versions of this survey will also be available shortly.

To learn more about this survey, please join the EWG for this interactive online workshop: How will Next Generation Registration Directory Services impact you?

Date: Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Time: 19:00-20:30 UTC (time converter: http://tinyurl.com/n9rsmfx)

Date: Thursday, 17 April 2014

Time: 12:00-13:30 UTC (time converter: http://tinyurl.com/ouzekzx)

Additional details on the interactive online workshop are available here.

You may also learn more about the proposed next generation RDS at any time by:


In December 2012, ICANN announced the creation of an Expert Working Group (EWG) on next generation gTLD Registration Directory Services, as a first step in fulfilling the ICANN Board's directive to help redefine the purpose and provision of gTLD registration data. The EWG's findings are expected to serve as a foundation to help the GNSO create a new global policy for the provision of gTLD registration data.

A significant milestone was reached on 24 June 2013 with the publication of the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG)'s Initial Report and FAQs, opening a consultation period with the ICANN community. The Initial Report [PDF, 1.70 MB] enumerated the users, purposes, data elements, recommended principles and features, and proposed model to guide the development of a next generation Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace Whois.

Prior to the ICANN Meeting in Buenos Aires, the EWG published its Status Update Report [PDF, 2.26 MB] to highlight the EWG's thinking on these and many other key issues. It also provides a great deal more detail on the analysis that lay behind the Initial Report [PDF, 1.70 MB].

What's Next?

The EWG is now completing its research and information gathering phase before delivering its final recommendations to the ICANN Board. The RDS Risk Survey is one of several research efforts undertaken being the EWG to ensure that its final recommendations are supported by facts and informed by current practices and input from all those potentially impacted by any next generation system to replace Whois.

The EWG expects to complete its recommendations in 2014, informed by Community feedback and in-depth analysis of selected areas, including the responses to this RDS Risk Survey. The EWG plans to deliver its final report to the ICANN Board in June 2014.


If questions arise about the RDS Risk Survey, please contact us at Risk-EWG-Survey@icann.org.