Exploring Replacements for WHOIS - The Next Generation Directory Services
Update: To accommodate community's participation in other key sessions on Monday, 24 March, the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services has decided to hold its session at 16:30-17:30 SGT. The Expert Working Group will share an update on activities, and will have a preliminary discussion with participants on identifying potential risks and benefits that might result if ICANN were to replace WHOIS by a next-generation system. Participants and all interested parties also will be invited to join the EWG on an interactive webinar post-Singapore to have an in-depth discussion on this topic. Webinar details will be shared in due course.
This an open workshop hosted by the Expert Working Group (EWG) on next-generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (RDS). This interactive session will focus on identifying potential risks and benefits that might result if ICANN were to replace WHOIS by a next-generation system. Participation by anyone who supplies, collects, forwards, or uses gTLD registration data through WHOIS today is encouraged.
In December 2012, the Expert Working Group on next-generation gTLD Registration Directory Services was created as a first step in fulfilling the ICANN Board's directive to help redefine the purpose and provision of gTLD registration data.
After considering the many different WHOIS users and their needs for information, the EWG proposed that today's approach — giving everyone the same anonymous public access to all registration data — should be abandoned. Instead, the EWG recommended a new Registration Directory Service to collect, validate and disclose registration information for permissible purposes only, with some values remaining public and others being gated – that is, returned only to authorized users with legitimate purposes. To better safeguard information that Registrants are required to provide, the RDS would provide a portal that anyone could use to query public and gated values. However, only users that identify themselves, disclose their purpose, and agree to be held accountable would be allowed to reach gated values.
The proposed RDS is now being further refined by the Expert Working Group, using community feedback on proposals, as well as data obtained through research. During this workshop, the EWG hopes to:
Identify potential risks and benefits that might result if ICANN were to replace WHOIS with the RDS by inviting this input from anyone who could be impacted by the RDS; and
Provide a forum for deep-dive interactive discussion about proposed RDS features, including those described in the EWG's November 2013 Status Update Report [PDF, 2.26 MB].
Workshop results will inform the EWG as it refines its recommendations for a next generation RDS. The work of the EWG is expected to serve as a foundation to help GNSO create a new global policy for the provision of gTLD registration data, as part of a Board requested Policy Development Process (PDP) to be commenced upon the conclusion of the EWG's activities.
Individuals interested in the DNS, registration services, WHOIS and related issues.