Archive for the ‘Whois’ Category


Reshaping WHOIS: Comment before Aug. 23

Posted August 8th, 2013


8 August 2013

ICANN has embarked on an effort to reinvent today’s WHOIS system. Be part of the solution and join the discussion…online and at ICANN‘s Durban meeting.

At the request of ICANN Community Members, the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services has extended its open consultation period until 6 September 2013 – 23:59 UTC in order to provide the Community with additional time to comment on the proposed model and recommendations.

Please note that the EWG is meeting in late August to begin revising the initial report . Comments received by 23 August 2013 – 23:59 UTC will be most useful.

See the full skinny HERE.

Posted in gTLDS, ICANN, Whois by  


NORC at the University of Chicago Selected to Conduct a gTLD Whois Registrant Identification Study

Posted September 29th, 2011

As posted to the ICANN blog by Liz Gasster: “I am delighted to report that ICANN has engaged NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct a gTLD Whois Registrant Identification study, seeking a foundational understanding of the types of entities and kinds of potentially commercial activities observed among gTLD domain names.

NORC intends to use Whois Registrant contact data to classify the kinds of entities that register a representative sample of gTLD domain names, including natural persons, legal persons and Privacy or Proxy service providers. NORC will then analyze Internet content associated with each sampled domain to classify the entities that appear to be using those domains, along with any observable potentially commercial activities. Draft study results are expected to be published in mid-2012.”

Click HERE to read more.

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“gTLD WHOIS Privacy and Proxy Relay and Reveal Survey Now Live”

Posted September 16th, 2011

As posted by Liz Gasster to the ICANN Blog: “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.”

Click HERE to read the full article.


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ICANN Seek Request for Proposals for WHOIS Consumer Trust Research

Posted July 11th, 2011

Click HERE for more information on submitting an RFP for WHOIS Consumer Trust Research.

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Posted June 6th, 2011

As you may know, WHOIS is a protocol used to (among other things) identify domain name registrants. It is a great asset if you need to get in touch with a registrant or find out who “owns” a domain name. The results, of a WHOIS search, depending on where you are looking can vary and the system is not ideally cohesive. However, WHOIS, originally handled by DARPA has been evolving since the early 1980s and the current incarnation of the gTLD WHOIS system is under scrutiny for misuse.

For those who haven’t sat through the ICANN sessions regarding WHOIS, there has long been a debate over how to amend a potentially flawed WHOIS. There has also been debate about whether a domain registrant’s identity and contact information should be available to the public. While it is beneficial in many instances to be able to identify and communicate with a registrant, it can also leave them open to more unsavory contact.  WHOIS misuse, according to an interview with Liz Gasster for “refers to harmful acts that exploit contact information obtained from Whois. Those harmful acts may include generation of spam, abuse of personal data, intellectual property theft, loss of reputation or identity theft, loss of data, phishing and other cybercrime-related exploits, harassment, stalking, or other activity with negative personal or economic consequences.”

There is also the problem of accredited registrars who don’t maintain accurate WHOIS data. Although it is a requirement of the RAA to do so, it is advantageous to some registrars to let the house keeping slide when it comes to providing accurate information on registrants including those who may be engaged in trademark abuse.

This sort of misuse as well as other issues have been an area of particular interest to ICANN since 2007 when the organization began to undertake a study of the WHOIS system. As WHOIS will continue to be a hot button topic at ICANN 41 in Singapore we have re-printed the GNSO WHOIS Motion of 4/28/2011 to bring everyone up to speed on the trajectory of this issue prior to the meeting.


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Posted in ICANN, RAA, Registrars, Whois by  


“How to Avoid Go Daddy’s 60 Day Lock for Whois Change”

Posted May 13th, 2011

The following linked story  is an exciting piece of information for anyone who buys or sells domains.

The explanation and tips on navigating Go Daddy’s maddening 60 day lock for changes to the WHOIS  come courtesy of Domain Name News.

Click HERE to read.

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Posted in domaining, Internet Security, Uncategorized, Whois by  


Cylab at Carnegie Mellon University Selected to Conduct Study of gTLD Whois Misuse

Posted April 7th, 2011

According to the ICANN blog: “ ICANN has engaged the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, CyLab to conduct a set of gTLD Whois Misuse Studies.

Working under the direction of principal investigator Dr. Nicolas Christin, this highly regarded cybercrime lab expects to spend approximately one year analyzing the extent, nature, and impact of harmful actions taken using Whois contact information. To accomplish this, the CMU team will survey gTLD domain Registrants about Whois misuse incidents they have experienced and use experiments to measure how well anti-harvesting measures reduce Whois misuse. Registries, Registrars, other cybercrime researchers, and law enforcement organizations will also be surveyed about reported cases of misuse.”

Click HERE to read the full article.

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Whois Review Team Call For Public Comment

Posted March 4th, 2011

Click HERE to read and comment on the issues.

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Can The Use of Whois Privacy Be Considered Material Falsification?

Posted November 4th, 2009

According to Domain Name News, “A ruling by the US Court of Appeals 9th Circuit in the case of U.S. v Kilbride has determined that using whois privacy on domains can be considered “material falsification”.  The case involved an appeal on criminal charges of spamming. The ruling in this case provides an the courts opinion on provisions of  the CAN SPAM Act that specifically relate to the use of domains and were argued by the defense as “vague”.

For the full story, click here

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ICANN To Study WHOIS Abuse

Posted September 28th, 2009

ICANN is seeking independent researchers to respond to request for proposal on WHOIS misuse studies.

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