[gnso-rds-pdp-wg] Instead of Less Access to Fewer Data Fields How About More Access to Newer Data Fields

Michael D. Palage michael at palage.com
Thu May 12 16:47:43 UTC 2016


So I am going to gently push back on your proposition that this is not the
purpose of Whois.

In doing so I would like to offer a specific example of where ICANN not
acting as a regulator and limiting its scope to security, stability and
competition was a good thing.  When ICANN staff authored the New gTLD
Program Explanatory Memorandum - Thick vs. Thin Whois for New gTLDs it
properly noted the historically broad latitude given to Registries regarding
Whois data fields and format.  

"ICANN for at least the past five years in which registry operators have
been free to suggest their own preferred Whois data output and whatever
specification each registry proposed was incorporated into the that registry
operator's agreement."

Back in 1999, I  Co-Chaired Working Group B where I authored the original
Sunrise Concept to serve as a Right Protection Mechanism in launching a new
gTLD.  Afilias whom I was working for at the time as a consultant decided to
implement the Sunrise concept into their launch plans. To implement this
operationally, Afilias collected from Registrants via their Registrars
information regarding the Trademark Registration and Country of Registration
in connection with Sunrise Registrations.  After achieving steady state
operation several years later, Afilias no longer published this information.

The point I am try to make is that when I originally put forth the Sunrise
concept, let's just say it was not well received, roundly criticized would
not be an unfair characterization.    However, as a result of that
experiment, the Sunrise is now a universal RPM, and the data collected and
displayed by Afilias in a rudimental manner in the .INFO Whois has now
matured into the TMCH. I am often reminded of the Isaac Asimov quote that
the most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka" but "That's funny..."

So while respecting your passion about the legal rights of a person to
control data about themselves,  I hope that you can similarly appreciate my
passion about empowering Registry Operators to innovate and try new things
which first and first most are legal and second, do not give rise to any
security, stability or competition concerns. 

Best regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: gnso-rds-pdp-wg-bounces at icann.org
[mailto:gnso-rds-pdp-wg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Rob Golding
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:41 AM
To: gnso-rds-pdp-wg at icann.org
Subject: Re: [gnso-rds-pdp-wg] Instead of Less Access to Fewer Data Fields
How About More Access to Newer Data Fields

Hi Michael

And welcome to the group :)

> For example
> a .BRAND could have a field indicating where the registrant was a 
> company owned store or a franchise.  I could see this being 
> information that a consumer would like to know.

Whilst I agree, there is information that may be of some value to a
'consumer', WHOIS (or any replacement) is not a place they'd look for it,
nor necessarily the correct place to put it.

Number of WHOIS lookups for .com names we are registrar for and we host,
April 2016 - 1,256 Number of web pages of .com names we are registrar for
and we host, April 2016 - 3,715,372

That's 0.03%

Even just taking the number of unique IPs (and incorrectly assuming that
equates to 1 'consumer' each), April 2016 - 524,604

So 500 times as many people look at a website than a whois - 'consumers' 
would be far better served if that data was simply on those web-pages (which
is 'law' in some countries anyway)

> This would include collecting and publishing additional data fields in 
> the Whois that they deemed in their best business interest.

And that I think is the "heart" of the debate, and where I think most of the
possible confusions start to enter the discussion - what is in "their best
business interest" - it belies a misunderstanding of who "owns" the data.

Under UK & EU (and possibly other locales) the data about a 'person' is
owned by that person, and they should have the decision about how it is
used, whether it is kept, if it is collected, and under what circumstances
(which should default to NONE) it is 'published'

> So if RightSide decided that they wanted to publish the children's 
> names of all registrants in the Whois for their .FAMILY TLD, they 
> should be free to do so.  While I do not know in what parallel 
> universe where this would be an optimal/good business model, as long 
> as the collection and publishing of this data was NOT in violation of 
> any local/national laws I do not see why ICANN would be able to block 
> this service/feature.

If such a business-model existed, (putting aside the sensibility and
legality of it) I'd still think whois was not teh appropriate place for it,
plus there would still be the major 'problem' - that data served up by a
machine, mostly to other machines, is scraped/kept/misused/etc

Sadly, since the 1st caveman scrawled on a wall with a burnt stick, we've
had "record keeping" with the associated problems of security, access,
visibility, retention, longevity - if only they'd sat down and hashed out a
tokenised systems with automated revocation that could temporarily grant
limited and controllable access to specific data subsets for
limited/defined/specific purposes, which is otherwise securely locked away

Rob Golding   rob.golding at astutium.com
Astutium Ltd, Number One Poultry, London. EC2R 8JR

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