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RE: [council] Update on Whois studies

Thanks Liz.  We have until 15 Feb to post the agenda but our last
Council call to discuss the agenda before then will be 28 Jan.  Of
course we can do some things on line after the 28th.


        From: Liz Gasster [mailto:liz.gasster@xxxxxxxxx] 
        Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 11:11 AM
        To: Gomes, Chuck; Council GNSO
        Subject: RE: [council] Update on Whois studies

        Chuck and all,


        I would like to have our analysis complete by the Nairobi
meeting, and I am working toward that goal, but I'm hesitant to commit
to that now, especially in light of the 15-working-day document deadline
for public meetings. I understand the need in terms of planning for
Nairobi, and I think I'll have a better sense in a couple of weeks, so I
will commit to sending another update the first week in February.  Hope
this helps.


        Thanks, Liz


        From: Gomes, Chuck [mailto:cgomes@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
        Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 6:40 AM
        To: Liz Gasster; Council GNSO
        Subject: RE: [council] Update on Whois studies


        Thanks Liz.  Very helpful.


        In planning for our agenda(s) in Nairobi, it would be helpful to
know soon whether you think Whois Studies should be on the agenda there.





                From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Liz Gasster
                Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 8:20 PM
                To: Council GNSO
                Subject: [council] Update on Whois studies



                Attached and following, please find an update on the
Whois studies that the policy staff has been working on.


                I.                    Background:


                The GNSO Council concluded that a comprehensive,
objective and quantifiable understanding of key factual issues regarding
the gTLD Whois system would benefit future GNSO policy development
efforts. In March 2009, the GNSO Council asked ICANN staff to conduct
research on feasibility and cost estimates to study several high
priority aspects of WHOIS, and to report back to the Council with that
information for further decision-making. Staff has categorized these
studies into three areas (the first three areas listed in the attached
chart), and is soliciting bids from independent researchers to help
determine costs and feasibility issues in each area using an RFP
approach.  The GNSO Council resolution making this request can be found
here:  http://gnso.icann.org/resolutions/#200903. 


                II.                  Update:

                Following is a list of the study RFPs that are being
issued (may include more than one study), with a short update on each:


                1.       WHOIS Misuse -- Studies will assess extent of
misuse of public Whois data to generate spam or for other illegal or
undesirable activities.   One Misuse study will survey registrants about
specific acts they have experienced that they believe occurred using
Whois contact data; survey registrars about how Whois can be queried,
and survey others about reported incidents from cybercrime, research and
law enforcement organizations.  A second Misuse study will measure a
variety of harmful acts by classifying messages sent to unpublished test
domain names registered specifically for the study using a
representative sample of registrars. The study will compare harmful acts
associated with public vs. non-public addresses and examine impact of
public Whois and anti-harvesting measures. An RFP was released on 28
September and closed on 27 November 2009.  3 responses were received.
Staff review and analysis is underway. 


                2.       WHOIS Registrant Identification - Study will
explore Whois registrations and the extent to which domains used by
legal persons (commercial entities) or for commercial purposes are: 1)
not clearly identified as commercial entities in Whois (perhaps their
identity is obscured or suggests the registrant is a non-commercial
entity); and 2) are correlated to use of privacy and proxy services. An
RFP was released October 23 and closed on 23 December 2009.  5 responses
were received. Staff review and analysis is underway.

                3.      Whois Proxy and Privacy Services - Studies will
look at: 1) the extent to which domain names used to conduct illegal or
harmful Internet activities are registered via proxy and privacy
services to obscure the perpetrator's identity; and 2) the degree to
which proxy and privacy services impede or delay timely identification
of perpetrators. More information about these studies will be available
in the coming weeks. 


                III.                Next steps and timeframe:

                There is a significant amount of work involved in
drafting RFP terms of reference for the third set of studies at the same
time that we are analyzing responses for the first two study areas.
Staff is taking great care with the analysis and budget implications,
and the third set of studies is complex.   Due to delays in preparing an
RFP for the third set of studies, we have been delayed in our review of
the RFP responses. We are just beginning that analysis now, and
following that review, we will then be presenting information to the
GNSO Council for its consideration and action.  For these reasons, the
staff analysis on the first two sets of studies will likely take several
more weeks to complete.   


                Please let me know if you have any questions or would
like more information.


                Thanks, Liz

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