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[council] WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment

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  • Subject: [council] WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 05:34:11 -0700
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  • Thread-topic: WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment

WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment

4 March 2011

4 March - 17 April 2011

The WHOIS Policy Review Team was launched in October 2010 in line with the 
Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) provisions, section 9.3.1, which stipulates 

    "ICANN additionally commits to enforcing its existing policy relating to 
WHOIS, subject to applicable laws. Such existing policy requires that ICANN 
implement measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to 
accurate and complete WHOIS information, including registrant, technical, 
billing, and administrative contact information. One year from the effective 
date of this document and then no less frequently than every three years 
thereafter, ICANN will organize a review of WHOIS policy and its implementation 
to assess the extent to which WHOIS policy is effective and its implementation 
meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promotes consumer trust." 

The WHOIS policy Review Team (WHOIS RT) is composed of ten SO/AC 
representatives, two independent experts, one Law Enforcement representative, 
the ICANN President and CEO (Selector)'s designated nominee and the Chair of 
the GAC (Selector)'s designated nominee. For full reference, please consult: 

The WHOIS Review Team held its first formal face-to-face meeting in London, 
January 2011, and agreed a scope of work, road map, action plan and outreach 
plan. We submit these materials to the Community for review, input and comment.

Further, on the substantive issues, the WHOIS Review Team's first tasks have 
been to define key terms from its 9.3.1 section of Affirmation of Commitments 

The WHOIS Review Team would welcome public comment on the following issues:


      Scope of Work and Roadmap

      Outreach Plan

      Action Plan

      List of Key Definitions

            Law Enforcement:
            "Law Enforcement shall be considered to be an entity authorized by 
a government and whose responsibilities include the maintenance, co-ordination, 
or enforcement of laws, multi-national treaty or government-imposed legal 

            Applicable Laws:
            "Includes any and all local and national laws that regulate and/or 
control the collection, use, access, and disclosure of personally identifiable 
information. It may also include other relevant legal obligations, including 
U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the U.N. Guidelines for the 
Regulation of Computerized Personal Data Files.

            Producers and Maintainers of WHOIS Data:

                  Producers: The individuals or organizations supplying contact 
data for inclusion into WHOIS data.

                  Maintainers: The WHOIS Review Team proposes to subdivide this 
category in to:

                        Data Controllers: Individuals or organizations that 
define the data to be collected, require its release, and govern its use. May 
or may not be directly involved in these functions.

                        Data Processors: Individuals or organizations engaged 
in the collection, storage, and release of data, according to the terms defined 
by the Data Controller. They do -not- determine the nature or use of the data 
that they collect or maintain.


            What is a "consumer"?

            There is no single universally agreed definition of 'consumer', and 
legal definitions in different jurisdictions vary widely. Some are narrow and 
limited to 'natural persons', while others are broader and include various 
types of organisations.

            The WHOIS review team has been considering a broad interpretation 
of the term 'consumer', as this would allow a broad range of perspectives to be 
considered by the review team. This appears to be consistent with the intention 
of the drafters of the AoC.

            In the global sense, "consumer" may mean:
                * All Internet users including natural persons, commercial and 
non-commercial entities, government and academic entities.

            And specifically within the context of this review, a "consumer" 
w.r.t. WHOIS data and WHOIS Service may mean:
                * Any consumer that acts as a Producer of WHOIS data (see 
above), Maintainer of WHOIS data and provider of WHOIS Service (e.g. 
Registrars), or User of WHOIS data (e.g. - individuals, commercial or 
non-commercial entities who legitimately query the WHOIS data).

            Feedback request from community

            Community feedback is desired on the WHOIS Review Team's approach 
to this definition. Is it too broad or too restrictive? In either case, how 
should it be changed?

The WHOIS Review Team also welcomes general comments on the above issues, and 
any other issues which you would like us to consider at this early stage in our 

The ICANN San Francisco meeting takes place during our comment period and we 
will be reaching out to the Community. The WHOIS Review Team will hold a public 
session on Wednesday 16 March 2011 at 11 am - 12 noon in the Elizabethan A-C 
meeting room: http://svsf40.icann.org/node/22173. We hold a full day 
face-to-face meeting on Sunday, 13 March which is public and silent observers 
are welcome to join us: http://svsf40.icann.org/node/21983. Finally, we will be 
meeting with Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees in San Francisco 
and Singapore ICANN meetings (and to arrange a meeting please contact Alice 
Jansen, alice.jansen@xxxxxxxxx).

To find minutes of our meetings as well as documents and work in progress, 
please check our public community wiki at:

Thank you for taking the time to consider these issues and documents. Your 
participation is essential to the success of the review, and your comments will 
be carefully considered.

This public comment box will remain open for 45 days consistent with ICANN 
practices and will close on 17 April 2011.
The WHOIS Review Team
Emily Taylor, Chair
Kathy Kleiman, Vice-Chair

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat

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