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Request for Information on Registration Directory Service User Accreditation (Available Until 10 March 2014)

10 February 2014

ICANN is publishing Request for Information (RFI) [PDF, 787 KB] to identify any organizations capable of accrediting users of the new Registration Directory Service (RDS) now under consideration to replace the current WHOIS system. RDS users may include (but are not limited to) Registrants, Proxy Service Providers and Customers, Internet Technical Staff, On-Line Service Providers, Individual and Business Internet Users, Internet Researchers, Intellectual Property Owners, Law Enforcement Agencies, Operations/Security Incident Investigators, and others requesting gTLD domain name registration data for legitimate purposes.

Purpose of RFI

ICANN is releasing this Request for Information at the request of the Expert Working Group on Next Generation gTLD Directory Services (EWG). The EWG is now developing recommendations to identify a replacement to the current WHOIS system that could better meet global Internet community needs for domain name registration data while offering greater privacy, accuracy, and accountability. With this Request for Information, the EWG seeks to solicit responses from organizations that currently issue system access credentials to authorized members of their own community, using defined acceptance criteria. The EWG hopes to build upon existing membership or credentialing processes to fulfill RDS user accreditation needs, should ICANN pursue RDS implementation in the future.

The purpose of this RFI is purely informational – that is, to inform the development of policies and procedures that may follow the EWG's Final Report. As a result, potential Respondents responding to any future RFP for the EWG Project will not be bound by the estimates, prices, or other information provided in response to this RFI.

RFI Attributes

  • RFI Availability Date: 10 February 2014
  • The Requirements and Instructions are more fully described in the RFI [PDF, 787 KB]
  • RFI Close Date: 10 March 2014, 23:59 UTC
  • RFI Language: English only
  • Responses should be submitted via email to rfi-response@icann.org

The EWG greatly appreciates any insights on this topic from those organizations interested in sharing information about their services.

Background on the EWG Project

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].

The EWG is currently in its research and information gathering phase. This RFI is one of several research efforts that the EWG is currently undertaking to ensure that its final recommendations are supported by facts and informed by current practices.

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 RFI. The EWG plans to reconvene in March 2014 to derive fact-based recommendations after carefully examining the results of its research, and expects to deliver its final report to the ICANN Board by June 2014.


If questions arise about this RFI regarding the EWG Project, please contact Margie Milam. Any such inquiries should be sent to: rfi-response@icann.org.