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WHOIS Technical Requirements Survey - Draft

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 30 May 2012
Comment Close: 20 June 2012
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: Cancelled – No Comments To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Reply Close:   View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC):   Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization: GNSO Council – WHOIS Survey Working Group
Categories/Tags: Policy Processes
Purpose (Brief): The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council's WHOIS Survey Working Group (WSWG) requests community input on the draft WHOIS Technical Requirements Survey. The Working Group is soliciting input from experts on technical requirements for a new WHOIS protocol, in particular people knowledgeable about technical aspects of WHOIS who can help assess if the survey asks the right questions and in the right style to elicit technical feedback. The Working Group seeks specific suggestions on changes to language and questions that will make it clearer for experts to complete.
Current Status: This Public Comment solicitation represents an opportunity for the community to share perspectives on the proposed draft WHOIS Technical Requirements Survey. In parallel, the WSWG will conduct a Webinar to promote the survey and solicit additional feedback.
Next Steps: The WSWG will consider the comments received as part of their deliberations and creation of the final version of the WHOIS Requirements Survey. Upon submission to the GNSO Council, the survey will be announced and released for community participation. The survey will be available for 30 days. Afterwards, the WSWG will compile, analyze and report on the survey results to produce a final report outlining possible WHOIS Technical requirements.
Staff Contact: Liz Gasster Email:
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The WHOIS Survey Working Group produced a draft survey of WHOIS Technical Requirements at the request of the GNSO Council Resolution ( The Working Group is seeking community feedback on the draft, which will be considered by GNSO Council and later released to the community for participation in the WHOIS survey.

The Survey can be accessed here:

The Working Group will accept community feedback via the public comment forum. Additionally, users of the survey will see a free-form text dialogue box at the bottom of each section of the survey. Users may use this space to provide specific feedback with respect to the questions loaded for that section. If you use this feature, be sure to include your identity so that we may relate your response to the public comment review process.

Section II: Background
The Working Group aims to draft, implement, and analyze the results of a survey measuring the level of support for various technical requirements outlined in the GNSO WHOIS Service Requirement Report ( [PDF, 633 KB]). The WHOIS Survey Working Group will produce a Report to be delivered to the GNSO Council describing the results of the survey and recommendations for next steps for the GNSO Council's consideration concerning the WHOIS service requirements.
Section III: Document and Resource Links
  1. WHOIS Requirements Survey -
  2. PDF of WHOIS Requirements Survey - [PDF, 121 KB]
  3. WSWG Charter - [PDF, 476 KB]
  4. WSWG Wiki -
  5. GNSO WHOIS Service Requirement Report - [PDF, 633 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information

(*) 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.

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."