ICANN is pleased to announce three new enhancements to the Whois Data Problem Reporting System (WDPRS) designed to improve its effectiveness. This latest iteration was completed recently and intended to improve registrar responsiveness to Whois inaccuracy claims.
ICANN is committed to improving Whois data accuracy and the WDPRS is one of the tools developed to assist registrars in carrying out their responsibility to investigate Whois data inaccuracy claims. This system allows the public to file Whois inaccuracy reports, which are then forwarded to registrars for investigation.
The WDPRS was first introduced in 2002 and it has been updated over the years. The latest enhancements provide the following new functionality:
- automated message to reporter if the report is invalid;
- automated action message (with multiple choice options to demonstrate what action was taken) to registrar after 16 days; and
- automated compliance notices to registrars that do not appear to have taken action regarding Whois inaccuracy claims.
We will explain below in further detail how these enhancements work.
As part of ICANN's new enhancements to the WDPRS, the system sends an automated notice to reporters alerting them when a report is deemed invalid. Invalid Whois inaccuracy claims are determined when the domain name falls under one of the following categories:
- Client Hold: Domain is On Hold
- NOT FOUND: Domain is not existent
- Pending Delete, Domain Suspended or Deleted
The WDPRS only forwards valid Whois inaccuracy reports directly to registrars for investigation. The second featured enhancement allows registrars to demonstrate what action was taken to investigate Whois inaccuracy reports after 16-days (automated 16-day notice). In March 2011, registrars began receiving automated 16-day notices that allow them to select an option that best describes what action was taken by the registrar after investigating a Whois inaccuracy report. In order to demonstrate compliance with Section 3.7.8 of the RAA, registrars may click one of the following multiple choice options listed below:
- The data inaccuracy was corrected.
- The information was verified and found to be correct.
- The domain has been deleted.
After the registrar selects an option, an automated message is sent to the reporter letting the reporter know what action was taken by the registrar. If the reporter has no objections or states that the Whois data was corrected or deleted, the ticket will be closed and stored for reporting purposes. Also, if the reporter does not respond to ICANN's notice after seven days, the system will close the ticket.
Registrars are encouraged to respond to ICANN's automated 16-day notices to ensure that Whois reports are timely addressed and to avoid receiving compliance inquiries by ICANN.
Any registrar that fails to respond to an automated 16-day notice requesting that the registrar tell ICANN what action was taken after investigating the inaccuracy report will receive a compliance inquiry from ICANN. The compliance inquiries will require the registrar to respond within 5 days demonstrating the steps taken to investigate the claim and may include a request for documentary evidence. Failure to respond to this notice may result in a notice of breach. This feature allows ICANN to follow-up on every valid claim submitted through the WDPRS.
ICANN will continue to monitor registrar compliance with Whois related Registrar Accreditation Agreement provisions and take appropriate escalated actions when registrar non-compliance is found. ICANN appreciates those registrars that consistently respond to ICANN's Whois related requests and diligently investigate all Whois inaccuracy reports received. Their efforts are important to a healthy Internet eco-system.
It is our goal to continually improve the WDPRS. To this end, we welcome your comments or suggestions regarding its functionality and usefulness. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.