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ICANN’s WDPRS Report and Plan to Clean Up Whois Records

ICANN’s recently released report, ICANN’s Whois Data Accuracy and Availability Program: Description of Prior Efforts and New Compliance Initiatives [72KB PDF], is a summary of the Whois Data Problem Report System’s (WDPRS) reports spanning a one-year period that concluded at the end of Fenruary 2007. In case you’re not familiar with the WDPRS, it’s system that tracks complaints about inaccurate or incomplete whois entries.

Notable facts from the report include:

  • There were 50,189 reports for which ICANN received follow-up responses during the year.

  • From these 50,189, 34,029 were unique domain names; the remaining 16,160 are duplicates.

  • There’s a “Tipping Point” going on here: most of the reports were filed by a few people: 1% of the, reporters are responsible for 90% of the reports. One individual was responsible for almost 40% of the reports.

According to the report, .info domains had the highest number of WDPRS reports, with 6.77 unique reports per 10,000 registrations. This is not a surprise given that inaccurate whois information is often the sign of a spammer and since .info domains are often used by spammers as they are relatively cheaper.

In response to the problem, ICANN will hold accuracy audits later this year in an attempt to clean up whois records. Each accredited registrar can expect to have their domain sampled by ICANN, and those with inaccurate data will be reported to WDPRS under an alias. For those domains that it reports for bad whois data, ICANN will double-check the domain’s accuracy 45 days after its initial report to WDPRS.

Maybe I should go double-check my personal domains…

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John Berryhill  –  May 3, 2007 2:27 PM

I think I hold the record for longest continuing report of a single domain name.

From the DNSO list in 2003:


Registrant Name:      World Teleport Association
Registrant Organization:  World Teleport Association
Registrant Street1:    2 World Trade Center Suite 215
Registrant City:      New York
Registrant State/Province:NY
Registrant Postal Code:  10048

That address has not existed for nearly six years.

Bob Bruen  –  May 9, 2007 10:21 PM

This report by ICANN is a big deal and there has not been much press about it. I am half of the “individual” who filed the largest number of complaints. We have taken complaints from other people and filed them with ICANN after we make a real effort to have these people removed from mailing lists.

The spammers almost always lie on their domain registrations and the registrars almost never verify the registrations, thus by simply following the rules, we have caused them to lose their registrations (yes, they get more and the battle continues).

What ICANN left out of the report is that 90% of the 135 billion emails sent everyday are junk email. Those bad guys may be tiny fraction of the worldwide domains, but they are eating up virtually *all* of the resources. (Numbers from the New York Times in January 20007)

We believe that ICANN has responded to our work. We seem to be they only game in town with a success story where spammers are actually stopped. We filed the most complaints because we are doing the legwork to get it done.

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