Whois

Whois / Featured Blogs

DNS WHOIS: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

As the Internet has grown and matured, it has become obvious to everyone involved that the DNS Whois system, as it currently exists, is not a sustainable way to share contact information for resolving network problems. ICANN, in an attempt to save DNS Whois, has plunged head long into the process of developing new policies aimed at fixing it. While I respect all of the hard work that has gone into this process, the results thus far have only made it clearer that this system faces intractable problems. more

Domain Name Proxy Service Not Inherently Evil

In the recent court decision of CyBerCorp Holding v. Allman case, although the registrant of the domain name 'cybertraderlive.com' did lose the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) case and was found to have acted in bad faith (having been a former customer of complainant), the decision is noteworthy as it finds that registrant's use of proxy service to keep contact information private, in and of itself is not evidence of bad faith... more

Recent WHOIS Report Overlooking Fundamental Issue?

Each Task Force recently published a report posted on ICANN's website on recommendations for modifications or improvements to WHOIS. The Task Force recommendations include proposals ranging from a recommendation to notify those who may be included in the database of the possible uses of WHOIS data to one that recommends ICANN offer the Internet community "tiered access" to serve as a vague mechanism to balance privacy against the needs of public access. Too many of the recommendations seem to be framed by those who view Internet users with hostility, such as the recommendation to punish domain name users when a domain name is cancelled or suspended for "false contact data," by canceling all other registrations with identical contact data. more

ICANN’s First Official Report on Whois Data Problems

ICANN has submitted the first report of what will be a series of annual reports summarizing its "expierince" with the Whois Data problems and inaccuracies. While emphasizing that "ICANN-accredited registrars are obligated by the terms of their accreditation agreements to investigate and correct any reported inaccuracies," the report provides the following conclusions: more

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part V

This is the fifth part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part focuses on Securing the Quality of WHOIS Data. "Information for which ICANN has responsibility includes the WHOIS databases. ICANN has been given specific responsibilities for these databases under: 1) their contract with the U.S. government's Department of Commerce to perform the technical management of the Internet; and 2) their Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Commerce." more

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part III

This is the third part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. In this part, the focus is on how ICANN implementation of the Data Quality Act would address congressional concerns. "Congress is deeply concerned by ICANN's management and is demanding meaningful change in how the organization governs the internet. Congressional concerns regarding ICANN and Congressional oversight activities were detailed in Part II of this series." more

Report on Reaction to FOISA

On February 4, 2004, United States Congress held a hearing on a new proposed bill called the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act (FOISA). This bill will increase prison sentences by up to seven years in criminal cases if a domain owner provides "material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority." What follows is a collection of commentaries made in response to this proposed bill. more

Why FOISA Should Never Become Law

In a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal, I noticed an underreported story about an embarrassing glitch that occurred involving the "washpost.com" domain name, which is used by the Washington Post Newspaper Company. Apparently, recently, the domain name stopped working -- no domain name services. This disrupted the flow and access of e-mail at the Washington Post as well as the operations of the washpost.com website.  more

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part II

This is the second part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part discusses the congressional concerns regarding ICANN's governance of the Internet. "Since 1999 Congress has repeatedly expressed serious concerns regarding ICANN's governance of the internet. Congress has substantial responsibility for overseeing the key aspects of internet governance. Among its specific responsibilities, Congress has the duty to oversee implementation of the Department of Commerce's Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and contract with ICANN." more

Using Whois to Enforce Law?

Before starting I'd like to remind you that there are two distinct Whois systems -- the one for IP address delegations and one for DNS registrations. I believe that the former is a useful system in which there are clear utility values that outweigh the privacy costs, and in which the person whose privacy is exposed has made a knowing choice. I do not believe that these arguments apply to the latter, the DNS, form of Whois. more