I am delighted to report that ICANN has engaged Interisle Consulting Group to survey gTLD domain name registrants, registrars, and privacy and proxy service providers regarding their willingness and ability to participate in future Whois Relay and Reveal studies.
The GNSO Council has expressed interest in understanding, broadly and in depth, relay and reveal requests sent for privacy and proxy-registered domain names, how such requests are originated and processed, and what factors promote or impede timely communication and resolution.
This survey is aimed at establishing a foundation for that future study by gauging the willingness and ability of request originators, privacy/proxy providers, and registrars to participate, by identifying factors that would facilitate or inhibit their participation, and by developing a list of individuals and organizations potentially willing to participate.
The Interisle team expects to spend approximately four months on the project, during which time they will develop and launch an on-line survey, reach out to relay/reveal request originators, privacy/proxy providers, and registrars, and conduct follow-up interviews. Participants will be asked about whether data documenting their own relay/reveal experiences could be shared and under what conditions, their potential interest in participating in such a study, and tools that would make participating easier.
This survey is expected to help the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council determine whether a sufficiently broad, representative request sample could be obtained to obtain meaningful results from a future in-depth study of Relay/Reveal requests.
ICANN looks forward to working with Interisle to gather input from a geographically-diverse set of potential participants, establishing the essential foundation for such a study.
To learn more about the proposed Whois Privacy/Proxy Relay and Reveal Study or additional studies now being conducted at the request of the GNSO Council, visit http://gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/. Interisle’s point of contact for the project is Chris Owens, firstname.lastname@example.org.