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gTLD WHOIS Privacy and Proxy Relay and Reveal Survey Now Live

As part of a broader examination of gTLD WHOIS, ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council is seeking to gain further insight into the origination and handling of “relay” and “reveal” requests. A relay request is a request to forward a message to the registrant of a domain registered using a privacy service. A reveal request is a request to reveal the identity of the licensee of a domain registered using a proxy service.

ICANN is seeking input from providers of privacy and proxy registration, from those who interact or communicate with privacy and proxy providers (in particular those who make relay and reveal requests), from registrars, and from other interested parties.

The objective is that any potential future policy-making and any efforts to develop or support standardized procedures, tools, formats, etc., be based on data that accurately and broadly represent the experiences of those who use these aspects of the WHOIS system.

By taking a brief survey, you can help lay the foundation for significant future studies. The survey is intended:

  • To gauge the feasibility of an in-depth study of relay and reveal requests,
  • To assess the willingness and ability of request originators, privacy/proxy providers, registrars and other interested parties to participate in and provide data to an in-depth study,
  • To identify factors that would promote or inhibit participation in an in-depth study, and
  • To offer individuals and organizations who may be willing to participate an opportunity to identify themselves.

Participating in this survey is an opportunity for your voice to be heard and for your practical needs to be considered in the design and conduct of potential future studies.

The survey is available in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.

The survey, together with additional background information, can be found at The survey will run until at least 31 October 2011, however we do encourage interested parties to respond as early as possible.

For additional information, contact


    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"""" is not an IDN."