[ALAC] ICANN Board Addresses WHOIS

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Mon Nov 19 20:30:56 UTC 2012

19 November 2012

For Immediate Release

ICANN Board Launches New Effort to Tackle gTLD 
Registration Data Challenges Based on Policy Review Team Report

Approved resolution also reconfirms full support for

Enforcement of WHOIS policy and obligations

Los Angeles, California
  The ICANN Board of 
Directors has directed the Chief Executive 
Officer to launch a new effort to re-examine the 
purpose of collecting, maintaining and providing 
access to generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) 
registration data. The move follows the 
recommendations of a review team that examined 
implementation of WHOIS data policy.

WHOIS is a listing of domain registrants and their contact information.

“WHOIS began more than 25 years ago, before there 
was even a World Wide Web and its purpose was far 
more technical than it is today,” said Dr. 
Stephen D. Crocker, ICANN Board Chair. “It’s 
clear that we have to take a thorough look at 
WHOIS from the ground up, and that’s what we’re 
asking the CEO to do - what should WHOIS be and 
how can we best improve its accuracy?”

The Board tasked the CEO to go beyond the 
existing WHOIS protocol and start a new 
initiative focused on directory services. In 
response CEO Fadi Chehadé will convene an expert 
working group to help lay the foundation for new policy development work.

The Board resolution also directs the CEO to 
continue to fully enforce the contractual 
conditions that relate to the current collection, 
access and accuracy of gTLD registration data, 
and increase efforts to communicate and conduct 
outreach ensuring compliance with existing WHOIS policy and conditions.

“It’s basically a two-track approach,” said 
Crocker. “In addition to a full examination of 
WHOIS, the Board wants to make certain that 
enforcement of existing WHOIS reporting 
requirements is strengthened in conformance with 
the Affirmation of Commitments and the 
recommendations of the WHOIS Review Team.”

The Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) is an 
agreement signed by ICANN and the U.S. Department 
of Commerce in 2009 that, among other things, 
commits ICANN to enforcing existing policies relating to WHOIS.


To read the Board resolution on WHOIS, go here: 

To read the report of the WHOIS Policy Review 
Team, go 


Brad White

Director of Global Media Affairs

Washington, DC, USA

Tel. +1 202.570.7118

<mailto:brad.white at icann.org>brad.white at icann.org

Andrew Robertson

Edelman Public Relations

London, U.K.

Tel. + 44 (7811) 341 945

<mailto:andrew.Robertson at edelman.com>andrew.Robertson at edelman.com

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