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WHOIS Privacy Proxy Services Questionnaire (Available Until 28 February 2014)

5 February 2014

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The Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) is seeking information from Privacy and Proxy (P/P) Service Providers on existing practices to inform its deliberations as it develops recommendations on best practices for the proposed Next Generation Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace today's Whois system. The Questionnaire will be used to understand current P/P Provider practices and will be made available until 28 February 2014.

Questionnaire attributes:

All questions can be downloaded in PDF form [PDF, 281 KB] for offline review, with answers submitted either via email to PP-EWG-Survey@icann.org or submitting answers online.

The EWG greatly appreciates any insights on this topic from those P/P Providers interested in sharing information about their current practices. The individual responses will be used only to understand current P/P Provider practices and will not be published by the EWG, unless the P/P Provider requests that its individual response be disclosed. The EWG plans to publish a summary of anonymized, aggregated results for ICANN community use in considering future policy recommendations, and will be shared with the GNSO PDP Working Group on Privacy/Proxy Service Accreditation Issues.


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 Questionnaire 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.

What's Next?

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 Questionnaire. 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 the Questionnaire or the online tool, please contact Margie Milam at PP-EWG-Survey@icann.org.