Summary/analysis of public comments
- To: <whois-comments-2008@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Summary/analysis of public comments
- From: "Kieren McCarthy" <kieren.mccarthy@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2008 11:36:06 -0800
Posted by general manager of public participation Kieren McCarthy, on behalf
of Senior Policy Counselor, Liz Gasster.
Summary of Public Suggestions on Further Studies of WHOIS
On 31 October 2007, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council
concluded that a comprehensive, objective and quantifiable understanding of
issues regarding the gTLD WHOIS system will benefit future GNSO policy
efforts, and plans to ask ICANN staff to conduct several studies for this
defining the details of these studies, the Council solicited suggestions
community for specific topics of study on WHOIS that community stakeholders
recommend be conducted.
Public Comments Received
25 recommendations on WHOIS studies were received (note that each submission
referred to by number, correlating to the number assigned on the WHOIS
comments chronological index,
except the comment submitted by Steven Metalitz on 14 February, which is
referred to in
this summary and in the chronological index as the "Metalitz comment").
These can be
summarized as follows:
Four proposals (suggestions #1, #14, #15 and #21) suggest that ICANN study
documented misuse of WHOIS data to determine the connection, if any, between
and illegal activities; one to study the extent to which WHOIS data is being
harass, abuse or stalk registrants; one to study the connection, if any,
between the various
means of access to WHOIS and illegal activity, and whether policies should
to address these problems.
Seven proposals (suggestions # 2, #5, #13, #17, #18, #20 and the Metalitz
suggest that ICANN study various aspects of proxy and privacy services,
availability of WHOIS privacy protection options; the connection, if any,
proxies and phishing; why users of proxy and privacy services use these
percentage of proxy registrations that resolve to commercial sites, and/or
advertising sites; the timeliness of proxy services in relaying
registrants and/or revealing the identity of the underlying registrant; the
degree to which
these services are effective in protecting personal privacy; and the
prevalence of the use
of proxies and their impact on Uniform Dispute Resolution (UDRP) proceedings
Two proposals (suggestions #3, #24) suggest that ICANN study certain aspects
compliance by registrars with applicable provisions of the Registrar
Agreement, including whether registrars include in their registration
terms required by the RAA, to determine the extent to which registrars
information when there is reasonable evidence of actionable harm.
Three proposals (suggestions #6, #22 and #23) suggest that ICANN study
of ccTLD registries with different WHOIS policies, one to determine the
impact of more
restrictive data display policies on crime and other abuse; one to study the
which ccTLD WHOIS policies reflect national data protection laws and
policies; and one
to perform a legal comparison of national data protection laws.
One proposal (suggestion #16) suggests that ICANN study the extent to which
have consented to the disclosure of personal information under various
protection laws, to determine whether additional measures are needed to
into conformance with national privacy laws.
One proposal (suggestion #19) suggests that ICANN study certain
registrants, such as how many are legal persons, natural persons or
Two proposals (suggestions #8 and #11) suggest that ICANN study certain
WHOIS data accuracy. Proposal #8 suggests that ICANN study the participation
certain registrars in spam abuse by tolerating falsified WHOIS records, as
by failure to take action on WHOIS data problem reports, to determine
whether there are
chronic violators that should have their accreditation revoked. Proposal #11
ICANN study the implications for data accuracy when IDN TLDs are used in
One proposal (suggestion #12) suggests that ICANN study how the private
of individuals might be secured while allowing law enforcement entities
access for law enforcement purposes.
One comment (suggestion #10) suggests that there is ample information
available, and that further study will not inform the debate on WHOIS
policy. Thus, this
commenter recommends that ICANN not conduct any further studies on WHOIS.
Three proposals (suggestions #4, #7 and #9) appear out of scope. These
suggestion to study transport layer security for WHOIS database lookups, a
study the theft of domain names by unscrupulous providers, and a suggestion
webmasters to determine whether they have observed the largest registrars
domains following a domain name search.
The GNSO Council will be considering the public input received on further
studies, and at an upcoming meeting will direct staff to develop costs and
frames for the study proposals they would like pursued. Following that
Council will identify the specific studies, if any, that should be