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[council] WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment

  • To: Council GNSO <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2011 14:07:53 -0800
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  • Thread-topic: WHOIS Review Team - Call for Public Comment


WHOIS Review Team – Call for Public Comment

4 March 2011

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

"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 on 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 
 on the following issues:

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 

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:

And specifically within the context of this review, a "consumer" w.r.t. WHOIS 
data and WHOIS Service may mean:

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?

1.    Scope of Work and Roadmap

2.    Outreach Plan

3.    Action Plan

4.    List of Key Definitions

1.    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 

2.    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.

3.    Producers and Maintainers of WHOIS Data:

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

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

§  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.

4.    Consumer:

       *   All Internet users including natural persons, commercial and 
non-commercial entities, government and academic entities.
       *   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).

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 February 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<mailto: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 
 will be carefully considered.

Glen de Saint Géry

GNSO Secretariat



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