Subject: RE: [council] NCUC's position to Whois TF report
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 15:30:53 +1100
From: "Bruce Tonkin" <Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Chun Eung Hwi" <ehchun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Thanks for opening up some discussion on the WHOIS report. Your comments
on privacy will be recorded formally in any report that is approved by the
Council for consideration by the ICANN Board.
My understanding of the progress on WHOIS to date is:
(1) A task force was formed in July 2001 to examine whether the WHOIS
policy should be updated
(2) The task force used a questionnaire to guide it. This questionnaire
did include questions about privacy.
See the June 2002 report at:
(3) The task force found that there were a number of areas where WHOIS
policy could be improved.
(4) The task force identified two issues to concentrate on initially:
- accuracy (the security and stability committee also identified this as
- bulk access for marketing purposes (which is the first step to improve
(5) The current report for discussion at the GNSO meeting on 20 Feb 2003
contains some recommendations relating to these two specific issues
(nearly two years since the beginning of the task force work)
(6) A new GNSO policy development process came into force in December 2002
(7) The WHOIS task force as its last act is producing a set of issues
reports under the new policy development process. I believe that one of
them is in the area of privacy.
(8) It is up to the GNSO council to determine which issues reports are
worthy of initiating the policy development process, and it is up to the
GNSO to determine whether to create new task forces for this purpose.
I understand that the WHOIS task force does recognise that privacy is a
I know that Registrars believe that the free port 43 WHOIS service
provided by registrars is being abused, and that registrant's privacy via
this service needs to be protected. Other countries (e.g Australia) have
taken action to limit the amount of information provided via the public
WHOIS service (in Australia only name and email address is provided publicly).
The privacy area is an important and complex one, but I personally think
it is worth addressing in the policy development process.
I recommend that the non-commercial constituency:
(a) contribute to the privacy issues report under development in the WHOIS
(b) if not satisfied with the issues report created by the WHOIS task
force, create its own issues report and submit to the Council for consideration
I believe that you will get support from the council for the privacy issue
to be examined for policy development.
I do not believe that it is possible to solve all WHOIS problems at
once. This approach is one of the reasons that the WHOIS task force
process has taken so long.
I believe we will achieve better outcomes, by breaking done the problem
into some specific issues with focussed policy development on each
issue. Accuracy and privacy are different topics, but certainly I believe
that accuracy will be improved when the protection for privacy is
improved. The sooner we can start further work on the privacy issue the
better overall outcome we will achieve.
The ICANN Board could decide to delay the implementation of the accuracy
recommendations until after the privacy issue is addressed. For example
the ICANN Board recommended that Verisign delay the introduction of the
WLS service until the redemption grace period process was
implemented. This does seem to be sensible as registrars have encountered
some teething problems in the introduction of the redemption grace period
by Verisign, as would be expected in the introduction of any new policy.
Given that the accuracy recommendation is likely to require development
work from registrars, and there are likely to be teething problems - I
believe it is sensible to work on the privacy issues while accuracy is
being improved. It will actually provide an incentive for groups such as
registrars and the non-commercial constituency to work together to suggest
policy improvements to better address the privacy concern.
I believe that the Council itself should not withhold approval of one set
of recommendations merely because policy development in other areas is not
complete. If we do that the GNSO will never be able to produce timely
outcomes - one of the main reasons for ICANN reform.
I look forward to more in-depth discussion on the privacy issue at the
ICANN meeting in Rio.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chun Eung Hwi [mailto:ehchun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 1:07 PM
> To: council@xxxxxxxx
> Cc: discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [council] NCUC's position to Whois TF report
> Dear NC members and Whois TF members,
> We, NCUC, were recently told that Ruchika Agrawal, our
> representative for
> Whois TF, expressed her dissending opinion on the TF's accuracy policy
> recommendation because the TF has not only failed to
> adequately address
> privacy issues, but also failed to reflect several suggestions made by
> We, as NCUC, confirm that her position is definitely representing our
> constituency's official position and hope that such an
> opinion could be
> deliberately and cautiously noted and taken into account so as to make
> more mature and consensus policy on whois issue. The privacy
> concern on
> whois policy, one of the major concerns for our constituency, has
> frequently been expressed in our members' public comments and
> even in NC
> conferences. Therefore, if this concern is not to be sorted out
> appropriately, we could hardly endorse such policy. We hope that TF
> members would think over this aspect once more deliberately
> because now
> privacy issue is truly a significant concern of all domain
> name users and
> it is closely related with very real threats to people's lives.
> Chun Eung Hwi
> Chun Eung Hwi
> General Secretary, PeaceNet | phone: (+82) 2- 2166-2216
> Seoul Yangchun P.O.Box 81 | pcs: (+82) 019-259-2667
> Seoul, 158-600, Korea | eMail: ehchun@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx