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GNSO Consideration of Proposed Changes to WHOIS

Public comments are invited via email until 00:00 UTC (17:00 PDT) on 30 October 2007 on the GNSO Council's WHOIS reports and recommendations.

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View comments at


A Whois taskforce convened in June 2005 completed its work and sent a final report to the GNSO Council in March 2007. In that report, a majority of members endorsed a proposal called the "Operational Point of Contact" (OPOC). Under OPOC, every registrant would identify a new operational point of contact and the registrant's postal address, city, and postal code would no longer be displayed. The operational point of contact's name and contact information would be displayed instead, and it would replace the administrative and technical contacts.

Expanding on that work, the GNSO Council in March created a Whois working group to examine three issues and make recommendations on them:

  1. To examine the roles, responsibilities and requirements of the OPOC, and what happens if they are not fulfilled;
  2. To examine how legitimate interests will access unpublished registration data; and
  3. To examine whether publication of registration contact information should be based on the type of registered name holder (legal vs. natural persons) or the registrant's use of a domain name.

The working group's report [PDF, 213K] was published on 20 August 2007. On 6 September 2007, the GNSO Council approved a resolution for further public comment on the report with the intention to lead to a vote on the issue on 31 October 2007 during the Los Angeles ICANN meeting.

The resolution called for ICANN staff to prepare a "final report" covering the Whois reports referenced above and called Staff overview of Recent GNSO Whois Activities [PDF, 161K] by 11 October, 2007. Public comments are invited on both of the GNSO Council's Whois reports and recommendations referenced above and summarized in the Final Staff Overview of Recent GNSO WHOIS Activity of 11 October.

Please comment on the Whois Task Force and Working Group Reports, the 11 October Final Staff overview of Recent GNSO Whois Activities [PDF, 161K] and the 11 October Staff Implementation Notes on the Whois Working Group Report [PDF, 161K] .

Comments will be taken until 00:00 UTC (17:00 PDT) on 30 October 2007.

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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."