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Thick WHOIS Registration Data Directory Services Requirements to Take Effect

1 February 2017

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LOS ANGELES – 1 February 2017 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that all ICANN gTLD contracted parties must update their registration data directory services to comply with the Thick Whois Transition Policy for .COM, .NET and .JOBS and Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy.

The policies require all gTLD registrations to be Thick with a consistent labeling and display of WHOIS output. gTLD registry operators currently providing Thin WHOIS services – .COM, .NET and .JOBS – must submit all new domain name registrations as Thick WHOIS by 1 May 2018. These registries must also migrate all data required for Thick WHOIS services for existing domain names by 1 February 2019. These changes are required by the Thick Whois Transition Policy for .COM, .NET and .JOBS. In addition, registries and registrars are required to implement the data specifications defined in the Registry Registration Data Directory Services Consistent Labeling and Display Policy by 1 August 2017. ICANN has notified contracted parties of their new responsibilities.


ICANN's agreements with accredited registrars and with gTLD registry operators require compliance with various specifically stated procedures and "consensus policies." Consensus policies are developed through a bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development process in accordance with ICANN Bylaws. The ICANN Board adopted GNSO consensus policy recommendations regarding the use of Thick WHOIS by all gTLD registries on 7 February 2014. The recommendations state that, "The provision of Thick Whois services, with a consistent labeling and display as per the model outlined in specification 3 of the 2013 [Registrar Accreditation Agreement], should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future."

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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.