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Call for Expertise for a Drafting Team to Develop a Whois Service Requirements Survey

Last Updated:
19 May 2011

Invitation for volunteers to form a Drafting Team to develop a survey to estimate the level of agreement that the conclusions and assumptions in the Inventory of Whois Service Requirements Report of 29 July 2010 have in the ICANN community. See: The goal of the Drafting Team would be to assist staff in developing the format, questions, response scale and scope of the survey.

In May 2009 by the GNSO Council requested that staff prepare a compilation of potential future requirements for WHOIS service, based on current requirements and a review of previous GNSO WHOIS policy discussions. This resolution reflected increasing community concerns that the current WHOIS service is deficient in a number of ways, including data accuracy and reliability, as well as in other technical areas noted in recent SSAC reports, such as accessibility and readability of WHOIS contact information in an international environment. The report is a compendium of potential technical requirements and makes no policy recommendations. Some of the potential technical requirements included in the report are the following: a mechanism to find authoritative WHOIS servers; structured queries; a standardized set of query capabilities; a well-defined schema for replies; standardized error messages; improved quality of domain registration data; internationalization; security elements; thick vs. thin WHOIS; and a Registrar abuse point of contact. Staff published a first draft of the report 26 March 2010, solicited input from SOs and ACs, and posted a draft final report reflecting SO and AC input on 31 May.

Thus, on 19 May the GNSO Council asked ICANN staff to begin the process of seeking community volunteers Drafting Team for the purpose of developing a survey of views.

This invitation is extended to all members of the ICANN community. We urge you to forward to this to all members of the community who may be interested in participating. Expertise in the technical aspects of gTLD Whois, and background on the history of gTLD Whois policy development, would be particularly useful to this group.

Please contact the GNSO Council Secretariat at by 01 June 2011 if you are interested in joining the Drafting Team. Please contact Liz Gasster at if you have any questions about the report or the work of this group.