Whois

Whois / Featured Blogs

Eliminating Access to WHOIS - Bad for All Stakeholders

Steeped deep in discussions around the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the past several months, it has occurred to me that I've been answering the same question for over a decade: "What happens if WHOIS data is not accessible?" One of the answers has been and remains the same: People will likely sue and serve a lot of subpoenas. This may seem extreme, and some will write this off as mere hyperbole, but the truth is that the need for WHOIS data to address domain name matters will not disappear. more

2017 Domain Name Year in Review

Given that it's been a few years since my last domain name year in review, I've really enjoyed looking back at this year's biggest domain name stories and seeing how this industry has evolved. This year, in particular, has seen some notable changes which are likely to impact the domain name landscape for years to come. So without further ado, here is my list for 2017. more

General Data Protection Regulation and the Future of WHOIS

Why does all of the discussion around potential options for WHOIS in the era of the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) feel like déjà vu? Is it because issues around WHOIS never really go away, and become a hot topic every few years? Is it because no one is really happy with the current system? Privacy advocates would be delighted to do away with it altogether, while business and Intellectual Property professionals press for improvements to accuracy and availability, which I fully support. more

Some Whois Lookup Services Might be Broken

There are thousands of sites and services on the 'net that offer domain name whois lookup services. As of last night, many of them may have stopped working. Why? Many of them rely on fairly rudimentary software that parses the whois from Verisign (for .com and .net) and then relays the query to the registrar whois. The site or service then displays the whois output from the registrar's whois server to you. more

Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (NG RDS) - Proposed Successor to WHOIS

The information in WHOIS database is very important to Law Enforcement Agencies, Intellectual Property Owners, and all Internet Users in general, who use this data to locate/contact domain name owners for various purposes including but not limited to enforcing laws or addressing grievances related to cybercrime and other cases of DNS abuse like Spam, Phishing, Malware etc. However, Privacy and Proxy Services are also available for many Top Level Domain Registries... more

Sorry, Not Sorry: WHOIS Data Must Remain Public

In March, I posted a call to action to those of us in the community who have the inclination to fight against a movement to redact information critical to anti-abuse research. Today, I felt compelled to react to some of the discussions on the ICANN discussion list dedicated to the issue of WHOIS reform: Sorry, not sorry: I work every working hour of the day to protect literally hundreds of millions of users from privacy violating spam, phish, malware, and support scams. more

6th Registration Operations Workshop (ROW), Madrid, Friday May 12th 2017

The Registration Operations Workshop (ROW) was conceived as an informal industry conference that would provide a forum for discussion of the technical aspects of registration operations in the domain name system. The 6th ROW will be held in Madrid, on Friday May 12th 2017 in the afternoon, immediately after the GDD Industry Summit and prior to ICANN DNS Symposium and OARC 26, using the same venue as all above-mentioned events. more

Loudmouths Wanted for ICANN WHOIS Replacement Work

TL;DR? It's worth reading, BUT, if not -- ICANN has yet another group looking at WHOIS, and there is a huge push to redact it to nothing. I spend easily half my day in WHOIS data fighting online crime, losing it would not make my job harder, it will make it impossible. PLEASE JOIN THE ICANN GROUP and help us fight back against people who are fighting in favour of crime. more

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more

At the NCPH Intersessional, Compliance Concerns Take Centre Stage

The non-contracted parties of the ICANN community met in Reykjavík last week for their annual intersessional meeting, where at the top of the agenda were calls for more transparency, operational consistency, and procedural fairness in how ICANN ensures contractual compliance. ICANN, as a quasi-private cooperative, derives its legitimacy from its ability to enforce its contracts with domain name registries and registrars... more