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ICANN Considers Bringing Whois Escrow In House

February 8, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, whoisComments Off on ICANN Considers Bringing Whois Escrow In House

ICANN considers future of Registrar Data Escrow Program.

Domain Name Wire has learned that ICANN is considering handling whois escrow services internally.

Registrar Data Escrow Program (RDE) is currently managed by Iron Mountain Intellectual Property Management, a third party. Its contract ends in November. RDE is a program that escrows a registrar’s whois information in case of registrar failure.

In a survey sent to domain name registrars, ICANN asks respondents if they would consider using an RDE service operated directly by ICANN. It then asks what concerns people would have with using an RDE managed by ICANN.

Some of the potential concerns include:

-Data security
-Potential ICANN staff access to data
-General distrust of ICANN
-Switching costs
-Concerns about customer support

ICANN will launch an exploratory Request For Proposals process in the coming weeks.


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Related posts:

  1. ICANN Seeks Escrow Provider for Whois Data
  2. ICANN Launches Initiative to Clean Up Whois Records
  3. Is Your Domain Name Ownership Information Safe?

15%-25% of Domain Names are Registered with Masked Whois

October 2, 2009Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, private whois, whois, whois privacyComments Off on 15%-25% of Domain Names are Registered with Masked Whois

Study examines use of privacy and proxy services.

A new report (pdf) released by ICANN yesterday says that 15%-25% of all registered domain names use some sort of service to mask whois information.

The study found that the majority of people masking whois use a proxy service, which means an entity actually registers the domain on the domain “owner’s” behalf, and then leases it to that owner. Only 15% use privacy services, which mask some of the whois information such as phone number or address.

ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments with the United States government shows that keeping whois information open and public is a goal. Section 9.3.1 reads:

ICANn additionally commits to enforcing its existing policy relating to WHOIS, subject to applicable laws. Such existing policy requires that ICANN implement measures to mantain timely, unresitricted and public access to accurate and complete WHOIS information, including registrant, technical, billing, and administrative contact information…


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Related posts:

  1. Whois debate continues
  2. ICANN Wants to Trap WHOIS Abusers for Study
  3. Canada Leading the Way with Whois Changes

ICANN Wants to Trap WHOIS Abusers for Study

September 28, 2009domain scams, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, Policy & Law, spam, whoisComments Off on ICANN Wants to Trap WHOIS Abusers for Study

Group sends our RFP for whois abuse study.

ICANN, through Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), is seeking proposals from qualified companies to study whois abuse. One of its proposed mechanisms for studying abuse is to set up a number of test domain names to see what happens to the whois data created for them.

A similar study (pdf) was conducted in 2007, but only to research whois harvesting for spam. In the new study, GNSO will also check for postal/phone solicitations, phishing, and identity theft.

A number of scams are perpetrated using e-mail addresses harvested from whois. Two popular ones are the renewal scam — which seeks to get you to transfer your domain to another registrar — and the domain appraisal scam. Whois data is also used for marketing. Even large companies have used whois data for marketing in the past; I once received a mailing from Yahoo addressed using whois contact information.

I have long proposed having a registry, or even ICANN-level domain masking service. This would mask all registration email addresses as domain.tld@verisign.com or similar, and would forward all mail to the domain owner. This would allow the registry or ICANN to shut down scams. (Although this probably isn’t a responsibility they’d like). Doing this would require a thick-whois model.

More information on ICANN’s RFP is here.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Whois Taskforce: New Rules for Maintaining Whois Data
  2. U.S. Government blasts ICANN for Whois Data
  3. Whois debate continues