At the 30 April 2023 Board Meeting, the ICANN Board of Directors adopted a resolution directing the ICANN organization (org) to implement the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Global Amendments to the Base Generic Top-level Domain (gTLD) Registry Agreement (RA), Specification 13 of the Base gTLD RA, and 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). The global amendments specify operational requirements for providing Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) via RDAP and detail the sunset of certain obligations for registries and registrars to provide RDDS via the WHOIS protocol by 28 January 2025.
The adoption of this resolution marks an important milestone in ICANN's commitment to the Internet community to improve the WHOIS system by updating the underlying technology with the more secure and capable RDAP. Internet users now will have access to improved and more user-friendly tools to conduct queries for public domain name registration data, much like the publicly available ICANN Lookup Tool.
Access to public registration data information is an important part of maintaining a robust Internet ecosystem. It not only improves registrant accountability, it also provides important information that is needed for reporting technical issues or abuse practices related to a specific domain name or Internet Protocol address.
The RDAP protocol, developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force, makes access to registration data more secure and provides many advantages over the WHOIS protocol. These benefits include standardized queries, secure access to data, extensibility, differentiated access, support for internationalization of registration data, and the ability to search for objects. The scalable technical architecture also will accommodate any new and future policy-driven functionality requirements.
In adopting this resolution, the ICANN Board carefully reviewed the proposed changes to the RA, Specification 13, and the RAA that were negotiated by ICANN org and the Contracted Party House Negotiating Team, made up of members of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group and Registrars Stakeholder Group. It also took into account the Public Comment proceeding and the contracted party voting results. The ICANN Board is confident that the global amendments adequately clarify what is contractually required, and will lead to a better registration data query experience for contracted parties and the public.
More information on RDAP is available on the RDAP page.