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ICANN working group seeks to kill WHOIS

 5:44 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/465895/icann_working_group_seeks_kill_whois/ [computerworld.com.au]

ICANN working group seeks to kill WHOIS

An Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) working group is seeking public input on a successor to the current WHOIS system used to retrieve domain name information.

The Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG) has issued a report (PDF) that recommends a radical change from WHOIS. The working group, which had a clean-slate approach to a new domain name information, was formed "to help resolve the nearly decade-long deadlock within the ICANN community on how to replace the current WHOIS system, which is widely regarded as 'broken.'"



 6:28 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why is it regarded as broken?

Why does anyone think a centralised system is a good idea. More load in one place and a single point of failure - its what everyone else is tries to get away from.


 7:21 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

It would be great if they would remove whois completely, so non have access, imagine how many crappy scraper sites would go from the net.


 8:34 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Zeus agreed


 9:03 am on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

It sure would help fight the e-mail scrapers if it was obfuscated.


 12:26 pm on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would like to have some *independent* source for looking up available domains (right now I don't trust the registrars so I look it up first from a UNIX prompt) but I'm all for keeping ownership details private. It's nobody's business what domains I own, and it's my business keeping lunatics from my door.


 2:11 pm on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's nobody's business what domains I own,

In theory, it should be useful when there's a copyright complaint, libel, or other breach of the law. In practice, we know how useless it can be for that. If the information were complete and accurate, that would be another matter.


 2:55 pm on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nope, I've had to take out two personal protection orders (years apart) against people who found me via WHOIS before I started using privacy options, I can't think of a single justification for requiring my domain ownership to be public, weighed against that.


 1:48 pm on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

The rule for .co.uk domains is that ownership info must be public for domains used for business or owned by organisations. A "non-trading individual" can hide their address (but their name is public). Seems reasonable to me.

As for an independent source, this service will merely centralise the info from registrars. This is information that always originates from the registrars, so ANY way of looking it up will depend on them.


 2:09 pm on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

I did not understand from the beginning why WHOIS has to be public, if company or individual, its there business. If I buy a new table, I also dont want that public, its nobody's business. It would be SO great if they cut the access to whois, imagine the impact on spam emails and the most important part ALL those whois scraper sites would slowly be gone.


 3:31 pm on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nope, I've had to take out two personal protection orders (years apart) against people who found me via WHOIS before I started using privacy options, I can't think of a single justification for requiring my domain ownership to be public, weighed against that.

Right - you're operating just like a lot of offline businesses. The independent contractors I know - realtors, traveling sales people, etc. - do not share their home addresses with me. And yet, if they give me cause that authorities agree with, I can track them down and sue them or even have them arrested. The real problem online is that a lot of dodgy sites are operated in countries that will not cooperate, even when you have cause to put the site owners in jail (as the US govt well knows from following pedophilia rings). WhoIS doesn't fix that. It doesn't fix anything.


 3:51 pm on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Times have changed, and I think it does need to be reviewed. I agree that the information does not need to be shown to everyone. To whom it should be shown, i'm not sure. That's where they'll want to discuss it.

It does seem logical that the data is recorded and saved should there be a problem and the owner needs contacting.


 4:16 pm on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, there are good reasons for withholding the owners details (such as address), but replacing whois with a centralised equivalent will not fix that.

What will fix it is simply changing the rules.

In any case there are already a lot of options for domain ownership privacy.


 7:47 pm on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

IMO, what should really be there instead of WHOIS is a real organization, which will never make private information about site and organization/person behind it available to everyone especially SPAMERS.

This way every webmaster and I mean real webmaster can have access to all necessary information about any site that he/she needs to establish contact with on the basis that that every domain within that database has a a real person with real contact information and etc. To make myself bit more clear, the organization will redirect all communications or other requests between website without exposing any of there personal details, which can also give webmasters one stop where everyone can contact everyone and get replies to millions of emails that all of us are sending to get something done. Organization of such kind can definitely put an end to SPAM, because everyone would be required to submit true information and constantly maintain it, because of one simple reason, if site or a webmaster cannot be riched, then it probably does not deserve to be live and can be killed or at least switched off by that organization in order not to harm others.

I am sure that a lot can be added to my idea that can help real site owners in war against SPAM, Scrappers and hackers.


 4:10 am on Jun 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

As long as I have an email to send a DMCA complaint, I'm in.


 5:51 am on Jun 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Alex, a single organisation will still not solve the problems.

1) Firstly, what happens to ccTLDs that have different rules, usually for very good reasons?
2) The organisation will still get, and, pass on the same info under the ICANN proposals.

I do not see how spam comes into it. I checked the whois for my domains and I can see nothing useful to a spammer.

brotherhood of LAN

 6:01 am on Jun 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Replace the lot with:

is registered: yes/no
complaints to: abuse@domain.com
registrar: acme domains

Privately, the registrar can have some personal info which they should keep private... and can be the contact point for mentioning renewal dates etc.


 1:59 pm on Jun 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

My guess is it's really about shifting to a paid application process to make money for ICANN.

Under certain circumstances you can find out who owns a domain but you have to pay $x to the central authority that would control access to that info.

Changes to the policy may bring up some lawsuits - as there is a fee for hiding your details.

Some businesses will loose a significant income stream - and a potential new income stream would abound for one centralized body? Would it not?


 8:55 am on Jun 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Given how ICANN works these days, I think Dominic has got it.

There is really no other reason to do it.

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