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Debut of the Beta Launch of the WHOIS Website – Phase I

4 November 2013

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by Margie Milam, Senior Director- Strategic Initiatives

Last November, ICANN set its sights on making meaningful improvements to WHOIS, especially in the areas of accuracy and access. Significant resources have been devoted to implementing improvements based on the work of the WHOIS Review Team.

I am pleased to report that ICANN has achieved several milestones, including strengthened contractual requirements (such as new validation and verification requirements and standards for privacy/proxy services) and streamlined compliance processes for WHOIS inaccuracy complaints. In addition, ICANN has engaged in a series of global registrar outreach events to facilitate the transition to these new requirements. In the coming months, ICANN will be rolling out a series of additional improvements that are based on the Action Plan [PDF, 119 KB] adopted by the ICANN Board.

Today, ICANN is debuting Phase I of the WHOIS website, which is now available for your feedback and commentary. The WHOIS website is one of the key projects emerging from ICANN’s response to the WHOIS Review Team’s Final Report.

For the first time, you can visit one location to learn all about WHOIS. Phase I offers a central location for information on any aspects of WHOIS. The WHOIS website consolidates content regarding WHOIS into an easy-to-read, easy-to-locate format. It will be followed by upgrades in Phase II to include a centralized search portal functionality for all gTLDs, along with publication of accuracy statistics to track the effectiveness of recent improvements to the WHOIS service.

Phase I includes:

  • History of WHOIS
  • Technical Overview
  • Glossary
  • Knowledge Center to locate documents pertaining to WHOIS
  • Get Involved – for those interested in participating in policy activities
  • Improve WHOIS – where complaints regarding accuracy and access can be submitted
  • FAQs

Test it out and let us know if you find it useful, or provide feedback on how it can better suit your needs at http://whois.icann.org/en/submit-feedback.

The WHOIS website is just one of the many ways ICANN is implementing the WHOIS Review Team recommendations. To learn more about the status of the other improvements to WHOIS, ICANN has published the first Annual Report on WHOIS Improvements, which details all of these activities, and lets you know what to expect in the coming months.