Whois

Whois / Recently Commented

First Do No Harm: Ensuring Compliance with the EU's GDPR While Preserving Access to WHOIS Data

There is growing concern about how ICANN will comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whose enforcement sanctions come into force in May of 2018. How will ICANN comply with GDPR without unduly restricting global Internet users' access to the public WHOIS database? For nearly the past 20 years, Internet users, businesses, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies have relied on WHOIS as a necessary resource. more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

GDPR: Registries to Become Technical Administrators Only?

On 11 December 2017, about 25 participants from Europe and the US attended the public consultation for the brand new GDPR Domain Industry Playbook by eco (Association of the Internet Industry, based in Germany) at the representation of the German federal state Lower Saxony to the European Union in Brussels. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) poses a challenge for the Registries, Registrars, Resellers and ICANN. more

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

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

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

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

A Real-Names Domain Registration Policy Would Discourage Political Lying

I've discussed the role of the Internet in creating and propagating lies in a previous post, noting that Donald Trump lied more frequently than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders during the campaign. Now let's look at fake news like the claim that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump. The fake post features the following image and includes a "statement" by the Pope in which he explains his decision. more

We Need You: Industry Collaboration to Improve Registration Data Services

For more than 30 years, the industry has used a service and protocol named WHOIS to access the data associated with domain name and internet address registration activities... The challenge with WHOIS is that it was designed for use at a time when the community of users and service operators was much smaller and there were fewer concerns about data privacy. more

A Confession About The ICANN WHOIS Data Reminder Policy

With all the recent attention to WHOIS, it's time for a confession: I'm somewhat guilty for the infamous WHOIS Data Reminder Policy. With hindsight, it's a bad policy, and it needs to die. The year was 2002. ICANN's DNSO (soon to be renamed as the GNSO) had a WHOIS Task Force, and was trying to extract policy choices from an ill-conceived and worse-executed survey of assorted self-selected stakeholders. more

ICANN Compliance Lends a Hand to a Violent Criminal While Trashing a Legitimate Business

Imagine a California non-profit corporation providing material assistance to a criminal wanting to do you physical and financial harm. Then, imagine that corporation is ICANN. Imagine no longer, because that is precisely what the ICANN Compliance department managed to pull off this week, in an all-too-common demonstration of the havoc they can cause by sheer ineptitude, without apology or concern. This is the situation which crossed my desk this week. more

ICANN Must Make User Privacy a Central Tenet for New Registrations, Says EFF

In a statement released today, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has criticized ICANN for not being proactive on privacy matters, saying the organization "can't seem to wrap its head around" the issue. more

ICANN Should Curb Anonymous Domain Name Abuses

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses sell to consumers -- including those involved in illicit activities, such as websites peddling illegal narcotics, pirated movies and music, or counterfeit handbags. For example, 96 percent of Internet pharmacies do not comply with U.S. laws, and as they ship pills tainted with paint thinner, arsenic, and rat poison, they put the health and safety of consumers at risk. Why don't law enforcement officials do more to combat this problem? Partly because of the difficulty of identifying who is actually operating the illegal pharmacies. It is time to fix this, while allowing anonymity for those who deserve it. more