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Whois / Featured Blogs

Solving the .US Registrant Data Directory Services (RDDS) Conundrum

Recently ten Democratic Members of Congress wrote a letter to Alan Davidson, head of the NTIA, requesting that the "NTIA immediately cease the public disclosure of personal information about users of .US" country code top-level domain (ccTLD). This communication highlights a significant concern regarding domain registration data: the need to protect the privacy rights of Registrants. However, an equally significant concern regarding registration data was raised... more

WHOIS Disclosure Questions

In 2020, the ICANN Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council approved a plan to revamp the WHOIS system as per the recommendations given by the ICANN Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP). This plan directed ICANN to develop a centralized System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) for WHOIS records. After much debate regarding the suitability and cost of such a system, ICANN brought together a group... more

Where Domain Security Meets the Supply Chain Crunch

Over the last two years, we've all faced supply shortages on items we previously never thought could be in short supply. Most recently, the baby formula and semiconductor markets were hit. Before that, supply chain attacks on Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods showed us that an attack on one company through a singular point of compromise has the potential to disrupt an entire network of connected companies, products, partners, vendors, and customers. more

ICANN SSAD Proposal Poised to Succeed?

The GNSO Council and the ICANN Board both seem poised to grant sufficient runway to the community to refine an idea for a simple ticketing system designed to centralize requests for registrant information disclosures and provide meaningful data that is likely to help ICANN staff enhance its assessment of the SSAD proposal. This is very good news for those who advocate for consumer safety and trust on the Internet, and it is very good news for the ICANN multistakeholder model. more

ICANN SSAD Proposal Poised to Fail?

After years of work on a proposed standardized system of WHOIS data disclosures (referred to as SSAD), and over a year of operational assessment of the proposal by ICANN itself, the ICANN Board seems poised to reject the proposal. And rightly so. The proposed SSAD is entirely watered down, fractured, and affords no oversight powers to ICANN regarding disclosure decisions that would continue to be left to the complete discretion of individual registrars (the very parties ICANN oversees).  more

A Three-Step Process to Chase Compulsive Domain Brand Squatters

Domain brand squatting can be defined as the unauthorized or dishonest use of a brand or company identifiers in domain names. It is often linked to the use of look-alike domains in bad faith, and we see it all the time. The threat actors behind these domains are called different names, though a prevalent one would be “typosquatters.” The Hot on the Trail of Compulsive Brand Squatters webinar showcased how these people are infiltrating the Internet. The first page of PhishTank’s valid phish search alone as of this writing tells us that domain brand squatting is a real and present danger. more

WHOIS Policy at ICANN Continues to Fail

ICANN has once again acceded to the wants of contracted parties and is at risk of abdicating its duty to act in the global public interest when it comes to WHOIS policy. Its inability or unwillingness to date to reign in bad WHOIS policy, driven by contracted party interests, flies in the face of its previously-expressed policy goal “to ensure the continued availability of WHOIS to the greatest extent possible while maintaining the security and stability of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers.” more

Industry Insights: RDAP Becomes Internet Standard

Earlier this year, the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF’s) Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) announced that several Proposed Standards related to the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), including three that I co-authored, were being promoted to the prestigious designation of Internet Standard. Initially accepted as proposed standards six years ago, RFC 7480, RFC 7481, RFC 9082 and RFC 9083 now comprise the new Standard 95. RDAP allows users to access domain registration data and could one day replace its predecessor the WHOIS protocol. more

Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance Is Captured and Presumed Dead

Technical management of the Internet was delegated to ICANN by the U.S. government because it was believed that the private sector would be more agile and responsive to the needs of globally distributed stakeholders. However, this optimism and the faith it has produced has proven to be misplaced since ICANN's multi-stakeholder governance continues falling far short of the basic expectations set when it was created. more

ICANN, or ICAN’T or IWON’T?

We're halfway into ICANN71, and early interactions are posing questions about ICANN Org's capability to carry out its mission to maintain an orderly domain name system (DNS). Or, if that's not the case, ICANN leadership seems bent on a hands-off approach to its oversight responsibilities to the DNS. For years now - years - the ICANN community has raised the volume level about acute issues -- a workable Whois management and access system (including clearly delineated controllership)... more