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Interisle Consulting Group Selected to Conduct Survey to Identify Potential Participants for a gTLD Whois “Relay” and “Reveal” Study

I am delighted to report that ICANN has engaged Interisle Consulting Group to survey gTLD domain name registrants, registrars, and privacy and proxy service providers regarding their willingness and ability to participate in future Whois Relay and Reveal studies.

The GNSO Council has expressed interest in understanding, broadly and in depth, relay and reveal requests sent for privacy and proxy-registered domain names, how such requests are originated and processed, and what factors promote or impede timely communication and resolution.

This survey is aimed at establishing a foundation for that future study by gauging the willingness and ability of request originators, privacy/proxy providers, and registrars to participate, by identifying factors that would facilitate or inhibit their participation, and by developing a list of individuals and organizations potentially willing to participate.

The Interisle team expects to spend approximately four months on the project, during which time they will develop and launch an on-line survey, reach out to relay/reveal request originators, privacy/proxy providers, and registrars, and conduct follow-up interviews. Participants will be asked about whether data documenting their own relay/reveal experiences could be shared and under what conditions, their potential interest in participating in such a study, and tools that would make participating easier.

This survey is expected to help the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council determine whether a sufficiently broad, representative request sample could be obtained to obtain meaningful results from a future in-depth study of Relay/Reveal requests.

ICANN looks forward to working with Interisle to gather input from a geographically-diverse set of potential participants, establishing the essential foundation for such a study.

To learn more about the proposed Whois Privacy/Proxy Relay and Reveal Study or additional studies now being conducted at the request of the GNSO Council, visit Interisle’s point of contact for the project is Chris Owens,


    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."