1 April 2010
WHOIS Current Activity Update for the GNSO
(updated April 2010)
The GNSO Council is exploring several extensive studies of WHOIS. During its 4 March 2009 meeting in Mexico City, the GNSO Council approved a resolution asking ICANN Staff to pursue cost estimates for six WHOIS study areas recommended by members of the ICANN community and ICANN's Government Advisory Committee.
Staff has collapsed the six initial study areas into four. A cross-reference to the original study groupings can be found here [PDF, 64K]. Proposals were sought to conduct the first set of studies on WHOIS Misuse and WHOIS Registrant Identification. On 23 March 2010 staff provided a report to the GNSO Council with our analysis of these proposals. An RFP for a third WHOIS study area on Proxy and Privacy services will be released at a later date.
A fourth study area, calling for an examination of the implications of non-ASCII registration data in WHOIS records, will be considered by a new SSAC-GNSO Working Group that was convened at the request of the ICANN Board in June 2009. The Internationalized Registration Data Working Group is studying the feasibility of introducing display specifications to deal with internationalized registration data and will be consulting with other ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees as they conduct this work.
The fifth study area, requested in May 2009 by the GNSO Council, asks that a comprehensive set of requirements for WHOIS service be compiled based on current requirements and a review of previous GNSO WHOIS policy discussions. This resolution reflects 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. Staff has published a first draft of the report 26 March 2010 and is now consulting with the GNSO and other Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees on this draft report as requested.