[Gnso-ppsai-pdp-wg] [GNSO-ppsai-pdp-wg] Openness of WHOIS

Stephanie Perrin stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca
Wed Mar 4 04:13:12 UTC 2015

Further to our discussion this morning about the openness (or otherwise) 
of WHOIS, here is the quote I was referring to from the SSAC document 
003, from 2003:
In order for Whois data to be readily available it must be both 
accessible and usable by
automatic tools. To be accessible the Whois protocol must be updated to 
support the
recent shift in the architecture to separate the functions of the 
registry and the registrar.
This shift has made it impractical to support searching and frequently 
makes it difficult to
find Whois services. To be usable the data returned by Whois services 
must in be a
common format.
*However, being accessible and usable must also protect a registrant's 
privacy. Many *
*countries require that personal information is protected but in 
addition registrants may *
*wish to discourage the unintended, undesirable, and otherwise unwanted 
uses of their *
*Whois data. In particular, it is widely believed that Whois data is a 
source of email *
*addresses for the distribution of spam. Methods must be developed to 
discourage the *
*harvesting or mining of Whois information*.

I interpret this as support for the notion that there have been 
reservations from parties other than civil
society, with respect to the concept of all WHOIS data being freely 
available, from the early days of ICANN.
Stephanie Perrin

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