WHOIS Resources Enhanced by New WHOIS Primer and Global Lookup Tool

by Margie Milam on January 24, 2014

Marking another milestone in ICANN’s ongoing commitment to improve WHOIS based on recommendations from WHOIS Review Team, I am pleased to announce that the WHOIS Primer is now live and available in all six UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). The WHOIS Primer is designed to help the average domain name user better understand the framework surrounding WHOIS.

The WHOIS Primer summarizes, at a high level, the numerous contracts, policies, protocols, and standards that collectively support today’s WHOIS system. It is written in an easy to read format, and deciphers contract legalese and technical specifications to assist the  reader in understanding and using the WHOIS framework. Based upon the requirements of the 2013 RAA and the New gTLD Base Registry Agreement, the WHOIS Primer includes links to specific source documentation to assist those seeking to dig deeper into WHOIS.

Also published today is a Draft Implementation Plan [PDF, 341 KB] for the Global WHOIS Lookup Tool currently in development. This Plan describes our proposed design for creating a common interface that overhauls the InterNIC Service to provide enhanced usability for consumers, including the display of full registrant data for all gTLD domain names (whether those gTLDs operate thin or thick WHOIS services).  Phase I of the WHOIS Lookup Tool is expected to be live by the ICANN Singapore Meeting in March 2014.

We invite you to share your thoughts on these WHOIS developments and whether they make WHOIS more understandable and accessible.  Please provide feedback on either the WHOIS Primer or the Draft Implementation Plan [PDF, 341 KB] by email to: whois@icann.org by 24 February 2014.

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