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WHOIS Policy Review Team – Discussion Paper

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 9 June 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 23 July 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

Discussion Paper

The WHOIS Policy Review Team wishes to solicit input from the community on its Discussion Paper [PDF, 182 KB], which calls for feedback on issues identified by the Review Team. The following issues were drawn from areas of interest identified in preliminary discussions and interactions with the community:

  • Clarity of Existing Policy
  • Applicable Laws, Privacy issues and Proxy/Privacy
  • ICANN's compliance and enforcement activities
  • Other Issues

The community's participation is essential to the success of the review and all input will be carefully considered. The WHOIS Review Team also welcomes general comments and feedback on any other issues that the Review Team should consider.

Section II: Background

The WHOIS Policy Review Team was launched in October 2010 in line with the Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) provisions, section 9.3.1, which stipulates that:

"ICANN additionally commits to enforcing its existing policy relating to WHOIS, subject to applicable laws. Such existing policy requires that ICANN implement measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to accurate and complete WHOIS information, including registrant, technical, billing, and administrative contact information. One year from the effective date of this document and then no less frequently than every three years thereafter, ICANN will organize a review of WHOIS policy and its implementation to assess the extent to which WHOIS policy is effective and its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promotes consumer trust."

The WHOIS Policy Review Team is composed of ten SO/AC representatives, two independent experts, one Law Enforcement representative, the ICANN President and CEO (Selector)’s designated nominee, and the Chair of the GAC (Selector)’s designated nominee. For full reference, please consult:

In March 2011, the WHOIS Policy RT submitted its scope of work and roadmap, outreach plan, action plan and list of key definitions for public comment In San Francisco, it held sessions with a number of ICANN SO/ACs and Constituencies as well as a general interaction with the community session in order to gather feedback on its working definitions.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

The Review Team's progress, working documents, activities may be viewed on a public Wiki at:

Translations of the WHOIS Review Team Discussion Paper:

[PDF, 150 KB]
[PDF, 149 KB]
[PDF, 135 KB]
[PDF, 196 KB]
[PDF, 224 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information

Activities in Singapore

Please note that the WHOIS Review Team will hold a full day of public face-to-face meeting on Sunday, 19 June in Singapore (Morrison). Public attendance is welcome, but comments should be submitted during the "Interaction with the Community Session" scheduled for Wednesday, 22 June, 14:30-16:00 (Canning). Sessions with ICANN SOs/ACs and Constituencies are foreseen in Singapore; the Review Team's schedule may be found at:

Staff Contact: Olof Nordling Email:

(*) 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.

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