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WHOIS: Continuous Improvements in the Works

9 June 2015
By Margie Milam

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I am truly impressed by the pace of WHOIS related milestones recently achieved by the community. These are on top of the heavy workload related to the IANA stewardship transition. Since the Singapore Meeting, the community has tackled difficult WHOIS issues, such as internationalized registration data, new access protocols, and proposed rules for privacy and proxy services. These community-driven recommendations reflect the strength of ICANN's unique multi-stakeholder model, and its ability to responsibly react to the needs of the Internet and the domain name marketplace.

Highlights include:

  • IETF RFC 7481 published, describing a new access protocol, referred to as RDAP, enabling the delivery of internationalized registration data.
  • GNSO Privacy and Proxy Accreditation PDP Initial Report [PDF, 1.3 MB] published for public comment, proposing a comprehensive set of new rules to apply to privacy and proxy services.
  • Expert Working Group on Internationalized Registration Data published its Draft Final Report [PDF, 568 KB] for public comment, describing a data model to enable internationalized contact data.
  • Registrars and ICANN Staff reviewed the WHOIS Accuracy Specification of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and solicited feedback on the suggested updates.
  • WHOIS Accuracy Reporting System (ARS) Pilot Study Completed, and the Launch of Phase 1 of the ARS- syntactic accuracy assessments, incorporating improvements [PDF, 211 KB] based on community feedback and lessons learned from the Pilot.
  • Board Approved EWG Process Framework developed in collaboration with the GNSO, to explore whether new policies are needed to create the next generation of registration directory services to replace today's WHOIS

These are just a few of many WHOIS related improvements in the works. Please refer to the WHOIS Improvements Chart [PDF, 579 KB] for the latest details. As we look forward to the second half of 2015, expect these improvements to continue as we prepare for the Second WHOIS Review Team to be convened under ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments.


Margie Milam