[ALAC] Call for volunteers - 'thick' Whois PDP WG
alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Oct 24 14:11:42 UTC 2012
Please redistribute as think necessary. Alan
Call for Volunteers: 'thick' Whois Policy
Development Process (PDP) Working Group Members
Last Updated: 23 October 2012
23 October 2012
The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
Council seeks volunteers to serve on a Policy
Development Process (PDP) Working Group (WG) that
has been chartered to provide the GNSO Council
with a policy recommendation regarding the use of
'thick' Whois by all gTLD Registries, both existing and future.
What This Group Will Do
As part of its deliberations on this issue, the
PDP WG is expected, at a minimum, to consider the
following elements as detailed in the
Whois Final Issue Report:
* Response consistency: a 'thick' Registry
can dictate the labeling and display of Whois
information to be sure the information is easy to
parse, and all Registrars/clients would have to
display it accordingly. This could be considered
a benefit but also a potential cost. This might
also be a benefit in the context of
internationalized registration data as even with
the use of different scripts, uniform data
collection and display standards could be applied.
* Stability: in the event of a Registrar
business or technical failure, it could be
beneficial to ICANN and registrants to have the
full set of domain registration contact data
stored by four organizations (the Registry, the
Registry's escrow agent, the Registrar, and the
Registrar's escrow agent), which would be the case in a 'thick' registry.
* Accessibility: is the provision of Whois
information at the registry level under the
'thick' Whois model more effective and
cost-effective than a 'thin' model in protecting
consumers and users of Whois data and intellectual property owners?
* Impact on privacy and data protection: how
would 'thick' Whois affect privacy and data
protection, also taking into account the
involvement of different jurisdictions with
different laws and legislation with regard to
data privacy as well as possible cross border transfers of registrant data?
* Cost implications: what are the cost
implications of a transition to 'thick' Whois for
Registries, Registrars, registrants and other
parties for all gTLDs? Conversely, what are the
cost implications to Registries, Registrars,
registrants and other parties if no transition is mandated?
* Synchronization/migration: what would be
the impact on the registry and registrar WHOIS
and EPP systems for those Registries currently
operating a thin registry, both in the migration
phase to 'thick' WHOIS as well as ongoing operations?
* Authoritativeness: what are the
implications of a 'thin' Registry possibly
becoming authoritative for registrant Whois data
following the transition from a thin-registry
model to a thick-registry model. The Working
Group should consider the term "authoritative" in
both the technical (the repository of the
authoritative data) and policy (who has authority
over the data) meanings of the word when considering this issue.
* Competition in registry services: what
would be the impact on competition in registry
services should all Registries be required to
provide Whois service using the 'thick' Whois
model would there be more, less or no
difference with regard to competition in registry services?
* Existing Whois Applications: What, if
anything, are the potential impacts on the
providers of third-party WHOIS-related
applications if 'thick' WHOIS is required for all gtLDs?
* Data escrow: 'thick' Whois might obviate
the need for the registrar escrow program and
attendant expenses to ICANN and registrars.
* Registrar Port 43 Whois requirements:
'thick' Whois could make the requirement for
Registrars to maintain Port 43 Whois access redundant.
For further details and requirements, see the
How This Group Will Work
ICANN Working Groups use transparent, open
processes. WGs typically meet once a week by
telephone for a minimum of one hour. The meetings
of the WG will be recorded, and the recordings
will be available to the public. The mailing list
for the 'thick' Whois PDP WG will be archived
publicly. Working Group members are expected to
submit Statements of Interest (SOI). The group
will collaborate using a public workspace. The WG
is expected to follow the
Working Group Guidelines. In addition, the WG is
expected to follow the procedures outlined in the
How to Join
The Council invites interested parties to provide
names of expected participants who can then be
added to the WG mailing list. The GNSO Council
may also invite stakeholders and experts to join.
Community members who wish to be invited to join
the group should contact the
<mailto:gnso.secretariat at icann.org?subject=Application%20to%20Join%20%27thick%27%20Whois%20PDP%20Working%20Group>GNSO
secretariat (<mailto:gnso.secretariat at icann.org>gnso.secretariat at icann.org).
ICANN specifies Whois service requirements
through Registry Agreements (RAs) and the
Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) for the
generic top-level domain (gTLD) registries.
Registries have historically satisfied their
Whois obligations under two different models. The
two models are often characterized as "thin" and
"thick" Whois registries. This distinction is
based on how two distinct sets of data are maintained.
WHOIS contains two kinds of data about a domain
name; one set of data is associated with the
domain name (this information includes data
sufficient to identify the sponsoring registrar,
status of the registration, creation and
expiration dates for each registration, name
server data, the last time the record was updated
in the Registry database, and the URL for the
registrar's Whois service), and a second set of
data that is associated with the registrant of the domain name.
In a thin registration model the Registry only
collects the information associated with the
domain name from the Registrar. The Registry in
turn publishes that information along with
maintaining certain status information at the
Registry level. Registrars maintain data
associated with the registrant of the domain and
provide it via their own Whois services, as
required by Section 3.3 of the RAA for those domains they sponsor.
In a thick registration model the Registry
collects both sets of data (domain name and
registrant) from the Registrar and in turn publishes that data via Whois.
As recommended by the Inter-Registrar Transfer
Policy (IRTP) Part B Working Group, the GNSO
Council asked ICANN staff to prepare an Issue
Report on the requirement of "thick" Whois for
all gTLDs. The Council requested that the Issue
Report and possible subsequent Policy Development
Process consider a possible requirement of
"thick" Whois for all gTLDs in the context of
IRTP and also consider any positive and/or
negative effects likely to occur outside of IRTP
that should be taken into account when deciding
whether to require "thick" Whois for all
incumbent gTLDs. ICANN staff submitted
Final Issue Report to the GNSO Council for consideration on 2 February 2012.
At its meeting in Costa Rica last March, the GNSO
Council initiated a Policy Development Process on
"thick" Whois. However, considering the workload
of the GNSO community, the GNSO Council on 12
April resolved to delay the formation of a
drafting team to develop a charter until December
2012. The Council reconsidered that decision at
its meeting in Prague in June 2012, and decided
to move forward with the PDP. A drafting team was
formed to develop a charter which was adopted by
the GNSO Council at its meeting on 17 October 2012.
More information about the ALAC