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WHOIS Privacy and Proxy Survey Final Report Published

In response to requests from the GNSO Council to gather data to inform future WHOIS policy development activities, ICANN has commissioned a series of studies to evaluate different aspects of WHOIS. The WHOIS Privacy and Proxy Relay/Reveal Final Report, prepared by the Interisle Consulting Group in Boston, MA, USA, is the first of these studies to be published by ICANN. The Final Report takes into account public comment received on the Draft Report (See: http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/whois-pp-survey-04jun12-en.htm), and is available at http://gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/whois-pp-survey-final-report-22aug12-en.pdf [PDF, 1.23 MB]. The Appendices are available at http://gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/whois-pp-survey-final-report-appendices-22aug12-en.pdf [PDF, 2.11 MB].

This survey was organized to determine the feasibility of conducting a future in-depth study to examine requests to relay communications to, and to reveal the identity of, customers of proxy and privacy services used in connection with gTLD domain names. The Interisle Consulting Group completed the survey in August 2012. The findings suggest that it may be feasible to tailor a future study to provide aggregated data and basic data collection from privacy and proxy providers. Such a future survey is likely to be well regarded by all stakeholders in the community, as it would provide significantly useful data in understanding how privacy and proxy providers manage relay and reveal requests.

The GNSO Council is expected to evaluate whether to recommend a new future study based upon the findings of the WHOIS Privacy and Proxy Survey Final Report.

For more information on the WHOIS Studies, please see: http://gnso.icann.org/issues/whois/studies.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."