Whois

Whois / Featured Blogs

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

Privacy Alert: Watch Out For FOISA

This morning, at 10 am in 2141 Rayburn, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property is holding a hearing on "Internet Domain Name Fraud -- New Criminal and Civil Enforcement Tools." At that hearing, the Subcommittee will be considering a new Whois bill creating new penalties for people who provide false data when registering a domain name. We need to raise our collective eyebrows at this bill (which was suddenly dropped the evening before this hearing). The title of the bill is the "Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act." (FOISA) more

ICANN on Closing Off Port 43

ICANN has launched three task forces on WHOIS restructuring...It sounds innocuous enough -- nobody likes spam -- but the restrictions being discussed reach further than marketers. Pushed by registrars who feel that WHOIS amounts to forced disclosure of their customer lists, the task force is seriously discussing closing off port 43's straightforward access to WHOIS information, replacing it with GIF-based barriers or similar access restrictions. more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part I

This is the first part of a two-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Milton Mueller discussing ICANN, World Summit on the Information Society, and the escalating debates over Internet Governance. Read the second part of this Interview here. Geert Lovink: "Would it make sense to analyse ICANN (and its predecessors) as a test model for some sort of secretive 'world government' that is run by self appointed experts? Could you explain why governments are seen as incapable of running the Internet? This all comes close to a conspiracy theory. I am not at all a fan of such reductionist easy-to-understand explanations. However, the discontent with 'global governance' discourse is widespread and it seems that the International Relations experts have little understanding how the Internet is actually run. Where do you think theorization of Internet governance should start?" more