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[council] FW: Recommendations regarding Whois studies

  • To: "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] FW: Recommendations regarding Whois studies
  • From: "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 23:57:50 -0400
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Acceptlanguage: en-US
  • Cc: Steve DelBianco <sdelbianco@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Gomes, Chuck" <cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, Kathy Kleiman <kKleiman@xxxxxxx>
  • Importance: high
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: AcvuPPogroBm4A+gQEWsvHnseMTGPABF/Log
  • Thread-topic: Recommendations regarding Whois studies


As discussed during the San Francisco Council meeting, members of the RySG met 
with Liz Gassner and Steve Delbianco  to work on the issues that the RySG had 
with both the current WHOIS resolution motion put on the table by John Berard 
and the descriptions put out by ICANN staff on the actual WHOIS studies.  We 
are happy to report that we are able to provide the following revised motion on 
the WHOIS studies which, with these changes, we are now able to support.  We 
are proposing that these changes be accepted as a friendly amendment.  I have 
copied a redline of the motion in this e-mail with strikethroughs representing 
deletions and red italic text for additions.

The attached document discusses the rationale for the changes and provides the 
changes that we would like to see made to the description of the Whois Privacy 
and Proxy "Abuse" study.  These changes were discussed with Liz and Steve 
Delbianco as well.

We truly hope that this demonstrates our commitment to making progress on these 
issues and that you find these changes acceptable.

Best regards,

Jeff Neuman


Motion made by John Berard & seconded by Debbie Hughes (With Friendly Amendment 
Proposed by the RySG)


In October 2007, the GNSO Council concluded that a comprehensive and objective 
understanding of key factual issues regarding the gTLD WHOIS system would 
benefit future GNSO policy development efforts 

Before defining study details, the Council solicited suggestions from the 
community for specific topics of study on WHOIS. Suggestions were submitted 
(http://forum.icann.org/lists/WHOIS-comments-2008/) and ICANN staff prepared a 
'Report on Public Suggestions on Further Studies of WHOIS', dated 25-Feb-2008 

On 28-Mar-2008 the GNSO Council resolved to form a WHOIS Study Working Group to 
develop a proposed list, if any, of recommended studies for which ICANN staff 
would be asked to provide cost estimates to the Council 

The WHOIS Study WG did not reach consensus regarding further studies, and on 
25-Jun-2008 the GNSO Council resolved to form a new WHOIS Hypotheses working 
group to prepare a list of hypotheses from the 'Report on Public Suggestions on 
Further Studies of WHOIS' and the GAC letter on WHOIS studies 
(http://www.icann.org/correspondence/karlins-to-thrush-16apr08.pdf). The WG 
reported to the Council on 26-Aug-2008. 

On 5-Nov-2008, the Council convened a group of Councilors and constituency 
members to draft a resolution regarding studies, if any, for which cost 
estimates should be obtained. The Whois Study Drafting Team further 
consolidated studies including those from the GAC 
(http://www.icann.org/correspondence/karlins-to-thrush-16apr08.pdf). The Team 
determined that the six studies with the highest average priority scores should 
be the subject of further research to determine feasibility and obtain cost 

On 04-Mar-2009, Council requested Staff to conduct research on feasibility and 
cost estimates for selected Whois studies and report its findings to Council. 
(See Motion 3, http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/#200903).

On 23-Mar-2010, Staff presented a report on the feasibility and cost estimates 
for the Whois "Misuse" and Whois "Registrant Identification" Studies, finding 
that each study would cost approximately $150,000 and take approximately one 
year to complete. 
 The Whois Registrant Identification study would gather info about how 
business/commercial domain registrants are identified, and correlate such 
identification with the use of proxy/privacy services.

The ICANN Board approved in Brussels a FY2011 budget that includes at least 
$400,000 for WHOIS studies (see 

On 8-September-2010 the GNSO Council approved a resolution requesting staff to 
proceed with the Whois "Misuse" Study, which would explore the extent to which 
publicly displayed WHOIS data is misused, 

On 5-October-2010, staff provided feasibility and cost analysis for a Whois 
Privacy and Proxy "Abuse" study, 
 This study would compare broad sample of domains registered with a proxy or 
privacy service provider that are associated with alleged harmful acts with 
overall frequency of proxy and privacy registrations. This study was estimated 
to cost $150,000 and take less than a year to complete.

On 11-February-2011, staff provided a feasibility and cost analysis for a Whois 
Proxy and Privacy "Relay and Reveal" study, 
 which would analyze relay and reveal requests sent for Privacy and 
Proxy-registered domains to explore and document how they are processed. The 
staff analysis concluded that it was premature to conduct a full study, and 
recommended that a pre-study "survey" be conducted first, to determine if 
launching a full study is feasible to do.


Council requests ICANN staff to proceed with the WHOIS Registrant 
Identification Study, as described in Staff's 23-Mar-2010 Report, using the 
vendor selection process described in Annex of that same report. 

Council defers consideration of the WHOIS Registrant Identification Study until 
the 28 April 2011 meeting and requests that any applicable motions in that 
regard be submitted not later than 20 April 2011.

Further resolved, that the Council requests ICANN staff amend the study to 
include the RySG proposed changes (insert link) and to proceed with the Whois 
Privacy and Proxy "Abuse" study, as described in staff's 5-October-2010 report 
and as amended, using the vendor selection process described in that same 

Further resolved, that the Council requests ICANN staff to proceed with the 
Whois Privacy and Proxy "Relay and Reveal" pre-study survey, as proposed in 
staff's 11-February-2011 report, 

Further resolved, that the Council request that the Board authorize additional 
funding for FY 2012 for Whois studies, to make up the any shortfall of $130,000 
between the amount of "at least $400,000" that was allocated for Whois studies 
in FY 2011 (and remains unspent), and the total amount needed to conduct the 
Whois Misuse Study ($150,000); the Whois Registrant Identification Study 
($150,000) if subsequently approved; the Proxy/Privacy "Abuse" Study 
($150,000); and the Proxy and Privacy "Pre-study" ($80,000), total of $530,000.

Further resolved, in recognition that there is a substantial amount of 
coordination needed to direct this research, that staff be given the discretion 
to manage the studies serially or in parallel, with a goal of expediting 
completion of the studies as efficiently as possible.

Jeffrey J. Neuman
Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Law & Policy
21575 Ridgetop Circle, Sterling, VA 20166
Office: +1.571.434.5772  Mobile: +1.202.549.5079  Fax: +1.703.738.7965 / 
jeff.neuman@xxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:jeff.neuman@xxxxxxxxxxx>  / 
Please note new address starting March 21, 2011:  21575 Ridgetop Circle, 
Sterling VA 20166

Attachment: Whois Study Recommendations to the RySG 29 March 2011.docx
Description: Whois Study Recommendations to the RySG 29 March 2011.docx

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