Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registry Agreements
.org Registry Agreement: Appendix O
6 June 2003
The redlining below shows changes to the October 2002 version of Appendix O of the .org Registry Agreement to implement the Redemption Service. Added text is shown with underlining and in magenta;
Whois Specification – Public Whois
The Whois service is compliant with RFC 954. The primary Whois services substantially consist of:
The Registry Operator will offer other, enhanced Whois services, some of which are defined in this document.
The primary Whois services are described in more detail below.
Public Interest Registry's (PIR) Whois service is the authoritative Whois service for all second-level Internet domain names registered in the.org top-level domain and for all hosts registered using these names. This service is available to anyone. It is available via port 43 access and through the PIR web site.
PIR will initially operate the .org registry Whois in a manner consistent with a "thin" registry (i.e. similar to its operation by its current Registry Operator, Verisign, and as further detailed in the specifications below).
Upon conclusion of the Transition Process (as detailed in Appendix J), the .org Whois service (thick registry) will provide a central, openly accessible system for information regarding a particular second level domain name registration in the .org TLD.
The Registry Whois system has been designed for robustness, availability, and performance. Provisions for detection of abusive usage, like excessive numbers of queries from one source, have been taken into account, and other countermeasures against abuse will be activated if necessary.
The Registry Operator will initially provide at least two operational Whois databases running simultaneously at two different locations. The Whois databases will be situated on a high-availability system at both the main data center and the disaster recovery site.
All Whois servers will run an update daemon. For Whois servers at the main data center, the update application will only be accessible from the internal network. External Whois sites, including the Disaster Recovery site Whois server, will utilize a secure communication channel for these updates. An update scheme such as described above ensures that the Whois data is secure, accurate, and optimizes bandwidth usage.
The Whois servers shall provide results for ASCII domains, and will not initially support the lookup of non-ASCII-script names (also known as IDNs). RACE-based IDNs were registered by the previous registry operator for .org; Whois information for these names may being accessed using the ASCII equivalent. As described in Appendix C, the Registry Operator proposes to introduce services supporting for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in the future. Details of these proposals will be provided to ICANN for its review and approval, consistent with ICANN's overall plans for the introduction of IDNs.
The status values reported will be those stated in http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-provreg-epp-domain-07.txt except that domains in PendingDelete status will be reported as either PENDING-DELETE (Restorable) or PENDING-DELETE (Scheduled for release) as appropriate.
This Appendix is subject to change by agreement of Registry Operator and ICANN during the design process as well as during the IETF standards process. Further, Registry Operator reserves the right to develop these services internally or out-source management of the facilities to an external contractor under terms that are consistent with the standards of the proposed service.
The Whois service is described in more detail below.
Registry Operator will make available a Whois interface on its website which can also be linked to by each ICANN-Accredited Registrar that is a party to a Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator. The information available in the Whois database will be returned as a results page on the website.
For the fields contained in the returned Data in the Results Page on the website (identical to the port 43-thick registry Whois), and an example of a record returned, please see the Whois Output Fields section below. When thick registry Whois information is unavailable, the Registry shall provide thin registry Whois information, as specified in the Whois Output Fields section below.
The only purpose of this web interface is to provide a user-friendly interface for Whois queries. It does not provide any additional features beyond what is described in the port 43 section of this appendix.
The update frequency of Whois data is specified in Section 4.2 of Appendix D.
Access to the Whois data is provided through a subset of the Whois protocol, supporting exact queries for domain names, contact IDs, registrar name, nameserver hostname and nameserver ip-address. The Whois data will also be accessible through the Registry web interface as described above. Apart from as specified above, bulk access to the Whois data will be made available as specified in Appendix P and Appendix Q.
General security measures such as password aging policy, firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and network traffic monitoring systems will be provided for the Whois services, as further described in the Security section of Appendix C.
The Whois output in the thick registry model, which will be the only supported model at the completion of the Transition Plan, will be returned with the respective key/value pairs, which will eliminate the need for registrars to store additional information in their own local database, then combine it with the registry Whois information when they present it to end users. The proposed capability will also ensure that end users will view the same information no matter which registrar they use to retrieve Whois data.
Registry Operator will use its best commercial efforts to develop and implement an extended Whois (xWhois) service. This subscription-based service is intended to provide:
This service is intentionally separated from the standard Whois service due to the high transaction loads that will be placed on the standard service due to the thick-registry model, and the requirements to meet service level agreements. While the RFC954-conformant Whois service will be updated in near real-time, there is no need for the enhanced service to have this requirement due to the nature of its usage. The enhanced service will not be required to conform to service level agreements, so the registry can be more liberal enabling enhanced functionality that places additional load on the enhanced services infrastructure. The maximum update latency of the enhanced service will be 48 hours after updates to the core registry database are received.
For subscribers to the xWhois service, a web-based user interface will be available to define the desired output fields and search criteria. A batch process generates the report and notifies the subscriber that it is available for download. xWhois queries will search all records from a copy of the Registry database that will be updated once every two days.
PIR reserves the right to introduce the ability for registrars to use XRP, to add customized fields to a record in the registry database. These fields will appear in an "additional information" section of the Whois data. The maximum number of custom fields allowed per record is yet to be determined.
This fee-based extensible-field capability will eliminate the need for registrars to store additional information in their own local database, then combine it with the registry Whois information when they present it to end users. The proposed capability will also ensure that end users will view the same information no matter which registrar they use to retrieve Whois data.
[RFC954] K. Harrenstien et al.: "NICNAME/WHOIS", RFC-954, October 1985.
[XML-WHOIS] R. Wesson: "Whois Export and Exchange Format", http://www.icann.org/committees/whois/draft-wesson-whois-export-03.txt, Work in Progress.
[IETF-CRISP] A. Newton: “Cross Registry Internet Service Protocol (CRISP) Requirements” http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-crisp-requirements-01.txt
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