Skip to main content

Preliminary Issue Report on 'Thick' Whois

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 21 November 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 30 December 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

ICANN Staff is seeking comments on its Preliminary Issue Report on 'Thick' Whois [PDF, 635 KB]. Specifically, this Report addresses not only a possible requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs in the context of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP), but also considers any other positive and/or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account when deciding whether a requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs would be desirable or not.

The Preliminary Issue Report informs the GNSO Council concerning the possible requirement of 'thick' Whois for all incumbent gTLDs in advance of the Council's vote on whether to commence a Policy Development Process (PDP) on this issue.

This Public Comment solicitation represents an opportunity for the ICANN community to provide its views on this topic and on whether a Policy Development Process should be initiated to consider the requirement of 'thick' Whois for all incumbent gTLDs. This Preliminary Issue Report will be updated to reflect community feedback submitted through this forum. A Final Issue Report will then be presented to the GNSO Council for its consideration.
Section II: Background

In the context of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Part A as well as the Part B Working Group, the issue of 'thick' Whois was discussed and it was noted that: “The benefit would be that in a thick registry one could develop a secure method for a gaining registrar to gain access to the registrant contact information. Currently there is no standard means for the secure exchange of registrant details in a thin registry. In this scenario, disputes between the registrant and admin contact could be reduced, as the registrant would become the ultimate approver of a transfer”. At the same time it was noted that even though requiring 'thick' Whois for all incumbent gTLDs would have benefits in the context of transfers, it would be important to explore 'any other potential positive or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account'. As a result, the IRTP Part B Working Group recommended requesting: “an Issue Report on the requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs. Such an Issue Report and possible subsequent Policy Development Process should not only consider a possible requirement of 'thick' WHOIS or all incumbent gTLDs in the context of IRTP, but should also consider any other positive and/or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account when deciding whether a requirement of 'thick' WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs would be desirable or not”. This recommendation that was adopted by the GNSO Council at its meeting on 22 September 2011 (see http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/).

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Preliminary Issue Report on 'Thick' Whois [PDF, 635 KB]

Section IV: Additional Information
None
Staff Contact: Marika Konings Email: policy-staff@icann.org

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.


More Announcements
Domain Name System
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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."